Back March 19, 2020
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A view from above | Rustic River Cabins

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Outdoor enthusiasts paradise

Located high on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and Memorial Bridge sits ten cozy and rustic cabins in historic Savanna, Illinois. Only a few miles from Mississippi Palisades State Park, the cabins are the perfect location for outdoor enthusiasts or those who just want to unwind and enjoy a weekend getaway. Mississippi Palisades State Park is so close that some of the nature trails at the state park connect to the cabin property.

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Each cabin comfortably sleeps six – with two queen beds in a loft area and futon in the main space. They all include a kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave, central heat and airconditioning, 50-inch flat-screen TV, fireplace, modern bathrooms, and beautiful private decks that overlook the Mississippi River. There are also common areas with fire pits, charcoal grills, picnic areas, and a pond that’s great for catching some fish. The newly installed electric fireplaces add a cozy touch to the cabins and make it easy to cozy up with a movie or book. Several of the cabins are handicapped accessible. 

BONUS: They are dog friendly! 

On-site owners

Upon arrival, the owners, Nancy and Matt Nowakowski, were eager to greet me and tell me about the cabins. They made Savanna and northwest Illinois their home and saw the cabins as a fun opportunity during retirement. Purchased in 2019, they have been busy remodeling the cabins and bringing them back to life with modern upgrades. Nancy and Matt live in one of the cabins at the bottom of the property, which means they are always on-site to help or answer questions.

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Life Looks Different When You’re Not In A Hurry

The owners gave me the full tour of each cabin and although each has the same layout, the wrap-around porches give either breathtaking views of the river or a view of Savanna’s newly constructed Dale Gardner Memorial Bridge. The bridge is named after NASA astronaut and Savanna native, Dale Gardner. 

Upon entering the cabin, a complimentary bottle of wine was waiting along with a list of local recommendations of where to eat and what to see in town. You can often see deer roaming the property and bald eagles flying overhead. Located high above the highway, the cabins are quiet. Sitting on the wrap-around deck is serene and peaceful. During my visit, I walked the property and introduced myself to a small family cooking dinner outside their cabin. They were visiting from Chicago to get away from the hustle and bustle and as the sunset turned the skies pink over the Mississippi, she couldn’t believe this kind of quiet and peace existed outside of her urban life. 

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The cabins are also located only a short walking distance from Marquette Park. The riverfront walking path along the Mississippi River offers amazing views and is a few blocks from Savanna’s historic downtown filled with shopping, dining, and pubs offering live music on the weekends.  

Life is better when you take a moment to savor it, listen, and take a look around. As I sat in on the cabin deck and watched the sky go from blue to pink and orange, I thought of the quote;

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

If the outdoors can accomplish everything without rushing, so can we. Take a moment to enjoy the outdoors and then book your stay to experience the cabins for yourself. You won’t regret it.

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Rustic River Cabins
1000 Calhoun St. (0.35 mi)
Savanna, Illinois 61074
Phone Number: (708) 906-4516


Airbnb Listing:

Don't miss the "Wide Open Spaces" Art Exhibition at 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝗣𝗶𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘄 - @tnps_dixon! From June 6 to July 13, explore breathtaking landscapes captured in stunning 2D and 3D artworks. The exhibition is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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•Just a little place in Illinois • 
Part 1 

These are the things that amaze me. 

First - my son was running SO fast, I had to slow down this video…

Second - how did I NOT know about this place in Illinois?!

It’s 2 hours from home. 
And I had no clue about the beautiful working, Dutch windmill overlooking the Mississippi River. 

OR that they’ve had their own small town Dutch festival for 50 years! 

This area was settled by Dutch immigrants in 1823. 
It’s quite remarkable how many generations have prioritized preserving their heritage. 

The windmill, named De Immigrant,
was officially dedicated in the year 2000. 

But before that, it was crafted in Holland from refurbished parts of old, unused windmills. Then disassembled & reassembled here by the townspeople. 

A few locals even use the mill to make local products for sale in their cultural center! 

Tours inside the windmill are FREE. 

I especially love that it’s black & overlooking the water. Both are unique attributes I haven’t seen in Midwest windmills yet. 

📍Fulton, Illinois is in NW Illinois

from Iowa
~ 45 miles from Davenport, Iowa 
~90 miles from Iowa City, Iowa 
~200 miles from Des Moines 

from Illinois
~40 miles from Dixon, Illinois 
~75 miles from Rockford, Illinois 
~140 miles from Chicago 

Have you ever heard of this Midwest windmill?

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Ideas and resources to help plan your next real getaway in NW Illinois.