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McHenry County Conservation District manages over 25,000 acres of diverse woodlands, wetlands and prairie. Explore outdoor recreational opportunities, programs and special events at 33 sites.
The City of Aurora and Zagster, Inc. launched a new bike-share program that will provide Aurora visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town. 18 cruiser bikes are available at three downtown stations for riders to use for on-demand, local trips. Stations are located at RiverEdge Park - 360 Broadway Ave., Aurora City Hall - 44 E. Downer Place and Santori Public Library of Aurora - 101 S. River Street. This initiative creates new opportunities for visitors to experience the Aurora Area from a different vantage point and see it in a whole new light.
Come hug an aged oak tree, watch the cranes in their early morning graze or search out the scarlet cardinal flowers. Listen to nature's whisper.
Sugar Grove Nature Center is located in beautiful, historic Funks Grove among over 1,000 acres of forest and prairie. Funks Grove is the largest remaining intact prairie grove in the state of Illinois and is a designated National Natural Landmark. Visitors will enjoy interpretive exhibits, live animals and a wildlife viewing room as well as access to 5 miles of hiking trails. The Imagination Grove Nature Play Area welcomes children to explore, tromp in the creek, climb a tree, ride a zip line and more. A picnic shelter, astronomy observatory, blacksmith forge, corn crib prairie lookout, variety of gardens and many other features help to make Sugar Grove Nature Center a beautiful and unique place. Visit the website to learn more about special events and programs.
Jaci’s Cookies is a gourmet cookie company based in Woodstock, IL. Open since Halloween of 2008, Jaci’s Cookies offers delicious versions of classic cookie favorites. Jaci’s also offers a variety of cookies catering to those with dietary restrictions, such vegan and gluten-free.
The Blossom White B & B located on a wooded property in Nauvoo, IL hosts an all adult getaway, offering 4 rooms for adults 18 and over. Enjoy only organic, homemade meals. Serving each evening a homemade dessert and hot chocolate refreshment. An all hot breakfast is served each day along with dinner packages available. Guests will enjoy the onsite library, three season room and all en-suite rooms.
Come celebrate life on the Mississippi River through art, music, and conservation! The event will kick-off with a river clean-up beginning at 9 a.m. The festival is part of a statewide celebration of our rivers and an opportunity to learn more about the environmental issues in our region and solutions. The festival will feature informational booths on ecology, native plants & animals and recycling, as well as arts & crafts, food vendors, litter clean-ups, organized hikes & bike rides, and live music! Free admission. For more information, including contests, activities, and music schedules, please visit www.facebook.com/EathtonesFestival.
Anju Above promises to make Farm to Table dining more accessible by offering seasonally sensitive, locally grown cuisine in a fast and casual setting. Anju Above's menu features classic Neapolitan pizzas, sushi specifically created for the Midwestern palate, Asian dumplings, and a modern and interactive bar. Our purpose is to blend internationally inspired small dishes with socially responsible farming techniques to create a fast and fun, farm fresh experience for our guests.
Shop Aurora's Farmers Market for seasonal favorites! Join neighbors and enjoy the familiar flavors and weekly surprises. Illinois' oldest continually-running market, proudly celebrating area history and heritage. Each week with their Healthy Growing Initiative, your shopping experience includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the opportunity to discover unique handcrafts, homemade breads and pastries, specialty meats, artisan cheeses, and beautiful flowers. Pick up your farm fresh produce for the week - and plan to spend some time savoring the sweetness of locally-made baked goods, snacking on fresh popcorn, or tasting delicious hot donuts! The City of Aurora Farmers Markets are more than a place to get your vegetables. An excellent way to kick off your Saturday morning with a mini-festival of socializing, food, music and much more. Held Saturday mornings, June through October.
Lake View Nature Center is dedicated to bringing fun, hands-on environmental education and recreation opportunities to promote awareness and appreciation of the natural world. Learn and play with hands-on exhibits, live animals, fishing pond, and summer paddleboat rentals.
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.
At Patyk's Farm Market and Greenhouse, you will experience a true “working farm.” Freshly harvested, homegrown produce, handmade milk soap, farm fresh eggs, friendly farm animals, and beautiful flowers can be found on our little mom and pop farm. A growing variety of produce is harvested from our fields. Even the expertly crafted, decorative gourds that we display, courtesy of Outta My Gourd, were originally grown on our Hebron Prairie soil! We compliment our products only with the tastiest apples from Haf's Road Apple Orchard and the sweetest berries and peaches from Michigan. May 1st is always opening day for our greenhouse, which will be overflowing with colorful, blossoming annuals and perennials, sweet scented herbs, and ready-for-your-garden vegetable plants. Gorgeous hanging baskets are the perfect gift for Mother's Day or any other celebratory occasion! We're located on East Illinois Route 173 just 3 miles west of Route 12 in Richmond or 4 miles east of Route 47 in Hebron. Look for the big red barn and Patyk's welcoming entrance. Whether you're out for a drive in the country, antiquing in Richmond or Hebron, enjoying Lake Geneva, apple picking at a nearby orchard, or just looking for a genuine, honest to goodness small farm visit, stop by Patyk's Farm Market and Greenhouse. We'd love to get to know you!
