An inside look at Chicago real estate

Talk of The Town: August 2018

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Uncategorized

road tripping

It’s not too late to hit the road and experience a slice of Midwestern hospitality. This month we’re touring the hidden gems of the historic Route 66 and venturing to quaint small towns with European flair, all in Chicago’s backyard.

Get your kicks on Route 66 | European Style Midwestern Charm | Nearby Natural Wonders


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Get Your Kicks on Route 66

1 Route 66 Begin Sign

Snap a selfie as you start your journey down the Mother Road. This legendary highway gets its start right in the heart of downtown Chicago. Adams St and Michigan Ave, Chicago

2 Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket

The Chicken Basket opened in 1946 along the historic route, making it the perfect stopping spot coming in and out of the city. They’re even on the National Register of Historical Places! 645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook

3 Gemini Giant

Designed to honor the Gemini Space Program, this fiberglass statue is a remnant of the “Muffler Man” figures that dotted highways across the states in the 1960s. 810 E Baltimore St, Wilmington

4 Paul Bunyon Hot Dog Statue

Standing 19 feet tall and holding a hot dog, you won’t miss this giant. 112 SW Arch St, Atlanta­

5 Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum

Packed full of memorabilia, the museum is also home to the world’s largest Route 66 shield. 110 W Howard St, Pontiac

6 Route 66 Murals

Downtown Pontiac is home to a plethora of classic roadside murals, dotted along the town’s main thoroughfare. Downtown Business District, Pontiac

7 World’s Largest Covered Wagon

This attraction is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records! Snap a shot with this Illinois icon. 1750 5th St, Lincoln

8 Watermelon Monument

The monument commemorates the day in 1853 when President Lincoln christened the town by slicing a melon and pouring its juice on the ground. Who knew? 101 N Chicago St, Lincoln

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9 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle

Originally built in 1949, this attraction is host to numerous festivals each year. And thanks to the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, it stands just as tall and beautiful as it has in years past. 800 S Morrison, Collinsville

10 Cahokia Mounds

This town was once home to the most sophisticated prehistoric civilization in North America. Don’t miss this ancient settlement that was once larger than London. 30 Ramey St, Collinsville


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European Style, Midwestern Charm

Located a few hours from Chicago, these quaint towns will have you feeling like you’ve arrived in another land.

1 New Glarus, WI

2½ hours from Chicago
New Glarus is known as America’s Little Switzerland. Its rolling hills and chalet-style architecture transports visitors to the Alps. Stop by the New Glarus Brewing Company to sample Spotted Cow, a favorite Wisconsin beer.

2 Holland, MI

2½ hours from Chicago
Holland’s Dutch influence is prominent, from the ubiquitous tulips and wooden shoes to the five-story DeZwaan windmill (the only authentic Dutch windmill in the United States). The pristine 36 acres of Windmill Island Gardens is the perfect spot to spend quality time with the family.

3 Mount Horeb, WI

3 hours from Chicago
This small town is affectionately known as the “troll capital of the world.” Main Street is lined with life-sized carvings of the mythological creatures in celebration of the area’s rich Norwegian heritage. Shop for Scandinavian imports or hunt for trolls at their fabled home in the Cave in the Mounds.

4 Frankenmuth, MI

4½ hours from Chicago
Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, this destination is famous for its amazing restaurants. Both the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s are so popular that they serve 700 tons of fried chicken each year! They proudly carry on the German beer tradition—the town is home to Frankenmuth Brewery, America’s oldest microbrewery.


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Nearby Natural Wonders

These wonders are located within hours of Chicago, so get exploring!

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Porter, IN | 1 hr

Illinois Beach State Park
Zion, IL | 1.5 hrs

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Wilmington, IL | 1.5 hrs

Starved Rock State Park
Oglesby, IL | 2 hrs

Anderson Japanese Gardens
Rockford, IL | 2 hrs

Heritage Trail
Amish Country, IN | 2 hrs

University of Illinois Arboretum
Urbana, IL | 2.5 hrs

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Madison, WI | 2.5 hrs

Glacial Drumlin Bike Trail
Lake Mills, WI | 2.5 hrs

Apple River Canyon State Park
Apple River, IL | 2.5 hrs

Covered Bridges of Parke County
Turkey Run Inn, IN | 3 hrs

Garden of the Gods
Karbers Ridge, IL | 5 hrs


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