We took a trip recently to Starved Rock State Park and had a great time. It's only a couple of hours drive from us but we had never been there. I can assure you, we will be going back! Illinois is a very flat place but to the north and south of us there are places where you can find hills, valleys and canyons and I'd love to see them all at some point. I've been to Shawnee/Garden of the Gods and Giant City down south and now I've been to Starved Rock up north.
We stayed at Starved Rock Inn, a very small motel that is related to the Lodge in the park but a few miles away. I thought it was cute, but I can see why some reviews say it is a bit small and outdated. Check out the backwoods feel of the front door to our room, #3 of 8 rooms in this roadside motel-type building.
We also visited the Illinois Waterway Visitor's Center where we saw the lock on the river and also the island where the Bald Eagles live. The eagles are only around in the winter though, so no eagle sightings for us.
The art around the lodge is fun to check out. I liked this one because it includes a turkey! What other animals can you find?
Highlights: Climbing a big sand hill and scrambling up into the cave where the bodies of three women were found in 1960. I found Sunny Seeds at the little store by the Inn, yum! We gawked and shopped at Hy-Vee, which we don't have down here. Doing laps in the pool and then relaxing in the HOT hot tub. A pretty tasty dinner at Uptown Grill followed up with some cookies from their bakery case.