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Weekend getaways: A guide to suburban B&Bs, historic hotels

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Deer Path Inn is styled after a 1453 manor house in Kent, England. (Photo submitted by Deer Path Inn)

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Deer Path Inn is styled after a 1453 manor house in Kent, England. (Photo submitted by Deer Path Inn)

Crisp autumn temperatures and colorful fall foliage create an idyllic setting no matter where you travel. So why waste valuable time and money traveling to the ends of the earth for a weekend vacation when there’s plenty of getaway-worthy destinations right outside your front door.

Instead of schlepping out to the city for a couple of days — been there, done that — why not turn to the neighboring suburbs for that much-needed R&R. You’d be surprised how many cozy bed and breakfasts and charming hotels, some of which have more historical significance than their city-dwelling counterparts, exist among the many suburbs of Chicago. (Photos)

Before planning your next escape, check out TribLocal’s weekend getaway guide to suburban B&B’s and historic hotels.

(Historical information was gathered from establishments’ websites and other sources.)

Algonquin
Victoria Rose Garden B&B, 314 Washington Street
History:
Blending contemporary amenities with Victorian charm, the Victoria Rose Garden B&B is nestled in a quiet location near Algonquin’s 1835 historic district. Originally built as a wedding gift from a father to a son in 1886, a total of four families have resided within the home.
Style:
Folk Victorian
Features
: A library, front porch, manners classes, afternoon tea, weekend packages include girls getaways and anniversary packages; a full breakfast is served using fine china, crystal glassware and silver stemware.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Four
Rate range:
$99 – $149
Around Town
: Madison on Main Spa or Woodhouse Day Spa, Port Edward’s Restaurant located on the banks of the Fox River, shopping at Algonquin Commons featuring more than 70 stores and restaurants, 34-mile bike trail along the Fox River
Upcoming Events:
Historic Cemetery Walk and Old Time Country Harvest take place Oct. 8.
More info:
847-854-9667 or sleepandeat.com

Barrington
Barrington House B&B, 203 Dundee Ave.
History:
A completely restored two-story 1894 brick home lies in the center of Barrington’s Historic District, which boasts having one of the largest collection of historical houses in Illinois.
Features
: Writing desks, private baths, fireplace in the sitting parlor, wood flooring, a brick courtyard, music room, side porch, and full breakfast with Starbucks coffee
Guest rooms/Suites:
Five
Rate range:
$155 – $195 (plus tax)
Around Town
: Barrington’s Historic District, blocks from restaurants, the historic Catlow Theater, and the Metra Train Station; Nature-enthusiasts can enjoy Baker’s Lake, Cuba Marsh/Citizens Park, Crabtree Nature Center, horseback riding at local farms as well as biking and hiking opportunities at Deer Grove Forest Preserve.
More info:
847-381-0203 or barringtonhouse.com

Evanston
The Homestead, 1625 Hinman Ave.
History: Architect Philip A. Danielson and his wife, Ruby Larson, came up with the idea to create an East Evanston family hotel while on their honeymoon. Construction began in 1927, and the Homestead Hotel opened its doors in 1928. After a year in business, the hotel faced hard times when the 1929 stock market crashed, spurring the Great Depression. Debt almost landed the Homestead in the hands of creditors, but the Danielson’s succeeded in keeping it until 1957. The hotel has remained under family management for more than 75 years.
Style
: Built in Williamsburg style
Features
: Extended stays available, two blocks from Lake Michigan, in-hotel restaurant Quince serves contemporary American cuisine
Perks
: Complimentary garage parking
Guest rooms:
90 (incl. extended stay apartments)
Rate range:
$140 – $265 nightly (plus tax); $100 – $205 nightly per week (plus tax); $19.30 – $38.40 nightly per month (no tax)
More info
: 847-475-3300 or thehomestead.net

