Staycation: Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa

Rustic Inn Crabhouse
NBC 6 South Florida

If you're looking for a perfect (semi) Staycation, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is your answer. Located just four hours from the hustle and bustle of Chicago (hence the "semi" part), you'll feel more like you're 12 hours away (which is a good thing when you're trying to avoid emails, cell phones, car horns and nagging bosses).

Eagle Ridge, located in the heart of Galena, is known for three things: romance, shopping and golf. It seems as if good things happen in threes.

After a pleasant, albeit four hour drive to the Galena Territory, you'll arrive at Eagle Ridge, which is arguably the heart and soul of the town. 6,800 acres of lush, green land lay saturated with beauty, foliage, hiking, golf, restaurants, massages, trails, boating, fishing, general stores, biking, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, lakes and the like.

The resort is a relaxing haven made for just about anybody (packages vary from the Girlfriends Spa Getaway to the Family Time Getaway to the Romantic Getaway). The place is impossible not to adore.

Because of the myriad options for habitation, couples, families, groups of friends or the solo adventurer could make themselves at home for a day -- or four. With options ranging from one to eight bedroom villas and distinctive homes to an 80-room inn atop Lake Galena, there's something for everyone (including canines -- just ask for a dog-friendly villa).

Houses come with a fully equipped kitchen, DVD players, a large bathtub and enough peace and quiet to make you want to scream. And we would be remiss if we didn't mention the fact that there is not a single streetlamp, allowing for some of the most pristine, clear, beautiful stargazing ever experienced.

Although we'd be content hibernating in a villa with cheese, crackers, wine, the bathtub and a few DVDs, there was an adult summer camp worth of activities to experience. It starts with 63 holes of award-winning golf and for the non-golfer, the Stonedrift Spa. Some massages tend to leave you a little cold or frigid, but the Swedish/Deep Tissue massage -- in a valiant effort to go above and beyond the norm -- warms you right up with hot stones, hot towels, a hot eye mask, a hot bed and a hot heating pad. Not to mention the cucumber sandwiches and hot tea in the waiting room. Oh, and all the products are 100 percent green and organic.

The only thing we could find fault with was the restaurant situation. The food was (at best) generic country club cuisine. Our recommendation would be to utilize your villa's kitchen or grill, or venture into downtown Galena, a mere six miles away, where quaint, old-school looking bars and restaurants run rampant.

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is the perfect (semi) Staycation. Although high-speed wireless internet access is available, opt not to use it. Take advantage of the serenity, the romance, the beauty, and the outdoorsy-ness of it all.

You'll be back in the city before you know it, missing the conspicuous lack of emails, cell phones, car horns and nagging.

Erica Bethe Levin is dreaming of horseback rides, long hikes and spas as she writes for and edits

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