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Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, 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.
Historic National Road Scenic Byway
The National Road is called the "road that built the nation" because it was the first highway in American history. Today the National Road in Illinois covers 164 miles, from Marshall and the Wabash Valley to East St. Louis and the Mississippi River.
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.
Indian Grove Campground
Overnight tent camping, overnight pull through spots and permanent camper sites. Call ahead -- space limited for overnight trailer sites.
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.
Cowden Pioneer Days
This family friendly festival is set in the city park with plenty of carnival rides, craft vendors, flea market, foods, etc. There is also an IPRA sanctioned rodeo that takes place Friday. A demolition derby takes place on Saturday. You can also enjoy the arm wrestling. There will also be a large parade Saturday morning. Tour the historical cabins set in the park.
A Buck or More
A Buck or More offers flowers, gift baskets, parcels, party favors, supplies, and services.
The Thrift Shop
Opened in 1990 to help raise money for the local hospital and nursing home, The Thrift Shop is filled with bargains, hard-to-find items, and new and used merchandise.
Effingham County Antique Mall
Offers a wide variety of old school clothes, furniture, house décor items, pictures, jewelry and more. They also offer items in todays time.
Orchard View Winery
Taste the tradition of over 100 years of quality grown fruit from the Mazanek family orchards. Even connoisseurs will appreciate a glass of John James, a delightful semi-sweet blend of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples aged in American oak.
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.
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.
Civil War Monument at the Veterans' Memorial
This monument honors generations of soliders who sacrificed their lives for their country.
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.
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.
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.
We raised cattle for 40 years. What would go with steak? A burgeoning industry was right under our noses and we began winemaking, the first and thus oldest winery in Montgomery County. Visits to wineries in Illinois in 2000, helped education, vineyard managers and winemakers giving valuable time and information. We refreshed old memories of chemistry, and planted grapes. Our children, friends and neighbors joined us in picking by hand, and are still with us since 2003. February 2, 2008, we opened. The winery was packed with those feisty individuals who came by the previous summers to see the building going up, only to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the winery to taste the wines and give us an opinion. We listened. Now visitors walk the vineyards to compare the grapes with the wine in their glass. Wine tastings are offered without charge. We are open year-round Friday through Sunday. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available for over 200. Today, we produce 5000 gallons of wine from grapes, and we encourage wine education from both sides of the tasting room table. Come join us!
Open April 1 - November 11, with 19 sites available for rent. Outdoor recreation surrounds!
American Farm Heritage Museum
Farm implements, tools, tractors, and other equipment are featured that date back 100 years. The museum is open for special events including the Outhouse Festival in the fall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coffeen Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
22 species of fish are found in this lake, including bass, white crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, yellow bass, bluegill, and carp. This 1,100-acre lake is surrounded by native oak and hickory forests. Picnicking, hiking, and limited hunting and trapping.