Viewing posts categorised under: Attractions

Easter Bunny Sightings!

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Attractions, Holidays, Spring, What's Happening

Peter Cottontail is making his way through ILLINOISouth. See below for dates, times, and locations you can catch the Easter Bunny and check out an egg hunt.

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ILLINOISouth: Your Spring Break Destination

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Attractions, Spring

Spring break is upon us! If you are looking for somewhere to get-away that won’t break the bank or your gas tank, check out ILLINOISouth!
Check out the map for more below for some great spots!
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What’s to do in Waterloo?

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, Shop Local, Shopping

Waterloo is full of small town charm. With great shopping, restaurants, and events held throughout the year, Waterloo makes the perfect overnight trip! (more…)

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A Weekend in Litchfield & Hillsboro

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, History, Museums, New Counties, Nostalgia, Outdoors, Recreation, Rt. 66, Shop Local, Shopping, Uncategorized, Wineries

Looking for a great weekend trip? Litchfield and Hillsboro are great places for a girls getaway, couples retreat, or a family gathering. Both are located in Montgomery County with Litchfield being a stop on the famous Route 66. With plenty of history, as well as things to do, these Illinois cities  make the perfect weekend getaway! (more…)

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Sights to See: Casey

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, Food, Life's A Trip, Outdoors, Recreation, Summer

It’s time to start planning for vacations this year! ILLINOISouth is home to many great sights and has something for everyone. This combined with our restaurants and dining options you can make a whole trip out of our Sights to See!

In this edition of Sights to See check out the city of Casey. Casey is home to several “World’s Largest” items featured in the Guinness’s Book of World Records. Spend the day snapping pictures with you in the largest rocking chair and let the kids send a letter from the World’s Largest Mailbox.

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Sights to See: Carlyle Lake

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, Food, Life's A Trip, Outdoors, Recreation, Summer

It’s time to start planning for vacations this year! ILLINOISouth is home to many great sights and has something for everyone. This combined with our restaurants and dining options you can make a whole trip out of our Sights to See!

In this edition of Sights to See check out Carlyle Lake. Check out the events to celebrate the 5oth anniversary of the lake. There is plenty to see and do around Carlyle!

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Sights to See: Gateway Motor Sports

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, Life's A Trip, Motorsports, Museums, Sports, Summer

It’s time to start planning for vacations this year! ILLINOISouth is home to many great sights and has something for everyone. This combined with our restaurants and dining options you can make a whole trip out of our Sights to See!

On this edition of Sights to See check out Gateway Motor Sports. This family-friendly activity will have you on the edge of your seat with some racing fun! Located only 15 minutes from St. Louis, Gateway Motor Sports Park and its surrounding amenities provide a weekend full of fun!

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Three New Counties: Meet Clark County!

Alex Matthews
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Attractions, New Counties, Summer, Tourism Times

I went down to the crossroads…but not the ones Clapton sang about. I’m referring to Marshall, IL – the crossroads of I-70, the Lincoln Heritage Trail, The Historic National Road (Hwy 40), and IL-1. Marshall is nestled just minutes from Terre Haute, IN, and is the Seat of Clark County – one of three new counties covered by ILLINOISouth Tourism. Clark County is home to rich history, pristine parks and plenty of unique attractions.

Archer Inn in Marshall, IL

Archer Inn in Marshall, IL

“Marshall is the kind of town that makes you want a hot dog and an ice-cold lemonade on a summer night” says Jennifer Bishop, Economic Development Director, and Head of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce. “Summers here are incredible, from concerts on the Courthouse lawn, to the seemingly endless parade of boats heading to Lincoln Trail and Mill Creek Parks each weekend; the town just comes alive!”

