Category Archives: travel

The Best of Illinois: Vol. 1, catalog offers cutting-edge graphic design, striking photography, a shelf of essential books, and a closeup of a bullfrog. Oh, you’ve heard these superlatives? Here’s the chase, the gist, the nitty, and/or the gritty: 40% off … Continue reading

When Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig tied the knot with Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in October of 1810 a few kegs were tapped and a new tradition was born. The modern “Oktoberfest” is 17 days, culminating with a German Unity Day blowout filled … Continue reading

Erica Lorraine Williams visited the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University to discuss her book Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements. In her talk, Williams examines the impact of Brazil’s tourism department using Black sexuality to promote their nation … Continue reading

The Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge stretches for 261 river miles from Cordova, Illinois to the mouth of Wisconsin’s Chippewa River. Dozens of bird species can be spotted at the Refuge, especially during migratory season. Perhaps most … Continue reading

Ayers Sand Prairie in Carroll County was once the western edge of the Wisconsin Glacier. Among the small dunes explorers can spy plants and animals friendly to the dry growing conditions such as the birds-foot violet and the Olympia marble … Continue reading

The middle fork of the Vermilion River runs through Kickapoo State Park. Just a short walk from Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, explorers will find forest-lined bluffs and a a multitude of creatures.  Large dragonflies patrol the banks along the … Continue reading

Henry N. Barkhausen Wetlands Center is the perfect starting point for exploring the Cache River ecosystem. From the visitor center window one can spy muskrat, river otter hummingbirds and various other creatures that thrive in the restored wetlands. But there … Continue reading

Matthiessen State Park in LaSalle County is a feast for the eyes in all seasons. With greenery and wildflowers in the spring and summer, colorful foliage in the fall, and the arresting sight of icefalls in the winter, there is … Continue reading

The Ballard Nature Center is a glimpse into what Illinois was like before the landscape gave way to cultivation for corn and soybeans. Located between Altamont and Effingham, just off old Route 40, Ballard Nature Center is a remarkable prairie … Continue reading

On the very the southern tip of Illinois, in the Cache River State Natural Area, you’ll find Little Black Slough Nature Preserve. Well known for its cypress-tupelo swamp, Little Black Slough has floodplain forests, upland woods and small patches of … Continue reading