Chicago is the Midwest’s most populous city, but Illinois is full of opportunities to get away from it all with a special someone. From Chicago, follow the Illinois River, which loosely corresponds to the national scenic byway, to Starved Rock State Park, where trails lead to Council Overhang and 18 wooded canyons, many of them with waterfalls. In the same region, Matthiessen State Park is less crowded and has the same topographical features. Wildlife Prairie Park, near Peoria, is home to bison and other wildlife, and Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge is a haven to many kinds of birds, including migrating white pelicans in autumn. Shawnee National Forest contains 400 miles of trails and Illinois’ highest waterfall. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Lake Michigan’s shoreline is lovely and relaxed where it is surrounded by nature and interesting and vibrant where it is surrounded by city. Book a converted grain silo or lakeside cottage for a romantic Midwestern adventure in Illinois.