Archive for  March 2010

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9 Win a free getaway package tomorrow

Michigan Ave by dvhunter

The most beautiful day Chicago has seen this year is about to get even better when the Illinois Office of Tourism gives away five getaway packages tomorrow afternoon.

Iconic characters from across Illinois will be enjoying the day on Michigan Avenue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Spot as many as you can and take a photo with them, then e-mail the photo(s) to enjoyillinois@gmail.com and we’ll put them on our Facebook page in an album called “There is a Place.” Just tag yourself in each photo and you’ll be entered to win a free getaway! Each photo you appear in and tag is worth one chance to win.

We’ll notify five winners one week after the event via e-mail or Facebook, so stay tuned! You can also check out our Facebook page for more information. Hope to see you on Michigan Avenue tomorrow starting at 11:30.

– Enjoy Illinois Team


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10 White Deer in the southlands

© Argonne National Laboratory

Don’t be shocked if you see white deer as you hike through the thousands of acres of forest preserves in the Chicago Southland.

The deer haven’t seen a ghost, they’re simply a non-native species of fallow deer, which originally come from North Africa and Europe, introduced into the Southland region many years ago. Some people in these parts call them the “Albino Deer,” but they’re really fallow deer.

Two forests in the Southland contain fallow deer, Argonne National Laboratory – East (Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve) and Sweet Woods in Glenwood, but they roam around a lot, so hikers and bikers have seen them in other places as well.

Keep your eyes open for the Chicago Southland’s White Deer!

– Bob Lukens
Bob is the public relations manager at the Chicago Southland CVB


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11 the gardens of allerton park

The Manor House at Allerton Park

In a wooded valley, flanking the Sangamon River just west of Monticello sits Robert Allerton Park. Donated to the state and under the guidance of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this over 1,000 acres of woodlands and meadows has at its heart a 10 acre complex of manicured gardens, reflecting pools and wonderful sculptures, in various mediums.

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12 in the wright frame of mind

Photo by Rui Borges

When I moved to one of the top five “sexiest suburbs”, as Oak Park was declared a couple years ago, I had good intentions of touring the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio as soon as possible. After all, who is sexier than Frank Lloyd Wright?

But as weeks went by and I watched the streams of interlopers flock to Frank’s homestead, the tour became a turn-off to me.  “I’m a resident,” I would think arrogantly to myself, “I am way too cool to visit such a tourist trap.”

Finally, a couple years ago my visitor from Pennsylvania revealed his obsession with all things Wright and asked me to accompany him to Wright’s home.

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13 Henry Ford was here

Ford Hangar, photo by Bob Lukens

In the mid-1920s, auto magnate Henry Ford bought 1,400 acres of land and constructed an air strip in Lansing, Ill. where he hoped to mass-produce the Ford Tri-Motor, a workhorse three-motor airplane used for commercial aviation and passenger flights by fledgling airlines.  Located in what now is Lansing Municipal Airport, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart are said to have used Lansing Municipal – and probably the Ford Hangar – in the early days of flight to promote air travel as a fast and safe alternative to train and automobile travel.

The Great Depression scuttled Ford’s plans for the Tri-Motor (only 199 were built), but the Ford Hangar lives on to this day at Lansing Municipal. It’s a working hangar and currently home of Associated Air Activities.

Visitors can see the Ford Hanger – which is now on the National Register of Historic Places – by stopping at the airport or going to www.associatedair.com. The airport also contains an interesting Veteran’s Memorial and a restaurant, Shannon’s Landing, where visitors can see planes landing and taking off while dining.

The Commemorative Air Force’s Great Lakes Wing operates a restored Douglas C-47, The Black Sparrow, out of Lansing Municipal. Rides are available during the summer; see the CAF website for details.

– Bob Lukens
Bob is the public relations manager at the Chicago Southland CVB

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