Still in metro Chicago, Lyons is a unique village along Ogden Road – also known as Historic Route 66. On this stretch, you'll know you’re in the Village of Lyons by the Hofmann Tower Museum on the southern bank of the Des Plaines River. Built in 1908, the Hofmann Tower is an impressive structure, and deserves its spot on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Lyons is also home to the Chicago Portage National Historic Site. Preserving a good chunk of Chicago area and Illinois-wide history, the site commemorates what is known as the "Gateway to the West" – also called "Le Portage" and today the Chicago Portage – which connects the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers.
This half-mile strip of land was discovered by Louis Joliet and Father Pierre Marquette, and today is marked by a beautiful memorial and statue. The site is found within the Chicago Portage Forest Preserve, which is also ideal for canoeing and nature walks if you’re looking to take a break from the car.