There are delightful experiences awaiting visitors to Henry County. Shop boutiques and browse the many art galleries, explore Bishop Hill, a Swedish colony settled in 1846. Try the burger voted best in the state and judge for yourself. Spend an evening at an old-fashioned supper club with a great steak or seafood. Take in a live performance and spend some time outdoors hiking, or paddle boating.
Duration: 3 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: Adults
Arrive in Annawan and start your afternoon by stopping at Paxton’s Corner Coop for old-fashioned hand-dipped ice cream and homemade cupcakes. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Take a seat outside on the cow bench and enjoy your treat while viewing the amusing art objects surrounding the Coop.
Take the short drive to the Johnson Sauk Trail State Park. Rent a paddleboat and cruise around the lake – the park is beautiful from that view. Drop a line in the water and catch a whopper, or just relax and enjoy the backdrop. Hike the trails that run through the park and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Make the short drive to Kewanee. Pick up a map in the Amtrak Station of the downtown Walldogs Mural Tour. Can you find the hidden objects and answer the trivia quiz? Take a break from the outdoors and find a unique gift for someone back home at Heartfelt gift shop – and grab a piece of homemade fudge while you’re there. Wander around Good’s Furniture – the Midwest’s largest fine furniture store. Check out the koi pond downstairs by the Wine Cellar.
Check in at the AmericInn in Kewanee for relaxation before dinner. Relax in the heated indoor pool or sit by the fireplace in the lobby with a good book. There’s no place like Cerno’s Bar and Grill. Sit for a minute at the beautiful 50-foot-long original back bar built by Pabst Blue Ribbon in 1898. Enjoy an ice-cold beer from their selection of 30 varieties on tap and follow it up with a burger voted Best in the State.
Grab some free homestyle breakfast before departing to Bishop Hill, a Swedish colony settled in 1846.
Spend time touring the town enjoying the original historical buildings. This town of a hundred or so folks still retains much of the charm of its original inhabitants. They keep many traditional crafts alive with potters, blacksmiths, broom makers, weavers, a luthier, and quilters still producing the fine work for which they have long garnered praise. Unlike other recreated historic villages, this is a working, living community.
Open any door, gaze in any shop window and you are transported back to a more enchanted time. With six museums and more than a dozen galleries, you can chat with the artist who produced the treasured heirloom you are passing along as a cherished gift. There are three restaurants, a friendly pub, and two Inns eager to give you a restful and quiet night.
Your last stop is Geneseo, where you will drive down tree-lined streets surrounded by grand old Victorian mansions and beautiful parks. Stroll along State Street and shop at the unique little boutiques. Explore Geneseo’s art galleries to enjoy many different mediums and styles of art. You might even be able to see a demonstration or participate in a hands-on activity. Stop in to one of the local breweries, Lionstone Brewing or Geneseo Brewing Company, to sample the local brews.
Dinnertime means a trip to The Cellar with its old-fashioned supper-club ambience – vintage décor, white tablecloths, and waiters and waitresses that have been serving at The Cellar for more than 20 years. The Cellar has been in business almost 60 years, and still has the same menu with hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood. Start your meal with the crispy hand-cut lettuce salad and their famous Green Goddess dressing, then dig in to one of the best steaks you’ve ever had. Save room for the free melt-in-your-mouth warm homemade cinnamon rolls.
After dinner, sit back and take in a show at the Richmond Hill Barn Theater. This converted dairy barn is home to the Richmond Hill Players, who put on live performances from April through November in a unique in-the-round environment underneath the original rustic timbers.
Enjoy another great breakfast before checking out of your hotel and heading for home. You sure packed a lot of activities, history, art, and great food into your Henry County visit. Come back again, and visit during one of the many festivals and events throughout the year.