Looking for a Winter Getaway?
With all the focus on Christmas, New Year’s Eve and all the holiday happenings in-between, winter snuck up on us with the recent cold weather.
So now you know winter has arrived, what are your plans for the winter? Did you get any really cool ‘outdoorsy’ gifts…nice warm boots, a thick coat, or a fuzzy hat and gloves…that you need to try out? Or did you get a new book (or two) that you just can’t wait to read? Or…did you get the PERFECT holiday gift…a gift certificate to Harpole’s Heartland Lodge? Well, then…what better way to celebrate winter than by planning a winter getaway to the lodge? Not only can you use your new winter boots, read your new book or enjoy the gift certificate that someone so thoughtfully chose for you, you can also enjoy all the winter activities on both sides of the Mississippi River!
I know some people like to ring in the new year with a little down time…enjoying the peace and quiet after the holidays…and the lodge is the ideal spot for a little R&R. Just imagine…a roaring fire in the fireplace, a made-from-scratch meal to warm your tummy, and the peace and quiet of the entire lodge experience. If you reserve one of the several suites available, you can also enjoy a soak in your very own private Jacuzzi tub! AND at the end of the day, you’ll love crawling into the comfy, cozy bed…I’m relaxed just thinking about it! And if you are lucky enough to be there when it snows, what could be more enjoyable than the lodge in the winter snow? Of all the times I’ve been to the lodge, I’ve never been to the lodge after a snow…maybe this year will be the year!
But what if you are the outdoorsy type…chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy Mother Nature in the cooler temperatures. Don’t worry…Heartland is the perfect spot for you as well. If you have an ATV, bring it – you’ll be checking out the trails all day! And if you don’t have an ATV, you can still enjoy the trails by renting one from the lodge. You can also shoot a round of sporting clays during your stay…a great way to get in some target practice!
But all of the activities aren’t limited to the lodge. This time of year is eagle watching season and there are many activities surrounding this majestic bird and all its beauty. Alton, Illinois is one of the best spots for eagle watching and their activities will run throughout the winter. Check out All Around Alton, Illinois for all the details, times and locations so you can enjoy all the fun!
The Standing Bear Council, in partnership with The Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, will host their Great River Eagle Days in Quincy, IL, you’ll enjoy the Blessing of the Eagles Ceremony, Native American Dancers & Drums, Childrens’ Educational Activities and of course, eagle viewing on the riverfront.
Clarksville, MO will host their annual Clarksville Eagle Days in January. You can find activities at the Apple Shed Theater, the Clarksville Visitor Center and of course, the riverfront. This is where a group of friends and I went last year and it was my first encounter with eagles in the wild like this. It was a cold, brisk morning but watching (and trying to photograph) these beautiful birds helped to keep us warm. However, plan to dress for the weather and enjoy one of the more popular spots for viewing the American Bald Eagle.
Of course, much of the focus during this time of year is on the eagles. But that’s not the only winter activity you can enjoy. Ice carving competitions are huge attractions this time of year and St. Charles, MO has one of the best around. The Fete de Glace…Ice Carving Competition will be held on N. Main St. in St. Charles, MO. Competitors are given a single block of ice and by the end of the competition, they have used chainsaws, blowtorches and other tools to carve the block of ice into a work of art!
Of course, who can pass up the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Heartland Lodge? One of my first blogs was about Heartland putting the ‘heart’ in Valentine’s Day…and that certainly has not changed in the last few years. In fact, with the addition of Sunset Valley and the romantic suites available there as well as Prairie Ridge, you’ll have even more options to impress your sweetie!
So hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas on how you can enjoy the winter months…AND plan a getaway! If the only New Year’s Resolution you make this year is to do something for yourself, then I think Heartland can cover that resolution. And what’s even more exciting?
Keep in mind, however, that these activities are just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll be adding these, as well as many more, to Heartland’s Calendar of Events over the next week or so…so be sure to check back often! The winter is a great time to get out and see things in a different light…and enjoy all the fun that this time of year has to offer!
Last Updated: January 4th, 2018