When you moving back in with your parents, as an adult you quickly learn that its nice to get away. Hence why Dan and I skipped away for a long weekend. We chose the hour and 30-minute drive from Chicago, to the town of Utica, IL.
Within Utica, IL is Starved Rock State Park. This park is one of the few places within Illinois where you can find the wonders of nature. As I am sure most of you know, Illinois is in the plains, meaning it is flat, flat and more flat. Dan and I had hiked at Starved Rock a few times and loved it. So we thought, why not!
We arrived and soon realized that minus the hiking and two places that do wine tours, there is not much to do. To some this might be nice. To Dan and I, well …we liked to eat, drink and you know, have a decent time. Find places to go do these things after 6:00 pm was a bit difficult.
Overall it was a short get away, so it was still a good time. If the town didn’t shut down by 5:00 pm, I think we would have better time. That said, the places we did have a chance to check out were pretty great.
Hikes and Trails:
Check out the Staved Rock Tail Map HERE. We started the visitor’s center and made our way to Sandstone Point Overlook. There and back it was about three miles. It was our pup Nestles first real hike so it took a bit longer than w anticipated.
Something to keep in mind about the trails, Starved Rock is a family place. It is not uncommon for families to be having picnics and then hit the trails. What they don’t realize is that these travels are not really good for groups that have strollers or lot of little ones. The trails are crowed and there are tons of stairs and I mean tons! Leave the strollers at home.
As mentioned a lot of places were closed by 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm. But we did get to try a few places near by.
In LaSalle we checked out Uptown Grill. Uptown is a swanky, modern bar and restaurant. Let me start by saying we did kinda pig out and we each had a drink. That said, we were still a bit shocked by the bill. It was over $80 and it was just the two of us. Even so, it was still great eating. Its worth taking the drive to check out.
Although it is not dine in, it was still pretty awesome! Annabelle’s is a food truck located in the “downtown” area of Utica, just outside of Staved Rock. Affordable and satisfying. It definitely has a bit of a hardcore vibe, but don’t let all the Harleys out front discourage you. Trust me when I say, if you love BBQ you will love this place.
Then comes dessert! Roxie’s Sweet Confections ice cream is sooooo good! Roxie’s although has a limited assortment of ice cream each id delicious. Not to mention, they have a large verity of sweet treats including fudge, caramels, rum fudge (yum) and tons more.