Day Trips from Highland, Indiana

Day Trips from Highland, Indiana

Highland, Indiana is a charming town located in Lake County, just a short drive away from Chicago. While Highland itself offers plenty of attractions and amenities, including a historic downtown area, parks, and restaurants, there are also many other exciting destinations within a day's drive. From scenic nature preserves to bustling cities, here are some of the best day trips from Highland, Indiana.

1. Chicago, Illinois: The Windy City's Top Attractions

Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the United States, and it's just a quick drive away from Highland, Indiana. Whether you're interested in world-class museums, stunning architecture, or mouthwatering cuisine, Chicago has something to offer everyone.

Some of the top attractions to visit include the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and Navy Pier. You can also take a stroll along the Magnificent Mile, which is lined with upscale shops and restaurants, or visit the Willis Tower Skydeck for panoramic views of the city.

2. Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: Hiking and Waterfalls

Located about 90 minutes southwest of Highland, Starved Rock State Park is a natural wonderland that's perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The park covers more than 2,600 acres and is home to 18 canyons and 14 waterfalls, as well as numerous hiking and biking trails.

Some of the most popular hikes include the Starved Rock and LaSalle Canyon trails, which offer stunning views of the park's limestone bluffs and sparkling waterfalls. You can also go fishing, boating, or horseback riding, or simply enjoy a picnic lunch in one of the scenic picnic areas.

3. South Bend, Indiana: History and Sports

Located about an hour east of Highland, South Bend is a city that's steeped in history and culture. One of the top attractions is the University of Notre Dame, which is home to the iconic Notre Dame Stadium and the legendary Fighting Irish football team.

Other must-see sights in South Bend include the Studebaker National Museum, which showcases vintage cars and other artifacts from the early days of the automobile industry, and the South Bend Museum of Art, which features rotating exhibits of contemporary and traditional artwork.

4. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: Scenic Lakeside Getaway

Just a short drive north of Highland, Lake Geneva is a picturesque lakeside town that's popular for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. The town is located on the shores of Geneva Lake, which is known for its clear waters and sandy beaches.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming, or take a leisurely stroll along the Lake Geneva Shore Path, which winds through some of the town's most scenic areas. You can also visit the Geneva Lake Museum, which showcases the history of the region, or indulge in some shopping and dining in the charming downtown area.

5. Indianapolis, Indiana: Museums and Sports

Located about two hours southeast of Highland, Indianapolis is a vibrant city that's known for its world-class museums, bustling downtown area, and thriving sports scene. Some of the top attractions include the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which features over 54,000 works of art from around the world, and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, which is one of the largest children's museums in the world.

Sports fans will also enjoy a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts the annual Indy 500 race, as well as the Lucas Oil Stadium, which is home to the Indianapolis Colts football team. You can also take a stroll along the scenic Canal Walk, which winds through the heart of downtown.

6. Kankakee River State Park, Illinois: Nature and Wildlife

Located about an hour south of Highland, Kankakee River State Park is a scenic wilderness area that's home to an abundance of wildlife and natural beauty. The park covers more than 4,000 acres and features miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking on the Kankakee River.

Visitors can explore the park's forests and wetlands, and spot a variety of wildlife, including deer, beavers, and eagles. You can also visit the park's Nature Center, which features exhibits on the local flora and fauna, or take a scenic drive along the Kankakee River Road, which offers stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside.

7. Michigan City, Indiana: Beaches and Lighthouses

Located about 45 minutes north of Highland, Michigan City is a charming lakeside town that's known for its sandy beaches, historic lighthouse, and bustling marina. The town's main attraction is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which features 15 miles of pristine beaches and towering sand dunes.

Visitors can swim, sunbathe, or hike along the dunes, or visit the historic Michigan City Lighthouse, which has been guiding ships since 1858. You can also stroll along the boardwalk at the Michigan City Marina, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and other amenities.


Whether you're looking for natural beauty, history and culture, or exciting city attractions, there are plenty of day trips to be had from Highland, Indiana. From the bustling city streets of Chicago to the peaceful wilderness of Kankakee River State Park, the Midwest has something for everyone. So, grab your map and hit the road - adventure awaits!