Located on a former farm on the outskirts of St. Charles, a little more than an hour from Chicago, Pheasant Run was the place to go in the 1960s. Folks from all over the Chicago area visited the 250-acre resort for a weekend of golf, dinner theater entertainment, and relaxation. Oddly, neither my husband nor I experienced Pheasant Run until a couple of weeks ago. We discovered that more than 50 years after it first opened, Pheasant Run Resort is still a fun destination, whether you visit as a couple, a family, or a group.
Accommodations to Suit Your Needs
You can choose from several different accommodation options at Pheasant Run, including standard rooms along the golf course, bi-level suites, and the 16-floor tower. The resort offers some dog friendly rooms, as well. Our room, a spacious penthouse suite at the top of the tower, presented a gorgeous view of the golf course.
Exploring Pheasant Run Resort
After settling into our room, we explored some of the resort. One of the first things we noticed was Bourbon Street. Original to Pheasant Run, the setting recreates New Orleans’ Bourbon Street with cobblestone pavement, brick store fronts and decorative wrought iron railings.
Also an original part of the resort, the pool was the first indoor/outdoor pool in the United States. With the weather a little chilly during our visit, most hotel guests, swam in the indoor side of the pool. But we noticed a few guests in the outdoor section now and then, enjoying the 80-degree water. At the opposite end of the hotel, the Garden Atrium is the setting for a second pool, a hot tub, and the spa, with a fitness room on the lower level.
Pheasant Run Dining
Before we finished exploring, our 6:00 dinner reservation time rolled around. Harvest, an upscale restaurant, is housed in a renovated former dairy barn. You’d never know it was once a dairy barn, though, by the rustic but elegant décor.
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Harvest’s menu options reflect the resort’s country setting, with a chic flair. We started our meal with a glass of Tiffany’s Toast wine. Executive Chef Tiffany Tooker chose this chardonnay as her signature wine because it’s aged in steel, which she prefers over oak. The wine paired well with our Pork and Dates appetizer, fresh dates stuffed with chorizo sausage and goat cheese, wrapped in bacon and glazed with apricot.
For our entrees, my husband ordered the Cedar Plant Salmon filet with a soy-maple glaze, the restaurant’s most popular dish, according to Chef Tiffany. I chose the Hanger Steak—sliced steak combined with roasted vegetables and fingerling potatoes.
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, our server brought us not one, but two, desserts. How could we pass up the Red Velvet Waffles, served with plantains and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream? The second dessert was Frangelico Sauced Deep Fried Oreos and Cappuccino Ice Cream. Truth be told, I’m not a fan of Oreos and the thought of a carnival-type deep fried Oreo cookie does nothing for me. But this dessert was amazing, decadent but not overpowering the way I thought a deep-fried Oreo would be. The cold ice cream was a nice contrast to the warm dessert.
We ate lunch the next day at Jambalaya. Sticking with the New Orleans theme, Jambalaya offers creole fare. My husband, a big fan of creole and Cajun food, couldn’t decide between the gumbo and the jambalaya, so he asked if he could order a smaller portion of the Jambalaya and a cup of the gumbo. Absolutely, they said. I chose the pulled pork without the coleslaw added to it. Other entrees and sandwiches at Jambalaya include a build-your-own-burger option and a children’s menu.
We ate at Harvest again on the second night of our stay. Knowing we couldn’t eat another huge dinner, we split a meal. We ordered the Farmers Chopped Salad and the prime rib special. With the fresh baked breads served with each meal, the shared meal was plenty for us.
We finished our meal with a Warm Granny Apple Pie Skillet with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Bourbon Street Breakfast Buffet
On Sunday mornings Bourbon Street becomes the setting for a Breakfast Buffet. We enjoyed made-to-order omelets, fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy, and red velvet waffles. Many more options are available, surely plenty for everyone’s tastes.
We didn’t get a chance to eat at the Terrace Café during our stay, but it’s a good option for lighter fare. The casual walk-up café serves sandwiches, salads and pizza. Pizza can be purchased by the slice or a full pie.
Pheasant Run Resort offers plenty of entertainment for both adults and children. Besides the pools to keep kids occupied, there are scheduled activities. While we were there, activities included craft projects, evening movies, scavenger hunts, and a bonfire. There is also a stack of board games to play.
Of course, adults can enjoy many of these entertainment options, too. I was looking forward to sitting by the bonfire on our second night. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to high winds. However, we did see a performance at Zanies Comedy Club (shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights), and we listened to the live entertainment at Jambalaya for a while, as well.
It seems there’s always something going on at Pheasant Run. On the weekend we were there, an antique slot machine show was being held in the Mega Center, one of Pheasant Run’s venues. On some weekends there are shows in the theater. The IPANIC Escape Room is opening soon, where you and your team are challenged to uncover clues and solve puzzles to escape in an allotted time frame.
Pheasant Run Golf
Golf has been a big part of Pheasant Run since the resort opened. The par-5 first hole is considered Pheasant Run’s signature hole and apparently one of the region’s most difficult. Not being a golfer, I’d probably give up after that first hole. Or maybe after getting through that hole, the rest of the course would seem easier. As it was, I didn’t attempt the course, but I did take a short golf lesson from pro Jamie Nieto. I was impressed with Jamie’s patience and his tips. In just a few minutes I was hitting the ball in the right direction and up in the air. I have a long way to go to get the distance and the height that “real” players have, but I was elated with my progress in that single lesson.
At non-peak times, you can play an 18-hole round of golf for as little as $20 walking or $35 riding. After 5:30 p.m. a family of four can play for only $10 (walking only). Now that’s a deal! Check the full rate schedule here.
If you go to Pheasant Run Resort
Pheasant Run Resort is located at 4051 East Main Street (Illinois Rt. 64) in Chicago’s west suburban St. Charles, Illinois. Check accommodations rates here.
Disclosures: Pheasant Run Resort hosted our stay at the resort. Our accommodations, meals and Zanies tickets were complimentary. However, all opinions in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book using the “Check rates here” link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
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