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Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is famed for its awesome Garden of the Gods, and is home to the Rim Rock Recreational Trail (the forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails). Hikers are greeted by magnificent jutting walls of rock covered with emerald-green moss, and paths that meander through canyons under the forest canopy. Nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the stunning Shawnee National Forest landscape features rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. If you’re into climbing than a must-see is Jackson Falls, located near the town of Ozark in the Hidden Springs Ranger District in Shawnee National Forest. The climb takes place on 60 feet of sandstone cliffs and boulders that include numerous freestanding towers.
Located near the town of Ozark in the Shawnee National Forest, Jackson Falls offers arguably the best rock climbing in southern Illinois. There are roughly 60 climbing areas along the sandstone bluffs and freestanding boulders, each with multiple named routes on them. There are over 500 named routes in all. Most of the routes are 50-60 feet in height. The whole area sits in a very scenic glen. Most of the routes at Jackson Falls are sport routes, though there are a number of traditional routes, and a few areas suitable for setting up a top-rope. There are also many excellent bouldering opportunities here.
Little Grand Canyon Trail
The Little Grand Canyon trail is located within the Shawnee National Forest. Experience the easy 3.6 miles of beauty it offers as you ride your bike or hike these fun trails that meander past lush wooded canyons, riverside bluffs, songbirds, woodpeckers and deer; while hawks and vultures soar high above the cliffs. Explore towering rock walls, eroded sandstone canyons, craggy bluffs and moist bottom lands, too.
It's all about the water at Rend Lake, where you can swim, boat, water ski and fish. Relax at Rend Lake Resort, tee off at the 27-hole Rend Lake Golf Course or do some target practice at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex. Also located at Rend Lake is the Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center, featuring more than 800 artists.
Mt. Vernon Fall Festival
This three day October festival in downtown Mt. Vernon includes a beer tent with live entertainment, parade, children's area, food, fun, car show, band competition, pumpkin competition, carnival, pet parade and so much more!
Rend Lake Cabins in the Woods
Two cabins. Located off the southwest side of Rend Lake complete with full kitchen, two bedrooms, satellite TV, washer and dryer, front porch with swing, fire pit, barbecue grill and just 15 minutes off of Interstate 57.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. This week long festival will include midway rides and games, live music from award winning artists, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Bandy's Pumpkin Patch
This fun Fall destination features mazes, inflatable games, face painting for the little ones, and hayrides. Grab a snack from the concession stand (try the sweet rock candy) before heading home with the perfect pumpkin. (open Oct. 1-30, 9am-6pm)
Pickers Outlet Mall
Pickers Outlet Mall is a new 5,000 square foot building located on the busy Herrin Road (1.5 miles west of I-57). The mall can accommodate about 43 vendors. It is set-up like an antique mall, but has more to offer than antiques. It is a fun place to shop where the merchandise is changing daily.
Arrowhead Lake and Campground
Located on the northeast corner of Johnston City, this 35-acre lake includes a paved boat ramp for fishing, walking path, and campground. Only electric motors and canoes are permitted. You will find largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black and white crappie, and channel catfish in this small reservoir. Pedal boat rentals are available from July-September.
Herrin Park District
Herrin Park District is a beautiful, well kept park with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool as well as a multipurpose recreation complex. The park offers two walking paths with a quarter-mile all weather track, and a one-mile lighted walking trail. Herrin Park is an excellent place for a leisurely jog. You can even enjoy feeding the beautiful ducks.
Lusk Creek Canyon
Lusk Creek Canyon is the most well known whitewater run in Southern Illinois. The creek starts out in woodland bottoms with relatively minor gradient but soon is surrounded by rocky hillsides and cliffs. These cliffs rise out of the water to heights over one hundred feet. After the canyon section, the cliffs recede and the creek is surrounded by forest for the final mile. Rapids on this creek are at low to moderate levels and are mostly Class II in nature. However, this is not a good beginner run. This creek flows through forests before entering the canyon.
Aquatic Zoo Waterpark - Mt. Vernon
The Aquatic Zoo Waterpark is fun for all ages. The facility features two 30-ft. tall slides; one 112-ft. body slide; one 266-ft. dual rider tube slide; two diving boards; a children's splash pad; interactive voice and light features; lazy river; zero depth entry leisure pool and concessions.
