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Stroll through four acres and view 1,200 varieties of fragrant, uniquely landscaped herb, perennial and ornamental gardens. Alwerdt's offers a gift shop and garden center.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is 272 acre of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, which includes endangered turtles, many birds and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road about 3 miles south of Amboy. Open to the public 7 days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed due to sensitive plant and wildlife.
Apple River Canyon State Park
Apple River Canyon State Park is in the hilly northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and wildlife characterize this area. Once a part of a vast sea bottom that stretched from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, the scenic canyon area was formed by the action of the winding waters of the Apple River. The park offers hiking, day use, camping and fishing, plus Millville, a National Historic Register site.
The 30-acre park was designed in a way that would serve many purposes. From the canoe/kayak launch and natural landscaping to the VIP Rooftop Deck and 10-acre music venue, this is the new recreation and entertainment destination of the suburbs. Bring your kids and fly a kite. Enjoy a local band in the music pavilion with friends. Spread out a blanket and watch fireworks with the family on the 4th of July. RiverEdge Park is your backyard away from home.
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
Epiphany Farms Enterprise (EFE) is a “Farm to Fork” concept that practices sustainable, beyond organic, environmentally friendly techniques. EFE harnesses ideas from a wide range of agricultural theories, such as permaculture and intensive pasture rotation, to cultivate a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and animals. Pioneering a new food system frontier, they blend their farm and restaurants to create one self-sustaining organism. Tours of the farm are available.
Angelic Organics Learning Center
We offer public and custom programs for children, adults, and families on our beautiful, organic farm to help build the local food system. Whether its a day camp or a cheese making workshop, participants gain hands-on experience preparing farm-fresh food, from field to table, while learning about organic agriculture and the whole farm system in the process. The Learning Center also offers farmer training and support to beginning farmers and facilitates youth-led urban agriculture projects in Chicago and Rockford.
Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
The Science Center of Southern Illinois is the perfect way for kids to explore the beauty of science in a fun atmosphere. This hands-on children's museum has over 50 exhibits and sees nearly 15,000 annual visitors. Adults are also welcome, as many of the activities can be enjoyed by all.
Charlotte West Stadium
Charlotte West is a Stadium built for champions. During its eight years of existance, the stadium has played host to three MVC Softball Championship and one NCAA Regional Championship. The SIU Softball Team alone is nationally ranked and an overall treat to watch. Not to mention the Stadium itself is recognized as being the best collegiate Softball Stadium in the Missouri Valley Conference.
For more than 50 years Italian Village Pizza & Pasta has been a social gathering place for great food and fun in Carbondale. Thousands of locals, Salukis and area visitors have provided their autographs and notable memories on the walls of their main dining rooms. Enjoy delicious pizza, complimentary ice cream, and a full salad bar, all in the presence of good company!
The Neighborhood Co-op
If there's one thing the Neighborhood Co-op is known for, it's good food. Between the grocery store and the deli area, this one-stop-shop has everything you need for the perfect meal. Enjoy the fresh taste of locally grown produce, shop the work of Carbondale's thriving art scene, and feast on a hearty sandwich, made with all-organic products.
Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery
Taste soft reds, crisp whites and luscious fruit wines all make at the winery using the best of Illinois grapes. Watch wine being made and then relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room or on the deck overlooking the vineyard. The Sweet & Savory Plate of meats, cheeses, fruits and chocolate is available daily for a light lunch or snack. Special events are held throughout the year including vineyard tours, festivals and wine & food pairings and a small private room is available for showers, parties & meetings. To learn more about Famous Fossil wines or upcoming events, visit our website. Open: June thru December: daily: 11 am - 6 pm; January thru May: Wednesday thru Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm; Sunday: Noon - 5 pm.
Prairie Fruits Farm
Prairie Fruit farms is a farm-to-table experience located in Champaign, IL that celebrates eating locally and sustainably. Working with Culinary Institute of America trained chefs they create multi-course meals using only the freshest local ingredients. Many of the vegetables and fruits come from the farm, as well as the milk, eggs and cheeses. You can even take farm tours and learn how they harvest the crops and milk their large herd of sheep for the creation of cheeses and milk. Perfect for kids of all ages.
