Grizzly Jack's has a lot going for it, the first thing being its location. It is just about an hour from the southern Chicago suburbs, and is still a pretty easy trip the farther north you are. With kids especially, that's a time frame that avoids a stop at a questionable gas station bathroom, and THAT is worth a lot in itself. The resort is really nice. The water park is not big when compared to places in Wisconsin Dells, but I liked that - I felt like I could actually see and keep track of my children, not lose them easily amongst a vast sea of inner tubes. When compared to the cloudy, red, burning-eye inducing hotel pools of my youth that I prayed for when on road trips with my family, it's an oasis of aquatic magnificence. We thought we were in heaven if the pool had a heater. Seriously though, it's perfect if you have kids ages 4-12. The indoor amusement park is cool too, fun rides, lots of flashing lights and music - most tweens and younger teens would like it I think, plus the little ones too, and the bar/grill there was good. We've stayed in a villa, which was clean, pretty, and big with lots of room for the kids to play and run. Would be perfect if you're planning a multiple-family trip. Plus, a full kitchen allowed for making/bringing your own food, also an asset with kids. It was set back away from the busy resort and felt secluded amongst the trees. Speaking of trees, it's in Utica, which is where the Starved Rock state park is located, (along with some other nice state parks) and this is a place that you must explore. (Although there's plenty to do there, consider not limiting yourself to the resort.) Perfect place to escape the facilities for a bit, to put down the electronic devices for an hour and go for a walk in the woods with your family/friends/by yourself, most times of year. It's absolutely beautiful, but especially explore the areas and canyons that are away from the visitor's center. Just across the street from the lodge, you can drive down, park, and it's a 10-15 minute walk to St. Louis canyon, which has a little waterfall. THAT'S probably one of the most amazing things there - nature-made and it's free! It would also be a great place for a big wedding weekend, if you're looking to do a getaway wedding that all your guests can actually drive too. So, if you've been needing a change of scenery, and been thinking about a trip to this place, give it a shot for sure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort offers skin-drenching fun all year long right in the beautiful setting of Starved Rock State Park. Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or the Quad Cities and an hour from Bloomington or Rockford, our 60 wooded acres offer all of nature's wonders. This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark, beautiful lodge accommodations, as well as our 1800 sq. ft. vacation villas and luxurious 2800 sq. ft. cabins. Enjoy a variety of dining options, including wraps, salads, hot sandwiches and made to order pizzas at Jack's Place. During the summer months guests can enjoy a view of nature at our Bear Island Pavilion & Curtis Canyon Deck. Next to Bear Island enjoy our “Castle in the Woods” playground area and test your skills at our 18 hole Canyon Creek Miniature Golf Course. All lodge rooms include a microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer and wi-fi internet access. Our Vacation Villas are a 2-story townhome with a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our Log Cabins offer 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 3 fireplace, s and an oversized Great Room. Other resort amenities include the Cave Arcade with over 60 games, the Wave Cafe Snack Shop, the Honey Pot Sweet Shop & Grizzly Bean Gourmet Coffee Shop and the Moose Crossing Convenience Store. Our Grand Bear Conference Center includes over 8000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 6000 sq. ft. of Grand Ballroom space to accommodate your larger functions such as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
- Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
- Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel