Sweet Midwest : Chester, IL and Ste. Genevieve, MO {Personal}

J and I love to travel for weddings. So if you want a destination wedding, pick us for your photographers! We are ready and able to go virtually anywhere. So when this bride asked us to travel to photograph her wedding, we jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a hotel in Chester, IL where the wedding was, but we did get to expand our travels to southern Missouri and stay in Ste. Genevieve. If you are heading to either place and want some recommendations (or are from either place and have some suggestions – let us know!).
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We will start with Chester, IL. This lovely little town is known for Popeye (Yes, the cartoon character) and has a festival in honor of the creator of the cartoon. There are multiple statues throughout the town of each of the characters. If you want to have a fun Saturday head down to the town and try to find them all.
Some places that we recommend (or were recommended to us):

  • Reid’s Harvest House – All you can eat home cooking… yes, please!
  • St. Mary’s Antique Mall – My dear friends, if you want to find some excellent deals then this is the place to go. We were way ahead of schedule to arrive for the wedding and so we allowed ourselves to stop at this beautiful place. We gave ourselves 15 minutes to find a particular item (a child sized chair for family sessions) and found 3 and bought our favorite. You could easily spend half a day in this place!
  • Cohen Home – We don’t typically get invited to Rehearsal Dinners and when the invitation was extended we are so excited. The Grooms family hosted the dinner at The Cohen Home and it was extravagant. The home was beautiful and overlooked the Mississippi River. This home was written about by Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi and mentions the blue windows.

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Now the lovely Ste. Genevieve. We stayed at the incredible B & B and vowed that we would come back again to this town because there was so much that we didn’t have time for.

  • Somewhere Inn Time B & B – Gary and Mary were incredible and made us feel like welcomed friends. The breakfast was out of this world, but our favorite part was the pool. After a busy work week, traveling and desiring our work to be perfect at the wedding it was divine to just relax a bit by the pool.
  • Sweet Things Sweet Shop – When I knew that we might be headed to Ste. Gen I had to make sure I stop in this tasty place. It is co-owned by a friend of mine and wanted to support a fellow small business owner and catch up with her. And to testify on how good the sweets are, J ordered two chocolate covered Oreos and both were gone before we pulled away from the shop.
  • Anvil Restaurant –  Multiple people suggested this place for some great bar food, and we hear that the onion rings are the best ever.
  • Audubons – If you are looking for a classy night out, this would be the place to go!
  • So many wineries! Almost all of the other folks staying at the B & B were headed either to or from the wineries. There are too many great ones to list.

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So if you are looking for a nice weekend away. I highly recommend both Chester and Ste. Genevieve. The leaves are changing and the weather is beautiful- go and plan a nice peaceful weekend!
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