12 days in Chicago & Alabama Itinerary

12 days in Chicago & Alabama Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Chicago & Alabama Itinerary

Start: Chicago
1
Chicago
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
2
Birmingham
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Mobile
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Orange Beach
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  4​h 30​min
End: Chicago

4
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Step off the beaten path and head to Chicago Cultural Center and Historic Third Ward. Get some cultural insight at The Art Institute of Chicago and The Magnificent Mile. Change things up with these side-trips from Chicago: Milwaukee Art Museum (in Milwaukee), Chicago Premium Outlets (in Aurora) and Starved Rock State Park (in Utica). And it doesn't end there: take a stroll through Lincoln Park, explore the world behind art at Richard H. Driehaus Museum, stroll through Lakefront Trail, and browse the different shops at Water Tower Place.

For photos and other tourist information, you can read our Chicago trip planner.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Chicago. In December, daily temperatures in Chicago can reach 38°F, while at night they dip to 26°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to travel to Birmingham.

Things to do in Chicago

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Milwaukee, Starved Rock State Park, Butler Winery, Chicago Premium Outlets, Albanese Candy Factory
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Starved Rock State Park ©
Starved Rock State Park
Lakefront Trail ©
Lakefront Trail

2
nights
Birmingham

Birmingham ©
Birmingham may be one of America's most controversial cities.
On the 19th (Thu), take an in-depth tour of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at McWane Science Center, then explore the landscape on two wheels at Rotary Trail, and finally stroll through Vulcan Park and Museum. Keep things going the next day: explore the world behind art at Birmingham Museum of Art, see the interesting displays at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Oak Mountain State Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Birmingham online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by flight from Chicago to Birmingham takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. When traveling from Chicago in December, plan for warmer days in Birmingham, with highs around 59°F, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Mobile.

Things to do in Birmingham

Museums Parks Trails

Side Trip

Oak Mountain State Park
Highlights from your plan
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum ©
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Oak Mountain State Park ©
Oak Mountain State Park
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute ©
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

2
nights
Mobile

Mobile ©
Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): appreciate the extensive heritage of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, examine the collection at Mobile Carnival Museum, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Fort Gaines, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium, and then stop by Bienville Books.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Mobile driving holiday planner.

Drive from Birmingham to Mobile in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Birmingham in December: high temperatures in Mobile hover around 65°F and lows are around 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Orange Beach.

Things to do in Mobile

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Dauphin Island, Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Highlights from your plan
Bellingrath Gardens and Home ©
Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Mobile Carnival Museum ©
Mobile Carnival Museum

3
nights
Orange Beach

Orange Beach ©
Orange Beach exists solely as a tourist beach town, with a permanent population of less than 6,000.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail - Rosemary Dunes Trailhead and Tanger Outlets Foley. Get in touch with nature at Gulf State Park and Gulf State Park Fishing Pier. When in Orange Beach, make a side trip to see Fort Morgan State Historic Site in Fort Morgan, approximately 44 minutes away. There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Gulf Shores Public Beach, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and stop by Pepper Palace.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Orange Beach trip itinerary builder tool .

Getting from Mobile to Orange Beach by car takes about 1.5 hours. In December in Orange Beach, expect temperatures between 66°F during the day and 48°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Orange Beach

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Gulf Shores, Tanger Outlets Foley, Fort Morgan State Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Gulf State Park ©
Gulf State Park
Parasailing & Paragliding

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