Things to Do
9th Street Pub
Gathering spot for decades offering a broad American menu, a full bar, pool & shuffleboard tables.
A Mess of Things
A Mess of Things in Ottawa, Illinois is your shopping destination for vintage, shabby chic, recycled, home décor and clothing items. The store is a real treasure with a variety of unique items. The shop is located in Downtown Ottawa with plenty of free parking and is close to restaurants and an assortment of stores.
A sprawling riverfront park, located on Ottawa's Rt. 71 that offers boat launches, docks, a riverwalk, tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, toboggan run and an ampitheater.
Arts in the Park
Ottawa's Art in the Park is sponsored by Ottawa Art League, and is held annually at Washington Park. This fine art festival is a juried and judged show and sale featuring 35+ artists and artisans exhibiting works across many mediums.
August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Co.
Enjoy wines crafted by hand in the heart of LaSalle County! Every glass or bottle you purchase in their downtown Utica tasting room is made by hand at their vineyard and production facility in LaSalle. Located just minutes from Starved Rock State park, this is the perfect place to find a wine to suit your palate. Whether it’s an August Hill wine, offering many delicious seasonal varieties or an ISC sparkling wine made in a time tested traditional method, there's something for everyone at the August Hill Tasting Room.
Back Door Lounge
Perched on a bluff high above the scenic Illinois River, Starved Rock Lodge’s The Back Door Lounge is the perfect place to enjoy lunch, dinner, small plates or late-night snacks after a long day outdoors! Order your favorite cocktail or one of their specially crafted beers by Leinenkugel and Tangled Roots. Best of all, there’s also live music every weekend with no cover charge.
Baker Lake Park offers fishing, picnicking, playground, shelters, restrooms, soccer field and a 1 mile paved walking path.
Beautique by Rosanna
LaSalle's Beautique by Rosanna is a fun, fresh, and relaxing hair salon, paired with a botique clothing store! From the minute you walk through their doors, it's Beautique's mission to make your visit the best experience possible.
Bold and Curvy
A women's plus size clothing boutique offering new and consignment clothing.
Bruce and Ollie's Ice Cream Specialty Coffee and Deli
Bruce and Ollie’s is LaSalle County's newest ice cream parlor, featuring a wide variety of delectable hand-scooped flavors, alongside a selection of craft beverages and grab-and-go food options. On the menu you’ll find salads, soups, charcuterie boards, sandwiches -hot and cold- and breakfast offerings, alongside drinks like espressos, iced coffees and teas.
Buffalo Rock State Park
This beautiful State Park features two expansive trail systems, offering hikers an unbeatable view of the Illinois River and the surrounding forest. You'll also find the Effigy Tumuli, five pieces of enormous landscape art by the world renowned Michael Heizer, and two live American Bison on the property!
Canal Cargo Market, located in historic downtown LaSalle, features over 6,000 square feet of vintage, antiques, shabby chic, rustic, industrial, architectural elements, and handmade goods. You'll also find the tools, products and inspiration you need to completely transform your favorite spaces.
Catlin County Park
Catlin County Park is a 333-acre park acquired in 1970 by the LaSalle County Conservation District. The park’s well-organized trail system hosts fourteen distinct trails, plus numerous connecting trails. These trails course throughout the park’s habitat, which includes its various streams and ponds. The park’s horse trails are also recognized as some of the best trails in the area. Open May through November.
CatsEye Wine Bar
This eclectic wine bar exudes urban-vintage charm and a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere. They offer a robust selection of wines and craft beers, all rotated seasonally. Consider trying one of their handcrafted cocktails and spirits, or a wine flight to sample several of their complementary seasonal wines.
Cindy's on 39
Cindy's on 39, located conveniently off I-39 in Oglesby, is a cozy, kid-friendly restaurant, serving up a delicious menu. You'll find everything from small plates to dessert. They also offer takeout if you're looking to have a picnic at one of the nearby parks.
Clarks Run Antiques
Utica’s newest and largest antique store, features a highly curated selection of finds from over 70 vendors. You’ll find rusty, old, recycled, weathered, refurbished, shabby-chic, vintage, antique trendy and just plain cool items. The recent addition of an on-site wine bar and outdoor patio makes Clarks Run a must-stop on your next trip through Utica.
Clarks Run Antiques and Wine Bar
Utica's newest and largest antique store, features a highly currated selections of finds from over 70 venders! You'll find rusty, old, recycled, weathered, refinished, shabby-chic, vintage, antique, chippy, trendy, or just plain cool items! The recent addtion of an on-sight wine bar and outdoor patio makes Clarks Run a must-stop on your next trip through Utica!
