Each day, as the sun rises over the Illinois River Valley, light spills across Kickapoo Creek Winery's 14 acres of vineyards. Dr. David Conner originally began planting these vines in 2001. Now joined by his son, Rory, Dr. Connor creates rich, fruit-forward wines using locally sourced grapes in addition to the family's own grape harvests. Each wine brings its own melange of flavors and aromas, whether it's the tropical and citrus notes of the vignoles-seyval blanc blend or the norton's subtle spice and hints of ripe plum. The Connor family also makes wines infused with the luscious fruit flavors of everything from cranberries to peaches; and the selection of dessert wines includes bottles infused with chocolate.
Although the tasting room's samples lure many visitors, Kickapoo Creek Winery also provides guests with opportunities to explore its picturesque grounds. Walking trails can guide visitors past rows of trellised grapevines, a bubbling fountain, and even a bridge overlooking Lake Elizabeth. The grounds also include a handful of places for guests to stop and rest for a spell, such as the partially shaded Ruby Glow Garden with its miniature waterfall of grape juice.
Visitors have an unusual transportation option for getting to Summer Solstice: if they get an early enough start, they can float up to the day of craft beer and concerts by canoe. As the Fox River ambles past the historic buildings of downtown Yorkville, it deposits a flotilla of revelers in Riverfront Park. Those who don’t want to paddle in are also allowed to arrive on foot or palanquin to enjoy the rootsy music and frosty brews of the fest, a collaboration between Rogue Barrister Records, Three Angels Brewing, and the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce.
When he wasn’t piloting a plane, Toby Beall spent time with his bare feet in the Caribbean sand and a cocktail mellowing in his hand. Looking to share that laid-back lifestyle, Beall, his wife Jillian and brother Jamey founded Tailwinds Distilling Company. Today, the Plainfield-based specialists blend premium ingredients such as organic molasses and 100% blue agave, and carefully age them in french-oak barrels to create their tropically-inspired amber rum. After the signature, small-batch distilling process—which avoids the use of carbon filters so as to leave the flavors intact—each bottle is individually signed. That attention to detail hasn’t gone unnoticed: their Taildragger white rum earned a silver medal at the 2012 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition, and their 100% blue agave spirit was featured in Chicago Magazine's Holiday 2012 Gift Guide: For Imbibers.
Visitors can take a jetlag-free trip to the tropics during tours of the facility, learning about distillation and sampling sips in a tiki-bar-themed tasting room. Merchandise such as T-shirts, snifters, and flasks provide more lasting souvenirs than the imaginary tan the island vibe might inspire.
Take a trip to One World Eats and Drinks in Peoria and make your next meal a good one.
One World Eats and Drinks is a local eatery that serves up both gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on One World Eats and Drinks' menu.
The perfect place to take the kids, dining out at One World Eats and Drinks won't cost you a sitter.
One World Eats and Drinks is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at One World Eats and Drinks.
Whether it's just you and a date or you're bringing the whole gang, it's best to call ahead and make a reservation.
No suit, no problem! The dress code at laid-back One World Eats and Drinks is ultra casual.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — One World Eats and Drinks offers catering.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Drivers will embrace the number of street and lot parking choices close to One World Eats and Drinks.
Meals at One World Eats and Drinks usually set you back about $30 per diner.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are all accepted.
One World Eats and Drinks has three square meals a day on the menu, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Enjoy a casual night out at Granite City Food and Brewery, a local American restaurant.
If you're avoiding fat or gluten, you can still eat great at Granite City Food and Brewery, which offers a number of low-fat and gluten-free choices.
TVs are also on hand in the bar to keep up with the latest scores.
At Granite City Food and Brewery, kids of all ages are welcome.
The patio tables outside of Granite City Food and Brewery are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Not to be overlooked is Granite City Food and Brewery's no-charge wifi.
Give the restaurant a call to reserve your table if you're headed over on a weeknight — it can get quite busy with the after-work crowds.
You can also grab your grub to go.
If you go out for a nice meal, it doesn't need to cost $100, come treat yourself at Granite City Food and Brewery.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
It's more likely that Illinois River Winery founder and winemaker Gregg Kane is out in the field or tinkering in the wine lab than in the chair behind his desk. Thanks to his hard work, the winery's tasting room offers a selection of more than 30 varietals daily, from crisp, dry wines with vibrant acidity to wet wines known for their unique ability to quickly soak into a shirt. During warmer months, grab a glass and head out to the patio, where live music sweetly serenades sippers every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.