When Wanderlust Strikes
As a Dream Town broker, I’m most often focused on selling and buying homes on behalf of my clients. But this month, I want to explore some wonderful ways to get away from home, be it a long weekend or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
And if exploring the world has you dreaming about a new home, I’ll be here to help when you get back.
More Than A Place to Sleep
Whether it’s their singular setting, exotic ambience or the sense of history, here are four unique and amazing hotels—both near and far.
- On the edge of the unbroken wilderness of Finland’s largest national park, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is the perfect place to experience Lappish life and the magical beauty of the Arctic Circle. Guests who choose one of the Kelo-Glass Igloos will enjoy a spacious log cabin complete with a cozy log bed, stone fireplace and your own private Finnish sauna. Attached to the cabin is a glass-domed igloo with additional bedding so you can fall asleep under the Arctic sky—maybe even to the glow of the Aurora Borealis! kakslauttanen.fi
- More like a 15th-century village than a hotel, Aman Sveti Stefan is a luxury resort set on a tiny private islet washed by the Adriatic Sea just off the coast of Montenegro. Connected by cobbled lanes and shaded courtyards, 51 medieval stone cottages have been lovingly restored and transformed into state-of-the-art accommodations. Across the short causeway, overlooking a pink sand beach, the elegant Villa Milocer welcomes guests with eight luxury suites set in an erstwhile royal summer residence. aman.co
- The handsome 4,832-square-foot landmark in downtown Madison that is now The Governor’s Mansion Inn was home to 17 Wisconsin governors from 1885 to 1950. From the original cast-iron Kohler bathtubs that Walter Kohler installed after his election as governor to the period furnishings that grace this elegant 8-room boutique hotel, this sense of history has been meticulously maintained. Inn-keepers Bob Klebba and David Waugh are always happy to share the mansion’s illustrious past and how they brought it back to life. governorsmansioninn.com
- At the foot of Beacon Hill in the heart of Boston, the Liberty Hotel is an imaginative transformation of the Charles Street Jail, an 1851 landmark that once housed the city’s most notorious criminals. Brought back to life by an expert team of architects, historians and conservationists, original elements like the old prison cells and exercise yard have been ingeniously incorporated into this elegant luxury hotel. libertyhotel.com
Close to Home…Far From Ho-Hum!
From romantic getaways and solo adventures to a weekend family vacation, here are some fun and fascinating places that that are close to Chicago—but feel worlds away.
Three Oaks, MI: Best known for its antique shops and galleries, Three Oaks also offers two highly-acclaimed theaters and the Journeyman Distillery, one of the country’s few certified organic and Kosher distilleries.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, IN: The world’s largest children’s museum has a Chicago connection: Their amazing collection of dinosaur-themed artwork was donated by longtime Chicagoan John. childrensmuseum.org
South Bass Island, OH: Best known for the charming village of Put-In-Bay, this small Lake Erie island offers romantic B&B’s, wonderful restaurants and family-friendly sights like Perry’s Cave, the historic lighthouse, and the Massie Cliffside Preserve. visitputinbay.org
Cedar Rapids, IA: Home to the largest collection of works by the iconic American painter Grant Wood, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is just one of many cultural attractions that include the lovely Brucemore estate and the National Czech & Slovak Museum. tourismcedarrapids.com
Scratch Brewing Co., Ava, IL: One of the best in America for foraged beer, this inviting farmhouse brewery offers unique creations imbued with local ingredients like nettle, juniper and chanterelle mushrooms! scratchbeer.com
Unexpected National Parks
Everyone knows the big-name parks like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but there are more than 420 national park sites in the USA—including National Monuments, Memorials and Historic Sites. Here are some you may not know. nps.gov/findapark
Bandelier National Monument, NM: Encompassing 33,000 acres of wilderness just an hour from Santa Fe, Bandelier includes age-old native American dwellings and petroglyphs set in a spectacular rugged canyon.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park, NJ: Visit the home and laboratory of America’s greatest inventor and learn how he impacted the lives of millions of people worldwide.
New River Gorge National Park, WV: America’s newest national park offers spectacular river canyons, forested mountain trails and some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast!
Fort Larned National Historic Site, KS: With its unique sandstone buildings set on the Great Plains, this authentic 1800’s fort once sheltered army troops who were known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH: Walking or biking along the restored Towpath Trail of the historic Ohio & Erie Canal is just one highlight that awaits in this stunning region that includes wetlands, waterfalls, and mossy limestone ledges.