Hardy's Reindeer Ranch among world's top tourist sites

No. 4 in the bucket list items in the world in "American Way" magazine is Hardy's Reindeer Ranch, rural Rantoul.

RANTOUL — It beat out places such as Machu Picchu, the Egyptian tourist sites and Mardi Gras.

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, located southwest of Rantoul, was named No. 4 on a list of 33 destinations that should be on your bucket list. The list was featured in the July edition of “American Way” magazine.

Julie Hardy, who operates Hardy’s with husband Mark, said they were shocked by the honor.

“It absolutely blew us out of the water,” she said.

She said it easily topped their previous high in terms of publicity when their reindeer named Mistletoe got out of the trailer they were hauling to a Christmas party in Champaign. Mistletoe was safely recovered. That happened just before Christmas about 20 years ago and made the Associated Press.

Kissing a reindeer at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch topped 27 other attractions and destinations.

“American Way” is featured in all American Airlines flights. Julie Hardy said 17.5 million copies of the magazine have been published.

She said she received a call from a woman flying to Washington, D.C., who alerted her to the designation.

“We are just excited and very thankful,” Hardy said.