Clarks Run Creek Gifts and Wine
Clark's Run Creek Gifts and Wine, located just a short drive from Starved Rock State Park, is the perfect place to enjoy a wine tasting, do some gift shopping, or just relax with friends! They offer a wide variety of wines to buy and taste, and there's even an upstairs lounge where you can relax with your purchases.
Country Cottage was founded over 25 years ago by crafters and small business owners. Today, you'll find nine vendors making floral arrangements, custom clothing and jewelry, hand-painted light-up burlap bags, concrete goose clothing, sports memorabilia, gifts for children and offering services such as product personalization and jewelry/rosary repair and much more!
D E C O R
You don't have to travel to Chicago to get the hottest and trendiest home furnishings and decorations. LaSalle D E C O R lets you shop chic without the city prices. D E C O R is a modern furniture store filled with urban furnishings that would look at home in celebrity villas and penthouse apartments. Best of all, D E C O R can get your furnishings to you the same day!
Danchris Nursery is a family owned and operated Landscape and Garden Center business, specializing in unique plants, inspirational designs, and quality work. Whether you're looking for the supplies for a DIY project, or want Danchris' Unilock Authorized Contractors to save you the labor, this quaint Streator nursery wants to get you the yard you desire.
Dayton Bluffs Preserve
At Ottawa’s Dayton Bluffs you can experience over 100 acres of open prairie in the midst of restoration, the majesty of 150 woodland acres, rugged ravines, glistening water cascades, the beautiful Fox River, sacred Native American burial mounds and the Daniels family pioneer cemetery. This beautiful natural area is Ottawa’s newest preserve, owned by The Conservation Foundation and managed by the City of Ottawa.
Engle Lane Theatre
Community Players of Streator, Inc. makes its home in the Wm. C. Schiffbauer Center for the Performing Arts at Engle Lane Theatre, commonly known as Engle Lane. Six live theatrical shows are produced each season which runs from May through October. Visit their website to learn more about their upcoming shows!
Fox River Park and Riverwalk
A paved walking path starts at Fox River Park at East Superior and Champlain Streets and continues to Downtown Ottawa along the Illinois River. The park includes a splash pad, 9-hole disk golf course, playground, shelter, docks, boat launch, fishing area, and more.
Girlfriends is a specialty lingerie shop featuring bra fitting services. Their in-stock bra sizes include petite, average, and very full cups along with maternity and nursing bras, post-surgical bras, prosthesis, camisoles, sportswear and shapewear. Offering bra fitting expertise and quality lingerie in European sizing.
Hegeler Carus Mansion
The Hegeler Carus Mansion is a National Historic Landmark in LaSalle, Illinois (just a short drive from Starved Rock State Park). The mansion is open year round, Wednesday through Sunday with a one-hour guided tour that begins at the top of the hour starting at noon each day. Virtually unaltered since its completion more than a century ago, the 57 room Mansion, built in 1874, is an example of high artistic achievement in architecture and interior design and the site of historic accomplishments in industry, philosophy, publishing and religion.
Hopalong Cassidy River Trail and Canoe Launch
This 0.5 mile trail parallels the swift-flowing water of the Vermilion River. Visitors can follow this trail through urban forest of mulberry, hackberry, oak and maple. Blue jays, chickadees, and woodpeckers flit in and out of the riparian trees as butterflies and dragonflies frolic along the trail’s sunnier stretches.
I & M Canal Boat and Visitors Center
Come journey back in time aboard the Volunteer, a 70-passenger, mule-pulled 1840s replica canal boat as it coasts gently up and down the I&M Canal. Climb aboard for an hour of peaceful, historical fun! Families of all ages, historians, photographers and nature lovers will love this historic journey into Illinois' scenic past! Special group tours & boat rides are available.
The Igloo Diner has been an iconic restaurant in LaSalle County since it first opened its doors in 1934. They've even been ranked as the #1 diner in Illinois by Food Network, earning special accommodation for their enormous pork tenderloin.
Illini State Park
Nestled along the Illinois River in Marseilles Illini State Park is a serene hidden gem offering guests the perfect place to hold a picnic or family gathering. This 510-acre park boasts not only incredible views of the river but also 100 plus picturesque campsites a boat ramp for easy river access and ample places for anglers to fish for crappie bass bluegill and catfish.
Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra
Since their first season in 1949-50, the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra has been striving to fulfill its mission "to entertain and inspire the community by performing live orchestral music." Music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Periods has been prepared under the direction of seventeen conductors, and has featured local and international soloists, along with yearly traditions like the annual Pops Concert and the bi-annual Nutcracker ballet.
