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If there is one thing that you can always count on, it's the exceptional family-style meal at Wittmond's in Brussels. Just a quick ride will bring you to this hometown mainstay where pulling up a chair at the table reminds you of a visit to Grandma's house. Once you're nice and cozy in your seat, get ready to eat! They start with noodle soup, a relish platter, sausage and hot rolls. Next, they bring out the homemade fried chicken, roast beef, dumplings, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and green beans. It's all served family-style, and they'll keep bringing it out until you say you're finally full. If you still have a little room left, order up a slice of homemade pie. With just one visit to Wittmond's, you'll be adding it to your trip itinerary every time you visit the Alton region. Hours: Friday - Monday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers lies a veritable bird-watching utopia. Visitors to Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge can expect to see a variety of migratory birds, from waterfowl and warblers to Acadian Flycatchers and American Bald Eagles. In fact, Two Rivers is the winter home to one the largest Bald Eagle populations in the continental United States.
Brussels Historic Village Jail
Once known as the local "calaboose", the Brussels Jail was built around 1876 and centered in the heart of the village. The jail mainly housed men overnight for drinking too much and the last person to stay in the jail was in 1952. The jail is open seven days a week.
Mother's Day Birding Hike at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
The annual Mother's Day Birding Hike will be held at 9 a.m. on May 7 beginning in the Gilbert Lake Division parking area. Participants should register by May 5. Families can join to learn how to identify the hundreds of birds that stop at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge during their spring migration.
Sounds of Spring Frog Call Walk at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
The popular Sounds of Spring Frog Call Walk will be help from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Refuge Visitor Center. Participants should register by May 5. On this special evening walk, participants will enjoy the sounds of the frog calls that fill the air at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. This program is great for kids 4 and up.
Outdoor Explorers Day Camp at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
For one last adventure before school starts, an Outdoor Explorers Day Camp will be help from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. August 2-4 at the refuge visitor center. This free three day, day-camp will introduce children entering grades 3-5 to various outdoors activities including hiking, geocaching, canoeing, bird watching, and much more. Space is limited, register by July 15. Children should bring their own lunch and snacks and dress to be outside most of the day.
Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science Program at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
As monarch butterflies begin migrating south in late summer, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge invites the public to become citizen scientists and report monarch butterfly sightings and seasonal changes in the environment during the Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science Program at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 13. Participants should register by August 12, At this program, participants will learn the stages of a monarch butterfly's life cycle, how to watch for and report these stages, and how to attract monarch butterflies to their backyards. Then participants will have the opportunity to register to become a citizen scientist with Journey North and share monarch butterfly sightings.
Koster Farms Hunting Club
Hunting on 2,000 acres of farm, timberland, cropland, and creek bottoms provides a large terrain selection for prime hunting. New club house sleeps 10, full kitchen, 2 baths, dish TV and VCR. Nine hole golf course nearby.
Mary Michelle Winery
Mary Michelle has 60 acres of vineyards adjacent to the winery and grows most of the grapes that it uses for its wines. This Winery sells only through stores and restaurants. Mary Michelle’s winemaker is the award-winning Lucian Dressel, a fifth generation Greene County resident by way of Boston, New York, Augusta, Mo., and Davis, Ca. In 2003, inspired by the vision of the founders of Mary Michelle, Dressel returned to the Midwest to help make a contribution to the fulfillment of this dream.
McMaster Woods Nature Preserve
McMaster Woods is a beautiful oak woodland and barrens that occurs on deep ravines, steep slopes and a ridgetop. Limestone bedrock outcrops along the bases of ravines and an intermittent stream crosses the northwest corner of the preserve. A great variety of wildflowers, grasses, sedges and ferns occur here, including large-flowered bellwort, spikenard, false dragonhead, wood reed and maidenhair fern. A small, but interesting barrens remnant occurs on the ridgetop. For Further Information Contact: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, District Natural Heritage Biologist, 4521 Alton Commerce Parkway, Alton, Illinois 62002 (618-462-2424)
Porthole Barn Trail
After the Civil War, Confederate shipbuilder Joe Minch was looking for a fresh start. He made his way back to the Rockbridge area and traded his building expertise for a set of tools. That first project of building a barn set into motion a new trend in barn design. Joe placed round windows, now know as portholes, in the barn. Travel through Greene County today to view the highest concentration of Porthole Barns in the country.
Lone Oak Golf Course
The 9-hole "Lone Oak" executive course at the Lone Oak Golf Course facility in Carrollton features 2,150 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 32. Designed by George DeGeal, the Lone Oak golf course opened in 1984.
