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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.
Annual Quilt & Church tour
Quilts are displayed in several historical churches in the Villages of Kampsville, Hardin and Brussels. Beautiful quilts that belong to the residents of Calhoun County are on display in the Churches along with quilt exhibits and activities in Church Halls. Calhoun County communities join together to share the beauty and history of quilts that have been in local families as far back as the 1800s. There are over one hundred(100) quilts on display in the various locations. A brief history of each quilt will be provided so visitors can appreciate the craftsmanship and stories that are uniquely associated with them. In addition to the quilt displays there are other vendors, demonstrations and the sale of supplies and quilts. For more information, call (618)883-2578 or (618)232-1268.
Eagle Watching with Ranger
Join refuge rangers from Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge for a morning of eagle watching. Visit multiple areas at the wildlife refuge that are known for eagles. A personal vehicle will be needed. Attendees are reminded to dress for the weather. Open to all ages. Space is limited, call 618-883-2524 to register in advance. This program will be on December 5th & 19th, January 2nd & 16th, February 6th & 20th, and March 5th & 19th at 9 am to 10 am each day.
Eagle Watching Open House
Visit Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge to learn about bald eagles and how to watch for them, then venture out to watch for eagles with a refuge ranger. Experienced eagle watchers will be set up with viewing scopes at various locations at the wildlife refuge. Kids crafts will be available at the visitor center. For more information, call 618-883-2524.
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.
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.
Crocker & Springer
Early American folk pottery is the specialty of nationally known potters Jan & Jonathan Wright. They create pie birds, butter crocks, Pennsylvania wide mouth jars and whimsical chicken banks among other items using a salt glaze to impart a distinctive orange peel-texture finish on these early-American style pieces. Visit the studio to watch the duo fashion clay into brilliant pieces of art. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Maple Leaf Cottage Inn
Located in the historic village of Elsah, the Maple Leaf Cottage Inn offers bed and breakfast cottage style. All rooms have private bath, sitting area and a full hot breakfast delivered to you each morning.
Green Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast
Come home to Green Tree Inn where you can enjoy all the comforts of home and more. Let us pamper you while you enjoy the peacefulness of the quaint village often referred to as the “town that time forgot”. Green Tree Inn is located right off the Great River Road between Alton and Grafton. Take advantage of all the local activities and then come back to the Inn to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. All rooms have private bathrooms with shower/tub combo. Take advantage of our screened in porch, fire pit in the garden or fireplace in our great room to relax and unwind. The Inn is great in all seasons. Free Wi-Fi is available. Bicycles are available for our guests to take a leisurely ride around the village or on one of the local bike trails. This is a non-smoking facility
Village of Elsah
Travel back in time with us to the Village of Elsah. The entire village of Elsah is on the National Registry of Historic Places. This village, with a population of around one hundred people, is often referred to as the "village where time stood still." Visitors to Elsah can escape back to the Americana of the early 1800s with quiet streets and 19th century stone homes. This “picture perfect” village nestled in the valley is a perfect place for photographers – amateur and professional – anxious to capture a glimpse of the past.
Village of Elsah Museum
Discover what life was like in historic Elsah when it was founded in 1853 by James Semple. The museum, housed in the Elsah Village Hall built in 1887, showcases former residents, architectural styles used in constructing buildings, and implements used by residents in the mid-1800s. The museum is open Saturday and Sundays only from 1 - 4 p.m.
Home for the Holidays
Visit historic Elsah during the holiday season and take a tour of historic homes, the village museum, churches and bed and breakfasts. There is also an option to ride in a horse-drawn carriage or decorated wagon with a team of horses. Ticket price includes a horse-drawn carriage ride. Lunch is available and will be served in Farley's Hall for an additional charge. Advance tickets are $15 per person. Event day tickets are $18 per person. Ticket prices do not include food. For more information visit historicelsah.org. Tickets are limited. All proceeds benefit the Historic Elsah Foundation.
Elsah General Store
This quaint general store offers an array of of jams, syrups, bbq sauces, coffees and and grocery items as well as greeting cards, unique gifts and antiques. Open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Come in and experience our fantastic fish sandwiches, steaks, and many, many more great dishes. Right on the river.
Golden Eagle Music Hall
Located inside one of America’s oldest country stores, the Golden Eagle Music Hall or "The Eagle" is a perfect setting to enjoy "the very best" in entertainment. Just a short drive from Alton, IL along "The Great River Road."
Kinder's No Wake Inn
Located on the Mississippi River on the southern tip of Calhoun County, Kinder's No Wake Inn is the perfect spot for a panoramic view of the river. Serene beauty is what you will experience in your visit to the Inn. Uniquely decorated rooms will add some delight to your stay. Each room has its own outside seating and a large patio with terraced landscaping. Rooms have coffee pots, microwaves and refrigerators.
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.