Inexpensive romantic getaways in Illinois

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

Last Updated on December 1, 2022

Planning a romantic trip with your partner on a budget? Illinois is filled with incredible destinations that should be on your bucket list, from scenic state parks to charming historic towns, there’s a lot to see! So pack your bag, get in the car, and get ready for a weekend (or week!) of fun.

Traveling might be seen as expensive but there are actually quite a few ways to plan a trip that won’t break the bank. Pick a destination not too far from you, look for an inexpensive hotel, and find free things to do while there. We have listed such destinations below so you can enjoy a relaxing and romantic weekend without having to worry about your spending.

Discover some of the most inexpensive romantic getaways in Illinois that are still incredibly charming and surrounded by cheap activities and free or affordable things to do.

Travel tip: check the opening time/season for museums and historic homes, especially in small towns, as they might not be open often, or might require booking a few days prior.

Travel tip 2: if you’re planning a last-minute getaway, check out the discounted rates on Expedia (it will automatically show you hotels near you), you might find a gem for half the price.

HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

FLIGHT DEALS

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

HOTEL DEALS

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

CAR RENTAL

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

TRAVEL INSURANCE

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

ACTIVITIES

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

VACATION RENTALS

HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

FLIGHT DEALS

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

HOTEL DEALS

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

CAR RENTAL

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

TRAVEL INSURANCE

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

ACTIVITIES

16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

VACATION RENTALS

Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget

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Belle Aire Mansion Guest House, Galena

Average price: $120 – Book here

Belle Aire Mansion Guest House, Galena, Illinois

Enjoy some peace and quiet at the cozy Belle Aire Mansion Guest House, the perfect Illinois getaway for couples on a budget. The guest house is decorated with antiques and each room is different and features a comfy bed and a private bathroom. A daily homemade breakfast is included and the hosts are known for their friendliness.

You’ll find plenty of things to do in town and around. If you like historic places, head to the Ulysses S. Grant Home, the U.S. Grant History Museum, and the Market House State Historic. You can also go for a stroll at the beautiful Linmar Gardens, Grant Park, or a bit further, at the Horseshoe Mound Preserve. Art lovers will enjoy touring the Galena Center for the Arts and the West Street Sculpture Park.

You’ll also find plenty of places within a short drive to go hiking, biking, swimming, or kayaking. In winter, head to Chesnut Mountain Resort for winter sports.

If you’re up for some adventure, head to Long Hollow Canopy Tours for some ziplining, ATV riding, and hiking.

Inn at 835 Boutique Hotel, Springfield

Average price: $140 – Book here

Inn at 835 Boutique Hotel, Springfield

Conveniently located near restaurants, attractions, and entertainment options, the Inn at 835 Boutique Hotel will make a great inexpensive romantic getaway. Enjoy a comfy room, a tasty breakfast, and the pleasant garden, before going out to explore the area. There’s free private parking and you can borrow bikes at the property.

Springfield is a great getaway destination in Illinois as you’ll find plenty of things to do there. Start by visiting some historic sights like the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Dana Thomas House, and the Old State Capitol – all within walking distance of the inn. In the area, you can also tour the Illinois State Museum or the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

You’ll also find several parks that would be perfect for a romantic stroll and a picnic. If you like hiking, head to the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center or to Sangchris Lake State Park known for its scenic nature trails and birdwatching.

You can also check out the Clayville Town Historic Site, an early frontier pioneer village (open from April to September by appointment only).

Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover, Casey

Average price: $150 – Book here

Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover, Casey

Known for its supersized Roadside Attractions, historic downtown, and small-town charm, Casey is one of the best romantic weekend getaways for couples on a budget. The Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover is a great place to stay for couples looking to visit the area. Offering spacious rooms with everything needed for a comfortable stay, some including a kitchenette, the hotel provides free breakfast and parking as well.

Casey definitely is a hidden gem in Illinois that needs to be visited at least once. Home to 12 world’s largests and other big things, Casey’s slogan is “Big Things, Small Town”, so don’t miss strolling around town to see all these marvels like the world’s largest rocking chair or largest mailbox.

Outside of town, you can go for a hike at Fox Ridge State Park where you can also kayak or cross-country ski. Right next to the park, you’ll find the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site where Lincoln’s parents used to live. In Greenup, you can visit the Historic Greenup Depot built in 1870.

RiverBank Lodge, Petersburg

Average price: $120 – Book here

RiverBank Lodge, Petersburg

Located along the Sangamon River in historic Petersburg, the RiverBank Lodge is a great getaway for couples on a budget wanting to spend some quiet time surrounded by nature. There’s an affordable on-sight restaurant, each room is unique (some have a jacuzzi), and you can easily go for a stroll right from the property. You can enjoy board games and books in the common lounge.

You can book tours at the hotel either to learn more about the county’s past, to explore the natural areas nearby, or to visit a couple of wineries.

