Really Romantic Getaways in Illinois - Fun Destination Ideas, Inns, Cabins & more 

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By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated: Mar 11, 2019   

Welcome to romantic travel in Illinois! We've put together some ideas for romantic getaways and weekends in Illinois, including honeymoon cabins, small inns, and some romantic and fun places to eat. Many of these getaway ideas would make an easy day trip or overnight getaway from Chicago.

Romantic Getaway in IllinoisHolding up the Welcome Sign in Romantic Western Illinois!

Best Times for Romantic Getaways in Illinois: for comfort outdoors, May to early October is best. Late fall, winter and spring can mean few crowds and great rates at hotels, but be prepared for snaps of cold weather and plenty of snow in the winter. Autumn foliage is often at it's very best in early October, a great time for scenic drives throughout the state. 

Romantic Getaways in Illinois - Galena

This little jewel of a town in the northwest is one of the most popular romantic getaways in Illinois. It's about 175 miles NW of Chicago, an easy 3 hour drive.

Downtown Galena, ILMain Street in Galena, one of Illinois's Most Romantic Small Towns
Illinois CountrysideScenic Countryside near Galena, IL
Galena Canning Co in Downtown Galena ILHot Sauce Sampling at Galena Canning Co!

Galena is packed with some interesting things to do - there’s the award-winning Galena Winery, the Galena Art Center, historical sites like the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site or 1859 Post Office, and many beautiful 19th century historic homes and specialty shops to explore. 

Don't miss a relaxing stroll down main street, or give your feet a rest and a hop onto an authentic Galena Trolley (they have several local trolley tours as well). Stop by to check out some of the specialty shops like Kandy Kitchen and Galena Canning CoThere's wine tasting nearby too: Galena Cellars has their own vineyard & tours a few minutes drive out of town, but you can duck into their Tasting room in Downtown Galena at 515 South Main St. 

Romantic Illinois Hotel: Goldmoor Inn

Goldmoor Inn, Galena, ILThe Goldmoor Inn, one of the Most Romantic Small Hotels in Illinois.
Jacuzzi Suite, Goldmoor Inn, Galena ILGoldmoor Inn Illinois Hot Tub Suite
Romantic Western IllinoisGoldmoor Inn - Views of the Mississippi River
  • Goldmoor Inn, Galena, IL- a 10 minute drive from Galena through the country, but well worth it. Luxury rooms, on-site romantic dining, and beautiful landscaped grounds give it an almost European estate feel. Our suite's spa tub had great views of the countryside and Mississippi River. Tip: If your arriving in summer, remember to bring some mosquito spray! Romantic Touch: sit back in the Adirondack chairs and soak up the views of the Mississippi River with Iowa on the horizon! 2019 ERV Rating for Romantic Places to Stay near Galena, IL: 94% - Excellent. (9001 Sand Hill Rd, Galena, IL.  815-777-3925)

Our Video: Goldmoor Inn, Galena, IL 

This HD video of our stay at the Goldmoor Inn shows a spa tub suite with a great river view, plus the restaurant and some scenes of the beautiful grounds and romantic Illinois countryside outside the inn. 

  • Romantic Galena B&B's - there are some very classic and quaint lodging choices for a bed and breakfast in Galena. A couple of nights in a rustic, turn-of-the-century historic inn here will add some romance to your Illinois weekend getaway.

Illinois Romantic Cabins & Cottages

Galena, Illinois Romantic Log Cabin
  • Illinois Lakefront Cabins, Cottages & Rentals - super-romantic cabins and cottages in north-central Illinois, with secluded and lakefront locations, hot tubs, fireplaces, private decks and much more. Easy driving distance from Chicago and Rockford, IL.

Romantic Illinois Mississippi River Cruises

What couple wouldn't love a romantic boat cruise on the Mississippi? So head to Western Illinois for a scenic cruise on the Mississippi River aboard the grand old "Celebration Belle" paddle wheeler. Day, overnight and themed cruises (Oktoberfest, Fall Foliage and Big Band to name a few) are available, and you can even make a special booking and have your wedding on board! (2501 River Drive, Moline, IL

Springfield, IL

The state capital of Illinois has some worthwhile things to see, including the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Springfield has lots of Lincoln memorabilia and historic sights; check with the visitor center for details.

Route 66 Drive In Movie Theater - Springfield's must-see for an Illinois romantic getaway! Open April to October, admission is $5/adult. And for the complete retro-experience, have dinner first at the Cozy Dog Drive-in, the founding fathers of the corn dog!! 

Distance from Chicago to Springfield: 200 miles, Driving Time: 3.5 hours.

Rockford, IL

Rockford, Illinois - Anderson Japanese GardensBeautiful Anderson Gardens, a Romantic Place for A Wedding in Illinois

There's some fun things to do here on an Illinois weekend getaway, like the Magic Waters Waterpark, and trying out the go-carts at Rev'd Up Entertainment Center. Or, appreciate the perfectly manicured Japanese vegetation at Anderson Gardens. The River District is the place to go for entertainment, brew pubs and historic walks.

Romantic Restaurants in Rockford, IL:

  • JMK Nippon (dine outdoor overlooking beautiful Japanese gardens, 815-977-8815)
  • Linos (tacky but fun Old Italy decor, 815-397-2077)

Distance from Chicago to Rockford: 84 miles, Driving Time: 1.5 hours

3 Romantic Illinois Inns & Small Towns:

Mt. Vernon, IL

  • Sidwell Friends B&B - a great stopover for romantic getaways in Southern Illinois. Check out the Cedarhurst Arts Center, and find out why the 9th St Grill gets such great reviews. 2019 ERV Rating* for Romantic Mt. Vernon IL B&B's: 100% - Excellent. (1812 Richview Rd, Mt. Vernon IL  618-691-8742)

Geneva, IL

  • The Herrington Inn & Spa- attractive small town just 90 minutes drive west of Chicago, with great shops and dining. 2019 ERV Rating* for Romantic Geneva IL Hotels: 89% - Very Good. (15 South River Lane, Geneva, IL  630-208-7433)

Effingham IL

  • Holiday Inn Effingham enjoy the friendly surrounds of scenic Lake Sara, or sample a Muscato at nearby Tuscan Hills Winery. 2019 ERV Rating* for Romantic Effingham IL Hotels: 91% - Excellent. (301 Avenue Of Mid America, Effingham IL  877-859-5095)      

*ERV Rating: our unique, non-scientific ratings for romantic accommodation include:

  • Amenities: including Whirlpool bath or JACUZZI® Tub, scenic view, fireplace, lounge, etc
  • Location: proximity of hotel to restaurants, pubs, downtown, etc
  • Clientele: demographic the hotel attracts (couples, families, business travelers, etc)
  • Popularity: based social media & crowd-sourced reviews 
  • Value: product offered compared to room rate 
  • Please Note: percentage ratings are not absolute but for comparative use only  

√ COVID Safety Plan: identifies hotels and inns that clearly indicate they are taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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