Amos Page, Otis Eastman, and Eldridge G. Ayer planned Harvard's layout and named it for Harvard, Massachusetts. The plat was recorded in 1856. Page and Eastman sold their shares to Ayers shortly afterward. Ayers was particularly interested in the extension of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company railroad toward Janesville, Wisconsin, as the newly platted Harvard was directly on the route of the extension. Ayers offered land to built a station, and the railroad agreed.
In 1869, the community was incorporated by a vote of the residents, and Ayers was elected the town's first president. Voters chose to turn the town into a city in 1891. As railroad employment rose, Harvard's population grew. A major employer later was Motorola, which opened a plant in 1997 and at one point employed more than 5,000 people. The plant closed in 2003 and was sold in 2012. Manufacturing and retail trade are the strongest economic drivers today.
When are the best times to visit Harvard, Illinois?
The best time to visit Harvard would fall between late May and late September, when high temperatures range from the low 70s to the low 80s and tourism is at its peak. Hotel rates will rise during this season, though, so you'll want to book early both to shave a little off the cost and to ensure room availability. You can score a cheaper rate if you travel earlier in May or later in September.
The temperatures are quite cold for much of the rest of the year, when tourism is down. However, if you did travel during winter, you'd get the lowest rates of the year.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Harvard, IL:
Harvard, IL: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. rate patterns by star rating class in Harvard, IL. Browse these line graphs to determine the cheapest time to book in Harvard for upcoming travels.
What are the luxury hotels in Harvard, IL?
If you're a golfer and enjoy luxurious amenities, you can't go wrong with The Inns of Geneva National in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Just off the Lake Como shores, you can play 54 holes of golf on courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. The inn has an outdoor pool and tennis courts, as well as a full-service spa providing massages, body treatments, and facials. You'll be 3 miles from Yerkes Observatory and 4 miles from the Geneva Lake Museum of History.
Six villas each have six rooms that share a kitchen. You can enjoy the privacy of your own room or compare golf scores while making coffee or lunch in the communal kitchen. Your room will have a comfortable memory-foam bed, a flat-screen television, a jetted bathtub, and free Wi-Fi. Dine at one of five restaurants or get a drink at one of the five bars, including a poolside bar.
Another luxury accommodation in Lake Geneva is The Geneva Inn, where you'll be a five-minute drive from Paradise Golf Park and a four-minute walk from Big Foot Beach State Park. You'll enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of the lake. Deluxe rooms provide refrigerators, 40-inch flat-screen televisions, Keurig coffee machines, spa bathrobes, and evening turndown service. Most rooms have private balconies, and some have oversized whirlpool tubs. Luxury lake-view rooms have private balconies overlooking Lake Geneva, as well as oversized whirlpool tubs, oversized soaking tubs, or combinations of whirlpool tubs and showers.
You can also turn up the luxury with a spacious lake-view suite with premium amenities. The most popular suite at the inn has a separate sitting room equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave, and a table that seats four.
What are the affordable hotels in Harvard, IL?
3 Star Average Prices: $130.40
Baymont by Wyndham Harvard is well-positioned on the outskirts of the city near U.S. Highway 14 and state Highway 23. It's a budget-friendly hotel with rooms that feature microwaves and refrigerators so you can save even more on restaurant costs. Your room will also have an LCD television, a desk, a coffee/tea maker, and free Wi-Fi. The indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center will keep you refreshed and energized.
The hotel also offers a 24-hour business center and free continental breakfast. At this hotel, you'll be 2 miles from Harvard's Milky Way Park. A 15-minute drive will bring you to Oak Grove Golf Course.
Quality Inn of Woodstock is another nearby affordable hotel. You'll be less than 2 miles from Woodstock Square and the Old Courthouse Arts Center and 12 miles from the Harvard city center. Enjoy the comfort of your pillowtop bed while you watch the flat-screen television and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Your room will also have a refrigerator and a microwave, and the hotel offers a free buffet breakfast each morning.