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
The gateway to the largest outdoor playground in southern Illinois includes Rend Lake, the second largest manmade lake in the state. Wheelchair access.
Saline Creek Pioneer Village
This fascinating pioneer village includes the original Saline County Pauper Farm (now a three-story museum), an old jail, an 1859 one-room schoolhouse, the Cain Church, several 1800s log cabins, a barn and country store.
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.
Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center
Situated on Rend Lake in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, this modern resort offers cabins and boat rental suites, courtesy boat docking slips, restaurants and more. Guests can enjoy golfing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and other water sports.
Rend Lake Golf Course
Named one of the best courses in the Midwest, this 27-hole course has paved cart paths, fountains and many challenges. There's also a lighted driving range, a pro shop with a pro, and special lodging/golf packages available year round. On the eastern shores of Rend Lake.
Williams Hill Pass
The bunkhouse cabins accommodate four people. Each cabin includes heat, air-conditioning, electricity, table and chairs, a full bed bunk bed and linens. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided outside the cabins for meal preparation. Showers and bathrooms are located in the air conditioned shower house at the Welcome Center. Williams Hill Pass is a family-oriented OHV park located between Mitchellville and Rudement just off Illinois Route 34 in southern Saline County on the north slope of Williams Hill, the highest point in Southern Illinois.
How the West Was Won - Shawnee National Forest
An all-star cast is featured in this frontier drama about the western expansion of the United States in the early 1800s, as seen through the eyes of two pioneer families. Parts of the movie were filmed in Southern Illinois' Shawnee National Forest and Cave-in-Rock State Park, named for its limestone cave that once harbored real river pirates.
A World War I memorial stature, “The Spirit of The American Dough Boy” was dedicated on September 6, 1927 following its acquisition through a project sponsored jointly by the local American Legion and VFW Posts. The solider is forever immortalized in statue form, seen is his war apparel and stance. The Dough Boy is a symbol of freedom and remembrance of those who fought for our land.
Economy Inn & Suites
Well established, friendly hometown motel. Queen beds, specials, kids free under 12, free coffee and tourism information. Close to Shawnee National Forest and Garden of Gods Recreation Area.
Bryant's Miniatures features miniature horses, llamas and George the camel. Children and adults are welcome to enjoy the animals at this hands-on facility.
Seasons Lodge & Condominiums
Provides affordably priced and beautifully furnished accommodations. Optional spa and fireplace suites. Restaurant and golf course on site.
Cedarhurst Craft Fair
More than 160 exhibitors from throughout the country show and sell diverse craft items. Includes continuous entertainment, children's activities, and a variety of food.
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.
Super 8 - Harrisburg
Hot tub- suites available free continental breakfast- non smoking & handicapped rooms available.
VF Factory Outlet Mall
Enclosed mall with ten stores. Walkers welcome. Restaurants nearby.
Located in three historic structures covering 2/3rds of the city block, two blocks west of the public square on Route 13.
Four Seasons Campground
Stop on by and enjoy the friendly, peaceful atmosphere. Spacious shaded sites. See an abundance of wildlife. Also available: wireless internet, L-P gas fill, dump station, large pull through, 31 full hook-up sites, 12 pull through sites, (20, 30 and 50) amps available. Public access to: city park, lighted walk path, shower house, laundry facilities/handicap accessible. Cabin rentals available.
Benton Country Club
This semi-private, nine-hole course features a historic three-story clubhouse, surrounded by Lake Moses. Host of the annual Benton Gold Cup, the course also features a well-stocked pro shop, driving range, rental clubs and carts, and a golf pro on site.
Rend Lake College Market Place
Large golf outlet store plus clothing, brass, crafts and sporting goods store. Formerly Jent factory outlet mall.
