Looking for a great romantic getaway in the Midwest? Why not consider the charming small town of Taylorville, Illinois for your next holiday or couples retreat?
Taylorville Illinois | Best Romantic Getaways in the Midwest
The Christian County Courthouse in Taylorville, Illinois is known for being the last stop on Abraham Lincoln’s Judicial Circuit: a 450-mile, 10-county seat tour that took him about three months to complete by horse and buggy. Today, Taylorville, Illinois is proud to have the only known statue of Abraham Lincoln standing alongside a pig. The small monument sits in front of the Taylorville courthouse.
This travel oddity commemorates the famous day when Lincoln lost his cool in the Taylorville Courthouse. During his trial, some noisy pigs started squealing so loudly under the floorboards that Lincoln asked the judge for a “writ of quietus” to silence them. Rumor is that the pigs were so obnoxious that no one could hear what was being stated in the courtroom!
Best Romantic Getaway in the Midwest
The Market Street Inn B&B is a Queen Anne Victorian mansion that was constructed in 1892. This unique building is actually a Sears George Barber kit home and was originally built for the stagecoach line owner David Hoover. The materials for the home were shipped by train from Knoxville, Tennessee to Taylorville, Illinois. Previously known as the “Chimney House,” the mansion’s most extraordinary exterior feature is the 50-foot high brick chimney.
Inside the residence, innkeepers Myrna and Joe Houser have done their best to keep the house in its original condition while also adding modern amenities like fireplaces and double whirlpool baths.
Our Experience at the Market Street Inn B&B
We decided to spend two nights at the Market Street Inn B&B as a base to explore Central Illinois. We had three goals in mind: to explore the Springfield area, tour some of the nearby Route 66 roadside attractions, and to enjoy our time on the property.
For those that like to get out and explore, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained in the Taylorville region. The mansion is located about one block away from the up-and-coming main square, which includes the county courthouse, a movie theater, and a statue of Abraham Lincoln with a pig.
Bill’s Toasty Shop
Many visitors enjoy a stop at the local time-honored restaurant, Bill’s Toasty Shop. This diner has been operating continuously since 1936 and is open 24 hours a day. There are also restaurants offering fine dining like Florinda’s Italian Restaurant.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Myrna and Joe who gave us a great tour of the home. We learned all about the previous owners, the Sears design kit of the mansion (Design Number 143), and some interesting local history. Common areas in the inn include two large parlors and a dining room. In the evening, guests are encouraged to enjoy a social hour with complimentary wine, fruit, and cheese.
Lovely Home With Fabulous Breakfast!
In the mornings, delicious breakfasts are served in the candle-lit dining room. Upon entering, Myrna was quick to help us with coffee served in cute Market Street Inn B&B mugs. We found ourselves savoring our cups of coffee while enjoying one of the six original fireplaces, accented with Minton tiles that were imported from England.
It’s surreal to believe that famous musicians touring the area and Pam (Jenna Fischer) from The Office dined at the same table where we enjoyed our perfectly cooked french toast and spinach quiche.
Best Places to Find Romance Around Taylorville
One of the most difficult decisions to make when staying at the Market Street Inn B&B is deciding on what room to stay in. Guests always appreciate all the mysteries and stories that each room holds. With large double whirlpool tubs and fireplaces in most rooms, you can’t go wrong.
Since we were seeking more of a romantic retreat, we opted to stay in the Rose Room located on the second floor. The room features a queen-size bed featuring a Tempur-Pedic mattress, an electric fireplace, and a double whirlpool tub. But enough about our room, just like us, you’re probably dying to know which room Jenna Fischer stayed in. (It’s the Lilac Room.)
Travel Tip: In addition to the suggestions below, Myrna and Joe have developed a great list of local sites and attractions to help you get the most of the area during your stay. Ask them for their handy Taylorville travel guide.
Taylorville for the Architecturally Geared Couple
Head over to the Taylorville Courthouse at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings to take a tour of the Courthouse clock with Bill Kennedy. Kennedy hopes to inspire a new generation of people interested in clock-keeping who are willing to take over once he someday is unable to. It is the reason he invites the public to come to watch him wind the clock every Saturday morning.
Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright was given a “blank check” to design a home in Springfield, Illinois? The massive house has 35 rooms, 12,000 square feet of living space, 3 main levels, and 16 varying levels.
The home, now known as the Dana-Thomas House was Wright’s 72nd and contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass, and furniture. The guided tours are well worth the trip down to Springfield, Illinois alone! Tours are free, however, a small donation is suggested.
Those interested in the history of the George Franklin Barber Kit Homes can also take a local tour to see all of the models in the area. The hosts can provide you with a pamphlet with model numbers and addresses around to explore around town. On warm days, this tour can be completed by bike which is available for you to borrow on-site.
Taylorville for the History Buffs
It doesn’t get much more special than visiting Abraham Lincoln’s home in nearby Springfield, Illinois. It’s the only home President Lincoln ever owned and about 60% of everything inside is original. Don’t forget to build in extra time to tour the four-block area surrounding his home. It contains twelve historic buildings dating back to Lincoln’s time. There is no cost to take the tour.
Governor’s Mansion | Best Romantic Getaway in the Midwest
The newly renovated Illinois Governor’s Mansion is well worth a quick tour. We arrived at about 3:30 p.m. and ended up being the only people there to take the last tour of the day.
This mansion is the largest governor’s residence in the United States. The tour lasts about an hour and all guides are professionally trained. There is no cost to take the tour. It was quite an honor to walk in the footsteps of some of the following visitors:
- Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Lincoln, William McKinley, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- General William Sherman.
- President Lincoln’s son Robert.
- “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
- Annie Oakley.
The Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place for Abraham Lincoln, Mary, and three of their four children. The south entrance of the tomb opens into a rotunda where a hallway leads to the burial chamber.
However, one of the most interesting parts about visiting the Oak Ridge Cemetery is the gravesite of Mr. Accordion (Roy Bertelli). He’s known to have the best location in the entire cemetery and how it happened is a great short story.
Lincoln Library & Museum | Best Romantic Getaway in the Midwest
We didn’t get a chance to make it to the library or museum this time around, but we’re looking forward to visiting it next time. We’ve heard that it’s supposed to be absolutely amazing. The cost is about $15 per person.
For the Winos and Zythophiles
With several great wineries nearby, wine lovers may just want to focus on enjoying a wine weekend getaway. Also, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is the only winery in the Springfield city limits. The wineries surrounding Springfield include:
- Sheedy Shores Winery.
- Arpeggio Winery.
- Willow Ridge Winery.
- Walnut Street Winery.
- Danenberger Family Vineyards.
The 1905 Brewing Company is a great brewery close to the Market Street Inn B&B. However, if you’re in Springfield some other good alternatives include:
- Engrained Brewery & Restaurant.
- Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery.
- Buzz Bomb Brewing.
For the Foodies
Some popular choices for a romantic night out include:
- Nick & Nino’s Penthouse Steakhouse.
- Maldaner’s Restaurant.
- Indigo Restaurant.
Budget-conscious travelers will appreciate trying out the following locally recommended restaurants:
- Cafe Moxo.
- Charlie Parker’s Diner.
- Augie’s Front Burner.
- American Harvest Eatery.
Taylorville for the Shop-to-You-Drop Couple
The main square in Taylorville offers shoppers with many unique finds in antique stores, art galleries, and specialty boutique shops. For example, anyone looking for the ultimate shopping experience should head over to Scheels in Springfield. The saltwater aquarium and Ferris wheel make it well worth a quick stop.
Looking for a much-needed romantic rendezvous or a place to stay while exploring Central Illinois or attractions on Route 66? The Market Street Inn B&B is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway! Inspired to visit this lovely piece of history in Taylorville, Illinois? Visit the Market Street Inn B&B website to learn more.
Budget Travel Tip: The Market Street Inn B&B offers packages and specials. Make sure you check out their Specials & Packages page to see if one of them aligns with your interests.