Jobst Monument & Gifts is a unique gift shop offering a variety of lawn and garden decor, religious and bereavement gifts, statuary, and more. Such items include kinetic art, humming bird feeders, gazing globes, wind chimes, and Isabel Bloom sculptures. There's something for everyone at Jobst. So, stop in today, you won't be disappointed.
Thinking of building a new log home, cabin or other log building? Visit Katahdin Cabins’ fully furnished Northern White Cedar Model Home, located in a beautiful wooded area just north of LaSalle. Benefit from Katahdin 40+ years of log home design, sales, and construction experience!
Lake Mendota Park
Lake Kakusha is a man-made lake with fishing, shelters, picnic areas, and trails.
LaSalle County Historical Museum
The LaSalle County Historical Society campus is located on the banks of the historic I&M Canal and is situated in the quaint village of Utica, Illinois, bordering beautiful Starved Rock State Park. The museum campus features five facilities: the Canal Warehouse, the One-Room School House, the Heritage Center, the Blacksmith Shop and the 1875 Barn. On Sundays in May – September, the historical society is home to the canal market. The LaSalle County Historical Society sponsors the longest running and largest fall festivals in northern Illinois, Burgoo Festival. The Burgoo Festival is an annual village street party featuring flea marketers, craftsmen, musicians, and other entertainment.
LaSalle Rotary Park
This 52 acre park features recreation activities for all members of the family, in one convenient location. The park includes soccer fields, adult and youth baseball and softball diamonds, a dog park, a fishing pier, and a wheelchair accessible playground.
Lock 16 Café
The Lock 16 Café and Visitors Center provides a quaint, vintage setting with a focus on Illinois history. The Lock 16 Café offers healthy and seasonal cuisine, as well as vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan friendly options, all using fresh ingredients and prepared to order.
Marien Mae Bridal Boutique is a full service Bridal Boutique located in La Salle. They offer a wide range of gowns, tuxes, event planning, and event rentals. Brides get a truly unique experience with Marien Mae's knowledgable consultants, ensuring you find the perfect gown! Call for your appointment, today.
Approximately 33 acres of land on the northeast edge of the city was donated for a park in 1919 by the Plumb Family. It is the site of the city’s first drinking water source where a low flow dam was built on Otter Creek. In 2015, a local philanthropist donated an additional 32 acres, increasing the size of Marilla Park to approximately 65 acres. It is home to disc golf, mountain bike trails, picnic shelters and is large enough to accommodate group events.
Matthiessen State Park
Canyons, streams, prairie and forest combine to delight visitors at Matthiessen State Park. Located in central LaSalle County, approximately 4 miles south of Utica and 3 miles east of Oglesby, Matthiessen is a paradise for those interested in geology, as well as recreation. Visitors can expect to see beautiful rock formations in addition to unusual and abundant vegetation and wildlife.
Oglesby’s newest park is located on the west side of town. It features a fishing pond with a beautiful pier right off of the walking track. The track is 1/3 mile long with 6 work out stations. There is a playground with baby swings, regular swings, a pirate ship, and bongo drums. McPhedran Park is also pet friendly!
Mitchell’s Grove Nature Preserve
Mitchell’s Grove Nature Preserve is a small but mighty park, and something of a geological oddity! The site contains evidence of glacial gouging and boulder deposition from as far north as Canada! You’ll find a winding creek, tall bluff outcroppings and some rare vegetation. For non-rockhounds, it’s also a popular hunting destination during deer season.
Tucked away in Oglesby, this popular Mexican restaurant is serving up delicious and authentic dishes. Favorites like Tacos Al Pastor and Chimichangas, along with their oversized margarita specials, keep locals and visitors alike returning to this hidden gem.
Ottawa Historical and Scouting Museum
The Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Ottawa, Illinois area and Boy Scouting, Lone Scouts, and Girl Scouting. View this listings details on our website.
Ottawa Mural Walking Tour
The Brush With History public art program was developed to help revitalize Ottawa’s downtown and create a cultural attraction for tourists and residents of the community. To date, ten murals have been completed with the most recent being completed in 2019. The murals focus on figures or events that shaped Ottawa’s history including local industry, prominent citizens or the creation of major improvements in the area. Schedule a tour by calling the Ottawa Visitors Center, or pick up a free self guided walking tour booklet.
Ottawa Visitors Center
Open 7 days a week to service the traveling public. The Ottawa Visitors Center is your one stop shop for information on the Starved Rock Areas botique shopping, special events, lodging, and outdoor activities. Stroll our turn-of-the-century Old Town with its lush walkways, boutique shops and unique restaurants. Stop here for your "Scenic Route to the Rock."
