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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Coles Creek Recreation Area
148 sites, electricity, shower, reservations
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!"
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.
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.
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!
Boulder Recreation Area
Swimming and fishing, boating, tent camping
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.
28-lane bowling facility with snack bar.
AMC Showplace 8
Movie Theatre with 8 theatres featuring special ticket pricing and traditional movie theatre concessions.
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.
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!
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.
Centralia's resident carilloneur performs on the town's 65-bell carillon, one of the few in the country. The surrounding park also features a museum and tours of the 165-foot-tall tower.
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.
Clinton County Historical Museum
This building was the former home of Judge Sidney Breese, who came to Illinois from New York. He studied law here and became Assistant Secretary of the State of Illinois.
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.
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!
Ingram's Pioneer Log Cabin Village
Pre-Civil War log structures rescued from destruction by the Ingrams. Many of the 17 homes and other buildings are furnished with authentic pieces and open to the public. Visit Jacob's Well Inn, frequented by Abraham Lincoln.
You can find berries, apples, peaches, pears and watermelons in season here.
Stephen A. Forbes State Park
Located among the rolling hills of Southwestern Illinois, this park has a beach and offers boating, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, and other activities. 140 camp sites open year round for outdoor lovers
Kim's Little Shanty Antiques
Kim's has a wide variety of unique antiques.
Centralia Historical Society Museum
Centerpieces of the collection are newspapers and memorabilia from the coal mining days with tributes to railroad history.
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.
Centralia Area Historical Museum
Artifacts, pictures of coal mining, railroading, business, farming in and around Centralia. A work in progress by the Centralia Area Historical Society to preserve the past of Marion County.
West Access Marina
A year-round facility for large and small boats located at the southwest end of Carlyle Lake. Suited for a complete variety of water sports.
This fresh water shrimp (prawn) farm offers agricultural tours and harvest festivals in the fall. Prawn, catfish and hushpuppies are available for purchase.
Centralia Illinois Downtown Theatre
This former vaudeville and movie theatre has been restored to its former glory. The Playbill for the 2008 season includes Chapter 6, an acapella group that started at Milliken University in Decatur, IL and now tours worldwide and the touring company of Second City in Chicago. Don't miss the excitement.
Brehm Memorial Library
An extensive collection of genealogical materials offers visitors an opportunity to research local Mt. Vernon history.
Flying M Ranch Golf Course
This public nine-hole, 32 par course also offers a driving range, rental carts and clubs. Miniature golf, camping and fishing are also available for a fee.
Steve's has a big selection of antiques and collectibles.
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.
The marina offers modern concrete docks, an air-conditioned lounge, private showers, dry dock, and winter storage.
The park is open for boating and fishing year round and hosts a major drag boat racing event each year.
Eldon Hazlet State Park
The largest campground in the Illinois State Park system. The park covers 3,000 acres on the west shore of Carlyle Lake. Every year more than 3/4 million visitors come here to hunt, fish, picnic, camp, boat, water ski, and hike.
Salem Country Club
This 18-hole course has lots of character, and is open to the public from 9am-12pm Monday through Friday. Golf carts are available.
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
Centralia Recreation Complex
Located in downtown Centralia, this 60,000-sq.-ft. building features an Olympic-size, six-lane competition pool with spectator seating. The main gymnasium has room for two full-size basketball or three volleyball courts with seating for 400.
Badollet House Bed & Breakfast
National Register historic home featuring period decor with contemporary conveniences. The Badollet House is not only a bed and breakfast, but also caters to small parties, weddings, business meetings and special occassions.
Carlyle Dam West Campground
Swimming, fishing, boating, tent camping
9th Street Grill
Located in Historic Downtown Mt. Vernon (an Illinois Main Street Community), 9th Street Grill brings cosmopolitan flare and flavor to a hometown atmosphere.
Times Square Mall
Shopping mall with Sears, JC Penney, Peebles, and a variety of specialty shops.
The Rusty Nail has a large selection of great antiques.
Vandalia, Illinois is where Abraham Lincoln began his historical political career and his life and achievements are commemorated on the marker.
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.
Greenview Golf Club
This public 18-hole, 72 par course offers rental clubs and carts, and a pro on site.
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.
Carlyle Lake Sailing Association
CSA has docking for 380 boats, 3 electric jib cranes, 1,300 ft. of dock and 2 launching ramps. Special events feature annual regattas.