Big Grove Tavern
Big Grove Tavern is a Farm-to-Table restaurant in downtown Champaign featuring seasonal comfort food. Almost everything we serve at Big Grove Tavern is made from scratch, in house, using seasonal ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. We source locally, not only to create delicious dishes, but to help support our neighbors.
Residence Inn by Marriott Champaign-Urbana
The new Residence Inn by Marriott® Champaign is located just off I-74 and just minutes from the University of Illinois. Our residential-style hotel offers boutique inspired elegance in the heart of Champaign-Urbana. The spacious suites feature separate sleeping and living areas, a fully-equipped kitchen with refrigerator, and 37-inch HD flat panel televisions. Our luxury bedding includes crisp linens, comfy mattresses, custom comforters, and fluffy pillows, guaranteeing a blissful nights rest. Upon waking, join us in the Gatehouse for a complimentary, full-American breakfast buffet offering hot and cold favorites. Business and extended stay travelers will appreciate complimentary wired, wireless Internet access and dual-line phone system. Whether you are here to work or play, the Residence Inn by Marriott® Champaign warmly invites you to make yourself at home.
Pekara Bakery & Bistro
Pekara Bakery & Bistro is a clean label artisan bakery in downtown Champaign serving the community since 2005. Pekara prides itself on delicious handmade pastries, cakes, and breads in which all-natural ingredients are used. From omelettes made from local, organic eggs, breakfast sandwiches and bagels, savory sandwiches on artisan breads, salads, crêpes, and hearty soups, to sweet pastries, pies, and cookies, you can find most anything you'd like at Pekara. Pekara's well-trained baristas serve up superb coffee that has been responsibly sourced and harvested from Abakundakawa, the certified Fair Trade cooperative in Rwanda where the heart of our house blend is grown. Pekara Bakery & Bistro even helps you stay ahead for that special event, baking pastries, baklava, breads and other treats for those special occasions.
84 rooms 16 suites High-Speed internet access, iron, dryer, coffeemaker, one restaurant. Lounge, valet/laundry, business center, exercise facilities, room service, concierge desk. Free chilled purified water. located near Magnificent Mile, Theatre District, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and Marina City.
Aloft Chicago City Center
Urban cool accommodations, located in the heart of River North, Chicago's most exciting neighborhood for dining & nightlife. Blocks from the Magnificent Mile and many other Chicago top spots.
Hobnob Spring Market
A laughter filled gathering with the feel of a festive village fair. Browse creatively displayed mini shops for vintage antiques and handmade goodies from 50+ of the best vendors around. You'll be amazed by the funky/shabby/cool vintage finds plus the handmade jewelry, art and imaginative home accessories. Enjoy some live music, lunch & sweets, a cash bar and raffle prizes.
Vermilion River Fall Festival
Arts and crafts, live entertainment, concessions, and one of the area's largest car shows will be held at beautiful Ellsworth Park.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
NIU Convocation Center
Northern Illinois University's 10,000 seat Convocation Center is a $36 million multipurpose facility that hosts a variety of events such as concerts, family shows, theatrical productions, commencement ceremonies, job fairs, trade shows and NIU Huskie Division I athletic events (basketball, volleyball, track, gymnastics and wrestling). The NIU Convocation Center hosted a total of 200+ events per year.
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery. Over 30 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham as part of the annual "Sculptures on the Avenues" outdoor exhibition. Sculptures on the Avenues is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall, located at 201 E. Jefferson Ave. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of Downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at the Effingham Visitors Center or City Hall.
Effingham Artisan Fair
Effingham's downtown will transform into an art gallery during the 10th Annual Effingham Artisan Fair. Explore what over 40 artisans from across the region have to offer from paintings and pottery to jewelry and sculptures. This premier two-day event continues to grow each year with wine and beer tasting, live entertainment, Kids Korner, great food and drinks, along with many more fun activities! See live demonstrations and explore downtown Effingham during this fun-filled family-friendly weekend and help celebrate the 10th Annual Effingham Artisan Fair!!
