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The 11,000-acre Lake Shelbyville offers plenty of outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, biking and swimming. Sun yourself on one of the public beaches or dock your boat at one of three marinas located around the lake.
Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest
Come and enjoy watching as these balloons are filled and then take off for various areas. Friday night is a launch from Forest Park, Saturday morning, they will launch from various locations and try to hit their targets as they float through the air. There will be a Balloon glow and basket burn at the Dam Spillway area Saturday night with food and entertainment. You can meet the pilots on Friday evening. Sunday morning will be another opportunity to watch. These colorful balloons will be launched daily (weather permitting) and you can watch as they fly and do tasks around the Lake Shelbyville area.
Firefly Grill is a modern roadhouse restaurant located on the shores of Lake Kristie. This wonderful place operates on an oasis of American fresh cuisine in the heart of the Midwest. Firefly's menu changes daily and boasts fresh seafood, oak fire steaks and brick oven pizzas. Firefly uses local ingredients whenever possible and fresh herbs and vegetables from their garden. The beautiful facility and grounds make this the perfect place for a wedding or group event. Cooking demonstrations and tours are also available.
Tuscan Hills Winery
Tuscan Hills Winery, recently opened in 2011, is located on Historic Hills Drive, directly behind the Harley Barn. This winery is located on eight picturesque acres which helps bring an Old World Tuscan feel to the heart of Effingham. The owners are focused on creating elegant, approachable, and perfectly balanced wines of the highest quality. Wine tastings, along with space available for reservations makes this a must stop for group tours. Tuscan Hills Winery wants you to "Come as our guest, but leave as our friends."
Little Brick House
Listed on the National Register, it has six restored rooms with china, furniture, engravings, and books that belonged to the settlers when Lincoln attended the legislature.
Sculptures on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery. Over 30 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham as part of the annual "Sculptures on the Avenues" outdoor exhibition. Sculptures on the Avenues is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall, located at 201 E. Jefferson Ave. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of Downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at the Effingham Visitors Center or City Hall.
Located across from the Statehouse in Vandalia, the park features a life-size, bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is a favorite spot for photos with the 16th president.
My Garage Museum Collection
Showcasing classic and one-of-a-kind Corvettes and memorabilia, My Garage Museum is a must-see attraction for any car enthusiast. Corvettes on display include Indy pace cars, racing machines, the last C-4 and the first 21st century model.
Lithia Rental Cabins
Formerly Lakeside Cabins. There are 4 cabins with full kitchenettes, screened porches, boat parking with electric. Also a 2 bedroom house, and 3 bedroom house. Campfire rings, grills, picnic tables, playground. Fishing Guide Service is available. Open April-October.
Family Aquatic Center
This aquatic center has a frog slide, water slide, wet playground area, a sand playground, concessions, a shaded picnic area and a bath house.
A quiet cove at dawn, where the only sound is the whir of a casting reel and the gentle splash of the fly hitting the water’s surface...that’s Lake Sara. A sunny afternoon slalom skiing behind a powerboat or running along the beach...that’s Lake Sara. A family picnic in the grass at water’s edge or a family reunion, with fried chicken and the works, under one of the pavilions...that’s Lake Sara. Lake Sara is an 800-acre recreational lake nestled into a wooded shoreline, encircled by a winding road. Spend a day, a week, or a season on the shores of Lake Sara. Lake Sara has something for everyone, in every season of the year.
Evergreen Tree Walk
The Evergreen Tree Walk features over 90 species of trees indigenous to Illinois. Markers beside the trees list the common and Latin names of each species. The tree walk is a relaxing experience, especially after a long day of travel.
Vandalia State House
Step inside the Illinois’ oldest surviving State Capitol building. Vandalia was the fourth statehouse in Illinois, and is best known for the era when Abraham Lincoln served in the Illinois House of Representatives. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of this restored landmark.
Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery
Family owned and operated on a Sesquicentennial farm. Nestled in a rural setting, there is a relaxing Tuscan style atmosphere. Facilities include a banquet room that seats 190 people and a wine tasting room with seating for an additional 40 people. Both are available to rent for special occasions.
