The Illinois Romantic Getaway Guide for Couples: Where to Stay & Things to Do

Small-town charm abounds.
Couple on a weekend getaway in Illinois.
Photo: Luna Vandoorne | Shutterstock
BethAnn Mayer
by BethAnn Mayer
Updated Jun 15, 2023
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Illinois may not be the first place you think of when your mind drifts to romantic couple's getaway destinations, but the place is brimming with Midwest small-town charm. Though Chicago gets the lion's share of the foot traffic—and does make for a romantic getaway in Illinois—there are plenty of lower-key spots to rekindle your romance. Whether you're looking for a cosmopolitan experience in Winnetka or a more idyllic escape in Galena, there is no shortage of backdrops or activities. Think parks, ballparks, fine dining in the city, or breakfast in bed.

Speaking of beds, the accommodations in Illinois offer something for every couple, setting the mood for an unforgettable getaway. Posh hotels with on-site spas make you feel like royalty, while quaint inns are designed to provide a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. Whatever your preference for a weekend (or longer) getaway in the Prairie State, here are the best places to visit in Illinois for couples, and where to stay while there.

Romantic Getaways in Illinois in this Article:

Romantic Weekend Getaways in Illinois

Weekend planning can get overwhelming—so many options, so many price points, and so little time! But hotel getaway packages can take the pressure off planning, making it easier to enjoy your time together without the stress of creating an itinerary from scratch. From chocolate-covered strawberries to misting steam rooms and cozy fireplaces, these properties are perfect for a romantic getaway in Illinois.

The Inn at 835, Springfield

Fun fact: Springfield is the real capital of Illinois, and along with being Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, it's known for quintessential suburban charm, with plenty of green space and mountain vistas. The Inn at 835 is a favorite resting spot during weekend getaways in Illinois for couples. It's cozy, with exceptional amenities including chocolate-covered strawberries, chilled sparkling wine, floral arrangements, and tastes 'n' toasts for two (cheese, crackers, fruit, and wine). As a low-key luxury destination, this place is an ideal spot for celebrating something special… or just taking time to indulge in your romance.

Things to Do: Abraham Lincoln's Home, Abraham Lincoln's Presidential Museum, Lincoln's Tomb, Lincoln Memorial Gardens, Legacy Theatre, Illinois State Capitol, and Hoogland Center for the Arts.

835 S. 2nd St., Springfield IL 62704
4.5 Rating | Read Reviews

Sybaris Pool Suites, Northbrook

About 30 minutes from Chicago, Sybaris Pool Suites provides a Miami-style ambiance that somehow blends seamlessly with its down-to-earth Midwestern personality. The pool suites have literal private pools; many also have massage chairs, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs — it's a tranquil oasis, and the perfect escape for on-the-go pairs who need to slow down. Prices typically increase during the holidays and three-day weekends like Labor Day, so consider using some PTO for the sweetest deals.

Things to Do: Chicago Botanic Garden, Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, Long Grove Confectionery/Chocolate Factory Tour, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Rivers Casino, and The Grove National Historic Landmark

3350 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook IL 60062

4.5 Rating | Read Reviews

The Peninsula Chicago, Chicago

Numerous packages can help you get the most out of your romantic getaway in Illinois, and The Peninsula's "Drive, Dine, and Delight" package offers complimentary breakfast for two that can be served in your room. (You can even extend your time together by booking a third night free.) The package also includes access to the stunning rooftop spa, which means though there's plenty to do in the bustling windy city, there's no shame if you just stay in. Floor-to-ceiling windows will give you a taste of the scene below—from afar—while the hotel's Lake Michigan vistas will keep you in a serene state of mind.

Things to Do: Oak Street Beach, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago's First Lady Cruises, Millennium Park, Chicago Riverwalk, Magnificent Mile, and an Architecture River Cruise

108 E. Superior St., Chicago IL 60611

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Best Resorts in Illinois for a Couples Getaway

Resorts aren't something only found in a far-flung Caribbean locale. The getaways and all-inclusive resorts that Illinois offers provide you with plenty of resources to Think on-site dining options so good there's no need to consider dinner out, plus spas and saunas with stunning views. Here are the best places for a couples getaway just minutes away from Chicago.

WorldMark Galena, Galena

The unpretentious WorldMark Galena is proof positive that "resort" doesn't have to mean "stuffy." Its laid-back, approachable vibe is perfect for couples looking for a low-key weekend getaway. Situated in Galena, "A Town That Time Forgot' with its 1000 historic buildings dating back to the 1800s, the resort lodge offers an idyllic setting, including a surrounding forest. Enjoy the intimacy of WorldMark's spacious studios, with kitchenettes that allow you to make home-cooked meals away from home. It's one of the more romantic getaways in Illinois with a hot tub, plus a pool and basketball courts.

