This holiday season, give the gift of travel to southwest Illinois.

Think outside the box this year and give the gift of travel.

Give your family member or loved one a gift certificate for a perfect escape to southwest Illinois that includes dining and a packaged overnight stay.

The Great Rivers & Routes region, just minutes from St. Louis in southwest Illinois, is full of delightful guest houses, bed and breakfast inns and hotels that provide the perfect backdrop for an escape from daily routines.

And really, who wouldn't appreciate, or need, a getaway like that!

Want a stay with great views of the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers? What about a rustic, rural retreat? Let your imagination be your guide as you put together the perfect vacation plan for friends and family.

Here are just a few getaway deals that would make great holiday gifts

Tara Point Inn & Cottages, Grafton

High on the bluffs above the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers sits Tara Point Inn & Cottages. With commanding views of the river and the riverfront community of Grafton, Tara Point has eight cottage suites and main house guest suites for overnight stays.

From December through April, stay two nights for the price of one Sundays through Thursdays. Gift certificates for overnight stays are available.

The Farmhouse Loft, Carrollton

Get away from it all on Carollton's historic square in Greene County with a stay at The Farmhouse Loft. The vacation rental blends a rustic farmhouse style with modern comfort and amenities. The two-bedroom, one bath loft apartment has a full kitchen with appliances and a comfy living area. Stop in at the nearby Copper Stills & Mash for coffee, breakfast, lunch or nightcap. A $100 gift certificate will provide a one night stay.

The Beall Mansion, An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn, Alton

Be pampered at Alton's Beall Mansion. This elegant bed and breakfast inn is located 12 blocks from Alton's downtown district and the Mississippi River. The mansion is located in what was once known as "Millionaire's Row" and the historic building has been restored to its original opulence.

Know someone who needs a little pampering? A gift certificate for the Beall Mansion's "Pampered Getaway Deal" could be the perfect gift. The deal includes choice of guest room, complimentary glass of champagne or sparkling non-alcoholic beverage, turn down service on arrival, ice delivered to room, chocolate truffles each night of stay, luxurious robes, pillow menu and grab & go continental breakfast each morning.

For a limited time, book a two night or longer "Pampered Getaway" and receive a certificate for a free wine tasting for two at Grafton Winery & Brewhaus.

The Lakehouse By Historic Red Rooster, Hillsboro, IL

Take a deep breath and relax at The Lakehouse guest house in Hillsboro, IL. You guessed it -- this overnight stay has tranquil views of Lake Hillsboro amid a peaceful rural setting. Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy walks along the lakefront, cookouts and more.

Special offers are available for gifting this holiday season including: Free Tobias Public House Gift Certificate with a two night stay. The gift certificate is good for $50 when you book the 2 bedroom unit or $25 for a studio stay.

If you want to book a longer stay, The Lakehouse offers a FREE third night on a two night stay during February & March. Please use the promo code THIRDNIGHT to claim this offer. Book all stays here to receive special offers!

Green Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast

Find your next travel gift getaway in the historic river town of Elsah. Nestled between the bluffs along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the entire community is listed on the National Register of Historic places. The Green Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast, conveniently located in the center of the village, offers charming overnights capped off with a full service breakfast and afternoon snacks. Guests can also use the bicycles on hand at the inn to explore the town.

Gift your family or friends a stay at the Green Tree Inn. Purchase a $200 gift certificate and receive a free Green Tree Inn cookbook featuring 150 of the innkeeper's favorite recipes.

While you're here, why not shop local

When it comes to discovering locally crafted gifts for the holidays, even Santa Claus knows where to shop.

“Small businesses really help me out this time of year. My elves don’t have to work so hard and I love looking around these independent shops,” Santa Claus noted during his stop in Collinsville. “And you know, anyone who shops from them always ends up on my nice list,” he added.

Luckily, our experts crafted a Local Makers Gift Guide to help secure your name on the top of that list.

And There's More!

For even more travel packages available in the Great Rivers & Routes region, visit our Deals Page. Discover great overnight packages available seasonally and year round. Or take your pick of lodging options in the regions including: Hotels & Motels; Guest Houses; and Bed & Breakfast Inns.