Wilhelmina Art Gallery
Browse award-winning oil paintings by Wilma Woldt Krueger. Limited and open edition prints, landscapes, wildlife, still life and portraits are sold.
Built in 1903, the auditorium is the largest building of its kind from anywhere in the world, and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Above the stage are Grecian statues designed by Robert Root.
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery! Over 40 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham through this outdoor exhibition. The Sculpture on the Avenues program is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall in downtown Effingham. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at Effingham hotels, downtown businesses, the Effingham Visitor Center (Tourism Office) and City Hall.
Scarecrow Daze Festival
During the 17th Annual Scarecrow Daze Festival, the entire city of Shelbyville is decorated with scarecrows. With a different theme every year, entrants decorate their homes and businesses to the theme. There is also a large parade on Saturday, kids' games, a beer tent, music, a quilt show, and plenty of food and crafts, in downtown Shelbyville. Held in conjunction with Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest.
Driftstone Pueblo carries many craft supplies including sinew, heshi, findings and cords. Also, kid's toys, beads, jewelry, canes, soapstone, metaphysical items, artifacts, crystal cubes, knives, swords, and much more.
CITY: St. Elmo
Fayette County Museum
Located behind the Statehouse in a century-old church, this museum is full of Lincoln-era memorabilia, including his letter cabinet and an axe carved with his initials.
General Dacey Trail
This trail is a multi-use recreational trail -- accessed mainly by walkers, runners, and bikers. As you move along the pathways of the Dacey Trail, you will find nature at its best -- with many scenic views of Lake Shelbyville. The trail is being added to and improved each year and runs through parts of Shelbyville, Forest Park, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Shelbyville. You can begin the trail at Forest Park or at the Dam West Recreational Area (9th St.).
Unique rock carvings, leather, purses, jewelry, pipes, and hand- carved miniatures.
Shelbyville Festival of Lights
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. Different themed areas delight with the centerpiece being a large carousel placed on the Historical Chautauqua Auditorium. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are added yearly. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
Vahlings Vineyards & Winery
All wines are fermented and bottled on site at this family-owned winery.
Shelby County 4H & Jr. Fair
One of only a few fairs that still highlight their 4H and Juniors. The fair includes dog care and obedience, judging in livestock, poultry, rabbits, lambs, produce, flowers, plants, and many other subjects. The Food Shack serves plenty of great food each day of the fair manned by the various 4H Clubs in Shelby County. The fair wraps up with the popular livestock auction and team penning.
National Road Interpretive Center
The National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois tells the story of the surveyors, laborers and travelers of the National Road, sometimes called the Cumberland Road or National Pike. The Interpretive Center is a museum with hands-on activities for children including a Conestoga wagon that the youngsters can load for its journey. Abraham Lincoln’s connection to Illinois National Road towns is also spotlighted. One of the largest artifacts is an original National Road timber dating to the 1830s. Visitors will develop a better understanding of the importance of this road to Illinois and American history as well as an appreciation for the people that were involved in its construction.
John Boos & Company
John Boos & Co. is the oldest industry in Effingham, open since 1887. John Boos products, butcher blocks and cutting boards, are being used by celebrity chefs throughout the U.S. Some celebrity chefs currently using the products are Charlie Trotter, Ming Tsai, Paul Kahan, and Susan Spicer at Bayona Restaurant in New Orleans, just to name a few. In addition, the country's premier food channel, "The Food Network," features chefs, such as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse, who prepare meals every day on John Boos cutting boards. A factory outlet and showroom is open to the public for tours, groups, or just to purchase the products.
White Tail Crossing Cabin Village
Eighteen units are available with 1-5 bedrooms. All cabins are very nice, spacious and well-appointed with kitchens, fireplaces, front porches. There are 2 swimming pools, 2 fishing ponds, private hiking trails, 3 hole golf course and much more. Five full hookup campsites are also available. Open March to December 20th every year.
