Plan Your 2013 Illinois Vacation Now!!

September 10th, 2012

Sunset HayrideHow early is too early to plan your vacation for 2013?  I’m already thinking of my vacation with my mom in January & February so I would say that you could definitely start thinking about & planning your 2013 vacation NOW!  But the all-important question remains – where to go on vacation?  With all of the things to do in Illinois, why not visit Illinois?

Now some of you might not consider Illinois a vacation destination, much less Pike County, Illinois.  But then, I’m betting you’ve never been to Harpole’s Heartland Lodge and Resort.  Situated along the Mississippi River bluffs and offering one of the best scenic river valley views in the Midwest, this Illinois resort is the ideal spot for your vacation – whether it’s you, you and that important someone, or your entire family.

New Sidewalk Between Lodges With RosesWhen Dan and I were at the lodge this past week for our annual anniversary trip, we met a couple from Des Moines, Iowa – they came in on Tuesday afternoon and were staying until Friday.  They told us that they normally go out west for their vacations but had decided to cut down on their drive time and check out Heartland Lodge.  The drive from Des Moines took about five hours – not bad when you consider that many vacationers drive longer than that.

So what did they have planned for their vacation at Heartland?  From talking with them, I got the feeling that they were looking for a quiet vacation mixed with a little bit of outdoor adventure.  And so, Heartland was their choice.  They enjoyed the beauty of both lodges along with the scrumptious dinner before heading out on the sunset hayride.  A roaring bonfire greeted them upon their return from the hayride.  The next day, after a brunch fit for a king, they planned a horseback ride and were going to throw in an ATV ride during the week as well.  The lodge offered the perfect combination of peace and quiet along with several outdoor activities to participate in.

But you may want to include some other activities in your vacation.  Did you know that Heartland Lodge is within an 80-mile radius of several towns and metropolitan areas that offer a variety of attractions in both Illinois and Missouri?  From Pike County, Illinois to Springfield and Quincy, Illinois to St. Charles and St. Louis, Missouri, there is an abundance of things to do, places to go, and people to see on your Midwest vacation.  You can visit the Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield, IL; learn about Mark Twain in Hannibal, MO; take in a St. Louis Cardinals or St. Louis Rams game in St. Louis, MO or enjoy shopping along Main Street in St. Charles, MO.  All of these and more are just a short drive from the lodge – just think of how much you could do during your vacation!

Heartland Lodge BrunchPeople from not only the United States but from across the globe have already vacationed at this resort in Illinois – just check out the testimonials on their web site from guests in Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Colorado and Missouri.  I’ve even seen comments in the guest book at the lodge with home addresses of England and Norway!  A group from New Zealand has even vacationed here!  And if you read the testimonials on Heartland’s web site, you’ll find that meals at the lodge have been compared to those of 5-star restaurants!  What a compliment to Wanda and her kitchen staff!  Dan has always said, “If you go away hungry, it’s your own fault.”  One of the best things about a vacation is the always the food!

When I began writing these blogs, I sometimes struggled for things to write about.  However, as I’ve explored the area around the lodge and visited some of the Top Ten activities within the area, I’ve learned that I could visit some place new & different every day of the week and never see or do everything that’s available.  Add the attractions that are open year-round to the special events and festivals that take place around the lodge and you’ll never be at a loss for something to enjoy!

Recreation Room Game Table and LibrarySo do you still need a vacation idea for next year?  Mark the first thing off your vacation planning checklist by booking one of the vacation packages available at Heartland – packages start at 4 nights/3 days.  And if you book 7 nights, you get the 8th night free!  Basing your vacation at Heartland will provide the opportunity to experience one of the best Midwest vacations.  Just think of all the places to visit in Illinois – what more could you want than to be centrally located to all those Illinois attractions?  Add the meal package to your package and enjoy a hearty brunch and dinner made from scratch every day.  You certainly won’t get a pastry or bowl of cereal for breakfast and dinner is much more than a ‘happy hour’ appetizer!

If you have vacationed at Heartland, I would love to hear from you.  What was your favorite activity or attraction?  What was your favorite memory and with whom did you share it?  Maybe you would like to leave a testimonial for Heartland – and get everyone thinking about their next vacation!  Happy vacationing! More on vacation packages>>

Lori Biehl

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