Step Back in Time at Illinois' Historical Destinations

in Arts & Culture, Activities
November 02, 2012

| words

Have you ever wanted a time machine to transport you back to the past? Forget the time machine! Instead, take a trip to Illinois’ remarkable destinations surviving the test of time, such as Galena, Bishop Hill or Arthur. Stroll down old-fashioned main streets, unwind at remarkable bed and breakfasts, and discover hidden gems at antique shops. Illinois’ historical towns offer visitors a glimpse of the past and an escape from everyday stressors. Plan your trip today on

Bishop Hill

Bishop Hill is a charming 19th century Swedish settlement that looks as it did when the town’s first inhabitants arrived.  Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the picturesque town features historic museums, antique shops and quaint eateries. Visit Bishop Hill for Julmarknad, a large Christmas market deep rooted in Scandinavian customs dating back to the middle ages. Julmarknad will take place November 23-25 and December 1-2. When in town, check out the Bishop Hill Colony Store to experience an old time mercantile and pick up gourmet Swedish food and souvenirs. Also, make sure to stop by the Bishop Hill Colony Bakery and indulge in the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked bread and cookies. 


European-style Galena, located on the banks of the great Mississippi River, is a quaint retreat complete with historic sites, beautiful vineyards and an abundance of charming bed and breakfasts. Galena’s Main Street is one of the most historic streets in the Midwest, featuring over 100 storefronts that boast art galleries, rustic antique stores, eclectic boutique shops and world renowned cuisine. Visit Galena during the holiday season and take part in Old Fashioned Christmas in Galena celebrations. Festivities include the Arrival of Santa and Lighting of Tree on November 23, animated Living Windows displays on December 8 and the magical Night of Luminaria on December 15.


Experience Illinois Amish Country in charming Arthur, a community home to more than 3,000 Amish residents and hundreds of countryside businesses. Visitors can experience the simple life and discover antique treasures, homemade craft stores, and family-run bakeries. The town’s spectacular holiday season is a great time to visit the charming community. Celebrations kick off on November 17 with the arrival of Santa and holiday parade. Special activities include horse drawn Amish buggy rides and a reindeer petting area. While in town, start your holiday shopping under the gas lamps lining the downtown shops and pick up delicious homemade treats, perfect for holiday gifts.


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