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The largest man-made lake in Illinois (26,000 acres), is a premier location for outdoor sports. Known to sailors, it is one of the best and most challenging for sailboats. There is also boating, fishing, hunting, bird watching, sand beaches, and camping areas. Hotels, cabins and golf courses make the area a true outdoor lover's playground.
Bob's Civil War Fort
Tucked away in the rolling hills of Germantown is a Civil War Fort. There is a jail, civil war cannons, a stage coach, a livery, log cabins, and much more.
The Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival features 40 hot air balloons, races, glows, tethered balloon rides, main stage entertainment, craft fair, free children's activity area and games, cardboard boat races, car show, fireworks and much more.
Rainbow Ranch Petting Farm
Meet the wide range of animals at this real working farm. Bottle feed kids and lambs. Pet the goats, camels, chicks, rabbits, camels and even two zebras.
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
Home to the Balloon Fest, Foundation Park has many walking trails, nature areas, and gathering places.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
GenKota's award-winning wines and ports feature reds, whites and blushes, from sweet and semi-sweet to dry. A full line of wine-related items and gift baskets are also available.
Black Diamond Vineyards
This winery offers a quiet, relaxing setting and great wine. Be sure to check out the gift shop that features handmade truffles by Heavenly Sweets, lotions, oils and candles. Special events are held throughout the year.
Dr. Poos Home - Heritage House Museum
Built in 1888, this home was occupied by Dr. Robert Poos, a local practitioner and druggist. Dr. Poos was also the staff physician at the Springs Hotel and Bath House, later known as the Okawville Original Springs Hotel.
Carlyle Dam East Spillway Campground
Swimming, fishing, boating.
McIlwain Mansion B&B
3 room bed and breakfast with private bathrooms.
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment!
Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery
Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery offers a relaxing dining atmosphere. They serve lunch and dinner, with breakfast on Sundays. With a twist on the normal steak and eggs, the Lodge serves prime rib or smoked brisket and eggs along with pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and omelet’s. Lunch offerings include salads, smoked sandwiches, hamburgers as well as many appetizers. Dinner includes, but not limited to rib eye steaks, surf-n-turf, succulent pulled pork, seafood, and awesome baby back ribs. The Lodge offers inside and outside dining options. A variety of dinner specials are available throughout the week. A breakfast and brunch buffet is available on Sundays. Each visit to Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery is a new experience for you to enjoy.
Constructed in 1857 as the southern division of the Illinois State Supreme Court, Abraham Lincoln successfully argued a famous tax case in 1859. In 1888, Clara Barton used the building as a hospital. Tours are available. Please call in advance.
Crooked Creek Winery
Enjoy fine handcrafted Illinois wines served with a personal touch in a relaxing country atmosphere. Experience the outdoor beauty of Southwestern Illinois' rolling farmland or sip wine indoors by a cozy fire.
Coles Creek Recreation Area
148 sites, electricity, shower, reservations
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.
Home Garden & Business Expo
Annual Home Garden & Business Expo featuring over 40 exhibitors and 2 full days of "How To" demonstrations. Breakfast and lunch available, hourly door prizes, blood screenings on site and register for the "Grand Prize!"
Nuff-Stuff Retail Antiques
Antiques, collectibles, glassware, oak furniture, and fireplace mantels.
Knotty Pine Motel
10 rooms, credit cards accepted, cable television available, small meeting rooms, pets accepted, restaurant within walking distances, and lounge/bar on premises.
Rend Lake College Market Place
Large golf outlet store plus clothing, brass, crafts and sporting goods store. Formerly Jent factory outlet mall.
General Dean Suspension Bridge
Located just outside the city of Carlyle, this historic 130-year-old bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the area. The original bridge served as a crossing over the Kaskaskia River.
This orchard features fresh-picked apples, peaches, a pumpkin patch, cider and special events for children during apple season.