Bed and breakfast: When you need something special, Esther’s Place is ready to indulge you and your friends with an experience that is refreshing and revitalizing! Their c.1895 Victorian style home is pristinely restored and full of beautifully detailed architecture; from elegant wood trims to exquisite stained glass windows and brass door furnishings for the fiber arts enthusiast.
Cruisin' Waves is proud to present to the public Go-Float electric boats. The Go-Float Electric Boat Company is based out of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and is another fine example of a manufacturer that makes a great product that is "Made in America." Open daily (weather permitting). June - Sept.
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 in the heart of Woodstock, IL.
Whimsical treehouse village for nightly rentals. Spend a relaxing, quiet night in a treehouse on 10 acres of secluded timber! Experience outdoor showers from the porch, Kitchenette, Wifi,pets welcome. Two treehouses available, 220 sq. ft Whitetail cabin sleeps 2-4, the Captains Quarters 400 sq. ft. sleeps 4-6. To book or look at availability visit www.vrbo.com. The most unique lodging in Western Illinois.
Nestled on the east bank of the Fox River, the Red Oak Nature Center is surrounded by 40 acres of lush forest and wildlife habitat – an ideal setting for visitors to learn about the great outdoors through direct interaction with nature. Free admission includes: Wildlife Room, Bee Room, Discovery Room, Devil's Cave, Observation Deck, Picnic Shelter and six wood-chip hiking trails. Open year-round. Red Oak Nature Center offers snowshoe rentals during regular operating hours from December to March when snow cover accumulates at least 3 inches on the ground.
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.
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.
Encompassed in 100 acres of lush greenery, Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus provides a serene setting for overnight retreats, meetings, team building, classes, and private/community events. Open year-round, the campus can accommodate groups of 12-200 guests. Facility highlights include one of the largest challenge courses in the state, culinary team building, farm workshops, comfortable housing/meeting spaces, sustainable dining options, a fire pit, basketball/ tennis courts, and hiking trails. Loyola is committed to maintaining the biodiversity of the campus and encourages sustainability, conservation, and restoration efforts.
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!
A tradition for over 25 years. Thousands of hand-pruned, organically grown firs, spruces, and pines in 9 varieties. Free horse-drawn wagon rides & Santa on weekends. Pets welcome
The newly transformed hotel creates the ideal ambience for your events. Easy access to I-88, 3 miles from Downtown Naperville, and just steps from delectable dining makes our hotel the perfect location for any occasion!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Relax in one of Hampton's 77 guest rooms. Stay in a single-room or whirlpool suite. Located near Raging Waves Waterpark, Marge Cline Whitewater Course, Silver Springs State Park, Whitetail Ridge Golf Course. Rooms feature a 37” flat screen TV, microwave and refrigerator and Clean and Fresh Bedding™. Other features include indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness room, business center, On the House™ hot breakfast, meeting space and free wired and wireless Internet.
Experience Native American mounds, prairie and the Apple River. Hike beginner trails. Pets welcome. Fishing allowed.
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.
Master architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe created the ultimate minimalist masterpiece, the Farnsworth House, in pastoral Plano. The stellar structure of floor-to-ceiling glass seemingly "floats" above the rambling Fox River. TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Winner 2015! Moonlight Tours: Experience Farnsworth House as the sun sets in the west. Evening tours are back by popular demand, occurring one Friday and Saturday a month from May to October. Tours begin at dusk. For more information and to book this exclusive tour, see our Moonlight Tours page of their web site.
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.
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.
280 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing. Area has native hilltop prairies and views of the Mississippi River.
This 260-acre timbered property provides public hunting areas, hiking and nature viewing.
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.
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.
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.
Effingham has four community parks. All offer baseball diamonds, play grounds, basketball courts and great areas for family picnics.
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.
Rocktown Adventures is a specialty outdoor retailer and adventure club. They offer sales, rentals, lessons, guided trips and related apparel for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. They also carry camping equipment, lifestyle apparel and transportation equipment. Rocktown's mission is to help you gear up and head out. They carry top equipment sold by knowledgeable staff. Their experienced instructors love to share their passion for the outdoors. The trip guides know the waterways and trails like the back of their hand. The shop is conveniently located near an abundance of recreational assets waiting to be discovered by you!
