Downtown Galena, Ill.

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Sometimes you need a break from everyday life. Fortunately for people in Northwest Indiana, there are several great weekend getaway options just a short drive away. From arts and nightlife to charming small town Main Streets, these five spots give you plenty to explore, and will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed by Monday morning.

1) Woodstock, IL

Woodstock, Illinois is a charming small city located just an hour and half northwest of Munster. The town is most famous as the location for the 1993 movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, although the story is set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Each year, the town celebrates the movie with a festival featuring a chili cook-off, tours of filming sites, and screenings. If you're not in town for the festival, there's still plenty to do on a weekend getaway. See a play or a movie at the historic Woodstock Opera House, catch a free outdoor jazz show at the Jazz on the Square Jam Sessions, find a treasure at the Colonial Antique Mall, or enjoy the numerous restaurants, and tap houses around the Downtown Square and on Main Street. Save money at a budget hotel, or enjoy friendly service and a unique experience at a local bed and breakfast.

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2) Shipshewana, IN

The Amish town of Shipshewana may be tiny, but there are plenty of activities to entertain you during your stay. The town is just an hour and fifty minutes east of Munster, which makes it an easy weekend getaway. See a show at the Blue Gate Theater after grabbing Amish food at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery. Visitors can also learn about Amish and Mennonite history at the Menno-Hof Mennonite Amish Visitor Center. Children will love exploring the Hosteler's Hudson Auto Museum and the Dutch Creek Animal Farm. The Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market is the best place to shop local vendors. A number of budget hotels, charming inns, and bed and breakfasts are available for visitors.

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3) Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, IL

Get back to nature with a trip to Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby, IL, which is just an hour and twenty minutes west of Munster. The park is known for its variety of hiking trails, horseback riding, scenic campsites, wildlife watching, and water cruises along the Illinois River. The Starved Rock State Park Lodge is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Visitors can camp, book a room at the Lodge, or book a hotel near the park.

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4) Galena, IL

The small town of Galena is three hours and ten minutes northwest of Munster, but it’s worth the drive. The town is known for its charming downtown and well preserved historic buildings, and was home to Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals. Enjoy a tasting at a local winery, dine at a unique café, or stroll along Main Street to shop art galleries, boutiques, and antique stores. Tour Ulysses S. Grant's former home, or visit The Old Blacksmith Shop. Galena lodging options range from bed and breakfasts and resorts to budget hotels.

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5) Grand Rapids, MI

As the second-largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids has plenty of nightlife, entertainment, and shopping to entertain you on your weekend getaway. The city is a two hour and fifteen minute drive from Munster. History buffs won't want to miss the Gerald R. Ford Museum, while art lovers flock to the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Families will love exploring the Grand Rapids Children's Museum and the John Ball Zoo. Comedy loving couples should make it a date at River City Improv, and after show cocktails at Long Road Distillers are a must. No matter your budget, you're sure to find a hotel to suit your needs in Grand Rapids.

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