Peaces of Fashion
Peaces of Fashion, located in downtown La Salle, specializes in clothes and footwear that keep you comfortable from head to toe. They stock stylish specialty shoes, insoles and other items that will help you take a load off, while their knowledgeable staff can help you find a great pair of flats, sneakers, hiking boots, heels or slippers. You will also find full seasonal outfits and fun accessories, like hats, jewelry, purses and fun socks.
Petals by Payton
Petals by Payton is an upscale floral botique in downtown LaSalle, offering a currated assortment of fresh flowers, plants and gifts. You'll find a trendy selection of plant arrangements, using distinctive containers like vintage pots, modern pottery pieces and even small planters for succulents and other house plants.
Prairie Fox Books
This indie bookstore, located in downtown Ottawa, offers a friendly atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and hosts/sponsors multiple events such as author talks, book signings, book clubs, and community events.
Quest Watersports, located in Ottawa, offers used and brokered boats, boat club memberships, Hobie Kayak sales & rentals, and complete marine services. Conveniently located near Heritage Harbor, this watersports dealer is a must vist for boating enthusiasts.
Quilting In The Valley
Quilting in the Valley, located in downtown LaSalle, is passionate about making quilting and creating fun, inclusive, easy, and enjoyable! This botique store offers a massive selection of fabrics, quilting peripherals and gifts.
Historically important and architecturally unique, the Reddick Mansion anchors Washington Square, the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Ottawa, Illinois. Built in 1855, the Reddick Mansion is a lovely 22-room Italianate mansion that was possibly the most expensive and ornate private home built in Illinois before the Civil War. Take a step back into the 19th century and visit the Reddick Mansion, where numerous rooms have been restored to their previous grandeur. The Reddick Mansion Association is responsible for the historic preservation and restoration of the Reddick Mansion.
Oglesby’s famed The Rootbeer Stand offers all your drive-in favorites, from hamburgers to malts, they have it all. You can dine in the restaurant or take advantage of their nostalgic carhop service.
Route 34 Drive-In
Open since 1954, and showing movies for well over 60 years - the Route 34 Drive-In Theatre is located just west of Earlville, Illinois, on ‘old’ Route 34. This nostalgic drive-in features a 60 x 90 foot screen “looming” just off the main highway – you can’t miss it! Enjoy double features, classic cartoons and delicious snackbar treats! Parking is first come, first serve. Head to their website for showtimes and more details.
Salt Tree Yoga
SaltTreeYoga’s Wellness Center offers a variety of relaxing activities that restore wellness and balance to the body, mind, and spirit. These include Yoga, Himalayan Salt Cave, Migun Thermassage Bed, Infrared Sauna, Dry Hydrotherapy Bed and Ionic Foot Detox.
Salt Tree Yoga and Wellness Center
The Himalayan Salt Cave at SaltTreeYoga is one of about 150 salt caves in the United States and one of less than 10 in Illinois. Located in the Starved Rock area, SaltTreeYoga offers a variety of healthy activities including Yoga, a Skin Rejuvenation Bed, Flotation Hydrotherapy, Massages, Essential Oils and workshops. Everything at SaltTreeYoga, old and new, focuses on restoring wellness and balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
Sandy Ford Nature Preserve
The 200-acre Sandy Ford Preserve, located on the east bank of the Vermilion River, freatures two creeks, a floodplain forest, dry bluffland forest, hill prairies, sandstone cliffs and a selection of uncommon vegitation, more likely to be found in Wisconsin or Canada.
Seneca Heritage Museum
The purpose of the Seneca Historical Guild is to bring people together interested in history, and especially in the history of Seneca, Illinois. The Guild’s major function is to discover, collect, observe, advance, and disseminate knowledge of the history of Seneca. The Seneca Area Heritage Museum highlights the many layers of history of Seneca, Illinois, including the I&M Canal and the LST Shipyards.
Shabbona County Park
This park, located in rural Earlville, features picnic areas, open fields, rentable shelters and fishing ponds and the beautiful Indian Creek.
Skoogs Pub and Grill
Located in Utica Illinois, Skoog's Pub & Grill is famous for their great homemade food. Opening in 2000, Skoog's has quickly become one of the most popular gathering spots for locals and park visitors in the historic Starved Rock Country region. Skoog's was built on the idea of great food, large portions, and an enjoyable dining and drinking experience.
Located in Mendota, this 104 acre nature preserve features shelters, restrooms, picnic area and a playground.
Spring Lake Nature Area
Spring Lake Nature Area, located 1.8 miles northwest of Streator, is a 37.2 acre park containing two creeks, a sandstone waterfall, large trail system, and some rare flora and fauna!
