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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.
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.
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 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.
More than 35 miles of scenic trails, from Aurora to Crystal Lake, pass through scenic landscapes. Active travelers enjoy biking, hiking, jogging and cross-country skiing. Nature-seekers enjoy bird watching and tranquil vegetation. Routes include the Fox River, Virgil Gilman and Red Oak Trails, and the Illinois Prairie Path.
Explore the acres of woods and lakes, with scenic trails, shelters and beautiful views of Aurora and surrounding areas. Premier example of environmental restoration and a fine national oasis in an urban setting. This forest preserve has a 55-acre lake/marsh complex that provides excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking and wildlife observation. Hill suitable for winter sledding, strength training or kite-flying.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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!
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.
Taste soft reds, crisp whites, and luscious fruit wines all made 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 help throughout the year including vineyard tours, festivals, and wine and food pairings. A small private room is available for showers, parties, and meetings. Visit their website to learn more about Famous Fossil wines or upcoming events. Open: June thru December: Daily: 11 am to 6 pm; January thru May: Wednesday thru Saturday: 11 am to 6 pm; Sunday: Noon to 5 pm.
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.
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.