University Park, IL,
14:58 PM

Summer in the Southland

Now that classes are behind us, Jaguars can look forward to summer. An hour’s drive isn’t much, but it can land you somewhere that gives you an entirely new outlook.

Below are four options and opportunities, with distances ranging from 35 miles to less than 10 (a local hidden gem) from Governors State University. One is right in our own back yard, yet these spots will make you feel worlds away.


You should be in pictures

The university is launching a first-ever film fest that will take place over six weeks beginning in August. The fest will include a student film competition as well as a screening of two films. Minding the Gap,and Little Wound’s Warriors, directed by Seth McClellan, a GSU alum.

Read more here.





Out in the woods, close to home

Brand new cabins, tent spaces, and even “instant camper” gear rental that includes a sleeping bag, tent, and binoculars are waiting at Camp Bullfrog Lake, part of Cook County Forest Preserve District’s new and revitalized camp sites. Set in the middle of the hilly Palos Preserves, it’s a great wilderness getaway. Rent a canoe, hike or bike the trails, then settle back under the stars for the night. (30 miles)




The story of American opportunity

A visit to Pullman Historic Center  is a brush with history, from the 1880s when George Pullman built the first planned community for his workers to 2015 when President Obama declared the site a national monument.  See the distinctive Pullman row houses that provided “luxuries” like indoor plumbing. Nearby, the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, honors contributions made by African Americans to America's labor movement. (25 miles)


Let’s race!

At 200 mph, with drivers “trading paint,” it's going to be loud and it’s definitely fast. At Chicago Speedway in Joliet, the smells and noise are unreal. Seating from anywhere is great. Before the race, choose from amazing food, not just hot dogs and burgers. It looks great on TV but it’s even better in person. Got your ticket? Let's go racing! (20 miles)




For a quick break

Sometimes simple is best. One of the quickest ways to relax is to rent a kayak for an hour and float in the Monee Reservoir. Life jackets,  soothing atmosphere and sunrise provided. No experience is necessary. (6 miles)