Stage 212 is the Illinois Valley's community theater and regularly presents a full season of 4 productions in the winter, spring, summer and fall along with Off-Season productions, Children's theatre and live events.
Star Union Spirits
Star Union Spirits is a craft distillery, located in Peru's historic Westclox building, that manufactures small-batch spirits from locally sourced fruits and grains. The distillery has a public tasting room where guests are able to view the entrancing copper still and the wonders of the spirit distillation and production. Curious visitors are able to sample Star Union Spirits' delicious hand-crafted spirits along with artisanal cocktails. They also offer facility tours that illuminate the art of fruit-to-bottle processes, and the history of the Star Union Brand.
Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park, one of the Midwest's foremost outdoor recreation destinations, features 18 beautiful canyons with vertical waterfalls, more than 13 miles of scenic trails, sandstone overhangs, and spectacular overlooks. Beyond the lush vegetation, you'll find a first class visitors center, historic lodging destination and family friendly events like guided hikes and classes.
Stone Jug BBQ
Stone Jug BBQ restaurant, located in downtown Peru, is a family owned business that makes delicious dishes with the best raw ingredients, a unique blend of spices, sauces, and smoked applewood. Together, this makes for an amazing barbeque experience in a beutiful rustic enviroment, warm and cozy for lunch or dinner with friends, a large holiday party or family get together.
With its beautiful outdoor attractions like Spring Lake Nature Park and the town's wonderful boutique shopping district, Streator is a can't miss stop on your next trip to LaSalle County. You'll find intricate murals adorning the walls of businesses, telling the history of the town through enormous pieces of public art.
Streatorland Historical Society
Celebrate and learn about Historic Streator! In the Streatorland Historical Society museum you'll find thousands of artifacts, pictures, cemetary records, obituaries, Streator and Woodland High School yearbooks, Streator City Directories and even a restored 1954 Burlington Northern caboose!
T's Midwest Botique
T's Midwest Boutique, located in downtown Utica, Illinois, carries currated selection of women's clothing, purses, bags, jewelry, shoes and much more. T's also offers speciality services like private and personal shopping, wardrobe consultations and gift cards for special occasions. For your next shopping spree, be sure to visit T's Midwest Boutique.
Tangled Roots Brewing Co.
Tangled Roots Brewing Company is a craft-made establishment located in historic downtown Ottawa, offering a locally grown farm-to-foam experience and a roster of delcious craft beers that compliment your trip to LaSalle County and Starved Rock State Park. At the TR Tap Room, you'll find one-off experimental beers, limited run collaborations with other Illinois brewers, as well as live concerts and events.
The Starved Rock Lodge Restaurant
Combining a rustic setting with exceptional cuisine, the Starved Rock Lodge Restaurant is a delightful dining option located inside the heart of Starved Rock State Park. This beautiful dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and also offers convenient carryout for all your picnicking needs! Menu items range from favorites like beer-battered BlueGill FishTacos to their signature Ale Pot Roast. You’ll also find a wind selection of beer, wine and soft drinks, perfect for refreshing after a long day of hiking at Starved Rock!
Since 1985, LaSalle’s Uptown Grill has offered polished casual American for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Uptown also offers a full bar and lounge, in addition to frequent live music events.
Village of Seneca
Nestled along the banks of the I&M Canal and the Illinois River, Seneca is a beautiful community steeped in history. You'll find the Hogan Elevator, the oldest remaining grain elevator of its kind, a memorial to the builders and people that served on the famed LSTs (landing ship tanks) in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, as well as wonderful shopping, attractions for boaters and delicious restaurants.
Village of Utica
Located just a stone's throw from Starved Rock State Park, the Village of North Utica features a charming intersection of boutique shopping, delicious dining, fascinating local history and scenic nature, right in their quaint downtown!
Washington Square Park
Ottawa's Washington Square Park, site of the famed first Lincoln-Douglas Debate, features massive bronze statues of the political titans standing above a beautiful reflecting pool. You'll also find two war memorials and an 1890's popcorn wagon in this beautiful tree-lined park, that holds a spot on the national registry of historic places.
The Westclox Museum in Peru, Illinois presents visitors with a history of the Western Clock Company, better known as Westclox. The museum is located in a portion of the historic Westclox building. On exhibit is a large collection of Tick Talk Magazines that hold all of the wonderful stories of the thousands of employees who worked at the Westclox factory. Learn about the company that began waking up America, and eventually the world in 1885 at the Westclox Museum.
Yesterday's Treasures, Today's Gifts
This beautiful shop, located in downtown LaSalle, is filled with hand crafted and homemade items in a homey atmosphere, providing a truly heart felt shopping experience.