What to See When You RV - Illinois Edition

Posted on April 9, 2018

From the wilderness to the Windy City, there are countless things to see and do in Illinois. A classic Thor Motor Coach RV can get you there without the hassles and expense of air travel.

The stops below are well worth making.

Starved Rock State Park

This secluded paradise on the Illinois River in Oglesby has been voted the No. 1 attraction in the state. Visitors in RVs and motorhomes appreciate its steep canyons, waterfalls, scenic views and 13 miles of woodland trails.

Just a short hike from your Class A toy hauler, you can observe a variety of animals and migratory birds. Spend a restful afternoon counting white-tailed deer or admiring the bald eagles soaring overhead. The vistas from Lover’s Leap Overlook are stunning.

Take a lazy trolley ride. Tour a nearby winery. Head to the main lodge to enjoy the largest two-sided fireplace in Illinois.

Fishing, hiking, horseback riding or simply relaxing are just a leisurely RUV ride away.

Matthiessen State Park

If you drive east from Starved Rock in your gas RV or Class A motorhome, you’ll come to this unusual wilderness south of Utica. You don’t have to know much about geology to admire the beautiful rock formations, tall sandstone bluffs and cascading waterfalls of the Dells area. The trail to it winds along the river through a densely wooded forest. There are places where you’ll have to navigate rocks in the river or wade through it to get across. Smaller streams, canyons and prairies make this a truly diverse spot for enjoying nature.

The park offers archery, horseback riding, fishing and mountain biking. It even has geocaching, which is something like a nature treasure hunt that incorporates GPS. Your kids can probably explain it to you.

Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park

The name is a mouthful, but this sprawling, 4,160-acre park graces the shores of Lake Michigan with endless dunes, fragrant marshes and deep forests. Its natural features and wildlife attract birdwatchers, photographers and explorers.

To get the full effect, spend a morning biking the extensive shoreline on the Zion Bike Trail. Cool off with a swim in Lake Michigan, or rent a boat and do some fishing and deep thinking.

Campsites are exceptionally spacious, so you’ll have plenty of breathing room in your diesel RV or Class C motorhome. Friendly Midwesterners make visitors from around the country feel right at home, so this campground is famous for its warm sense of community. Gather at the grill every night to cook the day’s catch and make friends.

Chicago

If you imagine that Chicago is New York on a smaller scale, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Windy City has a personality all its own, and the natives are surprisingly laid-back.

Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Magnificent Mile are just a few of its fascinating attractions. Chicago is home to some of the most iconic architecture in the world, so catch one of the outstanding educational boat tours through the canal. If you're not into historic buildings, get a map of notorious crime scenes during the age of the speakeasies. There's no shame in gorging on deep-dish pizza either.

McCormick Place, the vast convention center, offers overnight motorhome and bus parking at very reasonable prices.

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