Things to Do: Eagle Ridge Golf Club, Lake Galena. Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., Ulysses S. Grant Home, River Bend Gallery, scavenger hunt, food and drink tour, and horseback riding and petting zoo

5129 W. Longhollow Road, Galena, IL 61036

4.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Cypress Resort & Marine, Antioch

Cypress Resort & Marine is among the best Illinois resorts for adventurous and active couples, and pairs with fur babies are in luck—dogs are welcome on the grounds. Stay in charming apartments and cottages with seafaring accents like paddles and pale blue blankets; beach passes can be purchased, too. Other resort amenities include kayaks, picnic tables, park grills, and even a swimsuit dryer for those late night splashes. Pro tip: If you're eyeing a weekend or holiday in the summer, book quickly. Cypress Resort & Marine can fill up a year in advance.

Things to Do: PM&L Theatre, Great Lakes Antiques, and Antioch Theatre

25635 W Hermann Ave., Antioch, IL

4.9 Rating | Read Reviews

Chestnut Mountain Resort, Galena

Another great getaway in Galena, Chestnut Mountain Resort is a favorite for ski bunnies and couples simply looking for a romantic weekend. The slopeside lodge offers easy access to the mountains or a chance to enjoy it from the comfort of your own room. There are 100 of them — not too small, but intimate nonetheless. Each comes with a mini fridge — perfect for stashing some celebratory bubbly. An indoor pool and low-key sports bar add to the relaxing vibe of the resort and provide ample spots to escape the elements.

Things to Do: Ski, take a ski or snowboard lesson, Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., Ulysses S. Grant Home, Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery, and Dowling House

8700 Chestnut Dr., Galena, IL 61036

3.5 Rating | Read Reviews

Spa Resorts in Illinois for a Couples Retreat

Looking for a couples retreat near me? Or, looking to escape from elsewhere in the U.S.? It's understandable in today's frenetic world. Sometimes, the best way to reconnect is to relax and disconnect. Some of the best resorts in Illinois for couples have on-site spas that offer more than just your run-of-the-mill rub-down for couples. From skincare with a side of champagne to CBD massages, these Illinois spa resorts will have you feeling all sorts of bliss.

Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Itasca

A 30-minute drive from Chicago, Eaglewood Resort & Spa's laundry list of amenities makes it feel like you've entered a different world, where massages are more than just massages. Think treatments that include Himalayan salt and CBD oil to holistically – not simply physically – nourish and soothe you and yours. Besides the spa, there's an on-site golf course with 18 holes and a bowling alley for playful competition. The winner buys post-game grub at one of the three restaurants situated on the grounds.

Things to Do: Golf Club at Eaglewood (on-site), Legoland Discovery Center Chicago. Spring Creek Reservoir Forest Preserve, Church Street Brewing Company, Wine With Me, and cooking classes

1401 Nordic Rd., Itasca, IL 60143

4.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, Lincolnshire

Situated on 175 acres and about 35 miles from Chicago, Lincolnshire Marriott Resort offers serene surroundings. It's a favorite spot for Chicagoans who want to find "spa resorts near me" and out-of-staters alike. Rooms have lake and woodland views, providing natural beauty. A casual brew & bistro — one of four restaurants — offers a chance to sip craft beer without stepping out into the variable Midwest weather. Starbucks is also on-site. Work on your swing and engage in friendly competition on the on-site golf course or the tennis courts, or retreat to the spa. Hiking trails nearby provide ample opportunities to stroll hand in hand or bike. No room for a cycle in your carry-on? The hotel provides them upon request.

Things to Do: Marriott Theatre (on-site), Crane's Landing Golf Course, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall, and Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Ten, Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire, IL 60069

4.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook Chicago, Oak Brook

Situated on a private lake 25 minutes from Chicago, Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook Chicago boasts a resort-style feel. The spa helps its case. Massages can include hot stones or warm oil infusion scalp treatments. Various facials with ingredients like vitamin C can push the refresh (or reset) buttons on your skincare. Private balconies, an indoor pool (with a unique glass ceiling), and a chance to dine al fresco at a casual hotel restaurant all add to the list of perks at this stunning property.

Things to Do: Mayslake Peabody Estate, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, Village Links of Glen Ellyn golf course, Graue Mill & Museum, and Brookfield Zoo.