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.
Hike or bike into Buehler Preserve from Galena and experience the prairie life! Pets welcome. Fishing is allowed.
The Market is open from 7:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday morning from May through October. Located on the historic downtown square, the Farmers’ Market is managed by the Downtown Bloomington Association. Not only does the market give customers a colorful venue to buy locally grown farm products, it also puts them in touch with local artisans of prepared goods and fine arts, musicians, and community organizations. The Downtown Bloomington Association Farmers’ Market is a producer-only market offering a wide array of farm products — including vegetables, fruits, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants, herbs, and more grown and produced by the individual selling these items! The market features different musical performances each week. Cooking demos are offered regularly, and the Kids’ Zone has sponsors that offer weekly hands-on activities for all ages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 hosts 200+ events per year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Epiphany Farms Restaurant is committed to supporting, growing, and showcasing a thriving local food culture. We serve as an anchor for a network of local food producers by increasing community awareness of locally sourced ingredients, increasing interest in the culinary traditions of the Midwest, and providing a positive model for responsible stewardship of the land that nourishes us. Their "Farm to Fork" concept represents a concern for every step of the process linking the meal to the land that produced it. "Farm to Fork" means keeping money in the local economy and using only what the community can provide. It signifies attention to excellence: from the farmer raising the crops to the family sitting down in our dining room to share a meal together.
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).
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.
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.
230 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing and an historic railroad tunnel.
Whether you're interested in science or just fishing in the ponds near the buffalo herd you're welcome at Fermilab. Take a self-guided tour of the laboratory, the Art Gallery and science and educational displays. View the grounds from the 15th floor observation area. Visitors may also visit the Lederman Science Center. Performing arts and lectures. Groups welcome by appointment. Public tours are offered every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and as part of the Ask-a-Scientist event on the first Sunday of each month.
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.
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.
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.
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 name Famous Fossil was inspired by the many fossils emerging from the earth as grapevines were planted. Sculpted and reshaped over thousands of years, the rolling hills are now home to over 12 varieties of red and white wine grapes. You’ll taste Marquette, Frontenac and St. Croix in our red wines and LaCrescent, Traminette or our blend of Prairie Star, LaCrosse and Brianna in our whites. Looking for a sweet wine? You’ll fall in love with our Blackberry, Red Raspberry and our “pie-in-a-glass” Summer Rhubarb wine. Enjoy a glass of wine in our tasting room and snack on our delicious Sweet & Savory Plate filled with local cheeses, sausage, crackers and more. We’re open year round with events and festivals every month including painting classes with local artists, wagon tours through the vineyard, and our Fossil Fest in August and Garlic Fest in October. Our beautiful Oak Barrel Room overlooking our vineyard is available for parties, showers and meetings. So come see our vineyard, watch wine being made and taste the best of the Midwest at Famous Fossil Winery. Open daily from 11-6. Visit www.famousfossilwinery.com to learn more.
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.
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.
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.
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest this 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, and 3 cottages, 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.
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.
“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.
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.
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is Illinois’ first farmstead cheese making facility, founded in 2004. Visit this off the beaten path farm and learn about their cheese-making process and their “Animal Welfare Approved” Goat Dairy. Taste their delicious, award winning varieties of goat cheese and sample their amazing goat milk gelato and organic fruits. The farm is open weekdays for drop-in visitors to see the goats, walk the grounds and purchase farm products. During the summer, you can also visit the farm during Wednesday afternoon open houses. In addition to self-guided tours of the farm, you can get gelato by the scoop and purchase products from their farm as well as those from other farms and food artisans. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery also offers additional food events in the summer with Dinners on the Farm, Third Friday Pop-Ups, and tasting trail events. This is a working farm, so check their website for hours and activities before venturing out to the farm.
Scenic biking and hiking along a six-mile trail featuring views of the Galena River and towering bluffs.
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.
Fun for all ages. Ride your own sled down 2,050 feet of terrain-tailored track to the banks of the Mississippi.
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!
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show brings springtime to winter with its 20 lush gardens, beautiful and fragrant flowers, trees and other plants allowing “newbie” gardeners and experts alike to experience the latest the industry has to offer. Top garden builders create fresh designs, while nationally-known presenters teach visitors how to get that professional garden look. It's all happening at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Be among the first to see new plant varieties for 2017 and experience the newly-redesigned Navy Pier. Enjoy art, free kids activities, wine tastings, cooking demos from noted chefs, and a shopper's paradise of garden gadgets, jewelry, and more. Special rates available for groups.
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.
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.
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.