The Margarita European Inn, 1566 Oak Ave., Evanston
History
: Named after Evanston’s first female resident, Margaret O’Leary, the inn got its start in 1927 as The Margarita Club for Working Women, which provided housing for business women in the Evanston area. The club became an inn in 1989, but visitors can still view the original name inscribed in stone above the building’s main doorway.
Style:
Five-story Georgian mansion with Classic European décor throughout
Features:
Afternoon tea in the grand parlor, outdoor roof deck with Chicago skyline views, an English library, Pensiero Ristorante — rated as one of the top Italian restaurants in the Chicagoland area by Gourmet Magazine
Perks:
Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast
Guest Rooms:
42
Rate range:
$79 – $179
Around Town
: Chicago Botanic Garden, Bahai Temple, miles of lakefront biking, Piven Theatre, Next Theatre, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Light Opera Works, Evanston Symphony Orchestra and Northwestern University athletics
More info:
847-869-2273 or margaritainn.com

Fox Lake
The Roxana B&B Hotel, 94 Lippincott Road
History:
On three-forested acres, the 1893 Victorian mansion has served as a B&B on Fox Lake for nearly four years.
Style:
Victorian
Features
: Nestled on Fox Lake’s Mineola Bay; suites/rooms named after famous and infamous figures like Abe Lincoln and Al Capone.
Perks
: Sunsets from the front porch, complimentary breakfast
Guest rooms/Suites:
10
Rate range:
$65 – $225
Upcoming Area Events:
Octoberfest takes place Oct. 1 and includes hay rides, a petting zoo, camel rides, crafters, kid’s activities and a food and beer tent.
Around Town
: Fox Lake Country Club, Chain O’ Lakes Area, Fox Lake Flea Market (every Saturday, April through October)
More info:
847-587-1705 or theroxana.com

Geneva
The Herrington Inn & Spa, 15 South River Lane
History
: In 1835, the Herrington family became the first settlers of what is now Geneva. Nearly 40 years later, a dairy creamery set up shop on the banks of the Fox River, taking the place of the Herrington family cabin. Growing in size and stature, the creamery later became known as Geneva Rocks Spring Creamery. The former creamery transitioned into a riverfront hotel in the 1980s.
Features
: Riverfront location, fireplace and oversize whirlpool in every room, spa services, Atwater’s Restaurant — a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant
Perks
: Daily complimentary European-style breakfast buffet
Guest rooms/Suites:
61
Rate range:
$169 – $495
Around Town
: Geneva boasts having more than 200 shops and restaurants, and outdoors enthusiasts can bike or hike trails along the Fox River.
More info:
630-208-7433 or herringtoninn.com

Oscar Swan Country Inn, 1800 West State Street, Geneva
History:
Located on eight acres, the estate dates back to 1836. The Inn opened for business in 1988, and has since been used as a guest quarters for private parties, weddings and special events.
Style:
Colonial Williamsburg Revival
Features
: Fenced-in garden, an in-ground pool, a renovated 1836 barn known as the Gathering, Victorian tea parties and Girl-get-togethers (each offered to groups of 10)
Perks
: Pets are allowed
Guest rooms/Suites:
Eight
Rate range:
$99 – $179
Upcoming Events:
Thanksgiving in the country; Christmas Around the World begins in November and offers tastings from various featured countries on select dates.
More info:
630-232-0173 or oscarswan.com

Highland Park
Ravinia Guest House, 264 Oakland Drive
History: The 1926 brick home is nestled in the North Shore ravines on a wooded lot.
Style:
English Colonial
Features
: A sunroom, private parking, close proximity to North Shore activities
Perks
: Full breakfast with apple pancakes and egg souffle
Guest rooms/Suites:
Three (two with private bathrooms)
Rate:
$149.50 (plus tax)
Around Town
: Rosewood Beach, North Shore Yacht Club, Heller Nature Center, golf and tennis, Northbrook Court Shopping Mall, Chicago Botanical Gardens, three blocks from the train station for commuting into the city, 2 blocks from Ravinia Music Park
More info:
847-433-3140 or bandbmidwest.com/ravinia

