May 26, 2023 - Things to Do

Chicago getaway guide: 4 road trip destinations in the Midwest

Photo illustration of a vintage-style postcard reading Greetings from the lovely Midwest, with a photo of a cornfield within the text.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch, Lindsey Bailey/Axios

With the cost of gas trending downward and the cost of air travel going up, you may be thinking of a road trip this weekend or this summer.

What's happening: Our Axios Midwest cities have all collaborated on "weekend getaway guides" to help you navigate quick trips to cities in close proximity.

  • Here are four great ideas for a summer road trip.
Columbus, Ohio
Photo illustration of a vintage-style postcard reading Greetings from lovely Columbus, with a photo of Columbus within the text.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch, Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Columbus, Ohio, gives you a nice mix of urban and college life. It's the home of Ohio State University.

  • Axios Columbus' Tyler Buchanan tells us what we should experience in this great Midwestern city, which is less than a six-hour drive from downtown.

What he's saying: "Head to the Arena District for lunch at our historic North Market, catch some pro soccer or minor league baseball (Wednesday is dollar night!), and then end the night with a drink and a stroll."

  • If you're looking to beat the heat, peek inside King Tut's tomb at nearby COSI ā€” our award-winning science museum perfect for kids and adults alike."

More: Everything you need to know about Columbus.

Cleveland
Photo illustration of a vintage-style postcard reading Greetings from lovely Cleveland, with a photo of Cleveland within the text.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch, Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Cleveland is a short five-hour trip, and it gives us cozy Great Lake vibes. Whether you are taking in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or a Guardians game, there is plenty to do.

  • Axios Cleveland's Sam Allard also plays up the dining scene.

What he's saying: "Doug Katz is Cleveland's hottest chef right now. Both the Mediterranean-inspired Zhug in Cleveland Heights and the low-lit Indian fusion Amba in Ohio City are appointment eating."

More: Everything you need to know about Cleveland.

Detroit
Photo illustration of a vintage-style postcard reading Greetings from lovely Detroit, with a photo of Detroit within the text.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch, Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Detroit dazzles the eye with its mixture of urban beauty and art. It's a quick four-hour jaunt from here, and it features many cool attractions, including sculptures and downtown stadiums.

  • Pro tip: Go see the Tigers and cheer on Javy Baez.

Axios Detroit's Annalise Frank shares some must-see places:

What she's saying: "Hit up the legendary Eastern Market for local gifts, fresh produce and grub from food stands.

  • "You'll find a nearby hill with a view of downtown and Canada."

More: Everything you need to know about Detroit.

Indianapolis
Photo illustration of a vintage-style postcard reading Greetings from lovely Indianapolis, with a photo of Indianapolis within the text.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch, Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The closest of the getaway destinations, you can make it to the Indiana State Capitol in just under three hours.

  • Indianapolis provides great scenery, bars and restaurants and a world-class children's museum for you and your family.

Axios Indy's Arika Herron wrote up a thorough guide for visiting, including some choice nature options.

What she's saying: "We're hosting a ton of great concerts this summer, many of them right downtown at the TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park.

  • "The park is also a great place to walk along the river and a gorgeous manmade canal that runs through the heart of downtown.
  • "You can also rent a bike and ride the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which connects to a handful of the city's coolest neighborhoods, including Fountain Square."

More: Everything you need to know about Indianapolis.

One last thing: We did one, too. It's for the other cities, but you might be able to get something out of it, or at least tell us what we missed.

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