By Kevin Revolinski
The old slogan "Escape to Wisconsin" is still a great bit of advice, especially for travelers from Chicago. Hop in the car and you can be kicking back at a lakeside cabin rental in southern Wisconsin before lunch time.
The options run from rustic to summer home and can suit you whether you're bringing a whole family together or just escaping with a few buddies for a fishing weekend. Here are some ideas for cabins and cottages less than two hours from Chicago. Stay in the know about more of Wisconsin's best cabins and cottages by subscribing to our newsletter.
Part of a two-building resort, an 1850s cottage on site is split into two units, each with two bedrooms, making this good for small families or larger groups if rented as a whole. Beautiful and clean, Lake Geneva is a popular Wisconsin summer destination for Chicago travelers. This cottage, along with a six-room inn, are located lakeside in a quiet residential area which is not far from the shops and restaurants downtown.
This collection of eight cabins occupies 3.5 acres in the woods along the lake. Cabins range from 1 to 3 bedrooms and each comes with a modern kitchen, grill, picnic table, and access to horseshoes and sand-pit volleyball near the central tavern. There is free mooring for your boat, or you can use the boat included with each cabin. Motors can be rented.
This collection of six cedar cottages with modern amenities either sit right at the water's edge or up the steep bank for some spectacular lake views. Stay connected (or not!) with free Wi-Fi and cable TV. It's an active lake with plenty of waterskiing and other water sports, and of course, excellent fishing. These cabin rentals are also close to Madison.
Just outside of the artsy town of Cambridge on Lake Ripley this four-bedroom private cottage has its own dock on the 418-acre spring-fed lake. There's much to do here on the lake – fishing, waterskiing, swimming and a nearby public beach – and if you exhaust Cambridge, Madison is just 20 minutes down the road.
Looking for a nice fishing escape from the Windy City? See what's biting on Rock Lake and check into this two-bedroom cottage suitable for large groups or families. The cottage faces west for stunning sunsets. Fish from shore or rent a boat nearby. There's a full kitchen, air-conditioning, gas fireplace and even housekeeping services.
Chicago also has the mighty Lake Michigan, but wouldn't it be nice to have a more private time on its shores? Have your own personal beach at Lake Michigan Beach House. It may bill itself as a cabin, but don't think "roughing it." Leather furniture, a modern kitchen, cable and high-speed internet make this as comfortable as it gets.