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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.
Home to the Balloon Fest, Foundation Park has many walking trails, nature areas, and gathering places.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
Nuff-Stuff Retail Antiques
Antiques, collectibles, glassware, oak furniture, and fireplace mantels.
CITY: Central City
With 45-acres of recreation, Fairview Park features a swimming pool, baseball and softball fields, Skateboard Park, several picnic shelters, and a variety of playground equipment.
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.
CITY: St. Elmo
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.
This orchard features fresh-picked apples, peaches, a pumpkin patch, cider and special events for children during apple season.
Open April 1 - November 11, with 19 sites available for rent. Outdoor recreation surrounds!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1779 George Rogers Clark led his army from Kaskaskia through this area to Vincennes, Indiana, where they captured Ft. Sackville from the British. At the time, this building was named for being near the midpoint of the Vincennes-St. Louis Trail.
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.
You can find berries, apples, peaches, pears and watermelons in season here.
National Road Interpretive Center
The National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois tells the story of the surveyors, laborers and travelers of the National Road, sometimes called the Cumberland Road or National Pike. The Interpretive Center is a museum with hands-on activities for children including a Conestoga wagon that the youngsters can load for its journey. Abraham Lincoln’s connection to Illinois National Road towns is also spotlighted. One of the largest artifacts is an original National Road timber dating to the 1830s. Visitors will develop a better understanding of the importance of this road to Illinois and American history as well as an appreciation for the people that were involved in its construction.