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Lake houses near Chicago?

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Portsmouth, VA
posts: 403
reviews: 17
Lake houses near Chicago?

My family and I are looking to rent a lake house in July but are having a tough time figuring out which area to stay in? We need to be close to Chicago and preferably near to restaurants and a grocery store.


Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 29,990
reviews: 64
1. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?


Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Chicago
posts: 909
reviews: 76
2. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

Can you elaborate a bit? By lake house do you mean "Lake Michigan beach house" or do you mean "rural dock-swimming, boating, fishing". You could probably find either in SW Michigan, NW Indiana, NE Illinois, or SE Wisconsin, but not sure what you mean by "close to Chicago". Close like commutable or close like weekend getaway for locals.

Portsmouth, VA
posts: 403
reviews: 17
3. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

We will be taking a vacation in Chicago, but would like to stay at a lake house. I would prefer a lake view from the house and somewhere for the kids to swim. We will be going to Chicago the majority of the days we're on vacation, so it is important that the house is under an hour in travel time from Chicago.

Oh and more like a beach house...something nice, not like a rustic cabin.

Edited: 1:56 pm, February 08, 2011
Destination Expert
for Chicago
posts: 5,281
reviews: 17
4. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

The truth is sometimes painful, but here it is: you won't find many housing options with your wish list. A private home with beachfront access is very rare and expensive in the Chicago area. You might find something along the NICTD train line in northern Indiana, but it will not be under an hour to Chicago.

I'd suggest looking at the Belden Stratford, a great hotel for families with young kids, and with everything you could want in a neighborhood, and a 15-20 minute bus ride to downtown.

Edited: 2:42 pm, February 08, 2011
posts: 5,377
reviews: 41
5. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

If you will have a car, you can travel to Harbor Country, Michigan, which is an area of 8 little quaint towns right on the Lake Michigan Beaches. The first town is New Buffalo, which is about 1.5 hour drive from Chicago, and then they go up the coast from there. www.harborcountry.org

Portsmouth, VA
posts: 403
reviews: 17
6. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

We will have a car. Thanks, I will look into your suggestions. :)

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 9,627
reviews: 83
7. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

It's a lovely and romantic want, but.... You're not going to find anything within 1 hour of the city center. You'll have to go north towards Wisconsin or, as Happi mentioned, around the bottom of the lake into the state of Michigan. Do you really want to commute on vacation? You should settle for an urban apartment, downtown. An apartment at the Belden Stratford in Lincoln Park may offer the best solution. You might also try looking at this site's "Chicago Hotels" in the menu at the top left. Do a search of Property Types>vacation rentals. There are 41 listed.

Edited: 4:04 pm, February 08, 2011
posts: 1,093
reviews: 3
8. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

I think you have an unrealistic picture in your head. From your other posts, it seems like you have young children so I can appreciate you wanting to have a bigger space and an area for them to swim. However, you will have to go pretty far out of Chicago to get what you want. I suggest cutting your trip in half. Spend a couple days in Chicago - visiting the beaches here and seeing the sights. And then go to a cabin out in New Buffalo, etc. Driving at least 1.5 hrs each way everyday (and that's a short estimate depending on holidays/weekend/road construction, etc) will be stressful.

posts: 6,185
reviews: 19
9. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

why dont you split the trip, you could stay at the w lakeshore and walk across the street to the beach and then spend the other part of the trip in one of the beach towns in michigan, commuting on vacation does not sound fun

Palatine, Illinois
posts: 656
reviews: 15
10. Re: Lake houses near Chicago?

Give a try to Miller Beach - vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/…miller-beach.

In clear traffic, it is about 45 minutes to downtown.