Come out to Camp Lakewood and enjoy the views of Lake Pauline plus all the creature comforts. Camp Lakewood is an RV campground. The sites include cable, WiFi, 30/50 AMP. They also offer a one and two bedroom cabin that is fully furnished and self contained. The newest cabin sleeps five and includes Cable TV. They do offer tent sites as well for those who want to be a little closer to nature.
Anthony Acres Resort
Anthony Acres Resort has picturesque views of Lake Sara. The resort is only five minutes from Effingham, so you can come into town and enjoy some food or shop.
Enjoy a relaxing retreat at Sara's Sanctuary. Every retreat offers a different health and wellness experience, which includes therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, yoga or meditation, reflexology and Reiki. Each session has a limit of eight participants and four sleeping rooms.
TREC Recreation Trails
The TREC trail system is a public trail designed to create recreational opportunities. The trails provide a great place for visitors to exercise, whether its walking, riding bikes, or roller blading. The mission is to develop a countrywide, multi-use trail system, educate the communities on the benefits of the trails, and promote an active lifestyle by providing recreational activities.
Effingham Park District
Effingham has four community parks. All offer baseball diamonds, play grounds, basketball courts and great areas for family picnics.
Big Earl's Extreme Race
Big Earl's Extreme Race is a 3+ mile obstacle run in Effingham. There are seven different wave times with over 15 obstacles and all participants will recieve a free hot dog and beer or soda.
Tapley Woods State Natural Area
Located 5 miles west of Elizabeth, IL, this 260 timbered acres provides public hunting areas, hiking and nature viewing.
Blind Faith Cafe
Chicago's premier, certified-green, vegetarian restaurant. For over 30 years guests have been enjoying the award winning food. Dedicated to offering beautifully prepared wholesome natural foods that nourish the body and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment. Their extensive menu is prepared with only the highest quality ingredients, complimented by a superb selection of beer and wine and finished with a delicious assortment of homemade desserts.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery
Guests can tour the farm, watch how several types of cheese are made and sample some of Ludwig's products for just $5.00. Tours can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more throughout the week or on Saturdays for groups of less than ten or individuals. The Creamery sits on Feathercreek Farm, a 150-acre, fifth-generation family farm originally settled in 1866. The Ludwig family's primary business is the care and breeding of high pedigree, purebred Holstein dairy cattle.
Experienced birder, knowledgeable about a variety of birding habitats in the Galena/Jo Daviess County Area, offers guided field trips on selected Saturdays. Private trips available by appointment.
Hike or bike into Buehler Preserve from Galena and experience the prairie life! Pets welcome. Fishing is allowed.
Keough Effigy Land & Water Reserve
Explore the past along Keough's hiking trails. Come and see its mining and Native American history.
Winston Tunnel State Natural Area
230 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing and an historic railroad tunnel.
Galena River Trail
Scenic biking and hiking along a six-mile trail featuring views of the Galena River and towering bluffs.
The Galena River
The Galena River, also known as Fever River, meanders through the lush scenery of Northern Illinois before winding through Galena’s historic downtown. Put-in near Galena's Main Street which will offer you plenty of opportunities to explore the river on your own, or to take day excursions offered by a local outfitter.
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve
Experience a commanding view of the Mississippi River and the only known intact thunderbird effigy mound in Illinois. Hiking, bird watching, sightseeing, Native American archaeology and much more on 85 acres of scenic Mississippi River bluffs.
Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Fun for all ages. Ride your own sled down 2,050 feet of terrain-tailored track to the banks of the Mississippi.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Ski along scenic slopes at Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, perched high above the Mississippi River. Rated by Ski Magazine as one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest, Chestnut Mountain goes all out with a snowboarding park and night skiing. Stay at the rustic 120-room lodge, which has three restaurants, including the fine-dining Sunset Grille. There are fun non-skiing activities in the summer as well, including boat cruises on the Mississippi Explorer and the exhilarating Alpine Slide, which speeds 2,000 feet down a hillside. Or try the new Segway Mountain Adventure Tours, a three-mile guided ride through rolling terrain.
