As temperatures drop, find your cozy haven in Starved Rock Country, a winter wonderland waiting to be explored.

Begin your winter escape at Kishauwau Cabins in Tonica, IL. These secluded cabins just ten minutes from Starved Rock State Park are equipped with full kitchens, indoor wood stoves, and outdoor fire pits. Pet-friendly options ensure the whole family can join in the warmth and charm.

For a more classic retreat, immerse yourself in the heart of Starved Rock State Park at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center. Choose between historic lodge rooms adorned with knotty pine paneling and handcrafted furniture or more contemporary, yet equally historic, hotel rooms. Sip on unique tap beers, including Starved Rock Lager by Tangled Roots Brewing Co. and Starved Rock Signature Ale by Leinenkugel.

State Parks

The real allure of Starved Rock Country lies in its proximity to extraordinary state parks. Starved Rock State Park boasts seasonal waterfalls, majestic bluffs, and rugged canyons, all weaving through a landscape rich in history and natural beauty. Wander the hiking trails, offering glimpses of towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Explore Matthiessen State Park, a haven for amateur geologists, showcasing breathtaking rock formations, rare vegetation, and abundant wildlife.

Starved Rock Country

After a day of adventure, pop over to the Starved Rock County Welcome Center – An Illinois Made Gift Shoppe in downtown Utica, IL. Discover one-of-a-kind gifts crafted in Illinois, from handcrafted pottery at Streator’s Fine Field Pottery to beautiful glass pendants, unique throw pillows, locally made soaps, soup mixes, and hand-drawn cards.

In Utica, indulge in the award-winning August Hill Winery Tasting Room. Founded in 2002, the winery offers a vineyard, tasting room, and a wine cave. Enjoy tastings at the bar or in the cozy lounge, complemented by a chocolate sampler, charcuterie plate, and other delightful bites. Don’t miss the wines from Illinois Sparkling Co., born from August Hill Winery’s realization of similarities in their grapes to French Champagne grapes. Founder Mark Wenzel’s adherence to the Traditional Champagne Method ensures unparalleled attention to detail in every bottle.

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For a farm-to-table dining experience, venture to Peru, IL, and savor the offerings at Thyme Craft Kitchen. Inspired by the owners’ time at the University of Chicago’s Quadrangle Club, Thyme focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with a menu highlighting the richness of Illinois farming. Partnering with over 25 local farms and businesses, Thyme crafts seasonal menus that highlight the region’s culinary diversity.

Conclude your evening with a craft cocktail at Star Union Spirits, housed in the historic Westclox Building. This distillery, the first in Peru in over a century, taps into the region’s commercial heritage, using clean limestone water. Choose from an array of spirits, including agave, vodka, brandy, rum, coffee liqueur, and grappa, all presented in Art Deco-inspired bottles.

Plan your enchanting winter getaway in Starved Rock Country at today!