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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.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Illinois' only United Nations World Heritage Site. This 2,200-acre site preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. An Interpretive Center presents a coherent account of this sophisticated prehistoric culture. Climb Monk's Mound, see the film and life-size village. Don't miss annual events that focus on Native American culture.
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Built in 1927, Old Chain of Rocks was the fifth bridge to cross the Mississippi River, which shortened the distance between St. Louis, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Illinois by 15 miles.
World's Largest Catsup Bottle
This 170-foot-tall bottle that resembles a Brook's Catsup Bottle served as a water tower for the catsup manufacturer after being constructed in 1949. A popular roadside attraction, it makes for a great photo op.
Laser Force Lazer Tag Zone
A 5,000 sq. ft. laser tag arena and a 2,500 sq. ft. game arcade is conveniently located by hotels and restaurants off I-64.
Henry's Ra66it Ranch
This quirky must-see Route 66 attraction, information center and souvenir gift shop is home to rabbits of all kinds, bunny and VW, as well as Mother Road memorabilia.
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.
Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower
The Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower is dedicated to the duo's history-making journey, and serves as a gateway to the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. The Corps of Discovery voyage began here on May 14, 1804, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Take the elevator up to the top of the 180-foot-tall tower, where you’ll step out to panoramic views of the swirling river waters (the view is particularly stunning at sunset). On platforms located at 50, 100 and 150 feet visitors learn about the early days of Hartford, as well as Lewis and Clark's journey.
Splash City Family Waterpark
Surfing in Illinois? Yes! The FlowRider creates a perfect wave for surfing and body boarding. Water slides, a lap pool, the lazy river, a sandy play area and "Monsoon Mountain" make for a family adventure.
Gateway Fun Park
Gateway features mini-golf, go-karts, an arcade, bumper boats, a kiddie track and Rudy's Restaurant.
Pink Elephant Antique Mall
The Pink Elephant Antique Mall has many hidden gems. Open daily 9:30 am - 5:30 pm.
Lewis and Clark State Historic Site
The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site commemorates Camp Dubois, the 1803-1804 winter camp of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It was at Camp Dubois that members of the Corps of Discovery prepared for their expedition to the Pacific Ocean. The 14,000 square-foot exhibit space contains six galleries that outline the background and history of the Lewis and Clark expedition from its conception to its meaning for today's America. Exhibits are kid-friendly, offering opportunities for hands-on engagement. A "reconstruction" of the winter camp, Camp Dubois, is located on the grounds near the visitor center. Its design reflects 1803 U.S. Army regulations for the construction of military posts. Interpreters are on-site daily in the camp to explain how the men prepared for the journey.
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
The Shrine has 200 beautifully landscaped acres of gardens and devotional areas, including the Outdoor Amphitheatre, Shrine Church, Lourdes Grotto, Stations of the Cross, Millennium Spire, the Visitors Center with a restaurant and gift shop, and the Shrine Hotel.
St. Jacob Strawberry Festival
The Strawberry Festival Showcases their strawberry desserts with food and drink, crafts for sale, children activities and a 1,000 person fun bike ride over multiple routes.
CITY: St. Jacob
Prairie State Games
This multi-sport, Olympic-style festival showcases the finest amateur athletic talent in Illinois each year on the last weekend in June.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Hidden Lake Winery
Walk the trails around the five-acre lake, or sit and enjoy the waterfall and views of the Silent Forest as you sip a glass of wine.
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Exposition Center
Home to the annual St. Clair County Fair, several craft shows and monthly flea markets, the complex also includes the Belle-Clair Speedway, with stock car races and demolition derbies.
Louis Latzer Homestead
Louis Latzer, the founder of the Pet Milk Company, built this homestead for his wife and family in 1901. The home had many modern features of the day, including running water pumped by hand to a holding tank in the attic, a manufactured gas light system, speaking tubes between many of the rooms and one of the first telephones in the community.
J-H Bison Ranch
Tours of this family-run bison ranch include baby bison feeding, herd tours, and photos with baby bison, llamas and horses.
Big Bang at Hidden Lake Winery
Dueling piano's. Meal prepared by Winery Chef.
The largest laser tag arena in the region also includes mini-golf, a big video arcade with the coolest games on the market, and food at D.S.Vespers Sports Pub and Eatery.
Fairmount Park Racetrack
Fairmount Park is home to live thoroughbred horse racing action. From March through September, the horses run on the one-mile oval dirt track Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Weezy’s Route 66 Bar and Grill
The restaurant is known for charbroiled burgers, homemade pies and hearty breakfasts, particularly biscuits and gravy made with fresh sausage from locally produced hogs. The decor follows a diner theme with a black-and-white checkered floor and red vinyl seat cushions on chrome booths, tables and chairs. Walls are lined with vintage signs, photos of old vehicles and other Route 66 memorabilia and even has an outdoor patio.
Homestead Flea Market
The Homestead Flea Market may be small, but it makes up for it with the quantity of merchandise available. This shop is full of treasures from antiques to handmade folk art. There is literally something for everyone - home, kids, and adults - at this multifaceted store. Hours: Daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.