Skip to main content
Shedd Aquarium
Starry night.

A Starry Night in Champaign County

From Local Experts

3 Days 153 Miles


Penfield, Rantoul, Champaign, Urbana, Monticello

from the local experts at Visit Champaign County

If you're ready for an amazing weekend, then the greater Champaign County area is calling!

A visit to our Outside of Ordinary area has something for everyone, including world-class food, outdoor and agricultural adventures, and a weekend trip you won't soon forget.

Day 1:

Penfield, Rantoul and Champaign

  • Apples on Apple Tree.

Day one is going to get you underneath the stars in a way you've never seen them before. Camping at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve is a truly remarkable sight thanks to being Illinois' first International Dark Sky Park. This makes stargazing and a night spent out in nature truly unforgettable. During the day, venture out to Curtis Orchard for apple picking, delicious apple donuts and an amazing meal at their cafe. Then, stop Hardy's Reindeer Ranch to get lost in, and hopefully conquer, their massive corn maze. Return to your campsite just in time to see the stars and rest up for day two.

Day 2:

Champaign, Urbana

  • Two baby goats in a barn.

On day two, explore why Champaign-Urbana is Midwest Living's Best Midwest Food Town with a number of incredible restaurants in Downtown Champaign within walking distance from your stay at the Hyatt Place. After a meal, head to Urbana and Riggs Beer Company, where you can enjoy a spacious outdoor area with plenty of room to distance and enjoy locally brewed beer. Then, stop by Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery for fresh cheese and a visit with the farm's adorable goats. Finish off your day with a stop at Jarling's Custard Cup for dessert, recently rated in the top 10% of restaurants worldwide by Traveler's Choice.

Day 3:

Monticello, Urbana and Champaign

  • Allerton Park path with pillar statues on each side.

For the final day of your visit to the greater Champaign County area, stop for brunch right outside your Day 2 hotel at Big Grove Tavern in Downtown Champaign. Fuel up because you're set to explore Allerton Park and Retreat Center today, full of picturesque formal gardens and wonderful walking trails. After your day of outdoor adventure, return to Urbana for mouth-watering BBQ at Black Dog Smoke & Ale House and then retire to a wonderful stay at Sylvia's Irish Inn, built in 1895, and modeled after the Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture.

Back to Road Trip Itineraries

More recommendations

Where to next?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get inspired by top travel stories, gain access to exclusive promotions and contests, and discover even more reasons to #EnjoyIllinois.