Lake Forest, Illinois

Location: Lake Michigan

Ease of Getting There: 9/10

Ease of Staying There: 7/10

Ease of Eating There: 10/10

You’ll be transported away from the hustle and bustle of big city life to a secluded sanctuary when visiting Lake Forest, Illinois. Originally a stop for travelers making their way south to Chicago, this culturally rich city is home to Citadel Theatre, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Music Institute of Chicago Lake Forest Campus, and the Deer Path Art League.

Take a scenic drive through eastern Lake Forest, near the coast of Lake Michigan, to appreciate homes designed by distinguished architects, like Howard Van Doren Shaw and Frank Lloyd Wright. Stop near the coast of Lake Michigan to appreciate the glistening water while you take in the rich history of Lake Forest, including Lake Forest College, a small liberal arts college that was ranked by Princeton Review in 2017 as having the happiest students

People of all ages will enjoy the Wildlife Discovery Center where you’ll learn about various animal species throughout their attractions, research area, nature and interpretive trails, rescue and rehabilitation center, and more! Take a stroll around Market Square, known as the first planned shopping center in the United States, to explore shops that have been around since 1916, along with current brands. The City of Lake Forest provides 17 parks in the community, with ice rinks in the winter and trails to hike in the warmer weather.

If you love sweets and snacks, you’ll be delighted to hear that Lake Forest has plenty of stores that sell tasty treats, like The Popcorn Factory and Chocolates by Bernard. For dining and accommodations, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.  

By car, Lake Forest is 45 minutes from Chicago, an hour from Milwaukee and five hours from Detroit. 

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