Eagle Ridge

When you think of famous golfing destinations, California’s Pebble Beach and Scotland’s St. Andrews immediately spring to mind, thanks to years of televised tournaments. But over the past few years, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa–located about 150 miles west of Chicago in the heart of historic Galena, Ill.–has been building quite the reputation as a must-play golf course.

The Drop Zone: Geneva, Illinois

Who needs Main Street when you’ve got Third Street? Stretching along six blocks of downtown Geneva — and located 40 miles west of Chicago — the Third Street District offers quite the array for folks looking for a way to spend a lazy day. Full of antique shops, restaurants, confectionaries, boutiques and cafes, Geneva is both quaint and cosmopolitan. It’s the city’s quaint quotient that lured filmmakers to shoot part of Tom Hanks’ “Road to Perdition” here. (Drive along State Street and you may recognize some of the buildings.) So park your car, pull on your warm winter gear and take some time to stroll down Third Street.

Drop Zone: St. Charles, Illinois

There’s nothing like an old fashioned bookstore. Sure, the warehouse-sized chains have tons of material to offer, but where’s the love there? At the 30-year-old Town House Books, the staff is knowledgeable and the setting is oh-so cozy and inviting … especially since you can smell the delicious dishes being cooked up at the store’s cafe. Weather permitting, you may sit outside with a book or newspaper while you enjoy a cup of herbal tea or coffee. But if you have the time, plan on getting lunch there. The soups are homemade, the salads are delectable and the hummus platter is generous enough to share with a friend.

‘BachelorMan’ comes home: A marriage-minded comedian who left Aurora for Hollywood says he’d rather make movies here

Born and raised in Aurora, Rodney Lee Conover was 18 when he left the western suburbs for Los Angeles. He worked as a stand-up comic. He had bit parts on TV and in films. But like many entertainers — both struggling and otherwise — what he really wanted to do was make his own films.