2815 Jorie Blvd, Oak Brook, IL 60523

4.5 Rating | Read Reviews

Romantic Hotels in Chicago

Who says cities can't offer relaxation and respite? These Chicago hotels buck that trend while mixing in ample opportunities for romance. Whether you're a local looking for a staycation and searching "romantic hotels near me" or an out-of-towner crossing the Windy City off your bucket list, these Chicago hotels make a perfect spot to rest weary legs.

LondonHouse Chicago, Chicago

The LonodonHouse hotel is located at the start of Chicago's iconic Magnificent Mile. But step inside the bygone era-built building, and you'll feel like you've stepped away from the concrete jungle outside. Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to city vistas, and soaking tubs are made for romantic evenings. There's an on-site spa, where the menu of options reads a bit like a restaurant specials board at times. Body treatments include an espresso scrub that awakens and nourishes your body and soul, while a warm honey drizzle involves a skin brushing and massage that cleanses pores and boosts circulation.

Things to Do: Chicago River, Magnificent Mile, Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe, American Writers Museum, and Private Skyline Helicopter Tour

85 E Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60601

4.5 Rating | Read Reviews

The Langham, Chicago

The Langham, a five-star Chicago hotel, has splendid Lake Michigan views and bright, airy rooms with large, floor-to-ceiling windows. Though it's now always sunny in Chicago, the large windows allow natural light to pour in when it is, adding an extra-special element to a quiet morning. The morning can stay relaxing with a trip to the spa, where algae wraps, massages, and deep cleansing facials will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in a romantic state of mind. Afternoon tea or a sleek lounge with more floor-to-ceiling windows is a way to ease back into reality post-treatment.

Things to Do: Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile. Chicago River, The Purple Pig, Drunk Shakespeare, and Gangsters & Ghosts Tour

330 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Chicago

Talk about the crème de la crème. Set in the historic Gold Coast neighborhood — which is as ritzy as it sounds — Waldorf Astoria Chicago has chateau-style digs, a Parisian vibe, and amenities to spare. A pilates studio, spa, concierge service, and lap pool are among them. A discreet cocktail lounge is ideal for sultry after-dinner drinks, while a bistro-style restaurant makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner feel like a romantic meal. Most rooms have private terraces, and some have fireplaces made for cuddling near.

Things to Do: Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, Spray 'n' Sip- Street Art & Aerosol Workshop, explore hidden bars, and Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour.

11 E. Walton, Chicago, IL 60611

4.5 Rating | Read Reviews

Bed and Breakfasts in Illinois

Posh accommodations are luxe (and you deserve to indulge). But some couples come to Illinois looking for a charming, down-home experience. Bed and breakfasts in Illinois epitomize the warm vibes that draw people to the Midwest. Some are even a hop, skip, and a jump from the (usually fun, but sometimes exhausting) Windy City.

Harvey House Inn, Oak Park

Getting to the Windy City from Harvey House Inn is a breeze — it's about 15 minutes away. Yet, its genial ambiance includes fireplaces made for snuggling next to during an extended Midwest winter, delectable breakfast served daily, and friendly service. Though there's no spa, pairs can engage in a couple's massages without leaving their rooms. And some of the individually and elegantly-decorated rooms have jacuzzis and garden views. A romance package includes truffles and champagne.

Things to Do: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park, City Winery, and Navy Pier.

107 S. Scoville Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Galena

Set in a red-brick mansion in historic Galena, Cloran Mansion effortlessly blends elegance with approachable Midwest appeal. Homey rooms have plenty of wooden accents and furnishings that look like they were plucked from a Victorian era. But modern amenities like Jacuzzis for two and in-room gas fireplaces make it an ideal getaway spot for the contemporary couple. The long distance from Chicago (nearly three hours) makes it perfect for a pair looking to slow down and bask in solitude.

Things to Do: Ulysses Grant Home, Lake Galena, wine tasting, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fritz and Frites, Log Cabin Steakhouse

1237 Franklin St., Galena, IL 61036

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Market Street Bed and Breakfast, Taylorville

Situated in a Victorian Inn, the quaint Market Street Bed and Breakfast exudes idyllic charm at every turn. Eight rooms — each with a fireplace and private baths — ensure a truly intimate experience. Suites have kitchenettes if you want to have dinner for two in your room. But breakfast is worth leaving the room for. It's cooked fresh daily and served in a traditional dining room. Couples can also mix and mingle with other guests while indulging in wine, fruit, and cheese during a daily social hour. A wraparound porch and gardens are perfect places to sit or stroll, just the two of you.

