Top 10 Things to do in Utica, United States

December 26, 2017 Velvet Mowry

Both Matthiessen State Park and Starved Rock State Park are located here, famous for its St. Peter sandstone rock formations. Alternatively, you could head to August Hill Winery or Illinois River Winery for a tasting.
Restaurants in Utica

1. Matthiessen State Park

Box 509, Utica, IL 61373-0509 +1 815-667-4868
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 389 reviews

Matthiessen State Park

Reviewed By Paul S - Marion

This park defies description. It is just down the road from the much better known and much more crowded Starved Rock but i sjust as impressive. We pulled into the parkinglot at the dells area and the first thing we saw was an old stockade (wooden western frontier fort). Turns out it was built by the man who owned the area as a privatre park before the state acquired it. A long flight of stairs leads down to the rim of the canyon and cascade falls below the bridge which divides the upper and lower dells trails. We did the lower loop and part of the upper loop but did not go down to the stream bed in either section because it was so muddy. Fences and rails prevent falls off the undercut cliffs. Strawberry rock is no big deal, just a boulder by the side of the trail. I wlaked right past it because I didn't even see the resemblance. From there, you can follow the rim or the stream bed on down to the Vermilion River or you can loop back to the Cascade Falls bridge which is what we did. Only saw two other people all morning.

2. Lock 16 Visitor Center & LaSalle Canal Boat

754 1st St, LaSalle, IL 61301-2536
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 192 reviews

Lock 16 Visitor Center & LaSalle Canal Boat

Take a journey back in time aboard the “Volunteer,” a 70-passenger, mule-pulled 1840’s replica canal boat, as it coasts gently up and down the I&M Canal. Bring your camera, grab a snack and something to drink at the Lock 16 Cafe & Visitor Center, and climb aboard for an hour of peaceful, historical fun! Every trip begins with “Mule Tending 101” as our period dressed guides introduce the passengers to their intrepid canal mules, Moe & Joe. The tour guide regales everyone with tales of the canal while the deck hands guide the boat a mile up the canal to the Little Vermillion aqueduct and back. Mary Todd Lincoln has been known to ride the boat, knitting in the corner and telling fantastic stories of her time in the Nation’s capital with Mr. Lincoln. Families of all ages, historians, photographers and nature lovers will love this historic journey into Illinois’ scenic past!

Reviewed By stevenmB9421LC - Punta Gorda, Florida

Our group of 14 really enjoyed our informative trip.The woman playing Mrs. Lincoln was very informative and taught us many things we had never known of before. It was very well worth the investment. Our group ranged in age from 10 to 76, and everyone was impressed.

3. Senica's Deer Park Golf Club

100 Deer Park Ln, Illinois City, IL 61348-9637 +1 815-667-4239
Excellent
0%
Good
100%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Senica's Deer Park Golf Club

Reviewed By Phyllis N - Seneca, IL, United States

We have golfed this location a number of times, and we are always happy to see the beautiful views and well maintained course here.
The Clubhouse is friendly, and the food..bar type but good..is fresh.
The 18 hole course abuts the fascincating Matteison State Park, and the holes are challenging.
The Par 5 holes are LONG, the Par 3's are tricky, and the sand traps are ready to geet you!
This is a golf course worth playing.

4. Starved Rock State Park

Utica, IL 61373 +1 815-667-4726
Excellent
66%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Starved Rock State Park

Known for its magnificent rock formations of St. Peter sandstone, this scenic park offers many hiking and horseback riding trails plus fishing and boating along the banks of the Illinois River.

Reviewed By Bob D - Saint Louis, Missouri

While our visit was on a blustery, grey and flurry-spiked April Thursday, it seems obvious to me that there would be a great experience here in any season...

It reminded me of another Illinois CCC-built facility further south on the Illinois River (Pere Marquette State Park & Lodge) however, there are finer hiking options here with the line of canyons inducing you to keep hiking further and further into the park.

There are numerous lodging, dining and libation choices when you're not outside getting better acquainted with Mother Nature.

