Bringing Beer and Art Together
Looking for the perfect fusion of the arts and craft beer? Look no further than the Chicago Southland! Make the most out of this couples’ retreat as you and your significant other explore the region. You’ll find paintings, sculptures and even hand-blown glass works, plus nearly 20 craft breweries all waiting for you to enjoy.
Begin exploring the Chicago Southland with a stroll around Homewood. There, you will find the world’s largest collection of Richard Haas murals. These large, illusion-style murals are scattered throughout downtown Homewood. Can you find all 15 of the Trompe l’œil-style paintings? Click here for a map to help guide you.
You’re sure to work up an appetite after searching for the Haas murals! Head over to Aurelio’s Pizza – Homewood for some delicious, old oven pizza. Aurelio’s is Chicago’s oldest pizza chain and a “must” while visiting the Chicago Southland!
After filling up on a delicious lunch, it’s time to enjoy your first taste of Chicago Southland-style brews. Make the short trip to neighboring Thornton (you’ll even drive over the Thornton Quarry, one of the largest quarries in the world!) and visit a historic building, standing since 1857. Thornton Distilling Co. serves incredible cocktails, many created with their signature Dead Drop line of whiskey, vodka, rum and gin. Thornton Distilling Co. is a stop on the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail! Click here to download the passport and start collecting your stamps today.
Next, it’s time to head back to Homewood. Rabid Brewing serves one-of-a-kind beers, like their flagship Singularity APA. This brewery was founded in 2017 and offers a rotating selection of delicious craft beers. Visitors will love the unique taproom and artwork throughout. Rabid Brewing is also a member of the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail; don’t forget your stamp!
End your day with some French-inspired cuisine served by La Voûte Bistro and Bar, inside of La Banque Hotel. Located in a renovated bank building, La Voûte is a contemporary restaurant that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. See the vault door that is signed by J. Edgar Hoover and the bar wall decorated with repurposed safety deposit boxes! This unique dining experience is a wonderful way to spend your first evening in the Chicago Southland.
Welcome to Day 2 of your Chicago Southland adventure! First stop: the Flossmoor Sculpture Gardens. These sculptures can be found throughout the charming village of Flossmoor, even along residential streets. This public arts program was the first of its kind in the Chicagoland area and features world-class works of art. Take about 90 minutes to enjoy the Flossmoor Sculpture Gardens.
After taking in some beautiful art, grab some lunch at Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, the area’s oldest brewery. Located in a historic train station, Flossmoor Station serves a wide range of delicious American cuisine and award-winning beers. Try their flagship Rail Hopper IPA and watch the Metra trains go by while you enjoy a tasty lunch. Flossmoor Station is a stop on the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail, so don’t forget to have your passport stamped before heading to your next destination!
After lunch, drive to Crete to visit Lotton Art Glass Gallery & Studios. Experience the thrill of watching magnificent works of art being created daily out of hot glass. Be sure to browse the gallery, where you will find bowls, vases, jewelry and more one-of-a-kind pieces.
Next, get ready for more beer! Head 2.5 miles east to Evil Horse Brewing Company also in Crete. Evil Horse crafts an array of beers using the finest natural ingredients and has earned several awards over the years. The warm, welcoming taproom will make you feel at home! Plus, Evil Horse is another stop on the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail. Try Evil Horse’s flagship beer, the Trot Hopple IPA, and enjoy their stock of board games, a cozy fire and free popcorn.
Afterwards, make your way to the incredible Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park in University Park. Located on the campus of Governors State University, the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park (AKA, theNate) has 30 master works of sculpture situated on 100+ acres of prairie landscape. This beautiful park is free and open to the public 365 days a year. You won’t want to miss the larger-than-life sculptures at theNate!
Close out your second day in the Chicago Southland by grabbing dinner from Ed & Joe’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Tinley Park. Ed & Joe’s uses time-tested recipes and flavors that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Try their thin crust pizza or any of the other tasty offerings from Ed & Joe’s.
Begin your last day in the Chicago Southland by enjoying the Vogt Visual Arts Center in Tinley Park. The VVAC was established in 1996 and displays works of art by various local and well-known artists.
After visiting the VVAC, head over to 350 Brewing Company for lunch and beer! 350 Brewing is a nano-brewery that specializes in creating small, hand-crafted batches of classic beer—with a twist! Enjoy the flagships Crook IPA or I Hate Mondays espresso porter. 350 also serves a diverse food menu created with fresh, local ingredients.
Wrap up your beer sampling at Hailstorm Brewing Co., also in Tinley Park. Hailstorm features 16 house beers on tap. Not sure which brew is for you? Try a $5 flight! Hailstorm has relaxed open seating, allowing for a comfortable end to your Chicago Southland beer journey. Don’t forget to sample a Stratus (northeast double IPA), a Vlad (Russian imperial stout) or an award-winning Prairie Madness (American IPA), three of Hailstorm’s flagship beers.
Before heading to dinner, make sure to take the time to see Tinley Park’s Benches on the Avenue. This outdoor art exhibit is on display annually from mid-May through October. Each year, there is a new theme that artists must keep in mind while designing their bench. 2021 marks 18 years of Benches on the Avenue and this year’s theme is Album Cover Tour. These benches will pay tribute to some of the most iconic and memorable album covers of all time, through all genres and eras of music.
End your third day with dinner at Siam Marina. Chow down on a delectable meal created by Chef Pham. Siam Marina’s dishes are inspired by Thai and Vietnamese foods, with a French influence. Foodies won’t want to miss out on this dining experience!
Map out your complete adventure! Click here to visit our free, interactive app, where you can see this road trip mapped out, plus create your own custom itineraries, check out upcoming events and read more about local attractions or amenities, and so much more!
Don't forget to book your hotel! Click here to visit our Chicago Southland accommodations page. To complete your Dixie Highway Brewery Trail Passport, be sure to also visit Blue Island Beer Co. (Blue Island), Horse Thief Hollow (Chicago), One Trick Pony (Lansing) and Open Outcry Brewing Company (Chicago). Plus, for more craft breweries, wineries and distilleries throughout the Chicago Southland, visit our Cheers and Beers brewery guide. Please drink responsibly!