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Romantic escapes are half a day north of Chicago

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Hang out where Chicago’s elite used to go. Even though Lake Geneva, just over the Wisconsin border from Illinois, used to be a former summer escape from Chicago’s heat, the town and surrounding area has become a year-round getaway.

About 90 miles from Chicago and northern suburbs, the Lake Geneva area abounds with B&Bs, condos and resorts. Walkways and clever shops border the northeastern end of Geneva Lake. And yes, the name is the reverse of the town.The area also has fine dining and good, casual restaurants.

There are several accommodation choices but if you like to ski or have a spa treatment, book a night or two at the Grand Geneva Resort which has three getaway deals: “Love is Grand," "Romance" and Grand Getaway Package. For more Lake Geneva information call 800-345-1020 and visit Lake Geneva.

Or combine music, romance and scenery in Door County, Wisconsin. About four hours north of Chicago, The Door, as the popular peninsula is known, has enough cute towns and good restaurants to fill a long weekend. Accommodations, ranging from B&Bs to resorts and inns also have romance packages for Valentine’s Day.

Although not on the packages’ list, check out Church Hill Inn. An overgrown B&B with an excellent, full breakfast, Church Hill Inn also offers a Valentine’s Day special.

As for the music, the popular summertime Peninsula Music Festival is breaking up the winter with a concert of Mendelssohn and Weber at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay Feb. 15, 2014. It has general seating but reservations needed. Cost is ($25). Call 920-854-4060 or visit music festival.

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