We love to go up and hike Starved Rock State Park as well as stay at the gorgeous lodge there (see a previous post).We always go into Utica to wander as well. A quant and picturesque place that is rare anymore. Great little bars with awesome food and a great winery (See our earlier post on August Hill). Great little trading post style shops, galleries and whisky tastings. It is just a really interesting and fun place to hang out. We travel all over but it is still a favorite to wander. Take a look at the pictures, see or other posts and comment with any questions. Glad to help. Also follow us on twitter @combatsportlife (where we are most active)
I love doing these random walk pieces as it shows my readers what a place really looks/feels like, not the glossy or pr stuff ( don’t get me wrong I love doing our reviews and pr work for travel companies/hotels/restaurants). These are just fun and real.
We go to Chicago often. From fighting events and martial arts tournaments to my days in the trading world. Also healthcare conferences for my wife and often just to hang out. We love it and have been over a good portion of the whole Chicagoland area. This pictorial is mostly shots of River North and the walk as well as some Mag mile. Also the awesome Eataly. I’ll do a separate piece on it all by itself. Amazing experience. Gourmet grocery, multiple restaurants plus wine and craft beer!!! Trust me. Also some shots from a great dinner in the classic O’Callaghans Pub. Great experience. Check out the pics and enjoy(ps if you want us to come to your place hit us up here or on twitter @combatsportlife to set something up. Great pr for your place. Twitter is our primary so check it out)
My wife and I travel to the Starved Rock area in Northern Illinois quite often (see previous articles). It’s gorgeous and great room/cabins in the grand lodge in the park. We also love to go in to the quaint town of Utica. Historic town with so many cool things to see but always relaxing.
This was our first chance to stop at August Hill. The winery itself is a few miles away but the tasting room is right downtown. It is amazing. A beautiful mod feel that would fit in anywhere in a huge metro or Napa. Still it is in a tiny town.
A fantastic tasting setup in a stunning room. You can get small plate food items hand carried into the gorgeous lounge area if you wish to buy wine by the glass or bottle and relax. Plus wine! Guess what? The wine is excellent as well. Often not true of these smaller Midwestern wineries. This is outstanding (and yes I’ve been all over the world as a fighter/travel writer). I love the Chambourcin (in fact there is a bottle staring at me in my office!) Try it. Now check out the pictures and enjoy. Talk after the jump.
I can’t say it enough. Come to this area and definitely come to August Hill when you do. Trust me. I travel all over and it’s world class yet warm and classically Midwest. I should add that the staff was amazing. Great service. Great knowledge. Go!
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I grew up taking trips to the Arthur/Arcola area here in Illinois. It’s always been interesting to see the amish lifestyle and eat the fantastic food, Plus the great craftsmenship of their furniture. We also have many friends in the area.
Take a look at the pictures and what I’m talking about then get yourself to the area! From the cool Beachy’s Bulk Foods to the great buffet and it’s awesome gift shop. Plus seeing the horse and buggy travel of everyday life. Enjoy.
I love this town. Over the years I’ve been there many times. For business, wrestling tournaments/ teaching martial arts seminars and dance comps with my daughter. This was the first time we have just gone to chill and write about it. We will be back again and again.
From the cool native history along the Fox River that runs right through downtown to the many Underground railroad sites, there is a wealth historic sites to see. The Baker Hotel is anther great one and gorgeous. I plan to stay there next trip and write about it( a few pics of it here). Shops, pubs and fine dining all can be found in the gorgeous downtown. Old buildings, redone buildings and the classic Arcada Theater (caught Stephen Pearcy from Ratt live while we were there. Great place and got to hang out with one of my HS wrestling training partners .Sometimes our travels give us a chance to catch up). All this with beautiful Fox River roaring in view.
This trip we stayed at the Hilton Garden in that we have stayed at many times. Always great. Cool modern art look in the lobby. Decent pool and fitness and nice rooms. Nice quiet location and always a good experience. It has great conference space and great service. Nice quiet seating areas to relax, read and check your messages on wifi. We will go again(and again). Next time the Baker though just because we write about travel lol.
Take a look at the pictorial and see for yourself( a saddle shop right downtown!)
Ernest Tubb was a country music pioneer and Nashville staple/legend. He also had this record shop. Right on Broadway in downtown, it’s been a cool destination for decades (in it’s 69th year!) Albums, cds and live music right there. Souvenirs and old memorabilia it is true Americana and should not be missed! Surrounded by bars, restaurants and honky tonks it’s great place to stop ,look and learn when you wander downtown. Take a look!
This place is just too cool. You really just have to go in and experience the vibe. Not many places left like it. For my fun, live as we do it follow us on twitter @combatsportlife (we follow back). Contact us to get featured on twitter or here.
I do a ton of random walk features everywhere we travel to. Like I always say it’s a great way to get to know how a place looks and feels. Not just the stock media photos every travel blogger gets and tries to write an article around.
I took about 3000 pictures while we were in Nashville. A solid 2200 of them were inside the Gaylord. So much history. Glitz, music and just an unusual feel that I don’t find often . The pics in this post are just from all over the complex(truly one of the largest places I have ever wandered around. Go there, hang out and just see what you run into. No plan, no agenda just wander. Enjoy the pictures and then book a trip there.
There isn’t a reason to not stop by this place if you’re in Nashville. It’s like walking through a cool, glitzy museum with food and booze! Better yet, stay at Gaylord Opryland