Nearby, you can visit Lincoln’s New Salem, a replica of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood, and then go for a stroll at the Starhill Forest Arboretum. You’ll also find several areas nearby where you can hike or bike.

Peace on the Prairie, Murrayville

Average price: $110 – Book here

Peace on the Prairie, Murrayville, IL

To get away from it all and spend some time surrounded by nature, book a stay at Peace on the Prairie. Wake up to the sounds of singing birds, sip on a coffee while enjoying the peaceful surroundings, and go for a stroll around the property.

The unit includes a private kitchen with a living space and a separate bedroom.

Right from the rental, you’ll find many hiking trails and ponds. You can also drive to Jacksonville and visit the Prairieland Heritage Museum, the Emma Mae Leonhard Wildlife Sanctuary, Governor Duncan Mansion, and Woodlawn Farm.

There’s also the Old School Museum in Winchester worth checking if you like history.

Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast, Antioch

Average price: $140 – Book here

Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast, Antioch

Located in Lake County, Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast makes a great inexpensive romantic weekend getaway from Chicago. The small town of Antioch is less than an hour away from Chicago and offers plenty of fun things to do for couples, it’s a great base to explore the area’s many attractions.

The bed and breakfast features a nice garden and patio to relax in, rooms with views, some with a private bathroom and a fireplace, and serves a hearty homemade breakfast. The owners are known for their friendliness and the b&b is ideal to hang out and relax after a day of exploring the area.

Whether you’re there for the weekend or a full week, you’ll find many places to keep you busy. Antioch is a great destination if you want to spend time outdoors and enjoy stunning scenery at every corner. Some of the most popular places to visit include Chain O’Lakes State Park, where you can hike, bike, and cross-country ski, Raven Glen Forest Preserve, McDonald Woods Forest Preserve, Fox River Park, and Pringle Nature Center, all within a short drive from Antioch.

If you’re there in winter, you can go skiing or tubing at the nearby Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort. In summer, spend some time at the beach at Illinois Beach State Park.

Conner House Bed and Breakfast, Prairie du Rocher

Average price: $170 – Book here

Conner House Bed and Breakfast, Prairie du Rocher, IL

Located along the Mississippi River, Prairie du Rocher is a charming small town founded during the French colonial period. Enjoy the scenery and laid-back vibes in one of the best romantic getaways in Illinois.

The Conner House Bed and Breakfast is one of the best-rated hotels in the area and is ideal for couples planning a romantic getaway in Illinois. Each room is unique with antique furniture, a comfy bed, and a private bathroom, some have a balcony. A full English/Irish breakfast is available daily and you can enjoy the common lounge and the wraparound porch.

Nearby, don’t miss the Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site, the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, and the Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve. You can also drive over to Missouri in Sainte Genevieve and tour the Felix Valle House State Historic Site as well as some of the many historic houses you’ll find there, then go for a hike at the Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area.

Graduate Evanston, Evanston

Average price: $130 to $200 – Book here

Graduate Evanston, Evanston

Easily accessible from Chicago, Evanston is a charming town bordering Lake Michigan offering plenty of things to do for couples looking to spend some time together. The Graduate Evanston offers comfy rooms, great amenities, and luxurious settings at an affordable price. You can grab a book from their library, hang out in the common lounge, have a drink at the bar, or enjoy a warm meal at their restaurant.

In town, you’ll find many museums worth visiting depending on what you like, some of the most popular include the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. There are also several historic homes you can visit in the area.

Spend some time at the beach and maybe pack a picnic if the weather is nice, go for a bike ride at Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, or drive to Linne Woods for an easy hike.

Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Galena

Average price: $200 – Book here

Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Galena, romantic getaway in Illinois

A romantic and luxurious getaway at an affordable price can be found at the Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Galena where couples can enjoy comfortable amenities, friendly staff, and great services. All rooms feature a spa bath and a comfy bed, and some have views of the garden, a fireplace, and a seating area. Enjoy the common lounge, the patio, or the garden with its firepit, and a full breakfast served daily.

In Galena, you’ll find a couple of historic homes and museums you can tour, as well as several parks where you can bike or go for a stroll. You also won’t be far from places where you can hike, bike, or ski.

Derinda House, Elizabeth

Average price: $150 – Book here

Derinda House, Elizabeth, IL

Get away from it all in the small town of Elizabeth in Northern Illinois, one of the most affordable romantic getaways in the state for couples on a budget. At Derinda House enjoy the peace and quiet and relax for a few days.

You’ll get the space all to yourself (the owner lives downstairs but there are separate entrances) with a fully-equipped kitchen, deck, living room, and 3 bedrooms no less. You’ll be brought a tasty homemade breakfast in the morning and can go for a walk right from the property.

In town, you can tour the Apple River Fort State Historic Site, visit the Chicago Great Western Railroad Depot, and shop for antiques. You can drive to nearby Galena to visit a couple of historic homes and museums, stopping along the way to take in the view at the Long Hollow Scenic Overlook.