Lake Forest
Deer Path Inn, 255 East Illinois Road
History: Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Deer Path Inn is a local landmark and member of the Historic Hotel Association. The original hotel, which has since been razed, was built in the 1860s and sat on the site of an old hunting lodge along a trail later known as Deer Path Road. In 1929, the old inn was resurrected in a different location, where it continued to serve as an upscale weekend stay for out-of-towners and wealthy Chicagoans.
Style:
Styled after a 1453 manor house in Kent, England
Features
: Free English breakfast at time of choosing, individually decorated rooms; The Bar (opened in December 2009), the English Room restaurant is listed in the Distinguished Restaurants in North America guide and includes an extensive wine cellar
Perks
: Complimentary parking and passes to Lake Forest Beach
Guest rooms/suites:
55 rooms
Rate range:
$150 – $400
Around Town
: A plethora of golf courses, Historic Market Square, Lake Forest Beach, hiking and biking through Middlefork Savanna, Elawa Farm’s weekend garden market, North Shore bike path
More info:
847-234-2280 or dpihotel.com

Lake Zurich
Shady Oaks Bed and Breakfast, 15 Lakeview Place
History:
Nestled on the shores of Lake Zurich, the cottage was built in 1904 by the Kohl family as a summer resort. After being purchased by the Branding family, the lakeside home received a complete renovation in 2000.
Style:
Dutch colonial shingle-style cottage
Features
: The back porch overlooks the lake, making it the perfect spot for sunsets. All rooms have King or Queen-sized beds, heated bathroom floors, and breakfast is served on the back porch, weather permitting.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Five
Rate range:
$150 – $190
Around Town:
Two beaches, Volo Auto Museum, Volo Bog, Historic Long Grove, Arlington Race Track, biking and hiking along trails in one of many Lake County Forest preserves
More info:
847-438-6797 or shadyoakslz.com

Mundelein
Round Robin Bed and Breakfast Inn, 231 East Maple Ave.
Style: Victorian
Features
: The B&B graced the pages of newspapers and magazines like “Country Inn Magazine” and the “Chicago Tribune.” Other noteworthy assets include upper and lower porches, natural oak throughout, a full breakfast including live piano entertainment, and a front porch swing.
Perks
: Afternoon tea, fruit basket and beverages are included with stay
Guest rooms/Suites:
Seven
Rate range:
$59 – $159
Around Town
: Six Flags Great America,  historic Long Grove Village for shopping in old Victorian homes, Lambs Farm, Great Lakes Naval Base, nearby bike paths and commuter trains
More info:
847-566-7664 or roundrobininn.com

Naperville
Harrison House B&B, 26 N. Eagle Street
History:
In 1904, the area tailor originally commissioned the home to be built for his bride. In 1986, Lynn and Neal Harrison converted the former two-flat apartment into a B&B a year after they purchased the property. Restored to reflect its former glory, the Harrison’s combine modern conveniences with period furnishing and fixtures.
Style:
Post-Victorian home
Features
: All rooms (except Garden Room) equipped with clawfoot, Jacuzzi or whirlpool tubs. Floral wallpaper, maple-wood flooring and antiques exist throughout the home.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Five
Rate range:
$118 – $228 (plus tax)
Around Town
: A short walk to downtown Naperville for shops and restaurants, the Riverwalk and Metra and Amtrak trains stations. Also nearby is Naper Settlement, Centennial Beach, forest preserves, Danada Equestrian Center, Hollywood Casino, Illinois Prairie Path and Morton Arboretum.
More info:
630-420-1805 or Harrisonhousebb@aol.com

Oak Park
The Write Inn Hotel, 211 N. Oak Park Ave.
History:
Embark on a literary retreat at the Writer’s Inn Hotel, like Ernest Hemingway and poet Vincent Starett, who called this historic area home. The inn sits among the architectural feats of Frank Lloyd in Oak Park. It originally opened as the Oak Park Manor in 1926.
Style:
1920s décor
Features
: Extended stay packages, Hemingway’s Bistro serves up classic French dishes alongside a Parisian seafood bar with fresh seafood flown in daily from Boston.
Perks
: Free parking
Guest rooms/Suites:
65
Rate range:
$115 – $194
Around Town
: The Metra and CTA train lines leading downtown are a few minutes walk, Frank Lloyd Wright historic district (named one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association)
More info:
708-383-4800 or writeinn.com