Bluegill Music Festival
March 16, 2015 - Bluegill Music Festival will lunch its inaugural event on July 4, 2015 for a one-day festival packed with some of country music's hottest acts. The all-day festival will be complete with Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display, along the shores of the Rend Lake Dam, in Benton, IL. The lineup includes Eli Young Band, LoCash, Clayton Anderson and more exciting acts to be announced. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 20th and can be purchased at www.bluegillfest.com and at Black Diamond Harley Davidson. Drawing fans from around the country, including Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, the festival is at the intersection of some of the nation's most dedicated country music fans. Bluegill Music Festival will feature nationally recognized BBQ vendors from around the country. Interactive entertainment for fans will also include activations, like: bags, washers, bubble soccer, Illinois longest slip n' slide, helicopter rides from Black Diamond Harley Davidson, a mechanical bull, a kids area with a large inflatable slide and the "Bluegill Lagoon", featuring a 60 x 100' VIP beach, with cabanas, private wading pools & lounge area. Additionally, Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display will begin at 9:30pm, and is free for all guest.
Bugsy's Chicago Dog
Bugsy's is Mt. Vernon's only authentic Chicago-style food! Menu includes real Chicago-style dogs, as well as a Greek menu, and much much more!
Come and enjoy the region's most exquisite culinary experience, from the open kitchen, to our Wine Room with 1000+ wines from all over the world, to the unique culinary cuisine prepared by the one and only Chef Liz. Exceptional food and even better service await your palate here at RARE Chophouse!
The Porch Basket
A unique one of a kind shop in downtown Eldorado, the Porch Basket offers a large line of hand woven baskets, country decor items, and a large line of basket weaving supplies. Call about basket weaving lessons.
Shawnee Hills Country Club
This fun, challenging course includes nine, 36 par holes, and is open spring, summer and fall. The club offers a full pro shop and snack bar.
Southern Illinois Artisans Shop and Visitors Center
More than 25 categories of arts and crafts from fine art to the traditional crafts from more than 900 Illinois artisans. Also, home to the Southern Illinois Art Gallery. Special workshops and events throughout the year.
Newman & Camden Co.
Newman & Camden Co. is a walk in Bakery/Deli. They serve bagel, donuts, and great breakfast sandwiches. Lunch consists of a daily special, flatbreads, and like the Slow Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT. All Items are made from scratch!
28-lane bowling facility with snack bar.
The Bar B Q Barn
One of Harrisburg's most popular home cooking restaurants, the speciality is fresh pit style BBQ sandwiches. Open Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop in before hiking in the Garden of the Gods.
AMC Showplace 8
Movie Theatre with 8 theatres featuring special ticket pricing and traditional movie theatre concessions.
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features Free Lazer Tag, Amish made bakery items, crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment by a different musical guest each month.
Ten Mile Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
5,800 acres vary from flat bottomlands to rolling forestlands. Fields throughout the site provide for 1,000 acres of planted food for wildlife. Game hunting for rabbit, quail and waterfowl is allowed. Fishing is available at 25 strip-pit lakes and ponds.
Jefferson County Historical Village
Experience the past as you walk through a pioneer village of authentic log cabins featuring a calaboose (circa 1820), the Mount Olive Church (circa 1873), a one room school house and more.
Hamilton County State Fish And Wildlife Area
The 1,683-acre site has a 75-acre lake where families can picnic, fish, paddle boat, camp and enjoy the good food at the on-site restaurant.
Brehm Memorial Library
An extensive collection of genealogical materials offers visitors an opportunity to research local Mt. Vernon history.
Ina Antiques and Collectibles
On the corner of 3rd and Rte. 3 St. Sells pottery, china, quilts, glassware, antiques, old signs, old toys, vintage clothing, old clocks, furniture, gas station memorabilia.
Saline County Golf & Country Club
This beautiful Southern Illinois course features 18 par 70 holes, and is open year round. The club also features a full pro shop and snack bar, plus golf club rental.
Renaissance House: A Working Art Gallery
The gallery offers classes in art, as well as original art and gifts for sale. Exhibits and events in the performing arts are scheduled throughout the year.
Modern motel, built in 2000, with king and queen beds, indoor pool, continental breakfast, tourism information and more. Only minutes from Garden of the Gods Rec. Area and Shawnee Nat'l Forest.
South Marcum Campground
Campground open April 1st through October 31st. Activities begin in May and run through September. 147 sites with electricity and 14 tent sites. Close to Rend Lake and Visitors Center.
Jimmy Dean's Marketplace
One of the unique places to visit while in Eldorado, Jimmy Dean's is easily located on US Hwy 45, and offers a variety of antiques, collectibles, glassware, primitives, jewelry and that special something.