National Road Display at Harlan Hall

National Road Display at Harlan Hall

This Summer will be one to remember……. Jennifer and her team are planning a “Walldogs” mural-painting event June 22 – 26 welcoming over 100 artists from around the world to paint 16 murals in town. Visitors can sign up to help with the painting, or just observe. A Vendor Fair sponsored by the local Gaslight Art Colony and other festivities round out the event. The new murals will join an existing mural commemorating the Historic National Road.

Across the street from that mural is Harlan Hall, a gorgeous three-story brick building, established as an opera house and delivery stable in 1872. It now houses the Illinois National Road Welcome Center, as well as meeting and event space. Another historical spot can be found under the water tower, at 717 Archer Ave. Archer House is an inn established in 1841, that on several occasions housed a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln when he held court in Marshall.

How abo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie at West Union Café

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie at West Union Café

ut grabbing a bite at the West Union Café? The Café is the recipient of not one, but two “Best of the Wabash Valley” awards – and is the only eatery that has won two. One for their broasted chicken, and the other is for their homemade pies. I opted for chocolate/peanut butter…save room for dessert.

Nearby Martinsville typifies the heart of rural America. The charm is felt from the retro water tower to the two side by-side parks just off the main drag. Linn Park, across from the city’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, is home to the small town’s array of summer events and concerts.

Can you think of a better way to celebrate a small town than with really big things? I’m talking gargantuan, tremendous, colossal, and in some cases the bona fide World’s Largest things…

Casey, near the western border between Clark and Cumberland Counties, is among the most unique towns I’ve seen. Visitors will find The World’s Largest (as verified by Guinness) Rocking Chair, Mailbox, Golf Tee, Pitchfork, Wooden Shoes, Wind Chime, Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook. These and other incredibly large items like a giant #2 Pencil can be found throughout the town with more on the way.

World's Largest Mailbox in Casey, IL

World’s Largest Mailbox in Casey, IL

All of these big things can inspire a big appetite. We’d recommend a tiny store called Moonshine. This small, quaint shop is about 12 country miles out of town and is world-famous for shelling out some of the best burgers in Southern Illinois. They’ve even made national T.V.!

 

This article originally appeared in the 2016 Spring Summer issue of the Tourism Times. Click Here to read the current issue online or request your FREE printed copy!

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Illinois' First Road

Illinois South Admin
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Attractions, History, Tourism Times

Travel on the King’s Road…King Louis XV of France, that is! French colonists gave this name to the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail (KCT) in the early 1700s. More than 300 years later, the road is still used today in southwestern Illinois.

Jarrot Mansion, Cahokia

Jarrot Mansion, Cahokia

In this region, the Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Kaskaskia and Meramec Rivers converge with the Mississippi, and throughout history provided reliable transportation for exploration, settlement and trade. Overland trails were used to access interior lands beyond and between the rivers.

The KCT can be traced to American Indian people around 11,000 BC, who over time built large civilizations with mound cities along the trail. When the French established permanent settlements at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, they named these villages after the native Illini people.

Fort de Chartres, Prairie Du Rocher

Fort de Chartres, Prairie Du Rocher

Other forts and settlements grew over the next 100 years along the east side of the Mississippi River Valley. This first road spawned other routes that led to Illinois becoming the 21st state in 1818, with Kaskaskia serving as the first state capital.

Bellefontaine House, Waterloo

Bellefontaine House, Waterloo

The 60-mile long corridor connects visitors with many opportunities to discover the region’s diverse history. Explore the evolution of native cultures, French colonial roots, Revolutionary War era settlement, early Illinois statehood, westward expansion, European immigration and agricultural significance along the Trail.

The dramatic bluffs of the scenic Mississippi River Valley shape the natural landscape of the Trail. Rolling oak-hickory forests, prairies and farmlands including quaint, historic villages and rural back roads make this 60-mile journey one you will never forget.

View of the Bluffs in Monroe County

View of the Bluffs in Monroe County

In 2014, the Illinois General Assembly proclaimed the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail as an Illinois Historic and Scenic Route. Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair Counties and their respective municipalities, are working together to improve and promote this historic and scenic corridor for the world to explore, appreciate and enjoy.

