Archive for  March 2014

Home / March 2014
4 Posts

If you’re looking to spend a relaxing weekend away from home, The Senator’s Inn is a great Illinois destination for you.

Located in Savoy, a quaint town in the state’s Land of Lincoln region, the Inn is a retreat to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In fact, the innkeeper asks that all cell phones be turned off when guests enter the inn to ensure peace and tranquility.

Inn guests can feel pampered with a variety of spa services on location, like deep tissue and hot stone massages. Nothing says relaxation like a weekend away and a trip to the spa – all in one place!

Not only is The Senator’s Inn relaxing, but it also is a trip back in time. The Inn’s building itself, built in 1915, tells its own story through its rich history. It was once the mansion of Senator Harry Dunlap, and the original house on its property belonged to his father, Matthias Dunlap. Matthias Dunlap was a horticulturist and a long-time columnist for the Chicago Democratic Press, and later, the Chicago Tribune. It is rumored that Abraham Lincoln visited the Inn and that the Inn was also used as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The Inn is only 2.5 miles from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Spend a day touring the beautiful campus and explore nature at its best at the university’s arboretum.  If arts and culture is your fancy, see local and internationally recognized artists at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.


Other attractions worth checking out in the area include the Wandell Sculpture Garden in Meadowbrook Park, featuring creative art sculptures across 22 acres of land, and The Art Theater, a historic cinema in downtown Champaign.

-The Illinois Office of Tourism


One of the most picturesque sights to see is flowers in bloom in Illinois, particularly in the Trails to Adventure region. Across the southern part of the state, wildflower hikes are a great way to explore the beauty of nature in spring. To help navigate you through the flower trails, the Southern Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society has produced a guide featuring spring hikes in southern Illinois – perfect for nature lovers.

One of the highlighted trails is Trillium Trail. Named for its lovely white and purple trilliums that occur below the bluff among the large boulders, Trillium Trail in Grant City State Park is two miles of breathtaking flowers, including harbinger-of-spring, spring beauties and toothwort, among others.

Another featured trail is the Little Grand Canyon Trail in the Shawnee National Forest. At four miles, this hike is more vigorous, yet beautifully scenic, displaying some of the most unique sandstone ravines in the state.

If you would like to explore even more nature in southern Illinois, visit one of the state parks like Giant City State Park, which features horseback riding, a lookout tower, cabins, and a swimming pool. Or stroll along the Ohio River and explore a cave at Cave-in-Rock State Park.

-The Illinois Office of Tourism

Did you know you can enjoy the great outdoors from indoors in Illinois? The Quad City Botanical Center, located in Great Rivers Country’s Rock Island, is a natural oasis dedicated to bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.

Doughnut Vault

The outdoor beauty of nature at Quad Cities Botanical Center can be experienced from indoors.

The Botanical Center’s indoor tropical atrium, open year-round, is one of the features of the Center that makes it so great. It provides the opportunity for visitors to see hundreds of plants 365 days a year, ranging from tropical varieties to regional zone five perennials. The Center also has a number of exotic tropical flowers, a 14-foot waterfall and reflecting pools with koi.

Quad City Botanic Center, Rock Island

The Center is not only a place to see the beauty of nature, but it’s also an educational opportunity as well. Families, groups, and schools can schedule guided tours and attend events to maximize the experience at the Center. There are also a number of programs for children and art exhibits available for visitors throughout the year. Each exhibit gives guests of the Center opportunities to meet and greet the artists behind the displays.

For even more Quad Cities attractions and to plan your spring trip to the Quad City Botanical Center, check out

-The Illinois Office of Tourism

There’s no place that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day quite like Illinois and the Chicago & Beyond region of the state is no exception. From the city to the surrounding towns, Chicago & Beyond is green with Irish spirit.

The dyeing of the river green attracts visitors from all over for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

The dyeing of the river green attracts visitors from all over for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

Chicago honors the holiday each year with its St. Patrick’s Day Parade and dyeing of the Chicago River, a unique tradition of coloring the river green. Visitors from all over the world visit the city for the weekend-long celebration to revel in the holiday spirit and see the river transform to a vibrant emerald color.

Another renowned and fun-filled holiday celebration takes place in downtown Elmhurst, located just west of Chicago. The city hosts its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which has grown over the years to become the second largest parade in the region.

Elmhurst’s annual event features the usual suspects many would expect at most parades, including floats, marching units and animated characters. However, the events that follow are anything but ordinary! Leprechauns, clowns, jugglers, and bagpipe players add a special twist to the parade, creating festive memories for Elmhurst residents and visitors alike.

In addition to the parade, fun continues with music, food, and other entertainment. If you visit Elmhurst for this year’s parade, be sure to check out the Elmhurst’s Historical Museum  as well, located in Glos Mansion, the former home of Elmhurst’s first village president, Henry L. Glos, and his wife, Lucy. It offers exciting programs for all ages throughout the year.

For a complete list of St. Patrick’s Day events in Illinois, click here.

-The Illinois Office of Tourism