Benton KOA Campground
Full-service campground with pool, pavilion, grocery shop, RV supplies and laundry available. Modem hookups. Shopping, golf, Rend Lake water activities (1½ mi.), 20 shaded tent sites.
Inglenook Farm Bed and Breakfast
A delightful retreat on the outskirts of Mt. Vernon, this historical home has been transformed into a bed and breakfast paradise tucked away from the road on five acres complete with a pond, and old barn, and beautiful gardens.
Franklin County Jail Museum
This restored 1905 jail museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. It is near Rend Lake and features displays on General John A. Logan, The Beatles' George Harrison, actor John Malkovich, baseball star Doug Collins and Charlie Birger, the last convicted criminal to be hanged in Illinois. Only 5 miles of Rend Lake.
Franklin County Garage and Auto Museum
Only 5 miles south of Rend Lake, this old 1910 Ford garage has been restored to its original condition and now displays vintage cars, Beatles and Charlie Birger, (the last convicted criminal to be hanged in Illinois) memorabilia.
Depot Veteran's Museum
This restored railroad depot houses memorabilia from all wars. Outside is a Southern Illinois Miners Memorial dedicated to coal miners of the region.
Times Square Mall
Shopping mall with Sears, JC Penney, Peebles, and a variety of specialty shops.
Family oriented restaurant. Dine in or carry out. Plate lunches, dinners, and specials every night. Historical building dating back to 1927.
Strictly Outdoors Outfitters
This 12,000 Sq. Ft. store, just minutes from the Shawnee National Forest, has it all for the outdoorsman; fishing, camping, hunting & hiking equipment, boots, canoes, shoes, and even information on places to go and things to do in So. Illinois.
Downtown Car Show/Cruise Night
Downtown Car Show / Mt. Vernon Cruise Night - The Car Show will be located on 9th Street between Harrison and Jordan. Features cruise night, car, truck, and motorcycle show; entertainment, food, demonstrations, and a 50/50 drawing. The Car Show will have various models from "Classics" to "Modern."
This is a tavern that offers daily drink specials. We serve sandwiches and pizza. We also do fundraisers for charities.
Pine Lakes Golf Club
The 18-hole "pine lakes" course at the Pine Lakes Golf Course facility features 5,889 yards of golf from the longest trees for a par of 67. The course rating is 67.0 and it has a slope rating of 107.
Franklin County Country Club
This course offers an immaculate Bermuda fairway and bent green grass, par71 course. Franklin County also features a fine dining restaurant, locker rooms and a pro shop. Just 8 miles south of Rend Lake.
Locally owned tour bus that can seat up to 12 people. Services available include wine trail tours, scenic tours, as well as sporting and special events.
Coal Miners Memorial
In the late eighteen hundreds there were many thriving communities that were totally dependent on area coal mines. Now there is a Memorial to honor all miners. Dedicated on October 14th, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.”
Frankfort Area Historical Museum
The former two-story brick Logan School is now a museum featuring area mining history, memorabilia from 1802-1976, a genealogy library, and the Red Geranium Tea Room that serves homemade lunch.
Tequilas Mexican Restaurant Harrisburg
Authentic Mexican food; the best in Saline County.
Rend Lake Shooting Complex
Located in the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, the shooting complex offers gamesmen one of the most state of the art shooting facilities in the Midwest. Wheelchair access.
The Antique Gallery
Shop in 5500 sq. feet of quality antiques, including furniture, glassware, china, primitives, 50+ quilts, jewelry, lamps, cookie jars, depression glass, old books and much more.
Indian Hills Golf Course
This public 18-hole course offers challenges for both beginning and advanced golfers. A lighted driving range allows extended practice hours, and free group golf lessons are available every Saturday.
Joyce's Country Quilts
Beautiful hand-stitched quilt,; plus a large supply of quilt and dress fabrics and notions in a quaint country store.
The Presidential Hall of Fame Museum
Former Congressman Ken Gray's collection of over 12,000 items includes campaign memorabilia, photos and documents from former presidents and dignitaries, 1,000 original dolls, videos, four cars driven by the congressman and much more.
Green Hills Golf Club
This 18-hole, semi-private country club features lush Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens with four sets of tees (the longest over 6,500 yards). Green Hills also offers a large driving range, plus practice and chipping greens, a pro shop, lounge and restaurant.
