Known just as much for its farmlands and forests as for the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois has something great to offer almost every type of visitor. This includes an excellent selection of resorts. The choices range from peaceful nature retreats tucked away in the countryside to chic spa resorts found inside lofty Chicago high rise buildings. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Dana Hotel and Spa
2.Aerie's Lodging & Terrace Conference Centre
3.Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort
4.Illinois Resorts: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
5.Illinois Resorts: Eaglewood Resort & Spa
7.Herrington Inn & Spa
8.Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort
9.Resorts in Illinois: Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort
10.Illinois Resorts: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
11.Resorts in Illinois: Oak Terrace Resort & Spa
12.Quail Creek Country Club and Resort
13.The Champagne Lodge
14.The Peninsula Chicago
15.The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
18 Best Illinois Resorts
- Dana Hotel and Spa, Photo: Dana Hotel and Spa
- Aerie's Lodging & Terrace Conference Centre, Photo: Aerie's Lodging & Terrace Conference Centre
- Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, Photo: Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort
- Illinois Resorts: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Photo: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
- Illinois Resorts: Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Photo: Eaglewood Resort & Spa
- Goldmoor Inn, Photo: Goldmoor Inn
- Herrington Inn & Spa, Photo: Herrington Inn & Spa
- Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort, Photo: Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort
- Resorts in Illinois: Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort, Photo: Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort
- Illinois Resorts: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, Photo: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
- Resorts in Illinois: Oak Terrace Resort & Spa, Photo: Oak Terrace Resort & Spa
- Quail Creek Country Club and Resort, Photo: Quail Creek Country Club and Resort
- The Champagne Lodge, Photo: The Champagne Lodge
- The Peninsula Chicago, Photo: The Peninsula Chicago
- The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Photo: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
- WorldMark Galena, Photo: WorldMark Galena
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Nomad_Soul - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: University of Illinois Arboretum
Located in Champaign, Illinois, the University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory and public garden campus that offers a large plant collection and a number of research and public service programmings for the community. The original site for a planned arboretum facility on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus was integrated as part of the university’s campus master plan in 1867 and constructed in 1893 on the site of what is now the College of Engineering building.
Though the university maintained a small arboretum facility throughout the 20th century, featuring a rock garden and lily pond, the full design for the planned arboretum was not developed until the implementation of a new campus master plan in 1980. In 1990, the plan for a 160-acre fully-developed arboretum near Florida and Lincoln Avenues was approved by the campus, and in 1991, funds for the development of the first garden were donated by Miles C. Hartley. The first garden of the new arboretum, the Miles C. Hartley Garden, was dedicated and opened to the public in 1994, and in subsequent years, the arboretum was designated as a campus-wide collaborative project. Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, funding was received from a number of private donors for additional garden facilities.
Gardens and Attractions
Today, the University of Illinois Arboretum spans more than 57 acres on the university’s campus, offering a variety of public garden and living laboratory spaces for recreation, research, and university and community programming. As of 2018, the full 160-acre arboretum site, which is bordered by Florida and Lincoln Avenues, Windsor Road, and Orchard Downs, is still in development, with additional gardens and facilities added on a continuing basis. Plant collections within the garden facilities support teaching and research for a number of university departments and are labeled with information for community citizens to learn about native and non-native plant life.
Gardens at the facility include the Noel Welcome Garden, which was presented as a gift to the university by Richard and Rosann Noel. As an entrance to the arboretum facility, the welcome garden serves as a community gathering space, offering public benches, trellises, and sheltering foliage such as crabapple trees. The facility’s current centerpiece garden is the Miles C. Hartley Selections Garden, made possible by donations from the family and estate of former faculty member Miles C. Hartley. The garden serves as a showcase of winning specimens of native and non-native annuals, trees, and shrubs, including former All-America Selections and Fleuroselect award winners. Sunken garden spaces, pathways, and lathe houses within the garden provide a popular scenic setting for weddings, community gatherings, and other public and private special events.
The facility’s Ponds garden, originally developed in 1997, showcases a variety of native upland prairie and submergent wetland species, including more than 26,000 plantings of grasses, forbs, sedge, and rushes common to wetland ecosystems. Notable wetland plantings include monkey flowers, bulrush, American lotuses, water lilies, while notable prairie species showcased include purple coneflowers, smooth and New England asters, autumn sneezeweed, and sweet black-eyed Susans. A variety of wildlife also call the ponds home, including Canadian geese, turtles, frogs, koi, and a large number of species of birds. The Dr. Frank W. Kari Walkway, dedicated in 2012 in honor of the former Division of Nutritional Sciences faculty member, extends off of the ponds area, offering a ?-mile loop route and showcasing plants and trees native to the Illinois region.
The arboretum’s Sen Cherry Tree Allée, created as a joint vision between donor Genshitshu Sen and university faculty member Kimiko Guni, adjoins the Japan House tea room and Japanese studies facility, showcasing a variety of traditional Japanese cherry trees planted to reflect the teachings of the Urasenke Tradition of Chado. All trees are planted in arrangements to reflect the unique personality of each life form, according to Japanese tradition.Nearby, the arboretum’s Oak Grove serves as a popular wedding rental venue, offering a shaded canopy area and benches for relaxation. The American Hosta Society National Display Garden contains more than 100 registered hosta cultivars alongside a variety of native and non-native companion plants. A Master Gardener’s Idea Garden, developed in collaboration with the Master Gardeners of the Champaign County Extension Unit, also offers a variety of home gardening ideas and a children’s play area to introduce natural literacy concepts.