Altamont Living Museum
Used today as a theater for live music and dance performances, as well as fine art exhibits, this 1912 church gives you a taste of "old-time religion" with its luminous stained-glass windows, curved oak pews and great acoustics.
Deer Trail Golf Course
Nine holes of golf located next to Lake Shelbyville at the old "Country Club." Come and enjoy a round of golf and then come and enjoy food and a refreshment while looking over the Lake.
Vandalia Lake Camping
Vandalia Lake provides high quality camping facilities for overnight camping. The campground includes sites with electric outlets, modern shower with flush toilets, and a dump station for recreational vehicles. Campgrounds are open from Memorial weekend through last weekend in September.
Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
As a major stopping point for migrating ducks and geese, this 9,486-acre area offers excellent public waterfowl hunting opportunities.
Ben Winter Museum
This museum's fascinating collection of memorabilia includes scale model locomotives and stationary industrial engines. Take a trip on the miniature train that travels through the surrounding orchards.
The Wishing Well
Unique Antiques & Home Decor. Come in a see the antiques, quilts, inspirational signs, framed prints, candles, Pipberry Accents, Jim Shore, primitives.
Suites available, small pets allowed, cable/movies, kitchenettes aveniable, in-room safe, FREE super start breakfast from 6:00 am - 10:00 am.
Ballard Nature Center
Located just minutes outside of Effingham, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds, and creeks round out the outdoor experience. Activities at the Nature Center includes trail walks, kids' fishing, bird watching, picnics, and much more. An indoor activity center provides plenty for the whole family to do any time of year.
Country Charm Bed and Breakfast
The delightful, historic colonial was built in 1858 and sits on a 1/2 acre parcel that boast beautiful views of a mini orchard. There are 4 nostalgic rooms on the 2nd floor. There is boat and RV parking. Open all year and has Wi-Fi. No pets allowed.
Wolf Creek Lodge
Your "Cabin at the Lake," fully furnished cabins. Enjoy a peaceful, wooded country setting on over 20 acres bordering U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units include full kitchens, porches, and patios, grills, and campfire rings.
Olivier's Country Creations & Gifts
Fabric, craft supplies, beads, finished crafts, gifts, handmade quilts, birdhouses, collectibles, books, videos, furniture, and much more.
Gregory's Resort Motel and Cabins
Come stay in one of the 12 clean, comfortable rooms or a cabin after a long day of fishing or playing! 60 seconds from boat launch. Adjacent to Lithia Campground and Marina. Boat hook-ups, bait shop & store. Pavilions, grills and fire pits. Borders U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. Open April 1st - October 30th every year. Has free Wi-Fi.
Coon Creek Lodge
Seven clean and comfortable kitchenette rooms with living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath within walking distance of Coon Creek Beach and Boat Ramp. Rooms are equipped with pots and pans, table settings, coffee maker & toaster, towels, and bed linens. Only 1/2 mile from Lake Shelbyville. Open April - November.
Newly expanded, this Wal-Mart Supercenter has everything from groceries with deli, meat, and fish departments, to a pharmacy, one-hour photos and vision center. They also have clothing, furniture, gardening supplies, along with much, much more
Cross at the Crossroads
Soaring nearly 200 feet into the Midwestern sky, the Cross is a landmark for the more than 19 million travelers who pass through Effingham each year along Interstates 57 and 70. Other features of the site include a visitor center, chapel and a 10 Commandments display.
Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society
Historical items are displayed throughout this former jail and previous sheriff's residence. Tour the basement where the old jails cells are located, or trace your family tree.
This orchard offers in-season peaches, apples, pears and pumpkins.
Martin Ranch Bed & Breakfast
Newly constructed French Country style home located on 100 acres featuring equine hotel, nature trails, and fishing pond. The outdoors is as enchanting and as lively as it is indisde. Each of the 4 guest rooms is tastefully decorated.
K-mart features comfortable shopping and more selection for the customer.
