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Our guide to a rural retreat highlights the heartland charm you can find just outside the hustle and bustle of Chicagoland in the Aurora Area of Illinois. Take classes and workshops, dine on homestyle cooking at historic eateries, and enjoy the region's best antiquing. Read our guide and plan a getaway today! 

Find fun along the Lincoln Highway

Start your day with breakfast at Harner's Bakery Restaurant, a family favorite for generations on the Lincoln Highway offering scenic views of the Fox River in the heart of North Aurora. Head west to enjoy a fiber arts class at Esther's Place, a charming country attraction featuring its very own lamb farm. Have lunch at the Hinckley Cafe, a Lincoln Highway favorite in the small town of Hinckley, Illinois, then head to Big Rock where you can experience a unique shopping destination: More Polish Pottery, the largest wholesaler and retailer of artisan ceramics in the Midwest. More Polish Pottery celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021, with a special events planned throughout the year. In Sugar Grove, Fireside Grille bills itself as a quaint mainstay for steaks and classic American cuisine — enjoy dinner in Fireside's rustic, homey atmosphere, complete with exposed timber joists and a cozy fireplace. 

Antiques and a unique "country home"

Kick off your day with breakfast at Grace Coffee & Wine, a modern, airy spot for gourmet bites and coffee. Shop antiques and artisan goods at Vintage 71 Shops in Yorkville, a roadside gem on its namesake route, and visit Olde Farm Creek, a farmhouse locale with a selection of farmstand goods and charming decor. Book a visit to tour the Farnsworth House, a "country home" unlike any other, designed by Mies van der Rohe for pioneering nephrologist, poet, and musician Dr. Edith Farnsworth — transportation is available on-site from the visitor center to the home, or walk the grounds and enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Fox River.

Make your next stop at Emerson Creek, where you can dine on homemade lunch at the Cafe and browse the Country View Shop, a renovated farmhouse full of rustic home decor, locally made honey, and more handmade gifts & surprises. From there, visit the new location of Fox Valley Winery in downtown Oswego and sample award winning Illinois wines. Dinner options include the new 113 Main, an upscale American eatery in the heart of downtown Oswego, or enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Barra DeMarco. Visit our events guide or to plan around events and attractions in Oswego, Illinois. 

Dip into the city, and finish your visit with sustainable fare

Start with a French-inspired breakfast of croissants and pastries at Atrevete Confections in scenic downtown Montgomery, then visit Warehouse 55, a curated collections of antique vendors in downtown Aurora. Upstairs, Blissful Blooms offers floral workshops and gorgeous views of the city. Have lunch at Altiro Latin Fusion, combining the authentic flavors of Mexico with an upscale twist. Tour the Tanner House, an Italianate villa home where the Aurora Historical Society stages seasonally relevant exhibitions of life in Illinois' second largest city through the decades. Dinner at Hardware, an Illinois Made destination in North Aurora, offers playful pairings of sustainably sourced greens with ground-to-glass beverages brewed on site. 

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More fun things to do in the Aurora Area of Illinois 

Looking for more options to enjoy the Aurora Area with friends? Visit our Aurora Area Events Guide to find live entertainment, festivals, and nightlife at destinations like RiverEdge Park and Aurora's award winning Paramount Theatre. 

Learn more with a copy of our Aurora Area Go Guide, available in print and online right here at

View more travel ideas for couples, grandparents, and more at