Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

Dining Family Style at the Wittmond Hotel

We were warned: Eat lunch at the Wittmond Hotel in Brussels, Illinois, and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day. Little did we know the extensive relish tray alone at this restaurant would fill us up…and then came the entrees. Read more

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Bucket lists have become a big thing. Or maybe it’s just the term du jour. People have always checked to-do’s off travel lists. Visit all 50 states. Take in a ballgame at every Major League Baseball stadium. I do the same even with smaller lists. Photograph every Seward Johnson sculpture in a city. Stop at every  shop on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail. So when I learned about the Indiana Foodways Alliance culinary trails, I was on board. Right away I decided I wanted to eat pie at every restaurant on the Indiana Foodways Alliance Hoosier Pie Trail. My attempt was a miserable failure. Read more

Where to Eat in Morgan County, Indiana

Where to Eat in Morgan County, Indiana

During a Midwest Travel Bloggers Twitter chat I won several gift certificates to Morgan County, Indiana, restaurants. Skip and I had already eaten at a few Morgan County restaurants that we loved and were excited to taste more of the area’s cuisine. So last summer we scheduled a trip to Morgan County mainly for the culinary experiences. While the atmosphere at all of the restaurants we tried is casual, each has its own unique cuisine. Read more

Where to Eat in Alton, Illinois

Where to Eat in Alton, Illinois

Over the past few years we’ve eaten in several Alton restaurants. It seems every time we visit Alton, Illinois, new great eating establishments have opened, while iconic restaurants continue to thrive. Here are some of the restaurants we’ve enjoyed during our Alton visits. Read more

11 Delectable Midwest Chocolate Treats

11 Delectable Midwest Chocolate Treats

Dark chocolate—it’s one treat I can’t pass up. A few years ago on a press trip we were tasting chocolate at a chocolate shop.  I was skipping the milk chocolate and going right for the dark. One of my fellow travel writers said, “Even if I never meet you again, I will always connect you with dark chocolate.” Yep, that’s me.  I’ve tasted a lot of Midwest chocolate over the past few years, and am sharing with you 11 of my favorites, in no particular order, plus two from beyond the Midwest. Read more

9 Peoria Restaurants You’ll Surely Want to Try

9 Peoria Restaurants You’ll Surely Want to Try

A favorite part of our travels is dining at local restaurants. We like to mix up the cuisines to keep our meals interesting. When we visited Peoria, Illinois, and the surrounding area, we dined at a great mix of restaurants, from barbecue and pub food to Asian and Cajun. Here are nine Peoria restaurants we tried and recommend, plus a few places we stopped into just for beverages. Read more

Shop ‘Made in Iowa’ for Unique Gift Ideas

Shop ‘Made in Iowa’ for Unique Gift Ideas

When it comes to gift giving, some people are just plain impossible to buy for. When you ask for a wish list, they tell you they don’t need a thing. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking for a wish list. We have someone like that in our family. For a while we were exchanging gift cards, which seemed silly. Then one year as we were traveling in early December, browsing through gift shops, I had an idea. Why not fill a basket with goodies produced in the state we were visiting? So that year we gave this person a basket filled with locally-made wines, cheeses, honey and other edible treats. It was a big hit. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for unique gift ideas whenever I travel. Read more

Where to Eat in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana

Where to Eat in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana

You can bet a college town is going to have great places to eat. Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University, is no exception. Here are six Lafayette-West Lafayette restaurants where we dined during our weekend visit. Read more

Exploring Washington Square: Side Trip from Peoria

Exploring Washington Square: Side Trip from Peoria

Washington’s square was once the bustling hub of this Illinois city’s commerce. However, as Washington grew, its services and main shopping areas moved elsewhere. Although no longer the city center, Washington Square thrives today with antiques and specialty shops, restaurants, and a newly renovated seven-room inn. Read more

Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre: Dinner and a Show in Shipshewana

Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre: Dinner and a Show in Shipshewana

If you visit Shipshewana, Indiana, chances are you’ll eat at least one Amish-style meal at the Blue Gate Restaurant, enjoy a show at the Blue Gate Threatre, or treat yourself to some goodies at the Blue Gate Bakery. We doubled-down during our Shipshewana visit, eating two meals and taking in two plays at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre. Read more