10 Best Places To Visit In Illinois State This Winter

10 Best Places To Visit In Illinois State This Winter

Are you thinking about spending the winter holiday in Illinois but still not quite sure where? You came to the right place.

Illinois has plenty of activities for you to enjoy, from evening ice skating in Chicago to skiing, snowboarding, and hiking in the great outdoors.

We have compiled a list of the 8 best places in Illinois to do so. Read on to find your next travel destination. No matter which one you choose, you will have a blast.

Galena & Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa

Once home to Civil War General and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, Galena is a charming historic town near the border with Iowa. The whole town is packed with sights, including museums, distilleries, and galleries, but it also makes a perfect home base for some winter fun.

Snowboarders and skiers can go to Chestnut Mountain Resort. It has 19 slopes, snowboarding and skiing lessons for beginners, as well as a café and a restaurant to enjoy some après-ski. On the other hand, for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, set off to the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.

Old Ryan’s Red Round Barn

Located in the scenic Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park in Illinois, Old Ryan’s Red Round Barn transforms into a picturesque winter landmark. Its striking red color sharply contrasts with the serene, snow-covered landscape of the park, attracting photographers and history enthusiasts.


The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you hear “Springfield” is the hometown of the Simpsons. You might not find Homer or Lisa here, but with its long history, it will surely not disappoint.

Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Dana Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, or discover the local coffee and craft beer scene. This Springfield is much more fun than the one on TV.

Snowstar Winter Park

If winter sports are what you’re looking for, Snowstar Winter Park is another fantastic choice. It’s set near the Quad Cities, and so it’s easily reachable. It’s family-friendly and has skiing lessons available for all abilities and levels.

There are 15 trails, 11 snow tubing lanes, and a huge freestyle terrain. There are also plenty of dining and lodging options which make every possible visitor satisfied.

Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest

Are you looking to spend some time far away from the hustle and bustle of the city? We’ve got you covered. With its jaw-dropping views, Garden of the Gods is a crowd-pleaser, and it’s even more majestic in winter.

There are over 21 miles of trails to hike and the terrain isn’t difficult. But be careful, the stones can sometimes get slippery under the snow, so make sure to wear a suitable pair of shoes.


Chicago is a popular destination all year round. But in winter, it boasts plenty of activities no other season permits and is, therefore, definitely worth a stop.

To get in the festive mood, visit the rooftop of The Gwen where you can try some nice cocktails with a view. You can also cozy up at the heated beer garden at Kaiser Tiger

Wanna get moving with your precious half? Maggie Daley Park offers a very romantic ice skating experience. Due to its popularity, it tends to get rather busy, so even if you bring your own skates, a reservation is required.

Starved Rock State Park

Need some adrenaline in your bloodstream? There is no better place to engage in ice climbing than in Starved Rock State Park. It features 4 climbable canyons – Wildcat Canyon (90+ ft), LaSalle Canyon (20+ feet), Ottawa Canyon (35. ft), and Tonti Canyon (60+ ft). But note they are all for experienced climbers only.

Are you a beginner? In that case, we recommend you head to the Nice Ice Tower in Monee. The 35-foot tower is man-made and suitable for all levels.

Blue Sky Vineyard

Image Credit: dangtravelers.com

Who said you could enjoy a glass of fine wine on a vineyard only in fall or summer? Come and soak in the charm of the “Tuscan Villa” in Blue Sky Vineyard.

Sample local wine, stay overnight in their idyllic suites, and you can also take a few bottles home or as late Christmas gifts. Even during winter, you will feel like being in Tuscany, we promise.