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Chicago and surroundings

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I intend to be in Chicago between October 2nd and 7th, for the Chicago Marathon (which will be held on October 7th). During that period, I think I will find enough things to cover in the city itself.

But before that (September 30th and October 1st) and after that (October 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th), I'll have time to visit something else, around the city (let's say, maximum 200 miles away).

We are in a group of three: me, my wife and kid (11 months old).

Any suggestions? It can be either a road trip or a train trip.

Do you think it's a good idea to use the 6 days after leaving Chicago to do down to Atlanta (from there I could take a direct flight to my hometown, in Brazil)? Is it (driving) a nice way to cover that distance, with beautiful sites?

Thank you!

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