QUOTE(Wadcutter @ Mar 13 2009, 08:44 AM)
Since you specify 6-8 hours out of Chicago in IL that would put you in far southern IL with time left over. . . . There's a fairly new campground just off I-57 in Marion which has full hook ups. Can't recall the name and have never stayed there.
Marion Campground and RV Park is the fairly new campground in Marion just off I-57. http://www.marioncampground.com/
It's our first choice for a campground when we visit family in the area. We like its central location and proximity to the restaurants and retail in Marion. In fact, we have reservations to stay there for about a week in early April. RV Park Reviews has several reviews of the Marion Campground and RV Park and several other campgrounds in the area so I won't duplicate much of what has already been written.
We've stayed at Giant City State Park in Makanda and it was ok if you don't mind only having electrical service on your site. Water is available at centrally located spigots. The setting and park are top quality if you want to be close to nature and in the midst of walking and horse trails. Marion is about 30 miles from Giant City SP/Makanda. The drive is a scenic one especially if you take Giant City State Park Rd at the east edge of Carbondale.
If you decide to go to Western Kentucky, you may want to call ahead since parts of the area are still recovering from severe ice storms this past January. Paducah, KY is an easy 60 mile drive from Marion. Cairo, IL where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers merge is also an easy 60 mile drive. The city has seen better times yet it is worth the drive at least once to see where these historic and important rivers converge.
The area has a fascinating history of river city trade and commerce and river pirates and outlaws. You could think about taking your kids to the Pirates exhibit currently at The Field Museum in Chicago and then extending their adventure with stories about what was happening right here in the Midwest in the early days of our country (along with a trip downstate).
I have to admit that I am biased since I was born in Southern Illinois. You will find many things to do in far Southern Illinois (south of Springfield) year-round. This time of year the weather varies greatly. Easter weekends can be as cold as winter days or warm as hot spring days.
Here are some links with more info about the area. I would also Google "Cape Girardeau, MO" and "Harrisburg, IL" and "Paducah, KY" and "Trail of Tears." Also in this Abraham Lincoln bicentennial celebration year, you'll find many smaller historic sites renewing their connection to Lincoln (David Davis mansion in Bloomington, IL, sites of Lincoln-Douglas debates like the one in Jonesboro, IL). Springfield, IL has much to offer about where Abraham Lincoln lived and worked before becoming President. So many sites and sights and so little time.Southern Most Illinois Tourism Enjoy Illinois Land Between the Lakes in KentuckyMark Twain's Mississippi Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Have fun and safe travels!