There are times when I read these national stories and wonder "Have you ever even been to our state?"

For one, I'm a huge sucker for lists like these, and two, I love to see our city's (Rockford) name in lights.

Rockford, Illinois in Early Spring Seen from above by Drone
Jacob Boomsma
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However, most of the time, national stories from folks who obviously have never been to the midwest but heard Chicago seems like a cool place, immediately discount everything surrounding The Windy City.

Ozzie Stern on Unsplash
Ozzie Stern on Unsplash
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That would be the case here, where Finance Buzz listed Fun and Frugal Weekend Getaways in All 50 States.

Considering its just weeks before Christmas, finding an article that mentions great places in every state to go check out if you want to do something but save a little dough is a great idea.

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
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That said, anyone who has lived in Illinois for two seconds knows Chicago is far and away the most expensive city in the state. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Finance Buzz say Chicago was Illinois' top Fun and Frugal Weekend Getaway.

Finance Buzz via MSN:

A walk along the lakefront is a lovely — and free — way to spend a day. If you want to splurge a bit, step onto Chicago’s First Lady for a river cruise and ultimate Chicago architecture experience. End the night on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building and enjoy a signature cocktail at The Signature Lounge while taking in the amazing view.

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash
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For sure, let's take a walk along the lake in December. Just kidding. That would be a huge and chilly mistake.

You can't buy tickets for a ride on Chicago's First Lady right now and don't get me started on the price of a drink at the Signature Room in the Hancock.

A Miller Lite at the Signature is 9 bucks. Heck, even if you're not drinking booze, a Strawberry Smoothie is $11.

Photo by Bakd&Raw by Karolin Baitinger on Unsplash
Photo by Bakd&Raw by Karolin Baitinger on Unsplash
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So while I love Chicago, you can't consider it the best place for a cheap weekend getaway in the state.

Seriously, consider Rockford or one of the surrounding small towns for a real-life (and kind of cheap) weekend getaway, you know, where things are slow and smoothies don't require you to take out a loan.

Downtown Rockford has an Ultra Cool Rock & Roll Tribute Airbnb

It is very clear where the renovation inspiration for this two-bedroom rental came from. Big fans of the band that hails from Rockford, Illinois, Cheap Trick.

Wisconsin's Pink Castle Makes the Ultimate Girls Getaway

Pink Castle