Harvey House B&B, 107 S. Scoville Ave., Oak Park
Features
: The Harvey House B&B exudes an urban contemporary charm throughout. The luxurious three-story brick and limestone building boasts rooms where guests can choose suites with oversized Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, sitting areas, flat screen TVs and kitchenettes. Massage therapists are also available for in-room appointments. The B&B specializes in oven-baked goods like cinnamon chip scones, Peach Kuchen and popover pancakes.
Perks
: Full gourmet breakfast at the guest’s time of choice (available in room), and bicycles are available to use for neighborhood jaunts.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Five
Rate range:
$175 – $275
More info:
708-848-6810 or harveyhousebb.com

Under the Ginkgo Tree B&B, 300 North Kenilworth Ave., Oak Park
History: Built in 1890
Style: Queen Anne Victorian
Features:
Woodwork throughout, stained glass windows and Victorian-style antiques; rooms have private or shared bathrooms; large veranda
Perks
: Parking included, walking distance from downtown Oak Park, Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio as well as Ernest Hemmingway birth house and museum
Guest rooms/Suites:
Four
Rate range:
$75 – $90
More info:
708-524-2327 or undertheginkgotreebb.com

Roselle
Lynfred Winery B&B, 15 South Roselle Road
History:
Wine Connoisseurs can enjoy a bit of Napa Valley in the Chicago suburbs. Lynfred Winery founder the late Fred E. Koehler, opened Illinois’ first winery in 1979. The winery’s big break came in 1985, when Lynfred’s 1983 Chardonnay was recognized as “Best of Class” against other California heavy-hitters.
Features
: Four themed suites (American, German, French, Italian) come with a premium wine tasting of eight Lynfred wines or two bottles, a private tour, a cheese/fruit platter and made-to-order breakfast; voted for having the most privacy in 2011 by Pamela Lanier’s Bed and Breakfast Inns.com; each room has a balcony, wood-burning fireplace, rain shower, jet tub and heated bathroom floor.
Perks
: The B&B is located above the winery for easy access.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Four
Rate range:
$350 – $500 (plus tax)
Upcoming Event:
Oktoberfest & Pig Roast is Sept. 24 -25
More info:
630-529-9463 or lynfredwinery.com

St. Charles
Hotel Baker, 100 W. Main St.
History:
Listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, Hotel Baker owes its existence to a rather large inheritance and a big dream. In 1918, St. Charles native Edward Baker inherited $20 million from his sister, and used more than $1 million of it constructing his dream resort on the banks of the Fox River. In 1928, the hotel doors opened for business. Over the years, the hotel has accommodated guests like John F. Kennedy, Richard J. Daley, Gerald Ford and Billy Graham, and musicians like Louis Armstrong have provided entertainment at the hotel’s Rainbow Room.
Features
: Original furniture pieces from 1928 seen throughout the hotel; the ROX City Grill offers an extensive wine list; Wine and Martini Bar features live entertainment Thursday through Saturday.
Fun Fact:
Family Circle recently named St. Charles the No. 1 city for families
Guest rooms/Suites:
53
Rate range:
$149 – $495
Around Town
: Canoeing and kayaking trips down the Fox River, biking and hiking along Fox River Trail, Prairie Landings Golf Course, Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruises, moonlight hay rides at Primrose Farm
Upcoming Area Events:
The Kane County Flea Market is Oct. 1-2, and the 26th annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival is Oct. 7-9.
More info:
630-584-2100 or hotelbaker.com

