Chestnut Mountain, perched high on a bluff above the mighty Mississippi River near Galena, Illinois, will be keeping the slopes open until midnight every Friday during the months of January and February, which is a big plus for Heartland weekend visitors. Chestnut's great lighting system lets all the slopes, terrain parks and rail garden remain open until the Witching Hour, which allows guests to extend weekend skiing and riding hours.
There's often live music taking place in the resort's Three Gables Lounge on weekends, but the weekend of Jan. 10-11 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. There will be contests on the slopes and a Buffet cover band will play Friday and Saturday nights in the lounge. No cheeseburgers on the slopes please. Check out the resort's Web site for January lift and lodging packages.
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 bluffs along the river provide a rugged look that you don't find at most Heartland ski resorts. Staying in Chestnut's historic hotel on top of the bluff only enhances the experience.