Sure, summer may be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a short vacation somewhere this fall. And Illinois has lots of great options just a short drive away. Check out four of the best fall destinations Illinois has to offer.
LaRue Pine Hills
Shawnee National Forest (any part of it, really) is a place you need to visit at least once in your life. But fall is an especially beautiful time especially in LaRue Pine Hills – even maybe greater than Garden of the Gods. There's also a phenomenal wine trail to explore in Southern Illinois, and make your stay complete with a few nights in a cabin.
Chicago Botanic Garden
This might seem counter-intuitive because flowers and the like are best in spring. But there are actually tons of activities to do here in the fall. There's the Fall Bulb festival, complete with live music, beer, and a harvest market. There is an October fall-color tree walk, where you can really appreciate the changing colors in a very convenient setting.
Galena is especially fabulous to visit during fall, with the crisp fall air and the leaves crunching beneath your feet. Start your morning exploring some local forests or boating. Explore the downtown area and heat up with a nice cup of coffee. Stay in a nice bed and breakfast to really appreciate the fall season. Would make for a very romantic weekend trip.
Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway
Want to just get in the car and drive? Well, then, you should head down the Illinois River Road. This is a road that runs alongside the Illinois River. From the comfort of your own vehicle, you can take in the changing colors of fall foliage. Stop along the way in unique communities with all sorts of offerings from great restaurants to small shops. Hike up a bluff or towpath. There are plenty of places to pull by the river and see some bald eagles.