Beginning Location: Hardin, IL
Ending Location: Grafton, IL
Miles Traveled: 21
Weather: Just about perfect
Stayed at: Grafton Harbor ($39 per night)
After covering some major miles the last couple of days, we were able to sleep in a bit and enjoy a short trip to Grafton, IL located at the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The 21 miles between Grafton and Hardin were really pretty. We didn’t see another boat for the first 15 miles and just floated along slowly enjoying the scenery.
For the first time since Ottawa, IL nearly two weeks ago we were able to get into a proper marina with nice docks and unlimited power and water! We were definitely ready to unwind a little after our two long days down the Illinois. The pool was calling to us.
Grafton is a very pretty town that has reinvented itself from an industrial river port to a weekend resort for the St. Louis and Springfield crowds. It’s slogan is “The Key West of the Midwest.” They may be over reaching there, but the main street is only a block from the marina and is lined with wineries and restaurants. It would be very easy to stumble from winery to winery all afternoon sampling their wares.
Originally we had planned to stay one day in Grafton but we liked it so much we stayed two nights. We met a few local people, wandered around town, and caught up on email and other work thanks to the good wifi. Because we have a scheduled break from boating coming up, there was no rush to get to our next destination.
While Grafton may not quite be Key West, it is a beautiful stop. We’re glad we were able to stay there and enjoy everything the town has to offer.