One of the best ways to start out a ladies’ trip is to catch up and unwind with a glass of wine...right? Head to Crooked Creek Winery Downtown in Centralia and get a bottle of anything from traditional white wine to rosé. Of course, make sure to get a bottle or two for the road!
From there, head a few blocks away to the Centralia Carillon, one of the largest bell towers in the world. There are concerts here each weekend, complete with food vendors and of course, great music!
After the concert is finished, take a drive west to Carlyle Lake and wrap up the night at your own lakeside cottage. Hazlet Cottages at Carlyle Lake provides amazing views of the largest man-made lake in the state, and they offer many of the same amenities that you would have at home!
Begin the day with a plethora of options at Carlyle Lake! You can take some time out to go to the beach or gather the ladies and take a beautiful walk around the lake. There are plenty of walking, biking, and hiking trails to explore the outdoors at Carlyle Lake.
Once you've freshened up, it's time to hit the Carlyle Lake Wine Trail! Begin at Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery - just a stone’s throw from the lake. There are nearly 20 wines to choose from, including fruit wines; and if some food is necessary - they have a GREAT menu.
Continuing to our next stop along the wine trail - some fantastic vino awaits your palate at Twelve Oaks Winery. Located not far outside of Carlyle, Twelve Oaks boasts award-winning wines that took home 13 medals in the 2020 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition! They were also just one of nine total Governors Cup winners in the entire state for their Chambourcin Rosé. Definitely plan to take a bottle (or four) home with you!
For an amazing dinner after the wineries, look no further than Popeye's Chop House in St. Rose. Indulge in everything from skillet mushrooms to seafood and prime rib at this hidden gem in Clinton County.
To wrap up the night, head to Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston for a wonderful experience in your own cabin! Each cabin comes with complimentary breakfast, and if you're not ready to call it a night quite yet - their tasting room is open until midnight on the weekends.
Start the day off with a little shopping in Lebanon! Whether you're looking for jewelry or antiques, there are several boutiques full of goods to catch your eye.
From there, head northeast to Highland - home of some AMAZING food. Head downtown and check out Patty Cakes - a winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Also, downtown you will find The Chocolate Affair, which is full of everything from truffles to hand-dipped chocolate covered Oreos. You can take a seat at the pavilion on the square and enjoy your goodies near Highland's beautiful water fountain.
Travel east on Interstate 70 to Pocahontas (Home of country music singer Gretchen Wilson), for some amazing antique shopping. There are a handful of antique shops scattered throughout town, so there's a high likelihood that you won't leave empty handed! Once you're all shopped out, head to Copper Dock Winery in Pocahontas for a drink or two on their lovely double-decker patio that overlooks a lake.
A short drive on I-70 from Pocahontas will lead you to Greenville, which has several hotels to rest your head for the night. Enjoy your trip, ladies!
Crooked Creek Winery
Twelve Oaks Winery
Popeyes Chop House
The Chocolate Affair
Copper Dock Winery - @al_smith94.jpg