Treehouse Wildlife Center
TreeHouse Wildlife Center is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native injured and orphaned wildlife. Located on approximately eight serene and beautiful acres, it's the ideal environment for injured or orphaned animals who need time to recuperate. Visitors are welcome to come out for a self guided tour of the outdoor cages at our Dow facility. Guided tours also available. We are open from 10am - 3pm everday.
David Stine Woodworking
Every piece of custom wood furniture David Stine creates is one-of-a-kind. His designs maximize the raw, natural, singular beauty of the wood graining, knots, live edges, and all. David is the fourth generation to steward his family’s land, where he sustainably harvests and mills all his own lumber. Clients may order a item based on something in our portfolio, or Dave will design and craft something just for them.
James J. Eldred House Historic Site
Visit the James J. Eldred House, completed in 1861, and step back in time to view one of the most elegant residential structures in the region and an important surviving example of Greek Revival architecture. The home had fallen into disrepair over the years, but with the creation of The Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association, the Eldred House has come back to life and is being painstakingly restored. The home is open for tours during the annual Greene County Days celebration.
Bluffdale Vacation Farm
Bluffdale is an Illinois farm vacation dude ranch and bed & breakfast. Parent Magazine's "Top 10 Family Resorts in North America." Our family has been welcoming guests to our historic Illinois farm near Eldred, Illinois since 1963. Recreation activities include horseback riding, boating, fishing, swimming, hayrides, bonfires, sing-alongs and more. Bluffdale is famous for its generous home cooked meals with home baked bread, rolls and pies. Our luxury cabins, featuring a fireplace and hot tub, are ideal for romantic getaway weekend or honeymoon bed & breakfast lodging. Spring brings a wide variety of wildflowers and morel mushrooms. In fall the bluffs make a colorful drive and eagle watch from Alton to Bluffdale along the Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway. Check our website for rates and availability.
Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area
Consisting of 15 wildlife management areas and 13 public access areas, the Mississippi River State and Wildlife Area manages a majority of its 24,400 acres to accommodate waterfowl hunting and habitat enhancement.
Ruebel Hotel & Restaurant
Located near the convergence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers is Grafton - a little town steeped in history. In the heart of that history is the Ruebel Hotel. The Ruebel was built in 1884, caught fire in 1912 and was rebuilt and completely renovated in 1997. The Ruebel Hotel has a magnificently restored bar from the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. The Ruebel Saloon offers excellent food and a great variety of beer and wines.
Pere Marquette Lodge Restaurant
Enjoy family-style dining in a rustic setting at the Pere Marquette Lodge dining room. The Lodge is famous for its family-style fried chicken and fried catfish dinners. You won't leave the table hungry at all! Seasonally, the Lodge offers a brunch buffet on Sundays with everything from made-to-order omelets to baked ham and fried chicken. There is something for everyone. Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Friday - Saturday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Jeni J's Gifts & Guest Houses
The boutique gift shop offers several lines of unique women’s clothing, trendy handbags, artisan jewelry and stylish scarves. Each season brings exciting new fashions and accessories for shoppers to choose from. The adjoining IceHouse Winery features our private label wines, award-winning wines from the Midwest and imported varietals from abroad. Visit the store to see for yourself the large assortment of exquisite items to adorn yourself and your home. Choose from our beautiful selection of fashion jewelry, women's sweaters, flags, wind chimes, scented candles, scented night lights, seasonal items, and gifts. Friday - Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Looking for a souvenir of your trip on the Great River Road? Don't miss this fun little store full of authentic Native American jewelry, pottery, crafts and books. Many items featuring the legendary Piasa Bird, a local Native American legend, can be found at Pajarito. Store staff is knowledgeable and willing to spend time with customers explaining the legends behind the keepsakes. Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Centrally located in Grafton with two suites available. Each suite has a wet bar with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. A large sitting area with a TV, DVD player and a full size sofa. The bedroom has a queen size bed and fireplace. The bathroom has a shower, a large make-up vanity and features the Bain Ultra air jetted tub for two. Making it perfect for the special couples getaway!
Lucy Mae's Guest House
Built at the dawn of the 20th century this two-story home retains its turn of the century charm while offering the convenience of modern pleasures and comfort. The home offers 2 units, upstairs & downstairs with an adjoining stairway that can be opened for large groups.
The Riverside Cottage - A Loading Dock Guest House
Relax in this riverfront cottage located a block from Main Street in downtown Grafton. This unique, art-filled guest house is just a stone's throw from the Mississippi River. The flower-filled back deck faces the river and the historic Boatworks building, which houses the monthly Riverside Flea Market. A restful atmosphere and overstuffed comfy furniture will entice you to read by the fireplace or paint a picture at the artist's easel. A full kitchen allows for snacks of cooking in style. This cottage is designed for two. Free Wi-fi.