Michigan is a great state to enjoy during the summertime. In Lansing, there are things to do like Hawk Island Park, Lake Lansing, plenty of golf options, go karts, batting cages, summer festivals and more. We've got a pretty good scene in Lansing with plenty to do.

Sometimes we need to spread our wings, maybe get out of town for a short getaway. I really like living in Lansing, but sometimes I feel land locked and I need to get out of here. While there are hundreds if not thousands of options of things to do in the great state of Michigan, I enjoy a quick trip out of dodge.

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I love going to Chicago. When I was a kid growing up in Southwest Michigan, I spent a lot of my summertime with my grandparents. They lived in the suburbs. I'm grateful for all of the experiences I had with them. My grandma is who I owe my love for the Chicago Cubs. Exploring downtown Chicago, that was my grandpa and I.

Through the years as I got older, I explored Chicago more on my own. There's a laundry list of things that you can do to kill some time.

Chicago is only about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Lansing (that can vary depending on traffic). The best way I found to travel, especially if I plan on visiting downtown Chicago, is via Amtrak. Amtrak offers travel roundtrip daily to and from Chicago from East Lansing. You can kick back, relax and see different scenery than you would if you were driving. Once you arrive in downtown Chicago at Union Station, it's game on.

Mojo, TSM Lansing
Mojo, TSM Lansing
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If food is your thing, you won't go hungry in Chicago. Any type of food you can imagine from around the world, you can find in the Windy City.

12 Experiences You'll Love in Chicago

There are plenty more options of things to do in Chicago. These are just a few ideas to get you excited about your trip.

If you have some other cool places you like to visit outside of the Lansing area or Michigan, drop a message so I can explore too.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

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