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31 Secret Places In Illinois To Bring Your Girlfriend This Summer

Illinois is such a great state to live in. From the many parks to the amazing views there is no doubt that there's a lot to do here. Sometimes going to dinner and then a movie seems like the best date idea, but that gets boring after a while. It's best to take advantage of everything the state has to offer by getting out and exploring the state. 

Taking your girlfriend somewhere that's pretty unique and different is sure to impress her. Sure heading to Cloud Gate something we've all done, but sometimes doing something different is needed.

So whether your girlfriend loves to be adventurous, has a major sweet tooth, or simply enjoys chilling on a patio, there are lots of places in the state that will definitely put a smile on your S/O's face. 

Summer is the time to get outside! Sooner than you know you will need to be wearing sweaters again. Before the chilly weather rolls around you have to get outside and explore your great state.

Pomona Natural Bridge

Where: Natural Bridge RoadPomona

This true hidden gem is sure to impress you and your girlfriend. Pomona Natural Bridge can be found after a relatively easy hike. The bridge is about 100 feet longs and is hidden in Shawnee National Forest. It's time to get outside and explore nature's wonder!

Skydeck Chicago

Where: 233 S Wacker Drive, Chicago

If your girlfriend loves to admire stunning views, then she will love everything about this date. What better way to spend your day than by taking in amazing views and getting an adorable photo together in front of Chicago's entire skyline? The ledge is 1,353 feet in the air and the glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck.

Matthiessen State Park

Where: 2500 Illinois Route 178, Oglesby

Explore the pretty Matthiessen State Park together. From canyons to streams to forestry, you two lovebirds will be in a complete dreamland together. If you both love being outside and taking in nature's beauty then you will love everything about this park. 

Onan's Gold Pyramid House

Where: 37921 N Dilleys Road, Wadsworth

Discover this six-story-tall golden pyramid that's surrounded by a moat. The Gold Pyramid house was built in 1977 by Jim and Linda Onan as a private residence for his family. At the pyramid, there is a huge statue of Ramses II guards and a three pyramid garage. 

Cookie Dough Creations

Where: 22 Chicago Avenue, Naperville 

Cookie dough? Yes, please! Cookie Dough Creations is the original edible raw cookie dough and they serve up a wide variety of gourmet desserts. Your girlfriend is sure to be happy as soon as you step foot in this amazing cafe. From cookie dough sandwiches to cookie dough pints, you will be spoilt for choice at this cafe.

Oz Park

Where: 2021 N Burling Street, Chicago

Now if your girlfriend loves classic movies then she is sure to love Oz Park. Any person that enjoys watching The Wizard of Oz will seriously love everything about this park. The park has statues of all the characters, from Tin Man to Scarecrow, you will love every minute at this park. 

Chicago Cultural Center

Where: 78 E Washington Street, Chicago

Anyone that loves architecture will love the Chicago Cultural Center. From the huge dome to the little details, you will be mesmerized by this building's beauty. The stunning building has two stained-glass domes, free music, dance, theatre, films, lectures, and art exhibitions.

La Michoacana Premium

Where: 6533 W Cermak Road, Berwyn

Treat your girlfriend to an amazing popsicle from La Michoacana. This popsicle spot serves up both fruit and cream paletas, as well as ice cream. They serve a wide range of flavors, whether you like mango or kiwi, you will fall in love with these refreshing popsicles. 

Cahokia Mounds

Where: Collinsville, IL

Reach new heights in your relationship at the Cahokia Mounds. If you guys love to live a relatively fit lifestyle then you will love this as an outdoor workout. The Cahokia Mounds is a historic site of a pre-Columbian Native American city. It lays directly across from the Mississippi River and is bound to leave you in awe.

Galloping Ghost Arcade

Where: 9415 Ogden Avenue, Brookfield

Go back in time and play some retro games together at Galloping Ghost Arcade. This arcade has over 500 different games that you can play all night long. The best part is, you don't need to pay for every single arcade game! Each game is set to free play and all you need to do is pay a $20 entry fee! For an affordable price, you and your bae can have a blast.


Where: 1 New State Park Road.Cave in Rock

Explore the magnificent Cave-In-Rock together. The name pretty much says it all, the Cave-In-Rock is a hidden cave that's inside of a rock. Here you can take unique photos, watch the sunset, and just take in the summer vibes. 


Where: 21711 N Milwaukee Avenue, Lincolnshire

This unique mini-putting course is sure to have you two lovebirds competing against each other. Mini-putting is a great summer activity, you get to soak up the summer sun while attempting to get a hole in one. This mini-putting course will make you feel like you're in a cartoon, from the pink castle to the rocket ship statues, you will feel like you've escaped from reality. 

Grosse Point Lighthouse

Where: 2601 Sheridan Road, Evanston

Discover the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse together. The lighthouse was built in 1873 as the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and climb the 141 stair steps to the top of the tower for a stunning panoramic view of Lake Michigan. 

Sycamore Dairy Ripple

Where: 675 E State Street, Sycamore

Dairy Ripple is sure to put a smile on your face. Here you can grab a soft serve cone that has a touch of character. Whether you like chocolate or vanilla, this spot has got your back. They also sell special doggie dishes for your pet dog! So if you two want to treat yourselves as well as your pup, this is the place to go. 

The Morton Arboretum

Where: 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle

Be silly together at the Morton Arboretum. This is a great place to go for some hilarious photos. The arboretum has six huge trolls crafted from reclaimed wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. The trolls are perfect for an interactive photo! If you two have a sense of humor and love to be silly, this is the perfect date. 