Located off Route 37 in Johnston City, this antique store has glassware, kitchenware, collectibles, and much more. Lots of variety in this newly established business.
Innstead Bed and Breakfast
Early 20th century farm house located within walking distance to historic McCoy Library with one of the oldest genealogy collections in the midwest.
Frankfort Community Aquatics & Activities Center
Located at the West Frankfort City Park, this newly built indoor 25-meter six lane pool is open to the public; classes and activities available, handicap accessible, lifeguard on site, open every day.
Jefferson County Historical Village
Authentic log structures. Historic memorabilia from the area are carefully preserved and displayed at the village. Open from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October
Sidwell Friends Bed and Breakfast
This B&B is housed in a classic 1920s Colonial decorated with antiques and fine art. Sidwell Friends is located just blocks from Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, which features the Mitchell Museum and an impressive sculpture park.
Herrin Civic Center
The Herrin Civic Center is a multipurpose facility with conference areas, a galleria that seats 350 and an auditorium that seats 341. The Civic Center is host to all types of performances on a regular basis and can be rented for small meetings, stage performances and social events such as wedding receptions, reunions, etc. Many nationally known entertainers perform for the Patron of the Arts Series and for special appearances. Also home of the Southern Illinois Opry.
China Buffet Harrisburg
Delicious Chinese Food Buffet to take out or eat in. Lunch and Dinner and Saturday and Sunday it's all day Buffet.
Mitchellsville Country Store
Hot food, sodas, snacks, fresh baked Mennonite breads and desserts along with groceries and gasoline. Owners: Jim and Melissa Kuhlmann and David and Debbie Fox.
Days Inn - Benton
Quality rooms with competitive prices located off I-57. Close to all the activities at rend lake with restaurant and lounge on premises.
Stardust Golf and Country Club
Stardust offers 9 holes of golf with a par of 36. Winter golf is available. Amenities include club and cart rental and a snack bar.
The Annex Coffee & Deli
The Annex Building, built in 1912, is at the very heart of Herrin, Illinois’ thriving downtown on Park Avenue. The former Annex Movie Theater was converted into a bakery café and opened on Halloween 2011. The Annex Coffee & Deli is committed to delivering the best coffee house & bakery café experience in a clean and stylish environment which recalls the glory days of the historic building in which it is housed.
Gray Plaza Motel Benton
Modern motel off I-57 featuring free Continental Breakfast, restaurants next door, cabel TV, free HBO & ESPN, golf, hunting and fishing nearby, close to Rend Lake.
A Family-owned business for 59 years, this little roadside restaurant is known for its country home cooking. They offer about 10 flavors of homemade pie daily, but are famous for their sinful White Pie that's heaped with whipped cream and pecans. Plate lunches, ham & beans, Friday and Saturday catfish dinners. Call ahead for groups. Seating for 86.
The Book Emporium
17,000 sq. feet of books! Over 1000 cookbooks; classics, novels, religious & childrens section, collectible paper back romances, westerns, local and war books. Bring in your re-read books for trade; will special order on any book still in publication.
Bling It On 2 U
Ladies boutique and spirit wear store. Custom designs with all the sequins to shine! Rhinestone T's, fashion jewelry, jeans, scarves, purses, and accessories are available.
Okla-Tex Nick's Bar-B-Q
Located in Benton's Days Inn, this popular restaurant is open daily serving breakfast, lunch & dinner. The specialty is the BBQ, chicken, beef or pork. Lunch & Dinner specials, kids 10 & under free on Sunday, delivery, catering & carryouts. Bar with two pool tables. Karaoke Wed. and Sun.
Benton Square Antique Mall
Come see many unusual items, some you don't see every day -- and our prices are very fair. We always tell the customer go check the rest, come back to the best!
We have a very large selection of fine glassware, vintage and antique furniture, and the latest in collectibles.
Gun Creek Campground
Campground with 100 sites with electricity located on Rend Lake. The Seasons Lodge Restaurant, the Rend Lake Gold Course, and the Southern Illinois Artisans Shop are all within walking distance.
Mackie's Pizza of Harrisburg
The best place in Harrisburg for homemade pizza from the crust, thick or thin, to the homemade sauce and toppings. Also, great stromboli, 5 kinds of salads, and cheese bread stix.
Great, home-made pizza.