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Travel Inspirations

Get inspired “Just Beyond the City Limits.” Find the Top 20 Things to See & Do or take in the Top Ten Roadside Attractions. Plan the perfect Girls' Weekend Getaway or a Mancation. Learn more about Pullman National Monument or take a drive down the Historic Dixie Highway.

Whatever you are searching for, find it in the Chicago Southland.



 
La Banque Hotel
Say Oui to a weekend getaway with the Chicago Southland's newest boutique hotel, La Banque Hotel.
Summertime Outdoor Dining
When the sun shines on Chicago Southland, take advantage of the beautiful moment and dine alfresco.
 
Bucket List
Check Out the Chicago Southland Bucket List
 
Old School Eats
Southland Restaurants Serve Up Nostalgia
Historic Bars
Belly up to the bar and listen to the stories!
 
Hit the Trails
Ride the Brand New Cal-Sag Trail!
 
Family Fun For All
Go-karts, mini golf, arcades, children's museum & so much more in the Chicago Southland
Rowing In Style
Dragon Boat Festival
 
Top Ten Roadside Attractions
Roadside attractions are found throughout the Chicago Southland.


The Chicago Southland: Just Beyond the City Limits
Just Beyond the City Limits of Chicago, rests the 63 south and southwest suburbs known as the Chicago Southland. The Chicago Southland is a convenient and affordable destination bursting with outdoor recreation, major attractions, fine dining, lodging and shopping. With inte...


All Things Irish
If you want to feel Irish, but stay in the states, grab a Guinness in Chicago Southland at J.J. Kelley’s in Lansing, The Ashford House Restaurant in Tinley Park paired with their authentic Irish cuisine or The Carraig Irish Pub located next to Chicago Gaelic Park, an I...


As Seen On TV
Hog Wild in Midlothian was included in the “Best Pork” episode on Chicago’s Best. Known for their super-thick “world famous pork chop,” they also offer a variety of additional BBQ meats, fried shrimp, steak, beef and sausage sandwiches, chicken,...


Ball Fore Mini-Golf
You might be able to drive a golf ball 300 yards, but can you navigate the colorful, yet challenging terrain at the Ball Fore Miniature Golf Course in Chicago Ridge? This course hosted the U.S. ProMiniGolf Association’s U.S. Open Championship that attracted top interna...


Celebrate the Diverse Heritages of the Chicago Southland
The Chicago Southland is a true melting pot of diverse ethnic backgrounds and loves to celebrate its history with parades and festivals. Here is a sample of the many ethnic celebrations in the Chicago Southland. Irish Heritage Everyone knows about the rich history of t...


Check Out the Chicago Southland Bucket List
Compare Shoes with Paul Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, University Park How big is your shoe? How does it compare to Paul Bunyan’s size 203 boots? “Paul,” a 30-foot-tall rendition of an older, greyer, Paul Bunyan by renowned sculptor Tony Tasset, towers ab...


Chicago Southland Cuisine: Pizza, Farm-to-Table, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Sweet Treats and more.
Chicago Style Hot Dogs What is a Chicago-style Hot Dog? All-beef frankfurter on a steamed poppy seed bun topped with: Yellow mustard Chopped white onions Neon green sweet pickle relish Dill pickle spear Tomato wedges Pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery ...


Chicago Southland Cuisine: World’s Largest Pizzeria
Joe Aurelio founded the original Aurelio’s in 1959 with a small, four table restaurant on Ridge Road in Homewood. By 1977, Aurelio’s had grown so popular that they opened the world's largest pizzeria near its original store in a former 12,000-square-foot indu...


Disc Golf
There are more than 173 holes of disc golf spread throughout the Chicago Southland, most for free. From small nine-hole courses to the Professional Disc Golf Association Championship Rated course, The Oaks, in Mokena, there are courses for every level in the region. ...


Discover Interpretive Murals Along the Lincoln Highway
Along the 179-mile Illinois Lincoln Highway, you will find over 30 interpretive gazebos and murals that help tell the story of America's First Coast-to-Coast Road. Dedicated in 1913, the Lincoln Highway runs about 25 miles through the Chicago Southland from Lynwood in th...