Wauconda
Old Victorian Farmhouse B&B, 26668 S. Main St.
History: In 2004, owner Sherry Corder bought the 1846 farmhouse on nearly an acre and restored it to open her dream business — a bed and breakfast. The B&B opened for business in May 2005.
Style:
Restored Victorian farmhouse
Features
: Ranked Northern Illinois’ “Most Romantic” B&B by WGN Television; made-from-scratch crème brulee French toast; the B&B features weekend murder mystery dinners as well as high tea with finger sandwiches, scones and crazy hats; screened in back porch, outdoor patio, and reading nooks.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Four
Rate range:
$75 – $150
Around Town
: Just five blocks from antique shops and restaurants, and the B&B boasts having 10 golf courses within 10 miles. Also nearby is Bangs Lake, Lambs Farm, Millennium trail and a slue of Lake County Forest Preserves.
Upcoming Area Events:
Apple Festival is Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, and OkotberFest is Oct. 16-17, both in nearby Long Grove.
More info:
847-526-9271 or oldvictorianfarmhouse.com

West Dundee
The Mansion Bed & Breakfast, 305 Oregon Ave.
History:
As the private estate of former iron baron John Fierke, The Mansion Bed and Breakfast continues its turn-of-the-century decor throughout with leaded stained glass windows and timeless woodwork. Built in 1907, The Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Style:
English Tudor
Features
: Private Jacuzzi tubs, private gated parking, a video library, Egyptian cotton sheets, extended stay rooms available
Guest rooms/extended stay rooms:
Seven
Rate range:
$119 – $199
Around Town:
Grand Victoria riverboat Casino, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Hemmens Theatre, Clearwater Theatre, Medieval Times and one block from shopping and restaurants
More info:
847-426-7777 or themansionbedandbreakfast.com

Woodstock
Royal Victorian Manor, 344 Fremont St.
History:
Also known as the “The Cherry Street Inn” featured in the 1993 film “Ground Hog Day” starring Bill Murray, the Royal Victorian Manor only recently became a functioning B&B. Originally built in 1894 by a McHenry County judge, the manor underwent a large renovation in 2009, and made available to the public as a full service bed and breakfast in June 2010.
Style:
Victorian manor; Queen Anne rococo décor
Features
: Wrap-around porch, widow’s walk, newly renovated rooms
Perks
: The B&B can arrange carriage rides and candlelit dinners for guests
Guest rooms/Suites:
Five suites (with private bathrooms)
Rate range:
$125 – $175 (plus tax)
Around Town
: Historic Woodstock Square (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), The Woodstock Opera House (where Orson Welles and Paul Newman once graced the stage), the Woodstock Theater and McHenry County’s 20,000 acres of conservation land.
Upcoming Area Events:
18th annual Autumn Drive takes place Oct. 14-16, when 11 area farms open up their property to the public to sell antiques, arts and crafts, produce and pumpkins. 
More info:
815-308-5432 or royalvictorianmanor.com

Bundling Board Inn, 220 E. South St., Woodstock
History:
Built in the mid-1890s
Style:
Queen Anne Victorian
Features
: Themed getaways for groups including Death by Chocolate Slumber Party, ’50s Pajama Party, Mad Hatter’s Tea and Overnighter Quilting Weekend; each room is named after a turn-of-the-20th century woman known for her hospitality.
Perks
: 3 blocks from Historic Woodstock square, complimentary hot and cold beverages, and the Inn’s famous baked praline apple French toast
Guest rooms/Suites:
Three
Rate range:
$105 – $125 (plus tax)
Upcoming Area Events:
US National Ski Jumping Championships is Oct. 1-2 in nearby Fox River Grove, and Woodstock’s Prairie Fest is Oct. 1.
More info:
815-338-7054 or bundlingboard.com

Alexandria House B&B, 315 Dean Street, Woodstock
History:
Vintage 1865 Victorian home
Style:
Interior décor showcases antique/eclectic travel treasures from more than 14 European and Asian countries
Features
: The recipient of Readers Choice Award voted one of the Best Bed & Breakfast in McHenry County in 2003. The B&B is two block from historic Woodstock Square and features gathering rooms for book clubs and bridge parties, covered front porch complete with swing and hammock for relaxing, backyard croquet, in-room massages available, horse and carriage rides by request, murder mystery events that include props and costumes as well as a candlelit chef’s breakfast.
Guest rooms/Suites:
Four
Rate range:
$95 – $130
More info:
815-206-5000 or alexandriabnb.com

*All nightly room rates depend on room type and availability.

 

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