For outdoor activities, go for a hike at Valley Of Eden Bird Sanctuary and try to spot birds (you can cross-country ski in winter), or check out the trails and lake at Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve.

Hart Estate Bed and Breakfast, Waterloo

Average price: $100 – Book here

Hart Estate Bed and Breakfast, Waterloo

The historic town of Waterloo makes for a perfect inexpensive romantic getaway. Book a room at the Hart Estate Bed and Breakfast for a cozy stay that won’t break the bank. The B&B features a common room with a fireplace, free breakfast, free parking, and rooms with a comfy bed and private bathroom.

In town, you can stroll around the Waterloo Historic District (don’t miss the Peterstown House) then visit the Fort Bellefontaine Historic Site and the Monroe County History Museum right next to it. Half an hour away, in Imperial, MO, you’ll find the Mastodon State Historic Site where you can hike and tour the museum. You can also stop by the Anheuser House.

Closer to Waterloo, go for a hike at White Rock Nature Preserve through woodlands and scenic blufftop views.

The Inn on Sheridan, Zion

Average price: $140 – Book here

Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois Beach State Park

Along the shores of Lake Michigan, Zion is a charming Illinois small town and is the perfect inexpensive beach destination for a romantic weekend getaway. Book a room at the well-rated Inn on Sheridan and enjoy a modern and clean room, an on-site restaurant, and free parking.

Spend your time hiking, kayaking, and swimming at Illinois Beach State Park, have a picnic on the beach, and enjoy the scenery. Even in winter, you can enjoy the park thanks to its cross-country ski trails. In town, you can visit the Shiloh House turned museum and the Platen Press Printing Museum.

Harmony Inn, Huntley

Average price: $130 – Book here

Harmony Inn, Huntley

Located in the countryside on an extensive property, Harmony Inn is the ideal getaway destination for couples on a budget. Enjoy the farm-to-table breakfasts, warm up by the outdoor fire pit, and take a stroll around the garden.

Nearby you can go for an easy hike through the wetlands at the Exner Marsh Conservation Area, a place known among birdwatchers. During the warmer months, you can plan a picnic at Crystal Lake Main Beach, enjoying the beach and swimming for a while. If you like trains don’t miss the Illinois Railway Museum and have a look at their exhibit featuring antique and vintage trains.

If you like wine, don’t miss the Prairie State Winery, their tasting room is open every day of the week and the prices are budget-friendly They often organize events with live music and food, so check out their event calendar.

Stoney Creek Inn, Quincy

Average price: $140 – Book here

Stoney Creek Inn Quincy

With its many parks, restaurants, and charming historic district, Quincy makes for a perfect inexpensive romantic getaway in Illinois. Book a room at the inexpensive Stoney Creek Inn and enjoy their indoor pool with hot tub and sauna, fitness center, bar, and sun terrace. Breakfast is included and there’s a free on-site parking lot.

In town, head to Lincoln Park for a romantic stroll along the Mississippi River, don’t miss the historic log cabins there. There are also several museums worth checking out, among the most popular you’ll find the All Wars Museum, the Quincy Museum, John Wood Mansion, and Villa Kathrine.

If you like hiking, kayaking, or want to go swimming, stop by Wakonda State Park. You can also drive to Hannibal to visit Mark Twain Cave and take a Haunted Ghost Tour of the town’s historic district.

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Average price: $20 – Book here

Cave-In-Rock State Park IL
Picture by David Wilson

Cave-In-Rock State Park is one of the best state parks in Illinois and definitely deserves a weekend. There, you’ll find a lodge and 2 campgrounds along the scenic north side of the park, one with Class A sites and one with Class B/S tent sites. Showers, restrooms, grills, and dumping stations are present in both camping areas.

It will make a perfect cheap getaway for outdoorsy couples looking to spend time surrounded by nature and wanting to hike. The park is known for its impressive rock formations, you can hike to the main attraction, the huge Cave-In-Rock, or rent a kayak and see the cliffs from the water.

There are plenty of other things to do in the area if you are planning to spend more than a weekend. For food, you can eat at the lodge, bring your own, or check out the couple of restaurants you’ll find within a short drive.

Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby

Average price: $25 – Book here

Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, United States

Starved Rock State Park is another popular state park in Illinois worth visiting. Known for its many trails, sandstone canyons, waterfalls, and scenic vistas, the park is an ideal vacation destination for outdoor lovers. There are several campgrounds, some open year-round, all featuring basic amenities.

Enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the park through its 13 miles of well-marked trails or rent a kayak and explore from the water. If you’re there during winter, ice climbing is permitted and you can go cross-country skiing at the nearby Matthiessen State Park.

There’s a small convenience store in the park open from May through October. You can bring your own food or eat at the lodge’s restaurant.

Know that some areas can be closed off during hunting season.

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16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget
16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget
16 Inexpensive Romantic Getaways in Illinois for Couples on a Budget