Dixie Highway Marks 100 Years
A young fur trader’s work nearly 200 years ago to set up a series of trading posts from Chicago to Vincennes, Ind., laid the groundwork for what we know today as the Dixie Highway, which turned 100 in 2015. Described as the World’s Greatest Rolling Car Show, D...


Dog Days of Travel
Travelling with your pets can be RUFF at times but it has gotten easier in the Chicago Southland. In life, pet ownership rivals the greatest companionship and in the Chicago Southland, we offer over 15 pet friendly hotels to make your travels delightful. From name brands you...


Drink to the Moment!
“Here’s to you!” “Raise your glass to toast the bride and groom!” “TGIF!” Whatever the reason you grab a drink, enjoy the moment! It is often advised by drink aficionados when tasting a craft beer, bourbon or wine to slow down, pay a...


Ecotourism: Get Back to Nature!
There are many options to learn about the nature and the ecosystem of the Chicago Southland. From tours to environmental learning centers and trails to explore, the region offers a variety of opportunities for your family. Environmental Learning Centers The Center...


Enchanté Ami
Say Oui to a weekend getaway with the Chicago Southland’s newest boutique hotel, La Banque Hotel. Located in the bustling downtown district of Homewood in a renovated bank building, La Banque Hotel offers a luxurious stay one typically finds in the city, with the flexi...


Family Fun For All
No matter the size of the family or the ages of the kids, the Chicago Southland has a lot to offer those seeking out an opportunity for family fun. Want to ride go-karts? We’ve got that. Miniature golf? Check. Arcades? Yep. Hands-on children museum? Absolutely. Haun...


Famous Graves in the Chicago Southland
Supporters of icons, whether music, religious, sports or military remain dedicated after their passing. The Chicago Southland is home to an eclectic mix, from famous blues musicians to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, civil rights icons, Chicago mayors and the founde...


Feeling The Need For Speed?
Get your thrills behind the wheel at the newest entertainment venue in the Chicago Southland, Accelerate Indoor Speedway & Events in Mokena. The indoor go kart race track will give you a taste of what it’s like to be a racing pro. Combined with an arcade and the Vi...


Free and Fun Things to Do in the Chicago Southland
1. EXPLORE the 42,169 acres of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the largest forest preserve district in the country, that run throughout the Chicago Southland. 2. BIKE the 22-mile Old Plank Road Trail through the Chicago Southland. 3.EXPLORE&nbs...


Game On
The Chicago Southland offers a wide variety of professional and semi-professional sports to meet any budget. Home to SeatGeek Stadium and the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, the village of Bridgeview offers a family-friendly atmosphere with major league excitement. Sit in &ldqu...


Get A Taste Of Ethnic Diversity
Much like the nearby city of Chicago, the Southland is a melting pot of cultures, which is apparent in the large variety of cuisine you’ll find in the suburbs. No matter what you are craving or what new style of food you’d like to try, you’re sure to find i...


Get Outside The Gallery!
When you think of artistic attractions, your mind may go toward art galleries and indoor exhibits, but the Chicago Southland has its share of art displayed in public places - sculptures and statues, murals and memorials in view to be admired. An eclectic and diverse colle...


Girls’ Weekend Getaway
We all know girls just want to have fun, but women also want choices when traveling together. Where to eat, drink, shop and unwind? Are you in an artsy mood or more of a scream-your-favorite-song-at-the-top-of-your-lungs kind of mood? Whether you want a fancy girls’ ge...


Harvest Happenings and Farm Fun
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle that happens in our everyday lives. We encourage you to take a step back, slow down and truly enjoy the beauty of the region. From farms that are filled with family history to annual festivals that have grow...


Historic Bars
Belly up to the bar and listen to the stories the walls have to tell. The definition of an historic bar doesn’t always mean it's old; it needs to have a certain charm and cozy feeling that surrounds you when first entering. Take the train to Flossmoor Station Re...


