Plan a Family Getaway to Starved Rock

How do you celebrate an important occasion with three generations? Bill and Lisa Hughes (publishers of Smart Living) recently chose Starved Rock Lodge as the destination for their 40th wedding anniversary celebration. Their four children (and their spouses) along with three grandchildren enjoyed an overnight getaway to a place that worked well for the adults and children alike.

“We stayed in a cabin just steps away from the Lodge,” says son Brent Hughes. “We were able to relax and spend quality time with family.”

The group enjoyed having dinner together in the historic dining room, where the menu had enough variety for everyone. The grandchildren loved swimming in the pool and hiking the canyons and waterfalls. “I know we’ll cherish this trip for years to come,” says Lisa.

Starved Rock Lodge, located near Utica, Ill., is just 90 minutes or less from Rockford and most Chicago suburbs. The hotel is nestled in the middle of scenic Starved Rock State Park – a National Historic Landmark with sandstone canyons, seasonal waterfalls, stunning bluff views, 14 miles of hiking trails, and more than 2.5 million visitors per year.

Summer activities include live music on the Veranda every Friday and Saturday night. Outdoor dining is complemented by a stunning view of the Illinois River Valley and Starved Rock. Tribute to the Stars shows bring talented vocalists who take guests down memory lane with renditions of famous hit songs by the likes of Elvis Presley, Etta James, Frank Sinatra and more. Lunch is included.

Trolley tours depart daily in summer months and are one of the most popular ways to tour the park. It’s a fun way to ride a trolley and learn about the rich history of the area. On weekends, the Lodge offers year-round guided hikes (4 miles round trip) to scenic LaSalle Canyon (lunch is included).

A wide variety of overnight packages and other family-friendly events are detailed online. ❚

For more information, visit the Lodge website at or call (815) 667-4211.