5. Hegeler Carus Mansion

1307 7th St, LaSalle, IL 61301-1960 +1 815-224-5891
Excellent
77%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 74 reviews

Hegeler Carus Mansion

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

What is interesting about old mansions and plantations houses from the Colonial, antebellum, post-Civil War and Gilded Age eras is you learn about the history of people you never heard of before, interesting and successful people like Edward C. Hegeler and Dr. Paul Carus. Hegeler made a fortune in the zinc smelting business. By 1880, it was the largest such business in the United States. In 1887, Hegeler launched a publishing company to provide a forum for the discussions of philosophy, science and religion and hired Dr. Carus, a German scholar, to serve as managing editor. Dr. Carus wrote 75 books and nearly 1,500 articles in his lifetime and is credited with introducing Buddhism to the western world through his book "The Gospel of Buddha According to Old Records." he married Hegeler's daughter in 1888. Hegeler built his magnificent seven-level, 57-room, 16,000-square foot mansion in 1876. Located at 1307 Seventh Street in La Salle, Illinois, it was designed by noted Chicago architect William W. Boyington, who also designed the Chicago Water Tower and Joliet State Penitentiary and completed the Illinois State Capitol. The interior was designed by August Fiedler, who fashioned a unique parquet floor and hand-painted ceiling for each public room. Today, a trip to the Hegeler Carus Mansion transports visitors back more than a century. Although the last resident was 102-year-old Alwin Carus, one of Dr. Carus' six children, died in 2004, the house and its contents are incredibly intact, from the original Fiedler painted decorations on the walls and ceilings to the wonderful custom-made furniture. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2007. Open for public tours, the house is particularly notable for its high Victorian stencils and wall and ceiling paintings, its woodwork and its history.

6. August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room

106 Mill St, Utica, IL 61373-9450 +1 815-667-5211
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 145 reviews

August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room

Come enjoy individual creations conceived in the heart and expressed through the hand in our tasting room. We offer wine tastings, wine flights, and wine by the glass and bottle. We also have some wonderful light food items available to pair with your wine. We have two brands available at our Tasting Room: AUGUSTHILLWINERY - red, white, rose, infusions, and dessert wines and ILLINOIS SPARKLLING CO. - traditional method sparkling wines.

Reviewed By Connie R

We stopped for a wine tasting on Sunday afternoon. Have had their wine at a wine festival and enjoyed it. Upon entering the place we were impressed. Tasting room, lounge and outdoor patio. Very nice and modern. Tasting was fine but the person helping us was more interested in helping the "club" members. I get club members are important to the business but so are those that aren't.

7. Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

950 N 27th Rd, Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Ottawa, IL 61350-9735 +1 815-667-4054
Excellent
59%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 72 reviews

Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Reviewed By funinthesun5 - Illinois

There were boats passing through the canal when we were there and that was very interesting to watch. Would have liked to have seen a movie of the dam being built or a walking tour with information. The welcome center did have a few pictures but not a lot of information.

8. LaSalle County Historical Society & Museum

101 East Canal Street, North Utica, Utica, IL 61373 +1 815-667-4861
Excellent
51%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 32 reviews

LaSalle County Historical Society & Museum

Reviewed By trishdf - Scottsdale

Although this museum was on our checklist of local sites, it was quite the surprise in what we saw and learned. We had a most informative and extremely thorough 30 minute tour with Holly, a paid docent. She was extremely knowledgeable and learned in the local history and the history of the items (of course, she's a retired educator!). Although small, the variety of items with many tied into the local area are exceptional. Museum is beautifully restored from it's many uses in the past and done so with integrity.

9. Starved Rock Family Fun

522 US Highway 6, LaSalle, IL 61301-9629 +1 815-224-6360
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Starved Rock Family Fun

Reviewed By carefree85377 - West Chicago, Illinois

This old a large lodge is a real destination - mostly during predictable weather. We have visited and stayed there during Christmas holidays in years past but since we are not in the area at that time anymore, we now have to visit in the summertime when it is far more crowded but still a worthy destination. Hiking is fun and safe, if you follow the rules, and the sights are lovely from the upper levels. There is plenty to do outdoors (altho a bad storm had just taken down some large trees last week) and the lodge is a lovely place to sit or to dine or to stay

10. Illinois River Winery

723 South Clark, Utica, IL 61373 +1 815-667-4012
Excellent
42%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
7%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 64 reviews

Illinois River Winery

Reviewed By ChicBurbs - Chicago, IL

We passed Illinois River Winery on our way from Starved Rock to a different winery down the street, and decided to stop in for a tasting. For $3, you can sample six not-so-great wines (large selection, none that I tasted were worth purchasing). The decor isn't anything special, but the names of some of the wines were cute ("Born to Ride", "Lil Old Truck", etc.). It's located in a strip mall near an ice cream shop, so it's obvious that it's a good tourist stop. The prices of the bottles were reasonable, but if you LIKE wine, you probably won't find much here you'll like.
We spent the extra 2 minutes to head up the road to August Hill Winery afterwards, and enjoyed that one much more!

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