Crowne Plaza Lombard Downers Grove
Our Crowne Plaza brand promise: "A better meetings experience for meeting planners and a better night sleep for meeting attendees & all guests," coupled with the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage program, will ensure your stay is unforgettable.
Wildlife Prairie Park
A unique, 2,000-acre zoological park which is home to wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter, and others. You will enjoy the park's spectacular natural settings, butterfly garden, wildflowers, lakes and restored prairies.
Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area
A part of the Apple River Canyon State Park Complex, the Iris and Jack Witkowsky State Wildlife Area is 1,100 acres for public hunting and nature viewing. Beginning of a transcontinental bluebird trail segment. Sign in/out at lots #1 or #4.
Wapello Land & Water Reserve
Experience Native American mounds, prairie and the Apple River. Hike beginner trails. Pets welcome. Fishing allowed.
Rall Woods State Natural Area
280 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing. Area has native hilltop prairies and views of the Mississippi River.
Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve
This nature reserve is the perfect place to bring the family. Hike 450 natural acres, home of nine Illinois endangered or threatened plants and animals. Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve is The Prairie State's 150th nature preserve.
Homer Lake Forest Preserve
Homer Lake Forest Preserve contains 892 acres for fishing, boating, hiking picnicking, cross-country skiing and sledding. Also available is an exciting Homer Lake Interpretive Center, which hosts thousands every year through programs like "Homer Lake Take Me Fishing" and the unique Natural Playscape.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Lake of the Woods County Park is a 900-acre preserve that features an 18-hole regulation golf course, a 9-hole par 3 course and practice range, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding the Hi-Tower bell carillon and observation area, a 3.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian path, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, building rentals and various programs.
River Bend Forest Preserve
The 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve south of Mahomet contains approximately 130 acres of clear water in two lakes, one of which is the largest public lake in Champaign County, and includes 2.5 miles of forest along the Sangamon River.
Makanda Inn B&B
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest this new inn is located just 1/2 mile south of the Makanda Boardwalk, adjacent to the Giant City State Park and only 15 minutes south of Southern Illinois University. Featuring four guest rooms, each designed for privacy & comfort. This eco-friendly lodging establishment features peaceful settings with modern touches ideal for business travel, romance, adventure seekers, wine lovers, and SIU Alumni, parents and visitors.
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour consists of eight zip lines, the longest stretching more than 1,100 feet, which will zig-zag across the property’s bluffs and through the valley. The tour also includes 11 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest stretching 180 feet, and two short ground hikes. A canopy tour is an exciting way to experience the flora, fauna, geology and history of the outdoors by safely traversing an established route of ziplines and aerial bridges between platforms built in the trees, and they are just plain fun!
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson - Naperville
143 tasteful guest rooms situated in Naperville's high tech corridor, offering comfort and convenience. Meeting space available. Full service restaurant, lounge, and room service.
Sample craft beer from Midwestern microbreweries at this zero-waste event presented by Seven Generations Ahead. Join us in Downtown Oak Park August 15th from 3-7 p.m.
Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon on Highway 2. The 2,000-acre park includes rock formations, ravines, and unique northern plant associations. In one valley, 27 different types of ferns have been identified. A sandstone bluff, adjacent to the river, has given the park its name. Picnic area amenities include tables, shelters, grills, toilets, drinking water and playground equipment. Six miles of marked hiking trails have been developed, and a public boat ramp/parking facility is located across from the park's main entrance.
Lowden State Park
One of the most picturesque sites along the Rock River is just north of Oregon in Ogle County. The bluffs are graced with a majestic image of an American Indian gazing over the Rock River Valley. This is no ordinary statue. It is a 50 foot, concrete-reinforced wonder that is awe-inspiring. A tribute to all Native Americans, but more commonly associated with Chief Black Hawk, the statue was designed by sculptor Lorado Taft. You can enjoy many wonderful views of the Rock River from the park, but the best view of the statue is from IL Rt. 2.
Art Garden of Palos Heights
Visit the Art Garden which features outdoor sculptures & eco-friendly gardens. Murals & sculptures are also displayed in the Downtown Business District adjacent to the Art Garden.