Ongoing Programs and Education
As an educational facility within the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, the arboretum is used as a living laboratory, hosting a variety of research projects connected to natural sciences departments within the university. Hands-on experiences with natural resources and horticulture are offered at the facility for university students and faculty members. A variety of community educational courses are also offered, including courses dedicated to native species, prairie species, and chainsaw training. The facility also serves as an event venue for university, community, and private special events, including use of the facility’s cross-country track for area 5K/10K runs and track meets. Several of the facility’s gardens may be rented for private special events, including weddings, reunions, and corporate events.
2001 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61802, Phone: 217-333-7579
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More Ideas: Haunted Trails Family Amusement
Located in Burbank, Illinois, Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park is a ghoulish and fantastical-themed family fun park offering amusement rides, miniature golf, go-karting tracks, and other family-friendly attractions.
Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park opened to the public in 1975 as a family fun and entertainment center serving Chicago’s South Side suburban region. Throughout the late 20th century, the park’s parent company, Trails Entertainment Center Corporation, opened a second Haunted Trails Entertainment Center in Joliet, along with an Enchanted Castle Restaurant and Entertainment Complex in Lombard. As one of the Chicago region’s premiere family entertainment centers, Haunted Trails’ miniature golf course has been voted as the “Best in Chicagoland” four times by area publications.
Rides and Attractions
Today, Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park is operated as a family fun park and entertainment center, offering a variety of rides, attractions, and games for visitors of all ages. The park is located on a 3.5-acre site in Burbank at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and 79th Street, serving as a major family entertainment center for Chicago’s South Side region. The park’s indoor attractions are open year round, with outdoor attractions operating at least April through November, though some attractions may open early or close late for the season depending on weather conditions. All attractions are individually priced, with rates for adults, seniors, and children offered.
Two go-kart tracks are offered at the park, including the Trails Raceway, which offers a full winding-track course for riders 54 inches or taller. A Junior Speedway course is also offered for young riders between the ages of four and nine, featuring kid-sized cars along a miniature track. The park’s award-winning miniature golf course features 18 holes designed around fantastical characters and themes. Batting cages are available for rates per bucket of balls or rentals per hour. Several amusement rides are also offered at the park, including a Miner Mike mine train junior roller coaster and a Crazy Cabs spinning teacup ride.
Indoor attractions at the park include the Lazer Frenzy indoor laser tag attraction, which challenges teams to complete a variety of group objectives while navigating laser beam webs. The park’s two Monsters’ Tomb Game Rooms offer more than 100 skill, sports, video, and other types of redemption games. All games operate on the park’s FUN Card system, with play rates varying by machine. Prize tickets won from games may be brought to the park’s prize redemption center for exchange for a variety of prizes, including giant plush toys, board games, electronic toys, candy, and sports memorabilia.
The park’s Charmin’ Charley’s restaurant offers a variety of standard American fare options, including homemade pizzas made with 100% real mozzarella cheese. Specialty wraps and sandwiches are offered, along with classic American appetizers, entrees, salads, and desserts. A children’s menu is offered, and Pepsi and Icee drinks are served. Pizza and Play specials are offered at the restaurant on weekdays, offering a large pizza, pitcher of soda, and $40 in game play at the park’s arcades. The 150-seat restaurant offers a party room area and outdoor seating on a patio overlooking the park’s outdoor attractions.
Ongoing Programs and Events
In addition to standard visitor information, group programs are offered at Haunted Trails, including special rates and programming for school, scouting, church, and community groups. All group rates require at least 15 group participants and include packages for major attractions, game play, and dining at Charmin’ Charley’s. The park’s EDUtainment program offers a variety of educational programming for school field trips for elementary and secondary school students, tailored to meet Illinois Standards for Learning curriculum requirements. Programming focuses on history, science, literature, and art topics.
The party room at Charmin’ Charley’s may be rented for private special events, accommodating up to 150 guests. A variety of birthday party packages are offered for young visitors wishing to celebrate their birthdays at the park, including themed Mummy’s Fave, Drac’s Bash, and Frankenfun party packages. All birthday parties include 90 minutes of reserved restaurant table time and access to park attractions, including game play in the park’s arcades. Due to limited availability and space at Charmin’ Charley’s, walk-in birthday party packages are not accepted on weekends. The park also may be rented for private school and nonprofit organization fundraising events, offering free pizza parties and unlimited attraction play for fundraiser participants.
Regular special events at the park include Karaoke Night events on Tuesdays at Charmin’ Charley’s, which allow visitors to sing on stage and compete for prizes. In October, a seasonal Frightmare Haunted House is presented as a Halloween event, offering a two-story dark maze haunted house. The attraction, which has been rated as one of Chicagoland’s top Halloween attractions by area publications, is open on Fridays from Columbus Day through Halloween. Admission to the haunted house may be paired with park attraction admission as part of several admission packages.
7759 Harlem Ave, Burbank, IL 60459, Phone: 708-598-8580
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