Blue Island Travel Guide

Explore the culturally rich and naturally vibrant Blue Island with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best things to see and do, where to stay, what to eat and drink, and much more!

Introduction to Blue Island

Located in the South Suburbs area of Chicagoland in Illinois, Blue Island is a stunning city that boasts a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. It is conveniently located within easy reach of some of the Midwest’s most popular destinations and is a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the region.

List of Places to Visit in Blue Island

Blue Island offers a wealth of attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. A few must-see places include:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Blue Island Historical Society - This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history and heritage. Exhibits span from prehistoric times through the present day and include artifacts, photos, and interactive displays.

  • Memorial Park - This beautiful park is home to several monuments that pay tribute to the city’s military heroes. Visitors can pay their respects at the War Memorial or the plaque honoring the victims of September 11th, among others.

  • Rock Island District Railway Museum - Train enthusiasts will enjoy exploring this museum, which features a number of vintage railway cars and engines.

Natural Attractions of Blue Island: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Cal-Sag Trail - This 26-mile trail offers outstanding views of the Calumet River and its surrounding wetlands. It’s a great spot for hiking, biking, or simply taking in the scenery.

  • Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens - This scenic area features a lake, walking paths, and a variety of gardens that showcase native Illinois flora.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Blue Island

In addition to the Cal-Sag Trail, there are several other great hiking and biking routes in the area. A few favorites include:

  • Little Calumet River Trail - This 19-mile trail winds through Cook County Forest Preserve and features stunning views of the Little Calumet River.

  • Oak Savannah Trail - This 20-mile trail runs through Tinley Park and Blue Island and offers a great opportunity to see rare oak savannas and their resident wildlife.

Best Things to Do in Blue Island: Activities and Tours

  • Art Walk - This annual event features live music, food, and art exhibits throughout the city. It’s a great way to experience the local arts scene.

  • Blue Island Beer Company - Beer lovers won’t want to miss a visit to this local brewery, which features a taproom and a rotating selection of craft brews.

Week-Long Itinerary for Blue Island

  • Day 1: Start your trip at the Blue Island Historical Society. Afterward, enjoy a stroll through Memorial Park and a picnic lunch.

  • Day 2: Spend the day exploring the Cal-Sag Trail on bike or foot.

  • Day 3: Take a walking tour of Blue Island’s downtown area, stopping at local shops and cafes along the way.

  • Day 4: Visit the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens for a relaxing day out in nature.

  • Day 5: Explore the area’s breweries on a self-guided tour, starting at the Blue Island Beer Company.

  • Day 6: Take a tour of the Rock Island District Railway Museum and learn about the important role railroads played in the city’s history.

  • Day 7: Wrap up your trip with some souvenir shopping at Blue Island’s local shops and markets.

Food and Drink Scene of Blue Island

Whether you’re in the mood for classic American fare or international cuisine, Blue Island has plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. A few standout dishes and drinks include:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Italian Beef Sandwich - This local specialty features thin-sliced beef, gravy, and sweet or hot peppers on a crusty roll.

  • Chicago-style Hot Dog - Topped with mustard, onions, relish, tomato, pickles, and peppers, this iconic dish is a must-try for any visitor to the Windy City.

Local Beverages

  • Chicago-Style Cocktail - This classic cocktail combines gin, green Chartreuse, and fresh lime juice for a refreshing and herbaceous drink.

  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Beer lovers won’t want to miss trying this rich and complex beer, brewed just a short drive from Blue Island.

Where to Stay in Blue Island: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Blue Island offers a variety of accommodations to suit any budget and preference. A few standouts include:

  • Champaign Suites - This motel offers clean and comfortable rooms within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions.

  • Eurostars Magnificent Mile - For a more luxurious stay, opt for this upscale hotel located in nearby Chicago.

What to Buy in Blue Island: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

A few items that make great mementos of your visit to Blue Island include:

  • Blue Island Coffee Roasters Coffee - Bring home a bag of coffee beans roasted right in Blue Island for a taste of the city’s local flavor.

  • Blue Island T-Shirts and Hoodies - Show your love for Blue Island with a stylish t-shirt or hoodie featuring the city’s iconic logo.

Local Culture and Customs of Blue Island

Blue Island is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Visitors will find plenty of festivals, galleries, and live music venues to enjoy.

Best Time to Visit Blue Island

The best time to visit Blue Island is during the summer months when the weather is mild and the city’s outdoor attractions are at their best. Fall is also a great time to visit, as the foliage surrounding the Cal-Sag Trail and other parks is stunning.

Do’s and Don’ts of Blue Island


  • Explore the great outdoors on foot or bike.

  • Sample the city’s local cuisine.


  • Forget to pack comfortable walking shoes for exploring all the city’s attractions.

  • Ignore the weather forecast, as temperatures can fluctuate greatly throughout the day.

Safety and Health

Safety in Blue Island

Blue Island is generally a safe city, but visitors should take standard precautions such as avoiding dimly lit areas at night and keeping an eye on their valuables.

Health in Blue Island

Medical facilities are plentiful in Blue Island, with several hospitals and clinics located within a short drive of the city.

Getting to Blue Island: Transportation Options and Logistics

Visitors to Blue Island have several transportation options to choose from, including:

Airports Near Blue Island

  • Midway International Airport - Located just nine miles from Blue Island, this airport is a convenient option for visitors from across the country.

Bus Stations Near Blue Island

  • Greyhound Bus Station - This station offers both local and long-distance bus options for travelers.

Other Options

  • Metra Commuter Rail - Visitors can take the Metra from Chicago’s Union Station to the Blue Island Station, which is located in the city’s downtown area.

How to Get Around in Blue Island

The best way to get around Blue Island is by car, but the city also offers public transportation options such as buses and trains.

Where to Go Next from Blue Island: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Blue Island is conveniently located near several must-see destinations in the Midwest region, including:

  • Chicago, Illinois - Just a short drive from Blue Island, Chicago is one of the country’s most dynamic cities, offering an array of cultural attractions, museums, shops, and restaurants.

  • Indiana Dunes National Park - Located about an hour’s drive east of Blue Island, this stunning natural area features hiking trails, beaches, and sand dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan.


With its rich culture, stunning natural attractions, and friendly locals, Blue Island is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the best of the Midwest. Whether you’re a history buff, a hiking enthusiast, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and welcoming city.