Things to Do: Christian County Coal Mine Museum, Manners Park, Lincoln Prairie trail, tandem skydive, Florinda's Pizza Ristorante Italiano, and Whits End

220 E Market St, Taylorville, IL 62568

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Romantic Inns in Illinois

Like bed & breakfasts, romantic inns offer a quieter, slower pace than city-chic hotels. Individually-decorated rooms feel more like home and less cookie-cutter. And the service simply feels more personalized. They make for perfect spots to stop and snuggle for a while.

Goldmoor Inn, Galena

Set atop a hill in Galena, Goldmoor Inn offers proximity to Chicago, making it a favorite resting spot for Windy City romantics searching for "couples getaways near me." Of course, visitors to the area also love this gem of an inn for its elegant hand-carved furnishings and stunning Mississippi River views. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the river, perfect for watching a sunset or sipping a cup of Joe during a blissfully quiet morning. No need to get up after the morning coffee — homemade, complimentary breakfast is served in-room.

Things to Do: Chicago Athenaeum museum, Ulysses S. Grant Home, goat yoga, canoeing or kayaking in Mississippi Wildlife & Fish Refuge, wine tours (ask Goldmoor front desk), and a hot air balloon ride.

9001 W. Sand Hill Road, Galena, IL 61036

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Copperstone Inn, Rockton

Situated on 130 seemingly untouched acres nearly three hours from Chicago, Copperstone Inn is a popular spot for weddings with timeless appeal. But it's also a retreat for couples looking for some quiet romance in the Prairie State. Each of the seven suites is spacious and individually decorated, giving you room to move around. But there are ample opportunities to remain close, such as by in-room fireplaces and jacuzzis.

Things to Do: Beckman Mill, Nygren Wetland Preserve, Macktown Living History Museum, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Anderson Japanese Gardens, and Rock Cut State Park

6702 Yale Bridge Road, Rockton, IL 61072

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Lincoln Way: A Destination Inn, Franklin Grove

Rustic chic meets modern elegance at this inn that really lives up to its "destination" promise. Lincoln Way Inn is an eco-friendly one at that, with organic linens that align with sustainable couples' travel priorities. Romantic amenities include a cozy hammock made for quiet respite and a wood-covered outdoor terrace. It's open year-round, so a fireplace provides warmth when Mother Nature won't. During warmer months, lush greenery adds tranquility and natural beauty. Bathrooms feel like spas, with spacious tubs and jacuzzis big enough for two.

Things to Do: Jonamac Orchard, Honey Hill Orchard, Books on First, Rosbrook Studio, Dixon Theatre, and White Pelican Canoe, Kayak & Bike Rental

409 N. State St., Franklin Grove, IL 61031

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Unique Vacation Rentals in Illinois

Beyond the more traditional accommodations, plenty of rentals in Illinois provide intimate settings. You can peruse listings and find an Airbnb or VRBO in Illinois that offers anything from an off-the-beaten-path cabin rental to a posh city apartment.

Peaceful Lake House in the Pines, Franklin

This tranquil lakefront oasis is situated on four acres of greenery, and the door is a literal stone's throw from the water, where you can swim, kayak, or simply wade together as you enjoy the sun or sunset. Visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds nestled between pine trees, along with an 18-acre meadow that blossoms every spring and summer. The property also has a deck that's perfect for an outdoor meal or beverage. But be mindful: This destination-style rental is for couples who truly want an escape from reality—the nearest grocery store is 25 minutes away.

Things to Do: Danenberger Family Vineyards, Big Eli Ferris Wheel #17, Bowl Inn, and Breathe Spa and Wellness Center

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Treehouse Hosted by Derick, Makanda

Nothing says "couples retreat in Illinois" like a stay at a secluded treehouse. Situated in the village of Makanda (population: under 600), this Airbnb in Illinois features one bedroom and one bathroom. It's billed as the perfect spot for couples visiting the Shawnee Hills Wine Country, where French-American hybrid vintages like Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc are made for savoring while peering out at sprawling vineyard views. Extra bedding, board games, and a firepit are available.

Things to Do: Blue Sky Winery, Feather Hill Winery, Panthers Den hiking trail, and the Shawnee Hills canopy tour

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

Upgraded, Spacious Three-Bedroom Apartment, Chicago

Chicago offers no shortage of five-star luxury and boutique hotels. But the Windy City is also home to posh rentals that put a twist on the normal couple's getaway. This spacious three-bedroom rental that's just 18 minutes from downtown has a patio and backyard—a rarity in a concrete jungle. Guests also have access to the property's grill for lazy Sunday dinner prep. Three bedrooms provide plenty of space to stash the numerous outfits you brought for touring the city and its many (many…) hip bars and lounges.

Things to Do: Jefferson Park, Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Small Group Tour, Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour, and Small-Group City Tour

5.0 Rating | Read Reviews

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