Get Outta Town: Chicago

Escape the Windy City's concrete-and-steel canyons for a drive along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and through some of Chicago's ritziest neighborhoods.
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Sure, Chicago has great architecture and the lake. But Get Outta Town Chicago is your insider's guide to the back roads that reveal the surrounding area's charm. Go to www.madmaps.com to order this and many other titles!
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ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Start out on the border between Chicago and Evanston for a ride north along Lake Michigan through some of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs. If you like to see huge houses, this is the ride for you. Once you get into Kenilworth, take a short trip off Sheridan to see where rich folk reside. Fans of John Hughes’ movies from the 1980s will recognize this area from The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

POINTS OF INTEREST:

Roadhouses
3. Washington Street Station, 14801 Washington St., Woodstock, Illinois, tel: (815) 337-4433, "Grab a beer and a burger or a Reuben and wings"
5. Original Fatman Restaurant, 36309 N. Rte. 21, Gurnee, Illinois, tel: (847) 244-8300, "Live music, a cool patio and cookouts"
6. Kelsey Road House, 352 Kelsey Rd., Lake Barrington, Illinois, tel: (847) 381-8300, "Stained glass images of scantily clad women adorn the walls"
7. Penny Road Pub, 28W705 Penny Rd., Barrington, Illinois, tel: (847) 428-0562, "This biker-friendly place has live bands and pub grub"
8. Al Capone's Hideaway and Steak House, 35W337 Riverside Dr., St. Charles, Illinois, tel: (888) SCARFACE, "An authentic 1920s speakeasy dedicated to Scarface"
9. Texan BBQ, 105 W. St. Charles Rd., Lombard, Illinois, tel: (630) 629-8800, "Folow the smoke-scented air to this roadhouse"
10. Mustard's Last Stand, 1613 Central St., Evanston, Illinois, tel: (847) 864-2700, "'Catch-up to Mustard’s' for a true Chicago red hot"

Great Outdoors
2. Illinois Beach State Park, Wadsworth Rd. at Sheridan Rd., Zion, Illinois, tel: (847) 662-4811, "Lounge on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan"
3. Moraine Hills State Park, 1510 S. River Rd., McHenry, Illinois, tel: (815) 385-1624, "A glacial lake and wildlife await"
4. Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 3100 N. SR-23, Marengo, Illinois, tel: (815) 338-6223, "Spectacular views atop a glacial moraine"

Roadside Attractions
4. Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum, 101 N. Johnson St., Woodstock, Illinois, tel: (815) 338-8281, "A tribute to the creator of the popular comic strip"
5. Volo Auto Museum, 27582 Volo Village Rd., Volo, Illinois, tel: (815) 385-3644, "A 30-acre antique car theme park"
7. Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St. , tel: (SR-31), S. Elgin, Illinois, tel: (847) 697-4676, "All aboard for a four-mile antique trolley car ride"
8. McDonald's Museum and Store No. 1, 400 N. Lee St., Des Plaines, Illinois, tel: (847) 297-5022, "Where the 'Golden Arches' got its start"
9. Fermilab, Kirk Rd. at Pine Rd., Batavia, Illinois, tel: (630) 840-3000, "Visit the world’s highest energy physics laboratory"

SUGGESTED STOP: Get some sun and sand between your toes at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, IL. It’s one of the state’s finest parks with six and a half miles straddling the shores of Lake Michigan; it’s also the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state. There are prickly pear cacti found here, native to Illinois. Stray ten miles from the loop over to where the Golden Arches beckon in Des Plaines, IL, home of the world’s first McDonald’s, which opened in 1955. There’s a replica restaurant/museum where mannequins don the original uniforms. Munch on the famous burgers and fries at the modern-day Mickey D’s across the street.

DETAILED DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
Total mileage: 136 miles

  1. Start | Sheridan Rd. at Howard St., Chicago, IL
  2. North | Sheridan Rd. Lake Shore Blvd. (2.0 miles)
  3. Right | Sheridan Rd. St. Johns Ave. (14.4 miles)
  4. Left | Walker Ave (0.3 miles)
  5. Right | Sheridan Rd. (2.2 miles)
  6. Right | E. Westleigh Rd. (0.2 miles)
  7. Left | Sheridan Rd. Main St. (7.1 miles)
  8. Left | 2nd Ave. , tel: (in North | Chicago) (< 0.1 miles)
  9. Immediate Right | Sheridan Rd. SR-137
Genesee St. (2.1 miles)
  • Left | S. Genesee St. (0.3 miles)
  • Right | SR-120 / Belvidere St. (< 0.1 miles)
  • Immediate Left | Sheridan Rd. SR-137 / N. Sheridan Rd.(5.3 miles)
  • Right | CR-17 / CR-A9 / Wadsworth Rd. Lake Front Dr. , tel: (enter Illinois Beach State Park) (1.6 miles)
  • ReturnLake Front Dr. CR-17 / CR-A9 / Wadsworth Rd. (9.2 miles)
  • Left | CR-29 / CR-W15 / Hunt Club Rd. (0.5 miles)
  • Right | CR-A14 / W. Millburn Rd. (1.6 miles)
  • Right | US-45 (< 0.1 miles)
  • Immediate Left | CR-18 / CR-A10 / Grass Lake Rd. (11.6 miles)
  • Right | State Park Rd. Main St. Rd. (1.4 miles)
  • Left | Wilmot Rd. Johnsburg Rd. (4.5 miles)
  • Left | N. Chapel Hill Rd. (2.8 miles)
  • Right | SR-120 , tel: (west) (1.1 miles)
  • Left | River Rd. (5.6 miles)
  • Bear Left | SR-176 / Crystal Lake Rd. (0.9 miles)
  • Right | Roberts Rd. CR-35 / CR-V45 (3.4 miles)
  • Right | CR-4 / CR-V50 / River Rd. CR-30 / CR-V49 / S. Kelsey Rd. (4.5 miles)
  • Bear Right | Plum Tree Rd. Algonquin Rd. N. River Dr. (5.8 miles)
  • Left | SR-62 / Algonquin Rd. (6.6 miles)
  • Left | Brinker Rd. (3.0 miles)
  • Right | Lake Cook Rd. (1.3 miles)
  • Left | Hart Rd. (1.6 miles)
  • Right | Cuba Rd. CR-42 / CR-A46 (2.9 miles)
  • Left | CR-60 / CR-V57 / Ela Rd. (1.0 miles)
  • Right | SR-22 / Main St. Half Day Rd. Prairie Ave. (15.4 miles)
  • Right | Green Bay Rd. Ridge Ave. (14.5 miles)
  • Left | Howard St. (1.0 miles)
  • Finish | Howard St. at Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL

  • Published: 11 Sep 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
    Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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