Navy Pier

Where: 600 E Grand Avenue, Chicago

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Surprise your love by taking her to the Navy Pier. This secret date is sure to make her happy. You two will feel like kids again as you walk from ride to ride. If you have never explored this amazing pier, this is the summer to do it.

Matthiessen State Park

Where: 2500 Illinois Route 178, Oglesby

Make your way to Matthiessen State Park for a day filled with adventure. The park is filled with unique pathways and great places to explore. Your girlfriend will sure be happy with this adventurous trip!


Where: 832 W Randolph Street, Chicago

Get ready to completely satisfy your sweet tooth at BomboBar! If you two love having sweets then this is the place to go. Whether you get a donut, a milkshake, or ice cream you will love every minute at this spot in Chicago. Sure it's not much of a secret, but it's a summer MUST.

Leaning Tower of Niles

Where: 6300 W Touhy Avenue, Niles

If your girlfriend is craving a summer vacation to Europe, why not surprise her by taking her to this Leaning Tower of Pisa replica! Sure it's not the actual thing, but hey, traveling to Europe is sure to break your bank account compared to staying in your state! 

Long Hollow Canopy Tours

Where: Longhollow Road, Elizabeth

If you and your girlfriend are super adventurous then this date is perfect for you. This adventure park is near The Galena Territory, surrounded by the forest of Tapley Woods. Ascend 15′ to the first platform, reach heights of 75′ and speeds of 40 mph gliding through the trees on six ziplines that range from 190′ to 1,250′ in length!

Anderson Japanese Gardens

Where: 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford

Completely relax together while strolling through this beautiful Japanese park. Anderson Japanese Gardens is a stunning, outdoor setting that will inspire your mind and energize your soul. The twelve-acre landscape of streams, waterfalls, winding pathways, and koi-filled ponds has been rated one of North America’s highest quality Japanese gardens for more than a decade.

Main Street

Where: Main Street, Galena

Stroll hand in hand with your S/O as you explore the Galena's historic Main Street. This street was named the best street in the Midwest so you know it's worth seeing. If you and your girlfriend enjoy looking at historic sites and monuments, you will enjoy walking down this unique street. Galena is filled with red brick buildings, quaint bed and breakfasts, and charming boutiques.  

Garden of the Gods Recreation Area

Where: Picnic Road, Herod

This gorgeous park is between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in southern Illinois, Shawnee National Forest. Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area features many hiking trails to some unreal sandstone formations. If you two love to be outside and soak up the summer sun, this is perfect for you.

Kaskaskia Dragon

Where: 2401-2599 Progress W Drive, Vandalia

Get a unique photo together in front of this giant dragon. The Kaskaskia Dragon is one of the remaining exciting roadside attractions in the state. The dragon looks like something out of a classic fairy-tail. The 35-foot metal dragon also has the ability to spit fire. All you do is buy a dragon coin and insert it in the coin-box and the dragon will shoot flames for approximately 10 minutes.

RM Champagne Salon

Where: 116 N Green Street, Chicago

If your girlfriend loves patio season then you need to take her to this adorable outdoor patio this summer. RM Champagne Salon is a champagne bar that serves New American plates of food in a unique and stunning setting. From the fairy lights to the cobblestone floors you two will love every minute at this romantic spot.

Mississippi Palisades State Park

Where: 16327A IL-84, Savanna

Get ready to be amazed by this incredible view at Mississippi Palisades State Park. The trail is 15 miles long and lets you see many limestone caves and insane rock formations. The gorgeous lookout is the perfect way to spend your summer day with your S/O. Get your hiking shoes on and head out to take in these views. 

Villa Kathrine

Where: 532 Gardner Expressway, Quincy

You'd never guess that Illinois is home to its very own castle. This hidden gem is sure to amaze your S/O. The castle is an example of Mediterranean-style architecture. It was built in 1900 on the bluff overlooking the famous Mississippi River. The building is often used for wedding photoshoots, so you know that the setting will be super romantic.

Snow Factory

Where: 751 E Boughton Road, Bolingbrook

Snow Factory isn't just a regular ice cream shop, it's a true experience! The liquid nitrogen ice cream is made fresh and formed into unique rolls. If you and your girlfriend love to try new things, this ice cream spot is a sure winner!

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

Where: 125 W Fullerton Parkway, Chicago

This park is sure to give you two lovebirds the most romantic date ever. Step through the Prairie-style Fullerton gate and enter a hidden garden of unmatched beauty. The park has a waterfall and plenty of spaces where you two can just sit and take in the beauty. Follow the stone walk encircling the lily pool and discover a pavilion, council ring, and diverse plants.

Monical's Pizza

Where: 205 N Mattis Avenue, Champaign

Treat yourselves to some amazing pizza from Monical's Pizza. There really is nothing like a delicious pizza straight from the oven. This pizza spot first began in Tolono and has grown across the rest of Central Illinois. Whether you like thin crust or deep dish, you are sure to enjoy your time here. 

Galena Cellars Winery & Vineyard 

Where: 515 S Main Street, Galena

If your girlfriend loves wine, she will absolutely love you for taking her to a winery. At this winery, you can take a tour of the vineyards. You will be able to truly experience the essence of Galena Cellars wine as you take in the spectacular view of our country vineyard and see how our award-winning wines are made.

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