Back-to-back home Illini games? How did we get so lucky!?
You’ve probably got this tailgating thing down to a science by now; chairs, bag boards, that trusty Illini koozie (you can’t forget the koozie), and as much orange and blue gear you can throw in your car are just a few of the important things you’re loading up every home game.
There’s just something special about an Illini tailgate that surpasses all the rest.
Would you believe us if we told you this something exists even beyond Fighting Illini Football? You know what we’re talking about. That rush of excitement. The good eats. The friendly people who give you all the feels. The Outside of Ordinary.
You could grab a locally made brew, served by the same family who is doing the craft. That’s right; Riggs Beer Company is 100% family owned and operated. Worried this might not be the right hangout for the whole family? Think again! The Riggs family is so family oriented they have an outdoor jungle gym and a wide variety of juice options for the kiddos.
Maybe you’re someone who likes long walks or bike rides. Meadowbrook Park in Urbana is situated on 80 acres of tallgrass prairie providing picturesque vistas and is also home to 25 sculptures for your viewing enjoyment. More recently added is the first 6.7 miles of the Kickapoo Rail Trail. This trail connects the Village of St. Joseph and Urbana via trail that is perfect for runners and bikers alike. (Pro Tip: If you’re heading to St. Joseph, be sure to stop by The Wheelhouse located right by the trail head).
A little bit further out from Champaign-Urbana, but completely worth extending your visit for, resides one of the seven wonders of Illinois, Allerton Park & Retreat Center. Built in the early 1900s by the iconic Allerton family, this estate is now owned by the University of Illinois, meaning it’s open to the public. Here’s the thing...Robert Allerton was a mysterious man. This sets a unique tone when walking through this bit of history. On September 10th, the mansion will be open for public tours making this the perfect weekend to check it out!
Now the food. We know you’re probably partial to icons like Papa Del’s Pizza Factory and Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. Are we right? Make no mistake, we too are huge fans of these eateries, but when you’re the Greatest Midwest Food Town, you know there has to be some other gems in town. You heard that right. Champaign-Urbana was recently crowned the Greatest Midwest Food Town from Midwest Living Magazine.
But wait there’s more!
On September 9th, the folks from Midwest Living and our team at Visit Champaign County will be out and about helping celebrate this amazing moment with food samples, giveaways, surprises, and more. One of these locations just happens to be at Grange Grove from 4:00-6:00 p.m.! Check out our Facebook event for all the details and updates.
Back to that something we mentioned earlier…
It’s the experiences.
It’s the moments.
It’s the people you’re going to meet while you’re exploring the area. Even beyond the Fighting Illini Football.
That’s our promise.