Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is one of the most visited cities in the United States and it is not hard to see why. Home to an array of beaches with a vibrant nightlife, amazing skyscrapers, and plenty of world-class museums, there is no shortage of things to do here. Rent an RV in with VroomVroomVroom to start exploring the famous city and the surrounding attractions in Illinois.
The "Windy City" is the third-largest in the United States and it provides plenty of entertainment, adventure, culture and tourist attractions. Visit the Willis Tower’s Skydeck, watch a comedy show at the Cadillac Theatre, dive into the depths of Shedd Aquarium or learn more about the city’s past at the Chicago History Museum. If you’re looking for top scenic drives and road trip ideas from the big city, click here.
Some of our favorite things to do year-round in Chicago are:
Summer (June, July, August): Catch some rays, get a tan and enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan all summer long. Take a trip to North Avenue Beach, one of Chicago's most popular beaches, which is only a 12-minute drive from the city via US-41 N/S Lake Shore Drive. Other favorite beaches that are worth visiting include the Oak Street Beach, Montrose Avenue Beach, Foster Avenue Beach, and Rainbow Beach. If you want to learn how to dance, check out the largest annual outdoor dancing series in the USA known as Chicago Summerdance.
Fall (September, October, November): The beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden plays host to a variety of events, such as the Illinois Gourd Society Show & Sale, the Midwest Regional Dahlia Society Show, Farmers’ Markets, and Autumn Brews: Seasonal Beer Tasting. Just half an hour drive from Chicago via I-94 W, carve out some time for the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival located right in downtown Highwood. Of course, the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade can’t be missed!
Winter (December, January, February): For endless winter fun and action in the city, go ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Rink in Millennium Park, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, grab a cup of hot cocoa in Bucktown, take a stroll down Michigan Avenue or book a Magnificent Mile tour for the ultimate shopping experience in Chicago. The marvelous ZooLights display that lights up the Lincoln Park Zoo through early January is a sight to behold.
Spring (March, April, May): If you want to experience a wee bit o' fun, the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Grant Park is simply one of kind. Enjoy live music performances, dancing, food, drinks, and a craft fair. You can also head to Navy Pier, where the annual Chicago Flower & Garden is celebrated. Known as the "People's Pier," the rides and attractions at Navy Pier, including the iconic Centennial Wheel and speedboat ride are worth checking out.
Year-Round: For some of the best free things to do in Chicago, visit the Garfield Park Conservatory, Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, and Harold Washington Library Center. Other favorite highlights in the city include the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago Riverwalk, The Loop, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Hailed as the new beer capital of America, no visit to Chicago is complete without a trip to a local bar for a locally-brewed cold beer.
Chicago Northwest KOA is just an hour drive from the city via I-90 W and is located in the city of Union on South Union Road. Power hookup RV sites and great amenities, including a pavilion and a laundry facility are waiting for your next camping trip. The park also features miniature golf, a swimming pool, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, a volleyball court, and a playground.
O'Connell's Yogi Bear RV Resort has several activities and events perfect for a weekend retreat. Located in Amboy on Green Wing Road, this RV park is less than a 90-minute drive from Chicago following I-88 W and US-30 W. It also features plenty of amenities and spectacular things to do including swimming pools, spas, beaches, waterslides, miniature golf, playgrounds, hiking trails, and wagon rides.
Sugar Shores RV Resort and Campground which is located in Durand on West Winslow Road provides over 44 acres of parking spaces along the Sugar River. Just a 2-hour drive from Chicago via I-90 W, the campground offers a restroom/shower facility, wooded sites, water, sewer, and full hookups. This park also features a heated swimming pool, a game room, gated entry, two playgrounds, a shuffleboard court, and horseshoe pits.
The Museum of Science and Industry is located on 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. It provides interactive fun with tours, memorable exhibits, and demonstrations. Experience a genuine U-505 submarine and find out what it is like to experience tornadoes and avalanches, see streamlined passenger trains, explore life in space and check out a coal mine. Your family will also be entertained with several dining venues inside the museum.
Skydeck sits at the top of Willis Tower and offers an unforgettable view of Chicago. You can learn more about the city from the observation deck, and enjoy the view from glass ledges extending four feet from the building. You will find the entrance to Skydeck on South Wacker Drive.
Loyola Park which can be found on West Greenleaf Avenue in the East Rogers Park offers a fantastic park experience with over 21 acres of land. The park has two gyms and outdoor athletic fields and courts, as well as a lakefront walking trail. It also hosts multiple annual special events such as the Halloween Party, Black History Month Celebration, Family Valentine Dance, Earth Day Park Clean-up, and Easter Egg Hunt.
The minimum age to rent an RV in Chicago is 25. However, some companies may allow drivers age 21 and above. For more information on age requirements, click here.
A special license is not required to drive an RV. All you need is a valid driver’s license held for at least one year. You may be asked to present an International Driving Permit if your license is not written in English.
There are plenty of places to camp near Chicago including Starved Rock State Park, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Indiana Dunes State Park, Warren Dunes State, and Matthiessen State Park.