When I started blogging, my desire was to share home projects and local points of interest that are unique and charming. While you won’t find mountains or oceans where I live, you will find natural beauty, interesting architecture, and rich history. This week I’m joining a few friends to share why we love where we live. You’ll find interesting things from coast to coast.
PECK FARM PARK
Peck Farm is just down the road from where I live and I like to visit it frequently for walks, running on the trails, or just enjoying nature.
The Midwest has no shortages of beautiful red barns and Peck Farm is no exception. This property was owned by the Peck family when the area was first settled. Eventually the land became part of the park district and is open to the public. Both paved and unpaved trails wind through the many acres. Families come here to visit the indoor butterfly garden, the playground, and the pond and waterfall.
The original Peck home is stately and stunning. Makes me think it was the Midwest version of a southern plantation. Peck Farm offers a variety of events throughout the year.
THIRD STREET GENEVA
I grew up in the town of Geneva and at the time, took it for granted. Today, I’m well aware of the rich history and architectural beauty of this area. Geneva is a short drive from my house and is my favorite place to shop and dine. Third Street is lined with historic homes that have been converted into stores and my all-time favorite is Cocoon.
People come from all over to shop and dine in Geneva. It’s always busy but not overly crowded. This home houses the Paper Merchant, which sells stationery, wrapping paper, and a few home decor items. Isn’t it beautiful?
Each house-turned-store on Third Street has its own special story of who built the house and what they did for a living. Chain stores are not allowed in the shopping district.
No charming town is complete without a chocolate shop where candies are made on location. You can watch the candy makers through the large windows. Graham’s Chocolates is always busy!
I could show you a lot more historic-homes-turned-shops in Geneva but then this would be a really long post. So I’ll end with The Patten House, one of my favorite restaurants that’s a block over on Second Street. It’s just as gorgeous inside as it is out.
LEROY OAKES FOREST PRESERVE
Another favorite spot of mine is Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve. This place is huge with barns and historic buildings. It’s also where the 17-mile Great Western trail begins – one of my favorite places to run. In fact, it’s where I did most of my marathon training (I’ve run 5 marathons so far). The scenery takes your mind off any tiredness you might feel.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know I live where the Chicago suburbs end and the Illinois prairie and farmlands begin. I have the best of both worlds. Head east to the city, or head west to the country. That’s why my blog is called Town and Country Living!
Seriously, how can anyone not love a beautiful big red barn? Did you know barns were painted red because it was the cheapest paint color back in the day? It’s also considered bad luck to tear down a barn which is why you’ll often see dilapidated barns dotting the countryside.
This area is about a quarter-mile from the start of the Great Western trail, which is mostly crushed limestone that used to be where a train line ran. People walk, run, bike, and even cross-country ski on the trail.
The historic Durant house is also on the Leroy Oakes property. On the weekends you can tour the inside of the house while docents dress in period outfits and demonstrate the daily chores of days gone past.
The same is true of the Pioneer Sholes School which is just a few steps away from the Durant house.
Down the road from my house heading toward the country is Acquaviva Winery. When they first opened this place several years ago, I wondered what kind of wine they could possibly produce in Illinois.
To my surprise, the wine proved to be excellent and several varieties have won a lot of awards. We often sit out on the patio and it feels like we’re in the Italian countryside. The food is just as good as the wine! I recommend the white Donna Mia and the red Don Guiseppe.
Across the street is the vineyard. They host a lot of outdoor weddings in the Acquaviva vineyard. It’s so peaceful and serene at the winery. It’s a great place to visit when you need to de-stress and relax.
THE MOST FAMOUS SPOT IN ELBURN
Elburn is the town where I live, but all of the places above are less than a 10-minute drive away. The soon-to-be most famous spot is The Old Elburn Hall which was the location for filming scenes for Lovecraft Country, an upcoming HBO series based on the novel of the same name. The Hall is currently used as a venue for private events and is open to the public for jazz, drinks, and food every Wednesday night.
Here’s a couple scenes that I captured while the show was being filmed in our town. That white building is The Old Elburn Hall. The crew transformed all of the store fronts and it was fun seeing all the old cars.
There’s so much more that I could share about why I love where I live – but I’ll save it for another day. For now, visit my blogging friends below and enjoy seeing points of interest from Massachusetts, Georgia, Miami, and the Pacific Northwest! And there’s more to come on Tuesday and Wednesday!