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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.
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.
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.
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.
Southern Illinois Wine & Art Festival
The last weekend in September the best Southern Illinois wineries and artisans all at one Festival at scenic Rend Lake.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Super 8 - Harrisburg
Hot tub- suites available free continental breakfast- non smoking & handicapped rooms available.
Located in three historic structures covering 2/3rds of the city block, two blocks west of the public square on Route 13.
Ratcliff Inn Museum
1828 Stagecoach Inn -- Abe Lincoln stayed here as he was campaigning. White County artifacts also on display.
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.
Pheasant Hollow Winery
Pheasant Hollow Winery is located in a rustic log cabin in the woods near Rend Lake. A large tasting room, huge stone fireplace, and a wraparound deck provide a great place to sample Pheasant Hollow's award-winning wines.
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.
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.
Seasons Lodge & Condominiums
Provides affordably priced and beautifully furnished accommodations. Optional spa and fireplace suites. Restaurant and golf course on site.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buy apples, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums and nectarines in season.
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.
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.
Joyce's Country Quilts
Beautiful hand-stitched quilt,; plus a large supply of quilt and dress fabrics and notions in a quaint country store.
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.
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 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.
Tequilas Mexican Restaurant Harrisburg
Authentic Mexican food; the best in Saline County.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carmi Country Club
This nine-hole course is open seasonally, with amenities that include a clubhouse and tee times for non-members.
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.
Best Holiday Trav-L-Park-Benton
A private, family-oriented RV campground with 120 sites from tents to huge recreational vehicles. Peaceful, wooded setting close to all the activities at Rend Lake.
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.
Campbell Illinois Whitetails
Guests are welcomed into the comfortable rustic atmosphere of the hunting lodge. It has the accommodation for 9 with all the amenities of home.
Gibby's on the Green
Located on the Rend Lake Golf Course, Gibby's restaurant opens 30 minutes before the first tee time every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Sandwiches, steaks and seafood are on the menu.
Illinois State Museum - Southern Illinois Art Gallery
A museum gallery featuring theme-based exhibitions of works created by past and contemporary Illinois artists and artisans.
6 cottage-style rooms, rv hook-ups, truck parking, kennel nearby
Enchanted Crest Bed and Breakfast
Bed and breakfast located in Belle Rive, IL.
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.
Mary Smith Fay Genealogy Library
Located in downtown Carmi, this extensive library and museum offers history and research services.
We have a very large selection of fine glassware, vintage and antique furniture, and the latest in collectibles.
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.
Burrell Woods Park & Campground
30 camping sites in northern Carmi.
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.
Martin's Restaurant & Catering
Family atmosphere. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Daily specials. Everything's homemade. Large variety of sandwiches available. Call ahead for group, seating for 65.
Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area
Anglers looking for crappie, catfish and bass drop their lines at this area, located on the 18,900-acre Rend Lake. A comprehensive management program provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including great blue herons and many species of shorebirds.
McLeansboro Golf Club
This nine-hole, semi-private club offers a pro shop.
Season's at Rend Lake
At Season's enjoy either casual or semi-formal dining at its best. Full service bar, seasonal favorites and specials with a beautiful view of Rend Lake golf course. Meeting and banquet rooms for up to 250.
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!
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.
Macedonia Game Preserve
A state-licensed hunting preserve, we provide hunters with a good environment and quality deer management. Also quail, pheasant,chukar and dove hunting available. Package prices available upon request for walk-in hunts, corporate & business hunts.
Chinese Buffet 7 days a week, featuring the best Hunan, Szechwan & Mandarin Cuisine in the area. we also offer carry out, buffet to go, lunch specials, and a seafood buffet on Friday & Saturday. Located on the beautiful Benton Square.
Located at the Rend Lake Resort, this friendly restaurant offers fine regional cuisine with a waterfront view. Try the Sunday afternoon all-you-can-eat fried chicken buffet.
Parachutes Over Carmi Skydiving
Each weekend, weather permitting, Parachutes Over Cami features a sport skydiving center each weekend at the Carmi Airport. Tandem or solo jumps are available after several hours of instruction. Video tapes of your jumps are also available.
Jack Russell Fish Company
Fish with an "old Tavern recipe". Upscale decor with mid scale prices. Tropical theme with crawdads once a month & other fish dinners plus chicken and pork.
Fairfield Country Club
At this 18-hole, semi-private golf club Wednesday and Friday afternoons are open to the public. The club features a fully stocked pro shop, plus electric golf carts and clubs for rent.
Newly remodeled rooms at budget rates. Children welcome.
McCoy House Memorial Library
This majestic four-story Victorian home, built in 1884 by banker A.G. Cloud, sits next to the old bank of similar architectural style. The house is now a memorial library and museum decorated with beautiful furnishings and paintings.
Fairfield Uptown Motel
Large clean rooms with color cable television, free local calls and low room rates.
Sherwood Camping Resort
Camper and tent sites, approx. 60 hookups; shaded, family-oriented camping. Only 2 mi. to Rend Lake.
Super 8 Motel - Benton
Located just off I-57 at Benton Exit, this modern motel extends the traveler 48 clean rooms, free morning coffee and convenient restaurant and lounge on premises. Special packages for hunters and fishermen.
Glass Door Inn
A newly constructed bed & breakfast nestled in a serene rural setting. Private bath, outdoor spa, and porches. Fishing in samll lake and outdoor enjoyment.
Billy Bob & Nina's
Known for their barbecue, especially ribs.
Skillet Fork Outfitters Inc.
With over 3,500 acres of cropland & 1700 acres of prime woods, this newly formed business is for the trophy whitetail, turkey or coyote hunter. New lodge, hot evening meals, competitive prices; will pickup from Evansville Airport.
Briarwood Inn of Fairfield
FREE Continental Breakfast. FREE Hi-Speed Wireless Internet, Cable TV (105 Channels) with HBO, Iron & Ironing Board, Hair Dryer, In Most Rooms: Microwave & Refrigerator. Outdoor Pool
Briarwood Inn of Fairfield
Clean, reasonable rates, restaurant nearby, fitness center nearby. Close to town activities.
Taylor's Mini Mall - Book Daddy
Amazing collection of over 40,000 books, old and new. Historical, western, romantic novels, children's, and local lore. Also, CDs, music, some antiques, Nascar collection, and more.
Espresso bar and deli. Located in historic downtown Benton. Seating for 60.
The Coffee Shop
Recently remodeled, clean, comfortable rooms at economical rates. Low: daily, weekly & monthly, rates available. Cable TV, non-smoking rooms available, restaurant on premises. For reservations call .
Lamplite Collectibles and Antiques
Featuring glass, pottery, kitchenware, china, quilts and much more
Barbeque ribs and chicken, burgers of every variation, onion rings, chili cheese fries and homemade pies are some of the specialties here.
Uncle Joe's Deli
Home of the Uncle Joe's All Purpose Sauces. Located at Exit 83 on Interstate 57 near Rend Lake.
Five Brothers in Fairfield
A full menu serving the whole family; soups, salads, seafood & desserts; breakfast available all day. Variety of cuisines, including Italian.
Dimaggio's Pizza - Carmi
Serving lunch and dinner entrees, full selection of pizza and more.
Home-cooked food for dinner on Thursday and Friday and breakfast or lunch everyday of the week. Always a lunch blueplate special with seating for thirty.
Offering Daily and weekly rates plus Western Union.
Illinois State Museum - Southern Illinois Art Gallery
A museum gallery featuring theme-based exhibits of works created by past and contemporary Illinois artists and artisans. Less than 1 mile southeast of Rend Lake.