Depart London Heathrow – 11:45
Arrive Chicago – 14:15
Journey Time – 8 hours 50 minutes
We do not recommend collection of your rental car at the airport on arrival. Take one of the metered cabs from the airport to your Chicago Hotel. We recommend this as you will be tired after your flight and will only pay high fees (Approximately $40-$60 per night) to park the vehicle during your 4 days in the city. Of course if you do prefer to collect it on arrival or would like us to arrange someone to meet you at the airport and provide a private transfer to your hotel, this can be done for an additional cost. Your hotel affords the perfect location to explore everything that Chicago has to offer – within walking distance of the best attractions of the city like Millennium Park, Grant Park, Lake Michigan, the Art Institute of Chicago, the theater district, and the Magnificent Mile. This evening, enjoy Chicago’s many restaurants, stroll along the shore of Lake Michigan or jive to the beat at a jazz or blues club – then get a good night sleep and be ready for tomorrow!
Overnight – Chicago
Today is a good day to visit Museum Campus; a 57-acre lakefront park that surrounds three of the city’s most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History. These three institutions, among the city’s top cultural draws, encircle a scenic, pedestrian-friendly area, landscaped with greenery and flora. Or, take in some shopping along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
“…Our grandson Max is a massive dinosaur fan & he was absolutely blown away when he first clapped eyes on ‘SUE’ (at the Field Museum in Chicago) – the largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. It was a truly awesome sight… I’ll never forget the look on our Max’s face!” David – Leeds
Overnight – Chicago
Day 3 & 4
Today, explore some of Chicago’s noted neighborhoods. You may want to visit the neighboring town of Oak Park and see the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway, or tour one of the homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. In the evening stop by Navy Pier and enjoy a cruise along the lake. There’s much to do in “Chi-town”!
Overnight – Chicago
Day 5 & 6
Chicago to Springfield
This morning you’ll pick up your rental car before cruising along Route 66 to the State capital, being sure to stop off in Pontiac to visit the legendary Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, before continuing along the Mother Road. No trip to Illinois is complete without a visit to Springfield, home of Abraham Lincoln, located 200 miles southwest of Chicago. Stroll Downtown Springfield and check out shops that carry everything from Lincoln souvenirs to one-of-a-kind jewellery and fresh-made fudge. Start your stay in Springfield at the fascinating Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the most-visited presidential museum in the nation. Other Lincoln attractions include a tour of Lincoln’s home, tomb and law office. Be sure to stop off for lunch at the legendary Cozy Dog Drive In, home of the corn dog. Then in the evening, head over to the Illinois Central Blues Club to listen to some amazing live music.
Overnight – Springfield
Springfield to Alton / Grafton
Visit the 8,000acres, Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, the largest state park in Illinois. Go hiking on wooded trails, biking along scenic bluffs, fishing and boating on the Illinois River, or horseback riding through the forest. Grafton Zipline Adventures takes you high above the limestone bluffs, where you’ll experience a total of nine zip lines during a heart-pounding two hour ride. Or if you prefer to keep you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, spend the afternoon on the Grafton Riverfront. Stroll along Main Street and explore little shops selling everything from Native American crafts to homemade fudge. There are also charming wineries where you can sip wine and listen to live music on patios just a stone’s throw away from the river.
Overnight – Grafton
Days 8 & 9
Alton / Grafton to Galena
Head to the charming small town of Galena, nestled in the picturesque hillsides and named one of the Top 10 Most Romantic Small Towns in North America. On the way, be sure to stop off at the Rocky Waters Winery in Hanover on the way and visit their winery, gift shop, tasting room, and vineyard. While in Galena take a stroll down Main Street and explore the charming boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Take a Galena Trolley Tour where you will be whisked around the historic sites such as the Grant Home, the former residence of President Ulysses S. Grant. Take a visit to Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa where you can enjoy a game of golf on one of four lush championship courses, go horseback riding along hilly wooded trails, go boating on the beautiful Lake Galena, or go soaring over the countryside at sunset in a hot air balloon with Galena on the Fly. Finally finish your stay in Galena by relaxing in the luxury of the resort’s Stonedrift Spa.
Overnight – Galena
Days 10 & 11
Galena to Rockford
Explore all of the fascinating sights in Rockford, located 85miles northwest of Chicago. Be sure to visit the Anderson Japanese Gardens, considered to be one of the most majestic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Take your time strolling through the meticulously landscaped grounds and snap pictures of tumbling waterfalls, colourful koi ponds and the serene sukiya-style teahouse. Then go on to discover a trio of museums connected via tunnel at the Rockford Riverfront Museum Park, located along the scenic Rock River. Visit Jane the T-Rex one of the most important dinosaur discoveries of the past 100 years, at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. Play with more than 250 hands-on science and art exhibits at the children’s Discovery Centre Museum. Finally view the eclectic collection of 19th and 20th century American artworks on display at the Rockford Art Museum, Illinois’ largest art museum outside of Chicago.
Overnight – Rockford
Take a leisurely drive to Chicago for your departure flight home and call in to The Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlet Mall for some last minute designer bargains for yourself or as presents for friends and family.
Depart Chicago – 17:10
Arrive London Heathrow – 06:55 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 7 hours 45 minutes