Chestnut Mountain, perched high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River near Galena, Ill., is keeping slopes open until midnight every Friday during the months of January and February; a big plus for Heartland weekend visitors. All the slopes, terrain parks, and rail garden remain open until the Witching Hour, which allows guests to extend weekend skiing and riding hours with an early Friday night arrival. Chestnut's lighting system is excellent.
There's often live music taking place in the resort's Three Gables Lounge on weekends, but the weekend of Jan. 8-10 promises to offer a little extra entertainment. Grab the parrot hats and get ready for a weekend of fun off and on the slopes. It's Jimmy Buffet Weekend. Contests on the slopes will be taking place and a Buffet cover band, Pirates Over 40, will be playing Saturday night in the lounge from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. No cheeseburgers on the slopes please; just paradise.
The No Frills, Just Thrills Package, which starts at $110 per person, per night, double occupancy, includes Friday and Saturday night lodging and a two-day lift ticket. A two night stay is required. Click on the link below to make a reservation.
The skiing and riding here is pretty incredible with the Mississippi River providing a scenic backdrop as you work your way down the slopes. From the top, it looks as if you might ski right down to the river's edge. You don't, but it's not far away. The rocky bluff along the river provides a rugged look that you don't find at most Heartland ski resorts. Staying in Chestnut's historic hotel on top of the bluff just expands the experience.