13653 Lodge Blvd N, Grafton, IL | Directions 6203738.971864 -90.540854
Mon. - Sun. 24 Hours
The rivers are all in flood this week and the awesome River Road to Pere Marquette from Alton was closed, but the alternate directions (the "back way") to the park and lodge worked well. They were open and welcomed us on entry. Although we were way too early...well, we didn't know how long the detour was going to be and were eager to get there....they said a cabin room was ready for us if we wanted. We did! The A/C was off when we entered and there was a little bit of musty smell which almost instantly disappeared. (It is summer during flood season, after all!) By the time we unpacked, the room was quite comfortable. We walked back to the lodge to check out the massive fireplace in the great room and remember the efforts of the CCC "boys" who built this place, including the impressive furniture in the great room, in the 30's. These men deserve our gratitude, not only for the magnificent parks and lodges etc. that they built all over the US, but for serving us again in WW2, where their CCC training gave them a head start on basic training.
We sat on the porch and watched the flood level Illinois River for a while. The temperature was cool and humidity was surprisingly low enough to be very comfortable , although a citronella candle might have warded off a few pesky gnats that came visiting with the flood. When the wine bar opened at 3PM, we moved in there with our cousins who were joining us for dinner and enjoyed a bottle of Norton.
Dinner was relaxed and quite good, with our waiter Joe's friendly and efficient attention. The entrees were delicious (the fried chicken declared even better than at our cousin's favorite restaurant), the salads cold and crisp, but the starter mushrooms, stuffed with crab and asiago cheese, were especially marvelous!
The next morning I hit the exercise room, which is in the pool area. I was 30 minutes too early for the pool's opening time, but the front desk man made a quick call to the maintenance guy who came up and unlocked it for me. They were very friendly about it and I thanked them both for letting me in early. They could have stood by the posted times or made me feel that I was putting them out to open things up early, but they did neither and I appreciate that.
Breakfast was good...well, it's hard to hurt breakfast....and the young women on duty there were both friendly and efficient. All in all, we have only compliments for the entire staff, from the front desk, to the housekeeper, the wine bar manager, the maintenance man and the restaurant staff. Everyone was pleasant and helpful and made us feel welcome. The lodge itself is well maintained for a state park lodge (those who find fault should not expect the Ritz Carlton) and the park around it is beautiful, even with the Illinois coming closer than they (or we) would prefer. We will be back!
nice place just to stop in and see, beautiful great room inside, large indoor chess set to play. nice rooms and cabins outside with fireplaces. sunday brunch is good, but i thing kinds pricey, used to have family style but its been while, dont know if they still have it or not. we always stop here when going down the great river road. drive past the lodge up to the top of the long hill, nice views. nice indoor pool.
My husband and I stayed here for our anniversary. We loved it. The room was clean, bed was comfortable and the staff friendly. They even had card and board games that you could borrow. We had the pool and hot tub to ourselves both nights. We also enjoyed the winery although there isn't a huge selection of wines. They had beer for the hubby. We really loved the hiking.
Stay in one of the old stone cottages on a snowy, wintery night. Go play cards or read a book by the fire in the lodge. A one of a kind piece of American history. You don't have to go the Grand Canyon to experience this. It is right in your backyard.
PS the pool is heated in winter.
The wife and youngest son decided to come here for lunch on Sunday and enjoy a nice drive along the River Road.
Our waitress was very helpful (honest to a fault!) and all of us enjoyed the food. My wife's pot roast was incredible - tender without being stringy and very flavorful! We topped off our day with coffee and blackberry pie which we took to the Great Room in the lodge. A nice getaway without an excessive drive.
We have been to Pere Marquette many times...for relaxing weekends, family reunions, and a first last night...a paranormal investigation! It is such a beautiful place. This was the first time we had visited in the winter. The grounds were so pretty in the snow, and the roaring fire in the great room was nice. The staff is wonderful there, very friendly. Good food in the restaurant, but a short drive to Grafton if you want to go out. The rooms are comfy, nothing fancy, but nice. Watching the sunset from the great room or the patio is a treat.
I used to come here with my grandparents when I was kid, this past weekend some friends and I decided to take in some leaves and gorge ourselves on a massive brunch buffet...this place came to mind and it was EXACTLY the same as it was in the 80's. If you are a comfort in consistency person, Pere Marquette is right up your ally.
First the Buffet, because the fat kid in me must talk about the food first. This buffet is about 20 bucks per person (yea, not cheap) but it seriously has everything you could want. 6 breakfast dishes, 6 lunch dishes, 6 dinner dishes, a carving station, a waffle station, a banana's foster station, breads and danishes, salad, fresh fruit, a cheese section (lets be honest, the cheese section sold me) and even a fresh fish section. I was in love. There is also the option to get a family style all you can eat chicken and catfish dinner for 14 bucks a person, but that simply was not fat enough for me on this glorious Sunday. The brunch is only served from October through mid-November. I have no idea why this is, but oddly enough, that's what they do here.
After gorging ourselves on brunch and feeling a bit stung by the bill, we grabbed our to go cups of tea (that's right, they gave me a to go cup, upping it one more star in my head) and we piled into my friend's car to start taking in the foliage. There are a ton of different stopping points along the big loop drive, and you can see for miles from the top. It's simply gorgeous. There were families and couples having picnics, and a bizarre ladybug infestation that we sadly brought back with us in the car to Soulard, but you should see some of these pictures I got. Beautiful leaves of so many colors and the Mississippi and Illinois River merging in the background. It was amazing.
What was not amazing? Lover's Leap. If you go check it out, it looks more like Lover's Log Roll.
They also have hiking trails and you can rent horses to take out on the trail. The lodge is incredibly nice and makes for a great family weekend get away or even for a nice couples get away. And it's CHEAP. Always a plus.
I could keep writing, but the long and short of it is this is a great little day trip or overnight trip. Singles, couples, families....it's going to be great for any and all.
Also, it's pretty hilarious to watch the parents taking extremely posed pictures of their child. I mean, they drag them up here to this beautiful place and make them pose unnaturally with their knee popped and fist under their chin in front of a tree...take that in your backyard and cut your kid a little slack. The whole thing is proposterous, but good comic relief for the rest of us.
we had alot of fun, has some personal experiences. We would absolutly do this again, i recommend anyone to do this at least once. the lodge was gorgous and cozy, rooms were very comfortable and clean. everyone made you feel welcome. looking forward to staying there again
Stayed in a cabin here at the lodge and had a great time. The cabin was clean and good sized. The bed's were comfortable and clean. We stayed during the week so the price was great to. The lodge itself was nice and had a great rustic feel to it. The staff was friendly and helpful. The park is filled with wildlife, we even got to get close to a couple of deer that were eating in a grass area by the cabins. Birds of all kinds were everywhere. The hiking trails were nice and not overgrown with vegetation.The lodge had a very nice pool area that was clean and also had a nice big hot tub and sona. The restaurant in the lodge wasn't bad, a bit pricy but the food was good. If you are looking for a nice rustic getaway this is a great place!
We've been coming here every year since I was a kid, and now we've got a new generation of kids in the family. Kids love staying in the lodge, the giant chess board in the lobby is a big hit, and there's a hot tub by the pool (indoor) so the adults can relax while the kids splash around. Great bike/walking path along the river. The nearby town of Grafton is charming, lots of antiques.
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