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The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail features 12 award-winning wineries located along a 25-mile scenic drive along highway 127 and highway 51 in the Shawnee National Forest. Along the way have a picnic, go on a hike, visit a shop, and stay in a cozy B&B or cabin. Many of the wineries host special events throughout the summer and fall.
The new Fashion Outlets of Chicago is an unparalleled shopping environment, where fashion meets art and fine dining! Shop over 130 designer outlets, including Tory Burch, Coach, Prada, Bloomingdales The Outlet Store and Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Located just minutes from O’Hare International Airport.
Experience Illinois wine at Galena Cellars and celebrate a 30 year tradition of family winemaking. Located just a short drive from downtown Galena, Galena Cellars Vineyard--A Lawlor Family Winery--provides an escape to the country and a breathtaking view. Enjoy wine tasting, from your choice of 40 different varietals, while relaxing on the comfortable wrap-around deck of the charming farmhouse turned Tasting Room, and learn how the twenty-two varieties of grapes grown in the rich soil and unique terroir found there go from vine to award-winning wine. Meet winemaker Christine Lawlor and chat with the knowledgeable and friendly tour guides as you tour the state-of-the-art facility and partake in a sensory program designed to help you fully experience wine tasting with all of your senses. In love with the vineyard? Stay a little longer at the Vineyard Suite or Country Farmhouse. Or imagine celebrating your special day in this scenic setting. Special arrangements are gladly catered to for engagements, showers, weddings, family reunions, meetings and group tours. The vineyard is open daily May through October and weekends or Saturdays only November through March. Special events at the vineyard include Wine Lovers’ Weekend in March, Fall Harvest and Art Festival in September, and Nouveau Wine Weekend in November. Honored with more than 1,000 awards from competitions throughout the world, the Lawlor Family looks forward to raising a glass with you and sharing their passion for Illinois wine.
Located in downtown Champaign, Blind Pig brews its own craft beers. With its beautiful wood interior, casks full of local brews and friendly locals, this bar is a must-see. When the weather is nice, venture outside and enjoy the large outdoor beer garden.
Geneva’s Festival of the Vine provides plenty of good wine, good food and good fun for the whole family! Taste wines from around the world. Sample mouth-watering specialties at our Flavor Fare. Find unique gifts at our incredible Fine Arts and Crafts show. The Festival of the Vine is a great fall getaway. We hope you can make it!
Anchoring the eastern end of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, our winery offers you "The Romance of Italy in the Hills of Southern Illinois". We are open year-round, 7 days a week, to provide great Illinois wine. Please join us for wine tasting, a variety of hearty sandwiches, soups, pizzas, and snacks, as well as wine-alternatives such as beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Come enjoy our large indoor seating area and two beautiful outdoor terraces that overlook our vineyard and the rolling countryside.
Find impressive savings at 140 designer and name-brand outlet stores, such as Ann Taylor, Armani, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, SAKS Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Theory, Vera Bradley and more. A recent expansion will bring additional stores in the spring of 2016 making this even more of a Midwest Shopping destination! In Aurora, 37 miles west of Chicago.
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.
Another exciting year of entertainment at the Ravinia Festival. With a variety of performances, there is something for everyone. Choose from artists like Tony Bennett, Duran Duran, Phillip Phillips, Train and Andy Grammer, Dolly Parton, Don Henley and many more. Please visit the website for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets. Bring a picnic or pick up a complete picnic spread at one of the on-site restaurants or kiosks and sit back and enjoy the show.
Take a drive out to the orchards and buy in-season strawberries, peaches and apples. Flamm's Fruits & Cream Stand offers treats like homemade strawberry shortcake, cobblers, apple dumplings and pies.
Fall: festival with haunted house, corn maze, farm animals, and more. Spring/Summer: large selection of annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, trees, shrubs, aquatic plants, roses, planters, and gourmet food items. Admission is free - cost for some activities.
Nestled in the Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois, sits Alto Vineyards, the region’s oldest, most award-winning winery. Founded in 1988 by Guy Renzaglia, Alto introduced a new industry to the area, starting a movement that has altered its landscape. Today, Alto Vineyards shares the region with 11 other wineries along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, in the state’s first federally recognized grape-growing region, known as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). While continuing to produce some of Illinois’ finest wine, Alto opened a new tasting room in Champaign, IL, and began distributing throughout the state and surrounding regions. Celebrating 25 years in business in 2013, Alto constructed a new, modern tasting room next to the vineyard in Alto Pass. Resting atop the new facility lies an outdoor deck for customers to take in the view on one of southern Illinois’ oldest vineyards – a truly breathtaking sight that exemplifies the beauty of the Shawnee National Forest and Illinois wine country. We invite you to visit our winery and tasting rooms to experience the tradition of Alto Vineyards.
Each October the streets of Downtown Mt. Vernon are packed and overflowing with friends and families, live performances, incredible foods and celebrations of autumn. In its fifth year, the Mt. Vernon Fall Fest theme is "My Hometown." You'll see the theme permeating throughout the entire three-day festival where locals and visitors alike will feel at home in Mt. Vernon! Classic favorites return with exciting new events. The Tri-State Treasure Hunt, a new 5k for Special Olympics, a Car and Motorcycle Cruise-In and even a "Great Pumpkin Contest" will be held. Local brewers will be onsite throughout the weekend to offer tastings of their Southern Illinois crafts and wines. Fall Fest 2016 Presented by Continental Tire boasts a parade, expanded kid zone, fan favorite Paw Fest and Main Stage entertainment every day!
Discover cute boutiques housed in historic storefronts in downtown Champaign, including antique and consignment shops. Be sure to stop at PACA’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse, where you’ll find everything from vintage stained glass to ceramic tiles.
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Annual German celebration featuring live music, kids games, wiener dog races and lots of food and beverages.
The oldest and largest continuously operating winery in Illinois producing more than 50 varietals and 25,000 cases of award-winning wines each year. Come in for a tour and tasting to experience the finest vintages, gourmet cuisine, and luxurious lodging. Tasting room and gift shop open daily. Complimentary tours on weekends. Gift shop featuring wine-related items, specialty gift baskets, glassware, and elegant home decor. Visit our website for events throughout the year including our renowned Oktoberfest.
Located in the quaint river town of Grafton Illinois along the Great River Road Scenic Byway, the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus overlooks the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Nestled among the river bluffs, our winery offers great views of the river for every season. Come join us for dinner with soup, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and pasta dishes. Private parties & banquets are welcome.
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.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. This week long festival will include midway rides and games, live music from award winning artists, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Experience a bit of Napa Valley in Central Illinois. Visit the winery, tasting room and gift shop. Enjoy the panoramic view available for weddings, receptions and meetings.
Visit Illinois Sparkling Co. tasting room at the August Hill Winery and experience locally-made handcrafted wines. Wine tastings and flights, wine gifts & accessories, gallery of local art, outdoor patio, private events.
Come tour the winery, visit the tasting room and outdoor wine garden, featuring award-winning wines made in the Illinois River Valley. Open everyday!