Nestled in the heart of the verdant Fox River Valley, idyllic Geneva lies about 36 miles west of Chicago's Loop area, but its laid-back rural vibe seems a world's away from the big city's honking cabs and rackety trains. Historical buildings and tree-lined streets define downtown Geneva, with 200 specialty shops ranging from artisanal jewelers, chic women's clothing stores, and boutique eateries. Built by German immigrants in the 1850s, the 68-foot Fabyan Windmill lies along the river to the south of town, recently restored with timber from the Netherlands. 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 past as an early Kane County seat and an agricultural hub.
With an airbrush-tanning treatment, bodies can bask in the benefits of epidermal darkening without having to worry about ultraviolet exposure or cumbersome tan lines. Meanwhile, the expert stylists at Hot Heads Salon each specialize in sculpting specific types of head hedges, and they regularly attend color and cutting classes to keep up on fashion trends and industry innovations. Through the Hot Heads online booking portal, clients can make a reservation by visiting the services menu and clicking on the title of their desired mane modification. Clients can commission an all-over curls ($40+) treatment or a bang trim ($8+) to easily reinvent existing styles, or they can opt for a haircut and style ($40+), spiral perm ($90+), or a full highlight ($75+) to astonish the insides of sardonic hats. The modern salon creates an inviting atmosphere by plying clients with comfortable seating and an array of handbags and clothing items to peruse or chat with while waiting.
Like the sprouting petals of a lotus flower, licensed massage therapist Amy Bochenek's passion bloomed at the Chicago School of Massage, where she spent hundreds of hours training in anatomy and kinesiology. Now, in the comfort of her own Blue Lotus Massage Therapy studio, Amy can blend flowing Swedish strokes to ease achy human hinges, or she can sideline lower-layer tension with firm deep-tissue pressure.
CS Massage clients rest their heads on heated neck cushions and relax their lids under eye pillows as the licensed massage therapist begins the one-hour customized muscle mendings. The treatment melds the long strokes of a Swedish massage with a calming bouquet of essential oils, incorporating deep-tissue and hot-stone techniques where necessary. Clients then get cocooned in a moisturizing body wrap for 30 minutes. Before the heated wrap, the therapist will use soft body brushes to exfoliate skin as well as apply a mineral mist and a coat of all-natural moisturizer. The wrap also includes a scalp massage to stimulate daydreams of relaxed mummies during the treatment.
Tucked away in downtown St. Charles, Eliza Jane’s girlie-girl boutique glimmers with trendy accessories and colorful jewelry crafted by 35 local artists, three of who are teen entrepreneurs. A pressed tin ceiling and soft lights hang above a hardwood floor, where the colors pink and white feature strongly among accessories—such as kitchsy purses, vintage bracelets, and stuffed animals—that overflow from tall glass shelving units and tables covered with printed cloth. After customers snag a specialty gift for baby, teacher, or self, Eliza Jane's staff can swaddle it in complimentary pink and brown wrapping. Ladies in need of a pick-me-up can pamper bodies with nonchip mani-pedis, facials, and waxing treatments.