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Plan a romantic food and wine getaway just hours from bustling Chicago

By Joshua Haigh

Sponsored Sometimes all you want to do is escape the hustle and bustle of modern day life. We all love a city break, but when you want something more low-key and romantic, Chicago and its neighbouring towns offer everything you could need and more. Just a few hours drive from the iconic Windy City, Galena boasts some of the most break-taking scenery in Illinois, with its rolling hills and gorgeous greenery around every corner. The quaint little town attracts well over a million visitors a year, who flock to its historic streets to soak up a slice of classic Americana for a truly authentic all-American experience that can be hard to find nowadays. Main street, recently named the “Best Main Street in the Midwest” by Living Magazine, is the perfect example of this. It’s packed full of historic 19th century architecture that has remained relatively untouched for decades. Take a break and tee-off at the picturesque Eagle Ridge Golf In fact, the town’s appearance has barely changed since the Civil War, leaving first-time visitors to feel like they’re walking straight into a living, breathing history exhibit for a truly unique experience unlike any other. For an unrivalled dining out experience, there’s upmarket eateries like Otto’s Palace, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fritz and Frites and The Log Cabin Restaurant to fill that void in your belly made by a day of sight-seeing. After soaking up the culture, what could be better than putting your feet up and getting pampered beyond your wildest dreams? Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, just a short drive northwest of Galena, offers exactly that. With an indoor pool, a fitness centre and countless treatments available, the resort gives visitors the perfect safe haven from the outside world. If you’re not quite done with exploring, then fear not, because you can take a romantic stroll around the 20 miles of cycling and hiking trails that surround the resort, before popping to one of six delicious restaurants to give you and your partner the perfect end to your day. Sometimes there’s nothing better than enjoying a relaxing glass of wine or two with a loved one, and Galena Cellars Winery is the perfect downtown experience. With views of the rolling countryside as the perfect backdrop, there couldn’t be a more perfect way to end your day. If you can’t squeeze everything into a day-trip, then you can book a stay at charming B&B’s like the Jail Hill Inn and Inn at Irish Hollow. Both are gay-owned and operated,  and are proof that Chicago’s renowned LGBT+ friendly attitude extends throughout the state of Illinois. All this might seem like a world away, but Chicago is closer than you think. There’s multiple non-stop flights to the city every day from London, and with the flight coming in at under eight hours, you can leave in the morning and be having dinner in Chicago by nightfall. Now, what could be more perfect than that? Visit to help you plan your trip of a lifetime and join in the celebration on Twitter with #amazingILmoments.