Mendota Hills Wind Farm
The largest commercial wind farm in Illinois features 63 towering windmills that are an awesome sight to see, and generate an alternative source of electric power.
Clayville Spring Festival
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstration, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, with food and refreshments. Enjoy period music and audience participation entertainment throughout the weekend in an 1820's pioneer village.
Peace of Earth Lodge
Peace of Earth (an eco-friendly lodging experience) offers you the chance to relax and enjoy nature in a comfortable homey atmosphere in all seasons of the year. Guest rooms, cabins, and the ever-popular Tree House include queen-sized beds and a sitting/ reading area. All our lodging accommodations are television, telephone and internet free. Our great room in the Lodge includes a common area and dining room, both of which feature amazing wildlife viewing through the south-facing forty-foot-long window wall. Cedar decks wrap the Lodge and offer tree-top dining or relaxing. Take Highway 24 north of Rushville Middle School to Route 4 (Ray Road). Lodge is mailbox 41 on Ray Road.
Spring Valley Nature Center/ Volkening Heritage Farm
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
Lincoln's Ghost Walks - Legends and Lore
Take a 90-minute nighttime tour of sites throughout Springfield that are linked to spirited stories about Lincoln’s life and death. Founder Garret Moffett based the tour partly on local lore about Lincoln’s visions and dreams, as well as on reported ghost sightings.
Lincoln: History to Hollywood
“Lincoln: History to Hollywood,” an exhibition of sets, costumes and props from the Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” has opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Items of note in the exhibit include Lincoln’s office set, a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, Lincoln’s gloves, Tad Lincoln’s tin soldiers, and the rocking chair where President Lincoln sat with Tad. Most of the furniture pieces in the exhibit are antiques from the Civil War era, not reproductions. The exhibits are on long-term loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum features more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theatres and historic displays that takes visitors on a journey from Lincoln’s humble beginnings through his Presidency. The “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” exhibit will be located in Union Station, across the street from the presidential museum.
Wards Grove Nature Preserve
Wards Grove is the best “mound forest” remaining in the Driftless Area. 335 protected acres of woodlands with populations of sensitive plant and animal species.
Apple River Canyon State Park - Thompson/Salem Units
This 1,150 acre area allows hunting, fishing; no boating/biking. See postings/fact sheets at registration. Sign in/out at lots #1 or #2. The vegetative cover at the site is a mixture of steep timbered slopes and bluffs with grassland, row crops and hay fields predominate on ridge tops. The topography can be severe especially bordering the Apple River.
University of Illinois Arboretum
The University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs of several units throughout campus. Central to the Arboretum was the development of the "All American Selection Trial Gardens" established by a bequest from Miles C. Hartley in the early 90s. Other highlights of the Arboretum include the Welcome Garden, Hosta Garden, Kari Walkway and native ponds plantings, the Idea Garden, sponsored by Champaign County Master Gardeners, and the Japanese Tea and Dry Gardens at the Japan House.
Green Box Boutique
Green Box Boutique is the store with unique and earth-friendly gifts for friends, family, or for yourself! Browse our Products and learn more about what we have to offer. We are located on the Square, at the heart of Woodstock, IL.
Hampton Inn Yorkville
77 guest rooms, including single-room and whirlpool suites, indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness room, business center, On the House™ hot breakfast, meeting space and free wired and wireless Internet. Near Raging Waves Waterpark, Yorkville canoe/kayak chute and more.
Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
A pool of clear bubbling water which sparkles like silver on sunny days provides the basis for the name of Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area. Even on extremely cold days, this pool does not freeze, and visitors marvel at the bordering beds of watercress. Majestic oaks and prairie grasslands provide a panorama of natural beauty to park visitors. The Fox River runs through this picturesque area which is also home to several small manmade lakes. A natural prairie restoration project gives visitors a feeling of the original landscape with native wildflowers, songbirds, waterfowl and upland game. Picnicking, fishing and hiking are popular pastimes in summer, with ice fishing, sledding, ice skating and cross-country ski trails available for the winter sports lover. For relaxing, exercising or just enjoying nature, Silver Springs is the perfect get away location.