19th-Century Creamery Turned AAA Four Diamond Inn
Typically, cow statues don’t evoke romance. ButUnbridling Beatrixâ€”a colorful statue with scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet painted on it from neck to hoofâ€”is no ordinary cow. As a showpiece from Chicago’s Cows on Parade exhibit, Beatrix enchanted the owners of The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva; they’ve since installed the artsy bovine in the lobby. Housed in a former 19th-century riverfront creamery, this elegant boutique hotel has won AAA’s Four Diamond award for the past 20 years. Beatrix embodies the property’s past and present, making it an ideal mascot.
Up the lobby’s grand staircase, the inn’s posh guest rooms contain private fireplaces, marble-accented bathrooms, and balconies overlooking the Fox River. In river premier rooms, heated floors and marble fireplaces keep winter chills at bay. Each night, guests are treated to complimentary fresh cookies and milk.
An expansive wine selection has been curated by the Herringtonâ€™s wine experts; their list earned the hotel’s restaurant an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator in 2011. Elsewhere, staff members at the onsite spa administer exfoliating facials, relaxing massages, and energizing body treatments.
Geneva, Illinois: Small-Town Shopping and Art on the Outskirts of Chicagoland
Nestled in the heart of the verdant Fox River Valley, idyllic Geneva lies about 36 miles west of Chicago’s Loop, but its laid-back rural vibe seems a world away from the city. Along the river is the Fox River Trail, a hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing path that connects a string of scenic riverfront towns.
Around the corner from the Herrington, historical buildings and tree-lined streets define downtown Geneva; its 200 specialty shops include artisanal jewelers, chic women’s clothing stores, and boutique eateries. Pop into Grahamâ€™s for renowned handcrafted chocolates and ice cream. The 68-foot Fabyan Windmill, built by German immigrants in the 1850s and recently restored with timber from the Netherlands, lies along the river to the south of town. On the first Friday of every month, Geneva’s residents take a self-guided art walk through nine area galleries, which open their doors to serve refreshments, host live performances, and show off their portraits of mustachioed news anchors. Down the street, the Geneva History Center delves into the city’s agricultural past.
Love to travel? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for travel tips, inspiration, and photos from around the world.