Ah, winter in Chicago. If only you could get away without, you know, the effort of getting away...
Put down the car windshield scraper and hop the 1-hour train ride to uber-quaint west suburban Geneva. It may be just 40 miles from the city, but seems like at least a million.
What to do
Simply stroll the peaceful, Old West-style downtown jam packed with vintage art galleries (open 'til 9p on the first Friday of the month), shops, and Colonial-style homes reminiscent of a mini-Galena.
Duck into one of several pristine parks that line the Fox River or, if you brought your bike along, set your wheels aboard the extensive bike path system along the Illinois Prairie Path.
Where to stay
The Herrington Inn & Spa is an easy choice with river-facing balconies, marble bathrooms and showers, plush canopy beds, and fireplaces. Leave for the day and return to find freshly baked milk and cookies in your room — yours to enjoy while soaking in the Whirlpool tub with a (presumably super-hot) friend.
$150 per night & up. 15 S. River Lane. (630-208-7433)
Where to eat
The Herrington brings dinner to you at the happening Atwater's, the on-site spot for cider-braised pork belly appetizers and more types of wine than one human could possibly consume. Pair unique Spanish or New Zealand wines with Maryland crab and filet mignon so good they make downtown Chicago envious.
15 S. River Lane. (630-208-8920)
Where to drink
Nine handcrafted brews (with yeast imported from Australia) await you at the old-school Stockholm's Brew Pub, where you can sample any five microbrews for $5. This way you can either go heavy with the wintry, robust Doc's Porter or go on holiday from the climate with the light, summery Lorazz Weiss white ale.
306 W. State St. (630-208-7070)