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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.
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.
Home to the Balloon Fest, Foundation Park has many walking trails, nature areas, and gathering places.
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.
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.
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
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.
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.
GenKota's award-winning wines and ports feature reds, whites and blushes, from sweet and semi-sweet to dry. A full line of wine-related items and gift baskets are also available.
Carlyle Dam East Spillway Campground
Swimming, fishing, boating.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment!
Coles Creek Recreation Area
148 sites, electricity, shower, reservations
Nuff-Stuff Retail Antiques
Antiques, collectibles, glassware, oak furniture, and fireplace mantels.
Rend Lake College Market Place
Large golf outlet store plus clothing, brass, crafts and sporting goods store. Formerly Jent factory outlet mall.
This orchard features fresh-picked apples, peaches, a pumpkin patch, cider and special events for children during apple season.
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.
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.
Open April 1 - November 11, with 19 sites available for rent. Outdoor recreation surrounds!