Call our office today (800.442.1488) to request a brochure detailing the attractions along the trail or email kctrailillinois@gmail.com for other inquiries.

This information originally appeared in the Fall 2015 Tourism Times Seasonal Guide. Click here and sign up to receive three issues every year at no cost!

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Antiques – Bringing Way Back When to Here and Now

Illinois South Admin
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Antiques, Attractions, Fall, Shopping, Tourism Times

antiques twitter bannerPeople who love to trade in antiques are a very special breed. They live for the “find,” like the couple who buy the rickety old wooden chair at a garage sale for 15 bucks—then, before driving off to the next poor soul’s house, can’t resist telling the clueless sellers that it’s antebellum.

olney

Fabulous Finds by Jerri Allen, Olney

Few are that snarky, of course. They’re a community not unlike the experts on Pickers or Pawn Stars. They see through the rust, grime and flaking paint to see what’s beneath. They recognize character. And, value.

Plenty of antiquers buy and sell in ILLINOISouth, the 20-county corridor that stretches from St. Louis east to the Indiana border like a belt that holds up a paunch facing west.

Some are big, some are small, some are malls. Some trade in true antiques… that is, items that have been around a century or more… some in “collectibles.” Most have a little of some, a little of the other. For many, antique just means that they don’t make ’em like they used to, or you had something similar at home growing up, or you collect fine French china. (And don’t mind the little “flea bite” on that glazed white pitcher from around 1920. Turn the chipped side to the wall and nobody will notice.)

Some collectors love to display well-used farm implements, inside and out. There’s plenty of that around here, from Fairview Heights to Olney.

One thing to remember: Wherever it is, no antique store is ever the same place twice! So come early, come often.

  St. Clair Antique Mall, Fairview Heights:  618-628-1650

One of the region’s several antique malls is only 15 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Two hundred dealers offer a dizzying array of goodies, so make a day of it. If there was a specialty here, it would be primitives, crock ware, glassware and furniture. Just across I-64 is one of the region’s major retail malls and dozens of big-box stores, where you can take a break to shop for some new stuff.

highland

Windows Off Broadway, Highland

Windows on Broadway, Highland: 618-651-4401

There are nearly 100 windows on this building, thus the name. Want some old magazines or 45 RPM singles? Check. A butter churn or bowling pins? You got it. But the 2,100-square-foot atrium graced by all those windows? Probably not. It’s more than an antique store; it’s a destination for intimate special events with a kitchen and bar.

The Antique Mall of Perry County, Nashville: 618-336-5300

Seventy-plus vendors have it all, from quality antiques to vintage collectibles…
all on one floor, in 12,000 square feet of space.

Vintage Collections Antique Mall, Mt. Carmel:  618-262-2513

Some collectors want things that are vintage or “retro,” regardless of whether they’re truly antique. You’ll find those here, too. Various genres are available, from primitives to costume jewelry. Dealers are always welcome.

mt carmel

Vintage Collections Antique Mall, Mt. Carmel

Prairie Albion Antique Mall, Albion:  618-302-2146

albion

Prairie Albion Antique Mall, Albion

Are you a “repurposer”? This place is chock full of stuff you’ll want to work with. There are stoneware crocks, primitives and pottery, and blue “canning” jars. Or, select one-of-a-kind decorations for a banquet or country wedding!

Fabulous Finds by Jerri Allen, Olney:  618-919-0532

This unique emporium offers French Country, shabby chic, primitives, upcycled and repurposed treasures. You crazy kids might even find items that you could fashion into “steampunk”… simply from picking through what other shoppers passed off as “just junk”… here or at any other of stores we featured.

Click Here for more Antique Shops and other unique shopping throughout Illinois South!


This information originally appeared in the Fall Tourism Times Newsletter. Click here and sign up to receive three issues every year at no cost!

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