Louisville Mega Cavern Zipline

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From Central Illinois, you can stay in Illinois or explore four nearby states for wonderful weekend getaways.

1. Chicago, Ill.

Take advantage of all that the vibrant city of Chicago has to offer. Stay near Chicago's Theater District, where you'll find Broadway blockbusters and shows just making their way to Broadway. If you're looking for great music, you can stay near the House of Blues, which will put you in close proximity to a variety of blues and jazz clubs. There are really too many things to do and see in Chicago to list them all here -- Chicago has something for everyone!

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2. St. Louis, Mo.

You're not far from a getaway full of family fun in St. Louis. Sports fans can cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Interested in bird's-eye views? Take the 630-foot ride to the top of the Gateway Arch. Or, if you have the need for speed, stop in at Six Flags St. Louis and ride the Screaming Eagle coaster that reaches speeds of 62 miles per hour. Then, slow down with a stop at the Magic House, the area's first interactive children's museum.

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3. Bowling Green, Ky.

Where should you go for family fun? Try Bowling Green, the third-largest city in Kentucky. Bowling Green is the center of activity for a dozen counties, and it's full of amusing attractions and natural beauty. For outdoor fun, explore the area's caves at places such as Mammoth Cave National Park or take walking tours of the city's historic districts. Car lovers will want to visit the National Corvette Museum, and craft beer lovers will want to tour the local brewery. Top off your day sampling the true taste of Bowling Green at one of its locally owned restaurants.

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4. Louisville, Ky.

If you're looking for an extravagant getaway, you'll find a range of luxury hotels in Louisville. Continue your luxury getaway by trying the cuisine that has earned the city the reputation as one of the 10 best new food cities in America. Top off your grand weekend with the Twilight Tour of Churchill Downs. If you're looking for a family getaway, Louisville has plenty to offer, including the Louisville Slugger Museum, the Kentucky Science Center, the Muhammad Ali Center and an underground boat ride at the Indiana Caverns.

For adventurer-seekers, Louisville's Mega Caverns boasts underground ziplining and an aerial ropes course.

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5. Indianapolis, Ind.

Indianapolis is the natural destination for Indy car lovers. Even if you don't visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May for the Indy 500, you can still experience the thrill of the race. Try taking an Indy car, pace car or shuttle tour around the track. Or, visit the Dallara IndyCar Factory and try a racing simulator. There are a variety of other family-friendly activities, such as riding a Segway around the White River State Park, talking to the animals at the Indianapolis Zoo or spending a day going back in time at Conner Prairie, an outdoor museum.

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6. Cincinnati, Ohio

If you love chili, you must taste Cincinnati chili. The famous Skyline Chili is made with an authentic Greek recipe brought to the U.S. by the founder of Skyline Chili, Nicholas Lambrinides. Besides Skyline Chili, you'll find a wide range of chili restaurants, all serving their own version of Cincinnati chili. You can also indulge in the cuisine from many casual and fine dining locations around town, catch a major league baseball game, pet a shark at the Newport Aquarium or enjoy the rides at Kings Island.

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Is it time for a getaway? These six destinations represent some of the fascinating weekend trips you can take when you live in Central Illinois.

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