You don't have to be a millionaire to live the high life. Right here in our area are budget-friendly getaways that won't break your pocketbook.

I recently read at The 6 Most Glamorous Things You Can Do in Illinois on a Budget, but for all of you, I've tried to put a more local twist on it.

1. Take a River Cruise:

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While you're waiting for the Forest City Queen to be up and running again, why not make the drive to Oregon, IL and take a ride on the Maxson Riverboat. Enjoy a scenic ride on the Rock River on this authentic Paddle Wheel Riverboat.

2. Luxury Hotels:

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Driving two and half hours to Clinton, Il to stay at the Sunset Inn and Suites is nice, but if that's too long of a drive for you why not hide out for the weekend in one of Rockford's many luxury hotels. There is the newly remodeled Cliffbreakers with most rooms having a lovely view of the Rock River. Or if you'd like your suite to have a full kitchen try the Staybridge Suites on N. Bell School Rd. They also have an indoor pool and free breakfast. Staycation indeed!

3. Spas:

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Everyone needs a good spa day and Rockford has a bunch to cover all your pampering needs. From places like WM Day Spa, Xeno Day Spa & Salon, and The Experience Salon & Spa the Forest City has what you need for a perfect day at the spa. Click here for a list of all the spas in Rockford.

4. Wineries:

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I was surprised to learn we have a winery right in our own backyard. DC Estate Winery is located off of I-90 in South Beloit. Bringing a taste of Tuscany to the stateline, complete with quality wine, beautiful scenery and warm hospitality.

5. Private Beaches: 


Enough though they may not be private, you and your family can have a great time at beaches like Pearl Lake and  Olsen Beach at Rock Cut State Park. Both also offer camping, so you could make a weekend out of your trip to the beach.

6. Float Trips


Tubing down the Kishwaukee River is a fun time! I haven't been in awhile, but I'm well overdue for a trip down the river. There are over a dozen different launch sites too. recently had a great write up on the Kish and all it had to offer.