The holiday season can be a whirlwind of a time, but getting away for a weekend can be rejuvenating as well as productive. This time of year, a visit to Utica checks both of those boxes.
“The quaint village is a great place to visit during the holiday season because there are a lot of great businesses with amazing gifts, as well as lots to do,” says Amanda Carter, museum director of the LaSalle County Historical Society and president of the Utica Business Association. “If you are wanting to relax and enjoy company, our restaurants, wineries and lodging offer many options.”
Starved Rock State Park provides entertainment for outdoor enthusiasts with frozen waterfalls and peaceful trails. Holiday bargain hunters can roam the village shops to find gifts for loved ones or treat themselves to something special.
“If you are a history lover, the LaSalle County Historical Society campus is a must,” Carter adds. “There’s lots of interesting history in the area, including that of the ever-popular Starved Rock State Park.”
During the weekend of Nov. 26-27, Utica visitors can attend Christmas in the Village to experience family-friendly fun, including free horse and carriage rides, a traveling barbershop quartet, games, movies, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, visits with Santa, trolley rides to the Celebration of Lights at Rotary Park, Small Business Saturday deals, and the lighting of the village tree and parade through downtown.
In addition, Utica has plenty of dining options, including Cajun fare at Cajun Connection, burgers at Skoog’s Pub and Grill or Lodi Tap House, steaks at Canal Port Pub & Grill, pub-style food at Joy & Ed’s Bar and Grill or Jamie’s Outpost, and deli options at Bruce & Ollie’s or John and Rina’s.
“Nonie’s Bakery & Cafe has scrumptious pastries and breakfast options,” Carter adds. “Starved Rock Lodge has beautiful surroundings to enjoy for your overnight stay and great places to eat including the Backdoor Lounge and their coffee shop.”
Utica’s charm never gets old.
“The people, businesses and village government are very community-oriented, and it shows,” Carter adds. ❚