Weekend Getaways Near Chicago
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois: 130 miles southwest of Chicago
For theater-lovers, summertime means outdoor Shakespeare. But in downstate Illinois, that takes on a fresh new form. Want improv Shakespeare? Sing-along Shakespeare? Or just a performance of his classics (including A Comedy of Errors this year)? Starting in May, and running through mid-August, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington-Normal reveals its ode to the Bard. Other draws to the area: Bloomington’s restored 1800s buildings house farm-to-table restaurants, shops and live-music venues. Inside the three-story courthouse, a museum highlights the area’s historical treasures.