A cozy winter getaway in Illinois is about finding the right mix of winter adventure and good, old-fashioned relaxation. These five places offer ample opportunities for both.
Situated within the confines of Galena’s old jail building, this gracious lodging is your perfect winter getaway. Each Jail Hill Inn Suite offers a luxurious king size bed with fine linens and pillows, ornate gas fireplaces and bathrooms with either a steam shower or bubble massage tub. Enjoy a wonderful reception of wine and cheese upon your arrival, and in your suite, you will find chocolates and chilled champagne. After a great night’s rest, enjoy a 3-course, gourmet breakfast that can even be delivered to your room.
Called “deliciously rustic” by the New York Times, Irish Hollow is located on 500 rolling acres in the Galena countryside. The accommodations include rooms at the historic inn, as well as private English-style cottages with beautiful gardens. Indulge in a massage or hike the miles of trails that pass by a 1,300-acre nature preserve. Irish Hollow is known for its gourmet country breakfasts and dinners made with seasonal ingredients from its own organic gardens. While you're in the area, be sure to peruse the variety of shopping and dining on Galena's Main Street.
Pack your bags for a stay at Chestnut Mountain Resort, a ski-in, ski-out lodge, in Galena. This hotel invites you to warm up in the sauna, grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, and beat the high score in the arcade game room. While you're visiting, venture outside and carve up the fresh powder on the slopes, which are just feet away from the lodge. Boasting the largest terrain park in the Midwest, the ski resort features more than 25 rails and 19 runs. Pull some tricks and get some air on the ramps or shred down the black diamond trails.
Stay in the heart of the great outdoors with reservations at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center. Choose a room in the lodge or go for a cabin, and then sip hot cocoa at the Veranda with a view of the state park. The accommodation also features a café, lounge, and dining room, which are perfect for unwinding after exploring the local trails. During your visit, tap into your adventurous side, and ice climb the waterfalls in the state park. Climbers must sign in and out at the park maintenance building. See full rules & regulations at the end of this article. If the conditions aren’t right for ice climbing, cross country ski in the picnic area, winter hike, or simply check out the frozen waterfalls.
Don’t let a little chill in the air keep you from venturing to Illinois this winter. You know what they say, “there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing,” so wrap up tight and get ready for a winter wonderland in the “Prairie State.”
Giant City Lodge, Makanda/Shawnee National Forest
Enjoy Southern Illinois' hospitality at its absolute best! The 34 lodgings offered at Giant City State Park include 12 one-room and duplex cabins nestled in the bluffs near the lodge, featuring a living room and deck overlooking the woods below. An outdoor swimming pool is on site. Giant City Lodge's full-service restaurant features a popular all-you-can eat chicken dinner.
*Ice Climbing is allowed at the park. Climbers must bring their own equipment and have experience ice climbing. Ice climbers climb at their own risk. It is up to the ice climbers to sign in at a self check in station located at the Park Maintenance building off the park road across from the Visitor Center. Sign in sheets as well as rules and regulations are usually posted by January 1st dependent on winter weather conditions. The DNR does not test the ice or post the suitability for climbing, it is up to the climbers themselves. For safety reasons climbers must have a partner to climb-no one can climb alone. Ice climbing is only allowed between 7 a.m. and dusk at the park, all climbers must be off the trail before dark. Due to on-going damage and creation of unauthorized trails, ice climbing will now be restricted to the following canyons/ice falls: Wildcat, LaSalle, and Ottawa Canyons. Climbing outside of these designated areas could result in a fine. The natural resources of the park canyons such as the fragile sandstone must be protected. Climbers cannot impact the sandstone with riggings, ice cleats, crampons, ice picks, rope, or other harmful climbing equipment. All equipment must touch the ice/ice falls only. No other type of rock climbing or scaling the rock walls or formations is allowed at either Starved Rock or Matthiessen State Parks. For more information please refer to the Illinois Department of National Resources.