Homewood Bat Co Hits Home Run in the Southland
Want to shop for a baseball bat at the same place a number of pros have their bats made? Or looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a big baseball fan? Visit Homewood Bat Co where you can peruse inventory in the Pro Shop, test out product in the batting cage and get a custom...


Horse Jumping is a HIT(S) in the Chicago Southland
Witness the majestic sport of Equestrian Show Jumping and Hunting in the historic HITS Chicago-Balmoral Park. Located in Crete, HITS has revitalized this beloved landmark that hosted harness racing on its track for 90 years. The renovated state-of-the-art show jumping and hu...


I Like Big Marsh and I Cannot Lie
Do you believe in the power of play? Big Marsh Bike Park is a playground for cycling. This is a new legacy of outdoor recreation and open space stewardship making it Chicago’s first eco-recreation park. The coordinators of Big Marsh have taken it from a slag field to a...


In-Tents Escape (Camping in Chicago Southland)
You can now make s’mores, tell campfire stories and sleep under the stars Just Beyond the City Limits in Chicago Southland. When you arrive at Camp Sullivan in Oak Forest, an iconic red barn greets visitors with a warm Midwest welcome. Large groups of 36 or groups of 1...


Leave No Child Inside
It’s time to put the video games down and take the kids outside to experience childhood the way you remember it…in the great outdoors. Start the day off exploring nature at Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland. Fans of dragonflies and butterflies are treate...


Let Your Taste Buds Take Flight
Sometimes you just want to sip and sample, rather than guzzling a pint or finishing off a full cocktail or bottle of wine. That’s when it’s time to order a flight, which is an assortment of one type of food or beverage. A concept that has been available in brewer...


Mancationing in the Chicago Southland
Men, it's time to ditch the thoughts of a romantic weekend getaway or antiquing and start planning your Mancation to the Chicago Southland with plenty of access to beer, golf and cigars! Grab your clubs, best caddy shack references and head to one of our 34 golf cours...


Meal and Drink Pairings: Basics 101
The general consensus among foodies, beer nerds, wine lovers and cocktail connoisseurs is: “Eat and drink what you like.” True. However, viewing the drink in your hand as an additional ingredient to your dish enhances your experience and may surprise you. In o...


Memorials Around the Chicago Southland
There are several memorials to the veterans who served in the five branches of the U.S. Military and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This tour will take you to memorials in 14 towns throughout the Chicago Southland. You will see everything from helicopters, to tanks, ...


Nightlife
Entertainment options abound in the Chicago Southland. From brewpubs to distilleries, comedy clubs to concert venues, the Chicago Southland has a plurality of entertainment options! Every city has a variety of bars and clubs. Some options for you: Breweries 5 R...


Old School Eats
When you’re hungry, sometimes you can’t wait to make your way to a trendy new spot, but other times you just want to head to a cozy eatery that feels more old-school - one that has been around for decades and serving up comforting cuisine in a place that feels an...


Outdoor Bliss
Grab your binoculars and camera and get ready to explore the beauty within Chicago Southland.   Bird Watching BARTEL GRASSLAND 5683 Flossmoor Road, Tinley Park Bird and nature enthusiasts will enjoy walking through the open grasslands, listening and looking ...


Places on the National Historic Register
The Chicago Southland is home to more than a dozen sites on the National Historic Register. From famous homes, aircraft hangars and downtowns, exploring the Chicago Southland is like exploring history of the Midwest. Joshua P. Young House 244 High Street, Blue Isla...


Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Easily accessible by air, rail or expressway, the Chicago Southland also has attractions and events related to those modes of transportation. Aviation history, train viewing platforms and organized rides on some of America’s oldest roads can be part of your experience ...


Play Ball!
If you’re a fan of America’s pastime, you can enjoy the game at many levels in the Chicago Southland. From casual play to Major League Baseball, you’ll find teams and venues to entertain you. Get a taste of baseball the way it was played back in 1858 by ...


Public Art is Everywhere in the Chicago Southland
Murals Richard Haas Mural Collection In addition to a unique and quaint downtown area, Homewood now boasts the largest collection of Richard Haas murals anywhere in the world. Haas, a world-renowned painter specializing in large, hyper-realistic art that creates the illu...