2 Star Average Prices: $108.24
What are the best discounts in Harvard, IL?
Seniors, AAA members, government employees, and members of the military can enjoy discounts at Comfort Suites Delavan Lake Geneva Area in Delavan, Wisconsin. You'll be within a short drive of Dancing Horse Theatre, Animal Gardens, and Apple Barn Orchard. Rooms feature refrigerators, plasma TVs, desks, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a spa tub, a fitness center, a 24-hour business center, outdoor barbecue grills, a gift shop, free newspapers, and a fireplace in the lobby. A free buffet breakfast is served each morning.
Sky Lodge Inn & Suites in Delavan offers AAA and military/government discounts. Your room will feature a refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV, and work desk as well as free Wi-Fi. You can also get a spacious suite with additional amenities such as a whirlpool tub. Cool off and get some exercise in the indoor pool, do some work in the business center, and pick up a free newspaper in the lobby. You can even get free breakfast each morning.
What are the value hotels in Harvard, IL?
Fontana Village Inn in Lake Geneva is a highly rated lakeside hotel in an excellent location for scenic views and recreation. Rooms come with refrigerators, microwaves, flat-screen televisions with HBO, tea and coffee makers, and free Wi-Fi. Jacuzzi rooms are also available. The waterfront hotel provides easy access to the 26-mile path along Geneva Lake. Views on the path include historic estates as well as the scenic lake itself.
Your room will have a microwave, refrigerator, flat-screen television, desk, and free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms feature added amenities such as spa tubs and sofa beds. The hotel offers an indoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, a 24-hour business center, and free breakfast.
What are the best things to do in Harvard, Illinois?
Harvard Milk Days is the longest ongoing hometown festival in Illinois, and Harvard bills itself as the Milk Center of the World. The event started in 1942 when 3,000 people gathered in Harvard to honor local dairy farmers and drink 500 gallons of milk. Speeches, music, baton twirlers, and dancers were also highlights of the event.
"It is only right and natural that Harvard should honor the producers who have made it the 'Milk Center of the World,'" program chairman Charles A. Minot said at the second annual Milk Days celebration in 1943. "This Milk Day will be much more than the glorified picnic it started out to be."
Over the years, the crowds kept increasing, and organizers kept adding new elements, such as a petting zoo, races, a golf outing, and a marching band contest. Milk Days has featured a Milk Day queen since 1945, when Norma Garrett of Harvard was crowned. The mascot of Milk Days is Harmilda, the fiberglass cow that has been at Five Points Park since 1966.
Milky Way Park, which hosts Milk Days, is a community park with amenities such as a walking path, picnic shelters, a playground, and sports facilities. Also popular is the Aquatic Center and Swimming Pool, which also offers a water slide, a sand play area, a bathhouse, a beach volleyball pit, and concessions.
Rush Creek Conservation Area offers 726 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows that provide homes to many species of wildlife. Restored areas have increased production of native plants. Wildflowers brighten up the summer forest floor. Water quality and fish habitat in the creek and pond have improved greatly since the restoration work was completed in 2005.
Among the annual events in Harvard is the Food Truck FEASTival, held in July. Besides all the food trucks, the event features an arts and craft show and a car show. The Harvard Balloon Fest, which began in 2016 as an annual event, is now planned to be held every two years. In addition to the hot-air balloons dotting the sky, the festival features concerts and other entertainment, food and beverage vendors, demonstrations, helicopter rides, tethered balloon rides, inflatables, and more.
Harvard, Illinois, can bring you close to Chicago and other big destination cities, or you can stay right in its own backyard. Recreational, shopping, and dining opportunities are all around you, both in Harvard and in the other vibrant small cities in the area.
FAQs about hotels in Harvard
How much does a cheap hotel in Harvard cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Harvard can be as cheap as $108.24 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Harvard cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Harvard has been $130.40 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)