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Fall in Love with the Picturesque Homes of Historic Grand Detour, Illinois

Have you ever gone to a somewhat obscure place for vacation and found you enjoyed it so much more than the much-hyped tourist spots? That’s what happened this past weekend when hubby and I went to Grand Detour, Illinois, for a low-key fall getaway. I was immediately smitten by the charming town of about 450 people dotted with fascinating homes and interesting history.

Historic white home with picket fence in Grand Detour, Illinois


We booked this house for our stay that’s located on two acres in the heart of town on the Rock River. It’s a charming farmhouse in need of paint that looks like grandma still lives there. The homey vibe was comforting and restful so I was happy.

Airbnb in historic Grand Detour on the Rock River in Illinois


The tree-lined streets are super quiet and there aren’t any street lamps. Walking around, I felt a New England vibe in the older section of the small village and later found out that a group of people from Vermont (including John Deere) had settled here. The following two photos are views from the house where we stayed.

Maple Tree in the Fall


Picturesque neighborhood of Grand Detour, Illinois


Behind the house you see above is this charming, small red barn with a garage door. If the building is old enough, I suspect it might have been used to house a horse and buggy. It reminds me of the barn/garage my grandparents had at their older home in Paw Paw.

Small Red Barn converted into a garage


Next to the small barn above is this quaint little shed. I’m not sure what it’s currently used for, but I would use it as a potting shed. Every morning when I opened the shades, this is the view out the window.

Small white garden shed with red door


We could also see this gorgeous, yellow home from the kitchen window. It’s one of many picturesque homes and I had to take several photos of different angles to showcase its full beauty. I found out a local artist lives in this home with her philanthropist husband. This view shows the large screened-in porch and large trees on the property.

Yellow Picturesque Home in Historic Small Town


Grand Yellow House - Picturesque Homes of Grand Detour


The side porch has a swing on it – if you look carefully you can see it. I love the little brick sidewalk leading up to it, too.

Grand Yellow House - Picturesque Homes of Grand Detour


Here’s the back of the grand yellow home in the heart of town.

Grand Yellow House - Picturesque Homes of Grand Detour


Right across the street from there is this quaint little stone cottage with a sign outside that reads “Jane Cress Edgar – Artist.” Of course, I had to Google the name and that’s when I found out that this artist lives in the yellow house while the stone cottage serves as a studio.

Old stone cottage - Jane Cress Edgar Studio


Jane Cress Edgar art studio in Grand Detour


Next door, we enjoyed a view of this large, red brick home that once served as a popular bed and breakfast called the Rose Colonial Inn. It looks like the property is currently for sale. Sadly, it’s no longer open for business.

Colonial Rose Inn - red brick bed and breakfast


Just two blocks from where we stayed is the John Deere museum. It rained all day Sunday so we grabbed our umbrellas and walked over to the museum for a blacksmith demonstration and to tour the home of John Deere, below. I love exploring the history of any place we visit.

John Deere House and Museum in Illinois


A stroll down any of the streets in Grand Detour revealed a variety of picturesque homes nestled beneath tall trees that were just starting to turn color. The “town” is very small with approximately 500 residents, but it’s a 5-minute drive to Dixon which is considerably larger and is also Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home.

Victorian Painted Lady


I noticed many of the houses had lamps out in the yard since there are no street lights.

Gray Blue Cottage in Historic Grand Detour


This gorgeous charmer was just two blocks from our Airbnb. From the front it appears small.

Large White Colonial Home on Rock River


But turn the corner and you can see it’s rather large. The homeowners enjoy a view of the Rock River from the side windows.

Large White Colonial Home on Rock River


Even though it’s end of October, you can see that many of the trees are still green. A friend was mentioning how much later the trees are changing color this year. Normally most of the leaves would already be turned and fallen on the ground for raking.

Rock River in Illinois


Since I have more than 40 photos of Grand Detour’s beautiful homes, I’m sharing the rest of the pictures next week. It may not be the most exciting place to visit, but it certainly is peaceful and quiet, which is just what I needed before the busy holiday season.

Picturesque Homes - tan colonial with pillared porch


See More Midwest Picturesque Homes:

Take a Walking Tour of Ottawa, Illinois

Yellow and Green Homes in Beautiful Naperville

Walking Tour of Charming Cambridge, Wisconsin

Historic District of Sycamore, Illinois

A Walking Tour of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin



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  1. I think you were looking for the source for the coffee filter looking object. Check Terrain. They seem to have smaller sizes.

  2. Jennifer, once again your eye for simple beauty captured this charming town. I’m always amazed with your perceptions of the smallest detail. And sharing your visions of what could have been….I so identify with that.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you had a nice peaceful weekend before the holiday madness lol. Looks beautiful there. I love small towns and historic homes.

  4. What pretty houses. I love the black shutters grounding the yellow house, and that it is a deeper yellow. That house that looks small from the front made me chuckle. The mellow vibe is nice in this town. I guess they can fill some time mowing the giant yards!

  5. It looks like the perfect place to me, calm and peaceful. I would love to spend time in an area like this, peacefully quite and charming places to see.