Pullman National Monument
Every place has a history but few make it to the forefront. Started as the world’s first planned industrial town, only to find itself on the brink of demolition, Pullman National Monument has notched its place not only in the history books but in our hearts as well. ...


Railfanning in the Chicago Southland
Railfans love the Chicago Southland for its plurality of railfan spots! From double diamonds to the Pullman National Monument, a brewpub in an old Illinois Central rail station and one of the only places to see a double wye junction in the country, the Chicago Southland has ...


Ride the Brand New Cal-Sag Trail!
The vast recreation and forest preserve areas available in the Chicago Southland are filled with opportunities for adventure, hiking and exploration. One of the newest additions to this list is the Calumet-Sagnashkee Trail, or Cal-Sag Trail. The trail is a key connector of 1...


Rowing In Style
If you thought you had to travel to the Orient to experience the thrill of a Dragon Boat Race, you couldn’t be more wrong. You can take in an exciting race at the 4th Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival in Blue Island on June 1st at the Metropolitan Water Rec...


Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Enjoy the sweeter side of life in the Chicago Southland, whether your weakness is ice cream sundaes, chocolate covered nuts or gooey pastries. Some of the best sweets in the Chicago area can be found here. Andy’s Frozen Custard, Burbank and Oak Lawn Few can resist ...


Seasonal Activities
Every season brings new opportunities for adventure in the Chicago Southland. Whether you like snow or sun, there is fun in your future. Here are some seasonal activities to try out: Winter See sled dog teams in action at Musher Mania at the Monee Reservoir in ...


Shakespeare Garden
For more than a decade, the theater department at Moraine Valley Community College has performed free outdoor summer Shakespeare plays. When the series was moved onto the Gateway, which was designed for outdoor music and theater productions, Dr. Craig Rosen, professor of the...


Signature Golf Holes
There are many fine holes that will challenge you throughout the 35 public golf courses in the Chicago Southland. Luscious green and challenging bunkers, long par fives to technically challenging par threes, the variety among the 693 holes in the region provides a unique mix...


Summertime Outdoor Dining
When the sun shines on Chicago Southland, take advantage of the beautiful moment and dine alfresco. The following restaurants offer outdoor dining to enjoy great weather and even better entrees. Banana’s Grille & Bar (Tinley Park Hotel & Convention Cent...


That’s the Spirit!
Boutique American spirits, from vodka to whiskey, are spreading around the globe and the Chicago Southland is no exception. Small craft distilleries are producing some of the most complex and well-executed spirits on the market that are hand-crafted by on-site. Frankfort ...


The Great Outdoors
The Chicago Southland is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether your thing is bicycling, hiking, fishing, horseback riding or simply exploring the landscape, you’ll find miles of trails and acres of space to connect with nature. With an extensive trail sys...


This Microbrew’s For You!
"Because 'ice-cold' isn't a flavor." The Chicago Southland is a great place to visit and a great place to enjoy handcrafted brews. Enjoy the most popular flagship beer at each of our unique craft breweries. 350 Brewing Company, Tinley Park: Cro...


Top 20 Things To See & Do
Planning a getaway can be stressful. Where to go and what to do are pretty daunting questions that stump even the most seasoned traveler. Good thing we have compiled a list of the top 20 things to see and do to make your time in the Chicago Southland worthwhile. 1. Sit i...


Top 5 Trails
Shake off the city and BREATH! Chicago Southland is becoming the place where outdoor physical activity lives in North Eastern Illinois. If you’re looking for a place to explore, hike or ride a bike/horse, we’ve got you covered. There are over 40,000 acres of fore...


Top Ten Roadside Attractions
Roadside attractions are found throughout the Chicago Southland. These odd, and sometimes hilarious, travel destinations catch your eye and beg you to stop and Instagram your newest discovery. Next time you find yourself taking a selfie next to Elise at The Creamery in Moken...


You Can Drive 25
Visiting a new area always has a level of excitement. Around every corner there are new things to see and do, great festivals to attend and attractions to visit. Even though the Chicago Southland has all of that in spades, we still thought it might be nice to point out a few...






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