If you’re visiting Chicago or live in the Chicagoland area, and are yearning for a magical woodland getaway, head to Utica, Illinois. Brooke and I just returned from a fun Memorial Weekend getaway…just a little over a one hour drive from our home in Naperville, Illinois. We had the pleasure of staying at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort.
With body and tube water slides, a lazy river, riptide and wave pool, hot tub and The Wave Cafe (as I like to call Mom’s Margaritaville) steps away from the waterpark this is the ideal resort for fun and excitement. While it is not the size of the monstrous resorts at the Dells, that certainly goes in the positive column on my resort check list–no worries as to where the kids are and a fraction of the noise and chaos. In my opinion, the focus of this weekend should be on the great outdoors, with the water park being an extra bonus for kids (and adults) after a long day of fresh forest air.
The Northwoods decor at the resort is cozy and gives you that outdoorsy vibe. We were given a lovely suite that sleeps six, with a balcony in the main resort area.
On site at Jack’s Grizzly Bear Grand Resort, there are also beautiful vacation villas and cabins nestled in the woods with living rooms, patios, and fireplaces. These are the ideal haven for a family reunion or special occasion–although, in the near future, we hope to stay in a villa for no reason whatsoever.
About a two minute car ride away is Starved Rock State Park, so the perfect day’s agenda is to wake up, enjoy the resort’s buffet breakfast including eggs, potatoes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, pastries, etc and then head to Starved Rock for a morning, or day of hiking and exploring. Afterwards, return to the lodge to enjoy the water park, arcade, or just get some much needed R&R. In the evening, we dined again at Jack’s Place Restaurant and Bar followed by a round of mini golf as we enjoyed the music at the Bear Island Bar and Grill.
Without a doubt, we will make Grizzly Jack’s a yearly traditional, maybe even monthly!