Brazle Haus Bed and Breakfast
Modern Alpine home reflects heritage. View beautiful scenery. Fireplace, TV, VCR, books, and games in common areas. Full breakfast. Twenty minutes from Vandalia.
Late Bloomer on Main
Full-service florist with unique gift items.
Dr. Charles Wright House
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ramsey Lake State Park
A one-mile walking trail winds through the park, and a 13-mile horse trail is located at the north end alongside a campground for horses.
J & R Antiques
General antiques specialing in toys, timepieces and oil lamps.
Comfort Suites - Effingham
All suites with kitchenettes. Accessible rooms, FREE local calls& HBO.
Motel 6 - Effingham
Outdoor pool and Evergreen rooms which are filtered for people with allergies.
Stephen A Forbes-State Recreation Area (Kinmundy)
140 camp sites open year round for outdoor lovers! Great location!
Vandalia Artworks Gallery
The gallery uses exhibit space in the Fayette County Museum. Special exhibits are scheduled through the year.
Paradise Inn - Effingham
Small pets allowed, cable/movies, bus parking, adjacent to restaurants.
Boarman Chevy BelAir Museum
This museum openin in 2005 with Bob's private collection. The building is decorated in 50's sock hop style with black and white checkered floors. The walls are lined with 50's memorabilia, chevy clocks and neon signs. A jukbox takes you back to that popular era. The museum has eight vintage cars as well as a 1993 Indy Pace Car with only 28 miles. Mr. Boarman restored most of the cars himself and has been collecting over 25 years.
Super 8 Altamont
Playgrounds, movie channels, located near interstate
Effingham County Courthouse
The current courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Clay County Museum
Housed in the old county jail, this museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located at the southeast end of Lake Shelbyville and 1/4 mile from Lithia Springs Marina and access area for launching boats. Wireless internet in office. Lithia Lodge, Luxury Cabins, Motel Rooms. 12 rooms and 10 Luxury cabins. Campfire rings, grills, picnic tables, playground, parking with electric, catch and release fishing pond. Fishing Guide Service Available. Open April-November every year.
Our Old House
1200 Square foot house with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, central air. Garage with electricity. Fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, all linens provided, satellite TV. Free Wi-Fi, Stocked fishing pond, fishing guide service available Campfire ring, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, BBQ grills, swimming pool, electric boat parking. Pets allowed. Open all year.
Madonna of the Trail Statue
The Madonna is one of 12 statues in the U.S. that honors the pioneer women who traveled along the National Road.
The Shelby Inn
Charming lodging with Victorian and modern-styled rooms. Registration and office in a turn-of-the-century, restored National Registry Home. Standard, Deluxe, and King accommodations. 45 rooms; Free Wi-Fi, expanded boat parking with electricity; 24 hour voice mail; flat screen TVs w/cable; comfortable and charming setting; convenient to golf, boat ramps, recreational areas, attractions & events. AAA rated. Open all year.
Shelbyville's most unique gift shop with gift Items for all ages. Realistic wildlife figurines, handcrafted gemstone jewelry, specialty cookbooks for camping, RV's etc., gourmet foods, tapestries, Amish jams, butters, jelly, and mustard. Stash teas, Jelly Belly, novelty T-shirts and Lake Shelbyville Souvenirs.
Best Wedding Chapel
This chapel, once a Catholic church, was purchased by the Best family who now offers it for weddings. Built in the 1870s, the chapel has its original 14-foot stained glass windows that complement the 33-foot cathedral ceiling.
Buck Stop Archery
Newly opened archery shop in downtown Shelbyville. Carry hunting supplies and accessories, clothing, and more.
Abe Lincoln Motel
American family owned and operated for over 20 years. AM coffee and local calls free. Some kitchenettes available.
Comfort Inn - Effingham
Indoor pool, sauna, whirlpool, exercise room, FREE continental breakfast, in-room safe, and 5 whirlpool suites
Downtown, outdoor, shopping at several diversified stores.
Three Story, six bedroom log home on 30 acres with fireplace, large deck, kitchen, central air, spa, large meeting room, trail rides, continental breakfast, TV, VCR, 5-person spa, gas grill and 2 charcoal grills. Next to Hidden Springs State Forest.
