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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.
Hidden Lake Winery & Banquet Center
Welcome! Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center, located in rural Aviston, IL, is situated in “Silent Forest,” a wooded parcel of land abounding in local lore. Our winemaking began in 2004 and is influenced by the German heritage of the farming families who settled this part of Illinois. At Hidden Lake Winery, our goal is to offer a variety of wines that will satisfy many different palates. Our wines are produced with locally-grown fruit and bottled here in our cellar. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine (or other beverage if desired) in a tranquil setting with old friends, or perhaps with new ones.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
Home to the Balloon Fest, Foundation Park has many walking trails, nature areas, and gathering places.
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.
Coyote ATV Trail Riders & Junkyard International Raceway
Fifty to 60 trucks carrying ATVs pull in every weekend to ride through the 10 miles of trails. You can also race go-karts on the track.
Carlyle Dam East Spillway Campground
Swimming, fishing, boating.
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.
Patchwork Corner Crafts
Patchwork Corner Crafts has a wide variety of quilting and craft supplies.
McIlwain Mansion B&B
3 room bed and breakfast with private bathrooms.
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!"
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.
Coles Creek Recreation Area
148 sites, electricity, shower, reservations
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.
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.
Schneidewind Barn Museum
Hundreds of interesting items amassed over a lifetime are housed in this unique gallery that was formally a working farm barn.
This orchard features fresh-picked apples, peaches, a pumpkin patch, cider and special events for children during apple season.
This expansive park features picnic areas, baseball and softball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and sand volleyball courts. The centerpiece of the park is an old train depot, a full-size caboose, and a train car that can be reserved for groups.
Boulder Recreation Area
Swimming and fishing, boating, tent camping
Nuff-Stuff Retail Antiques
Antiques, collectibles, glassware, oak furniture, and fireplace mantels.
Spring Valley Golf Club
Spring Valley offers a par 18 golf course.