Spacious, quiet, clean and affordable lodging, with free in-room coffee, free continental breakfast. Enjoy 25" remote color tv-hbo and cable. Just minutes from I-57.
Colonial Golf Course
This public 18-hole, par 70 course is open year round, with rental clubs and carts, plus a snack bar.
Governors Run Golf and Country Club
This championship 18-hole course has 13 lakes scattered throughout the par 72 layout. It boasts five sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels on exquisitely manicured greens.
America's Best Bell Tower Inn
Welcome to the Americas Best Value Inn-Bell Tower of Centralia, Illinois, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Centralia within view of the historic Carillion Bell Tower and within walking distance of some of the finest dining and shopping in southern Illinois. Our 4-story interior access (elevator) Inn features 56 nicely furnished guest rooms with added amenities including cable TV with HBO and hairdryers. Upgrades include coffeemaker, mini-fridge, microwave, and iron/board. We offer a FREE deluxe continental breakfast, indoor pool, and playground for the kids, a meeting/banquet facility with kitchen and a business center in the lobby. Come relax and enjoy the value at the Americas Best Value Inn-Bell Tower of Centralia. Hi-Speed Wireless Internet Access available.
Affordable, clean and comfortable lodging with lounge/bar and restaurant on site. Right off the interstate.
Veterans Educational Museum
Items on display are from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm along with flags from 45 countries.
William Jennings Bryan Museum
This 160-year old home has three rooms of original furniture, pictures and personal items once owned by politician William Jennings Bryan.
South Shore State Park
33 sites, fishing, boating, tent camping.
Badollet House Bed & Breakfast
This 4 room bed and breakfast is located in downtown Salem just minutes from the Mariona County Fairgrounds.
Vandalia Artworks Gallery
The gallery uses exhibit space in the Fayette County Museum. Special exhibits are scheduled through the year.
Comfort Suites - Mt. Vernon
Conveniently located near I-64/I-57 Interchange with 24-hour indoor pool, fitness center, free hot breakfast, and business center
A Comfortable and Affordable Lodging Experience The Guesthouse Inn & Suites Salem IL hotel offers the convenience of a Denny's Restaurant and Cocktail lounge on site. Our Salem Hotel offers a 24 hour front desk service, free local calls, parking, USA Today Newspaper, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and complimentary popcorn. We are a pet friendly Salem Inn, pet fee apply.
Webber's Wagon Mini Mall
Webber's Wagon is a mini mall full of unique antiques and collectibles.
Madonna of the Trail Statue
The Madonna is one of 12 statues in the U.S. that honors the pioneer women who traveled along the National Road.
The Farmers Monument
This impressive black granite piece located on the grounds of Vandalia's Tourist Information Center is a tribute to prairie farmers.
Great Mexican restaurant with authentic Mexican food and a great atmosphere.
Vandalia Golf & Country Club
Opened in 1916, this nine-hole course features 2,782 yards of golf from the longest tees, for a par of 35.
America's Best Inn
America's Best Inn is a part of a national chain specializing in easy, comfortable and affordable hotels. This hotel is conveniently located just off I-57/64 and includes free breakfast. Pets ok.
6 room hotel, cable television, restaurant within walking distance.
Olde Picket Fence
Olde Picket Fence offers a custom line of primitive farmhouse furniture. Each item is handcrafted, one at a time, and every item is unique.
Mt. Vernon Veterans Park
86 acres of shaded playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pool, in-line skating area and walking path around the lake. Fishing is allowed with proper license.
Marion County Fairgrounds
20 sites, big rigs welcome.
Chili's Grill & Bar - Mt. Vernon
Carlyle Lake Golf Club
This nine-hole golf course was designed by John Kueper.
Able to accommodate boats up to 45 ft. in covered slips and 40 ft. in open slips, Trade Winds Marina is a great place to moor your boat. The new clubhouse features showers, restrooms, and a lounging area for members.
Downtown Mt. Vernon (The District)
Visit Downtown Mt. Vernon for a variety of shops, including a kitchen store, photography studio, musical instruments, clothing, fine jewelry, scrapbooking supplies, and gifts.
Hampton Inn - Mount Vernon
101 rooms located near I-57. Indoor pool, spa and exercise room. Rooms with whirlpool tubs available.
Peebles offers nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics, and footware for the entire family.
The China Pearl offers delicious Chinese cuisine by the order or with their outstanding buffet.