Jake's Antiques & Amish Warehouse
Antiques & Oak reproductions. Mattresses, Amish made furniture, Bicycles, Yard Decorations and furniture.
Howard Johnson - Effingham
Meeting facilities, handicap access, free breakfast, small pets allowed, indoor pool, bus parking, meeting services available, free movie rental.
Effingham Performance Center
Arts Connection of Central Illinois has been established for the citizens of Effingham County and beyond to showcase arts and entertainment, to encourage interaction with and appreciation of live performance, to endorse the educational process and to enhance the quality of life and cultural vitality of the region.
Ingram's Pioneer Log Cabin Village
Pre-Civil War log structures rescued from destruction by the Ingrams. Many of the 17 homes and other buildings are furnished with authentic pieces and open to the public. Visit Jacob's Well Inn, frequented by Abraham Lincoln.
Vandalia, Illinois is where Abraham Lincoln began his historical political career and his life and achievements are commemorated on the marker.
Legacy Harley Davidson
Legacy Harley-Davidson is not only a great place to stock up on the latest Harley-Davidson gear, but it is an attraction that brings thousands of visitors to the area. The Harley Barn houses new and pre-owned motorcycles, along with clothing, merchandise, parts, and much more. The folks at the Harley Barn also invite travelers to visit their one-of-a-kind events that they hold throughout the year at the barn.
Kansas City Barbeque Society Cook-Off
This fun state-sanctioned cook-off has now become a great annual event! The BBQ Pros will compete for a $6,000 pay out. Come and enjoy great BBQ, drinks and live music every night!!
"The Best Motel by a Dam Site" located across from the Lake Shelbyville Dam, on the Kaskaskia River. Twenty-One 2-3 bed units with Wi-Fi, microwave, refrigerator, TV, hair dryer, Jacuzzi suite available. All rooms are ground floor. Free electric hook-ups for over 30 boats. Excellent location for fisherman, boaters, water skiers, sunbathers, picnickers and passers by. Bait Shop.
Glen Carbon Heritage Museum
This museum is located in a beautiful brick building that is a renovated 1914 school located in the "Old Town" section of the Village. The museum has old dolls, weapons, pictures, and much more.
16 rental units, 7 including kitchenettes
The Shelbyville Connection
Name-brand clothing for less! Clothing and accessories for missy, petite and juniors.
Whalen's West Side Floral
Unique and one-of-a-kind floral designs and home decor. Small, cozy shop that will delight and inspire.
T.G.I. Fridays - Effingham
Full service, credit cards accepted, non-smoking area, handicap accessible, delivery.
Sally's On The Square
Charming restaurant in a restored turn of century building located on the south side of monument square in a historical section of downtown with unique storefront columns. Serving breakfast all day long. Salad Bar, Senior Discount everyday.
The Farmhouse Family Restaurant
The Farmhouse seats 92 people and has a reputation in the area for "down-home" cooking. There are lunch buffets daily and Friday and Saturday breakfast and dinner buffets.
Veterans Educational Museum
Items on display are from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm along with flags from 45 countries.
Olde Picket Fence
Olde Picket Fence offers a custom line of primitive farmhouse furniture. Each item is handcrafted, one at a time, and every item is unique.
Joe's Pizza and Italian Foods
Family friendly atmosphere with homestyle pizza and italian foods.
China Buffet - Effingham
Chinese food. Handicap accessible restaurant.
The Farmers Monument
This impressive black granite piece located on the grounds of Vandalia's Tourist Information Center is a tribute to prairie farmers.
Opens in April and closes in October. Snack stand with ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Ramsey Lake Golf Course
This nine-hole golf course opened in 1965.
Words, Wicks, and Wood
Come explore our wide variety of books or just simply find the book you've been looking for, as you discover the numerous titles available at this fine bookstore.
Old State Cemetery
Bronze markers give biographical information about prominent citizens from the earliest history of the community.