Greetings all you city-weary folk! There comes a time when most of us high-strung, light-sleeping urbanites us require a long weekend just roughing it. The Prairie might not be the beacon for naturalist explorers that the Rockies or Coastal Maine is, but it does offer water, woods, and recreation all within a few hours drive of Chicago. Curbed scrolled through the vacation rentals of Home Away to bring you a few attractive options:
Rent a 5-bedroom suite for the extended fam near historic Galena. If you get there before winter, it rubs shoulders with a 10-hole golf course. If not, then strap on some snowshoes and take to the woods. Or, you may be content to just look at the snow -the kind that falls white and stays white- from the outdoor hot tub or the billiard room. A fully-equipped wet bar can be staffed or commandeered for private use. Other amenities include wi-fi, BBQ, and screened terraces at every level. Rates: $569-669/night.
This 2,700 sf lakeside cottage sleeps up to 10 in 4-bedrooms. Considering this capacity, you'd expect to be charged more than $225-250/night. Of course, marooning yourself in the middle of the woods in Michigan's snowbelt isn't the preferred winter vacation for many. But for others, it's a dream. Stock up on booze and comfort food, then make like Bon Iver and compose a brilliant record. After a while, the world will forget about you. If you beat the ice, there's a lake at your front door for fishing and skinny-dipping.
Opening up the wooded frontier to the west this time, this picturesque cabin also fronts a lake, and is rich with cross-country skiing-friendly terrain. Dubbed "Lost Paradise", you're actually in 10-mile range of 15 dining options and the charming village of St. Germain, Wisconsin. The 3-bedroom lodging sleeps up to 8 and sports a wicked homey-feel with timber walls and lofted ceilings. In the Northwoods region, this one's a major trek from Chicago. Probably worth carving out a week. Contact the owner for rates.