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A Different Kind of Spring Break

OK, we know.

Living through a Midwest winter is no joke.  Which is why spring is so yearned for, and the traditional spring break brings dreams of sandy beaches and warm breezes.

But we’re living through a different time.  While the news on the COVID front is increasingly positive, we’re not out of the woods yet.  Air travel is still an iffy proposition – a hassle if nothing else – and the availability of open destinations remains somewhat limited.

So, this time we thought we’d stay closer to home. Here are a few Midwestern venues that might add a different element to the traditional spring break excursion.


Roughly 2.5 hours from the Fox Valley, Galena is a popular all-season destination for Chicagoland holiday travelers.  Best known, perhaps, for its Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa with its great golfing and access to skiing and other winter sports, Galena’s charm and physical beauty offers a great deal more.


A walk through Galena Country is like taking a journey back to the 19th century. Where else can you walk the steps Ulysses S. Grant took to work? Or stand in the room where he heard he had become the 18th President of the United States? It’s historic treasures like these, and vignettes of what life was like in the 19th century, that make Galena Country an authentic step back in time. It’s also why so many of our sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


You’ll understand the real meaning of the phrase “sho p ’til you drop” once you hit the streets of Galena Country. Voted one of “America’s Best Main Streets” by Fodor’s Travel and Parade.com, you’ll love browsing through Galena’s 19th-century downtown with more than 100 storefronts featuring clothing, jewelry, collectibles, specialty items, gifts and more. But that isn’t all you’ll find. You don’t want to overlook the many charming shops that are scattered throughout nearby villages and the scenic countryside like Elizabeth’s Grand Antique Co., a treasure trove for antique enthusiasts, and A Bushel & A Peck, which features everything from furniture to local food products.

Health and Wellness

Galena Country is a great place to unwind – especially when you add in a trip to the spa. Our highly-skilled, full-service spas pamper you from head to toes with calming aromatherapy treatments, tension-melting, hot-stone massage and deluxe body treatments. Bond with friend while getting manicures and pedicures. Relax in a dry heat therapy sauna. Or go for a whole new look with expert hair styling, waxing and tanning services. No matter which spa you choose, you’re in a for a soothing treat. Plus, many bed-and-breakfasts, inns and resorts will also help you arrange spa services right in your room.



Northern Michigan is one of the great vacation destinations in the country, and it’s only about 5.5 hours by car from the Fox Valley.  For the traveler who likes his or her comfort, the beautiful Grand Traverse Resort is tough to beat.

The Resort has an excellent spring break package that will appeal to all sorts of interests.  If you book soon, you’ll 30% off the prevailing rate on stays between Friday, March 26 and Sunday April 11, 2021. This package includes a $150 credit for Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and you will receive a coupon for 15% off at the Gallery of Shops.

Package includes:

3 nights of accommodations
$150 credit for Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (per package)
15% off coupon for retail in the Gallery of Shops**

Golf Academy

Try out indoor private golf instruction and hit balls from the resort’s heated bays or play some of your favorite courses on one of its golf simulators.

The Golf Academy is open seven days a week 10:00 am-5:00 pm. To register for private instruction or make reservations for simulators and hitting bays, email mark.hill@gtresort.com or call 231-534-6550.

Spa Grand Traverse

Whether you’re looking for a midweek pick-me-up, a day of complete relaxation, or a spa weekend getaway, Spa Grand Traverse has the perfect treatment or package. With a wide array of services—including massage therapies, skin care, nail care, and hair artistry—the Spa provides you with peace of mind, body, and spirit. Treatments feature natural products to help restore your vitality and renew your senses.

Names one of the top 100 spas nationally, and located inside Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the spa’s professionally-trained staff is committed to making each and every visit go above and beyond your expectations.



Also about 5 hours from the Fox Valley, Vilas County in Wisconsin is a destination for those who desire the quirky, the unique, the unusual.

Now, don’t get us wrong.  Vilas County, in the heart of the North Woods of Wisconsin, has much to recommend it if you love natural beauty. It is home to 240,000 acres of public land and nearly 90 forest trails that are cherished by hikers, bikers, ATV riders and equestrians. You’ll also find first-class fishing and pristine paddling on its 1,300 glacial lakes and 73 wild and winding rivers and streams. Lodging properties in Vilas County’s 12 charming communities offer unmatched relaxation and tranquility.

Restaurants, pubs, diners, supper clubs, cafés and coffee shops—Vilas County is a place for visitors with appetites.

Great food is also an important part of every Vilas County vacation or getaway. Vilas County restaurants serve up everything from gourmet fare to casual comfort food.

But for us, the real fun is making a pilgrimage to an under-the-radar national treasure – the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, site of a famous shoot-out between notorious gangster John Dillinger and an FBI squad lead by the legendary Melvin Purvis.  The lodge, at which the Johnny Depp thriller PUBLIC ENEMIES memorializing the event was largely filmed, remains open for business serving great food and a touch of the wild side.  If you’re like us, it’s a not to be missed venue.



Closer to home, we can’t think of a better way to welcome back a sense of normalcy and to reacquaint ourselves with the beauty of Chicago than a stay at the newly-opened Sable at Navy Pier.

Opened on March 18 after years of construction – which was delayed due to COVID issues – this unique hotel offers incredible views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. It’s within 10 minutes of iconic attractions like Cloud Gate, Magnificent Mile, and the Wrigley Building. Enjoy several parks, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues in the heart of Chicago, just a few minutes away.

All 223 guest rooms at the Sable are facing the lake, and the hotel is designed to make you feel like you are on top of it. As the only hotel on Navy Pier, this Hilton-owned gem also offers fine dining at it’s two restaurants and a roof-top bar the promises stunning views of the lake and city skyline.


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