(StatePoint) You deserve a break. When your plate has become too full, then you need to clear some space on the calendar to get away for some much deserved relaxation. 

Before you worry about heading away somewhere far, check out the great options close to home. Illinois and the surrounding area knows how to do relaxation the right way. If you're ready to finally treat yourself, then you don't want to miss these great options. 

Discover the Charm of Port Washington, WI

photo

For many people, vacation is a time to relax, recharge and unplug -- a time to set their own pace. Maybe it means bringing a stack of books, and reading by the water. Maybe it means grabbing an early coffee, and walking the beach, waiting for a glorious sunrise. Or, it could mean strolling the charming downtown, and checking out the cool boutiques, or looking for that perfect place for dinner, with a view of the lake. A stop at the Saturday Farmers Market could provide a bouquet of flowers, or some locally produced goodies. Port Washington, right on Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee, offers all these opportunities to relax, and more. Don’t forget a camera to capture those memories. For more information, visit www.visitportwashington.com.

Stroll Through Starved Rock State Park

photo

Starved Rock State Park located along the Illinois River in La Salle County is one of Illinois'​ most beautiful destinations. Starved Rock was designated as Illinois' second state park in 1911. The park's 18 canyons feature vertical walls of moss-covered St.Peter Sandstone formed by glacial meltwater that slice dramatically through tree-covered sandstone bluffs. More than 13 miles of trails allow access to rain fed waterfalls, sandstone overhangs, and spectacular overlooks. Lush vegetation such as white and red oak, maple, hickory, white pine, eastern red and northern white cedar support abundant wildlife. Recreational opportunities abound, such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating and hunting. Special events, guided tours, and park programs are scheduled throughout the year.

Find Fun near the Waterfront at Navy Pier in Chicago

photo

Whether you're after fun eats or great playtime, Navy Pier has got you covered. The children's museum is a great way for children to have fun while also learning. Then you can up the familiy's culture with a visit to the Shakespeare Theater. Turn up the excitement by checking out some of the exciting rides. The carousel is a classic tradition, and the 200-foot tall Centennial Wheel is not to be missed. It's hard to find a better spot to take a family vacation photo. There are classic Chicago treats ready for you to try, like hot dogs and pizza. And don't worry, there's plenty for desert too, with tasty baked goods and ice cream.