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Best Martin Luther King Day Getaways Near Chicago

A three-day weekend is a great excuse to get out of town for a little bit and Martin Luther King Day is one of the favorites. Coming right after holiday season, MLK day provides that much-needed vacation from your vacation that many people feel they need to recharge after all of the holiday hustle and bustle. Here are a few places you can go that aren't too far outside of the city, but will still give you that feeling of getting away from it all.
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Herrington Inn & Spa
15 S. River Lane
Geneva, IL 60134
(630) 208-7433

When most people plan a trip to Geneva, they think of summer with jet skis and water parks, but the city has just as much to offer during the winter. In fact, if you're a fan of good hotel prices and fewer crowds, Geneva might even appeal to you more during the colder months. Herrington Inn & Spa is located right on the Fox River and is a perfect place for a recharge. There is a fireplace in every room and a wonderful restaurant (the Atwater) right on site so that you might not even feel the need to venture out during your getaway. First-time guests even receive a complimentary upgrade on spa services. What more could you ask for?

Door County, WI
Door County Visitor Bureau
1015 Green Bay Road
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-4456

Another location that is generally more popular in the summer, but equally charming in the colder months, is Door County. Even the drive up from the city can be picturesque and relaxing if you take the Circle Tour route around Lake Michigan. The town itself is easy to walk around in and explore and there are even some places for easy winter walks in the nearby woodsy areas if you'd like to take in some fresh air without actually driving up into the wilderness to hike. Enjoy down-to-earth residents, inexpensive hotels and quaint restaurants while you let yourself take the pace down a notch.

MLK Day vacation
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The Steamboat House
605 S. Prospect St.
Galena, IL 61036
(815) 777-2317

The Steamboat House in charming Galena is another cozy and relaxing place to sequester yourself on a long weekend recharge. Make it all about wine and warmth with a trip to the nearby Massbach Ridge Winery while you're in town (it has a tasting room in downtown Galena if you'd rather not make the short jaunt to the actual winery in Elizabeth, IL). The Steamboat House is within walking distance of downtown and all the quaint shops it has to offer. In addition to free three-course breakfasts and fireplaces in the rooms, enjoy wine every evening while you stay at The Steamboat House.

Related: Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip To Kenosha

Peoria, IL
Riverfront Visitors Center
110 N.E. Water St.
Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 672-2860

If you'd like to get out of Chicago, but you're still a city person at heart, try a stay in a smaller but still cultural city like Peoria. It's only about a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago and always has something going on. One thing Peoria enjoys that Chicago does not boast of is a paddle boat. With everything from wine and distillery tastings to the Riverfront Museum and Historical Trolley Tours, there's no shortage of things to do and places to see in Peoria. You can go big and stay in the Peoria Hotel Pere Marquette downtown or go for the quaint Cornerstone Inn Bed & Breakfast or any type of hotel in between. The great thing about staying in a city is that you can make your getaway what you want it to be with no limitations.

Kohler, Wisconsin
The American Club
419 Highland Drive
Kohler, WI 53044
(800) 344-2838

For a little bit further and a little bit more relaxation, try a MLK Day getaway to Kohler, Wisconsin and treat yourself to a stay at The American Club. Kohler is known for its many spas. It even has shuttles from the hotel to each amenity so you don't have to worry about getting chilled during a short walk if you prefer not to. The town also features several little museums if you'd like to get out of the grounds for a bit, including the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, which has the added bonus of being free to visit. The River Wildlife wilderness reserve is also available for guests of the American Club to visit should you like to take in a bit of nature during your getaway.

Related: Best Weekend Getaways In The Chicago Area

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at

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