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Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
Family Fun Tyme
Located in Maryville, this facility has an indoor arcade, batting cages and lots more fun for kids. Alfonzo's Restaurant is right next door for pizza lovers.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Vadalabene Center
The Vadalabene Center on the Division I campus at SIUE is a flexible venue with seating for 4,000. The main gym can be configured for several different court setups: three full-sized basketball, six volleyball or five badminton. The center is also home to the SIUE wrestling program.
New to You
Antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing and used clothing are all available at this resale/antique shop located in historic Grafton on the riverfront. Hours: Tuesday - Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Iron Decor & More
Iron Decor & More provides many decorative items for the home, yard, garden or business... any space you can think of. Browse the shop for hand-blown glass gazing balls and a variety of iron works, including handcrafted iron tables, chairs, fencing, decorative sculptures, kinetic wind sculptures and more.
This one-of-a-kind guest house offers one room, a great view of the Illinois River and is easy walking distance to shops, restaurants & wineries.
Mary Michelle Winery Tasting Room
Enjoy award-winning wines at Mary Michelle Winery located at Pere Marquette Lodge, in scenic Pere Marquette State Park. The Tasting Room, Fountain Patio and Riverview Terrace are the perfects spots to relax with a glass of wine and unwind. Mary Michelle wines include Norton, Chardonel and Moscato. The winery is open 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. daily.
Main Street Jazz & Blues
Join the group at this small intimate club featuring performers from St. Louis and the local area.
The Scrapbook Factory offers all the supplies you need to create the scrapbook of your dreams.
Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local, Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB on the last Saturday of each month (10 a.m. to noon). The two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Family owned for more than 50 years, Tony's is located in Alton on Third Street. Known for their mouth-watering pepperloin steaks, the family recipe has been a crowd pleaser for years. Homemade pastas and family recipes make for a memorable meal. Tony's offers the best of both worlds with a formal dining room, perfect for a romantic meal or to celebrate a special occasion. The Third Street Cafe entrance features a sports bar atmosphere perfect for kicking back to enjoy a slice of fresh secret recipe pizza, a juicy half-pound steakburger or a basket of wings. From casual family dining to a cozy meal together, Tony's is your place!
Pere Marquette Lodge Restaurant
Enjoy family-style dining in a rustic setting at the Pere Marquette Lodge dining room. The Lodge is famous for its family-style fried chicken and fried catfish dinners. You won't leave the table hungry at all! Seasonally, the Lodge offers a brunch buffet on Sundays with everything from made-to-order omelets to baked ham and fried chicken. There is something for everyone. Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Friday - Saturday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Rivers Edge Golf Course
This nine-hole golf course has two on-site restaurants.
CITY: Granite City
The Mermaid House
The beautiful house is an example of an 1830s hotel. Charles Dickens once visited there in 1842 while researching a book he wrote on prairies in America.
Thomas Kinkade Gallery
The Thomas Kinkade Gallery of Belleville is full of beautiful works by Thomas Kinkade.
Burgers, salads and sandwiches fill the menu of this rockin' establishment in Godfrey. Enjoy nightly entertainment, big screen TV's for the sports enthusiast, pool tables, darts, and arcade gaming. Hours: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Looking for a souvenir of your trip on the Great River Road? Don't miss this fun little store full of authentic Native American jewelry, pottery, crafts and books. Many items featuring the legendary Piasa Bird, a local Native American legend, can be found at Pajarito. Store staff is knowledgeable and willing to spend time with customers explaining the legends behind the keepsakes. Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Jacoby Arts Center
Jacoby Arts Center is dedicated to creating opportunities for individual artists in their pursuit of artistic excellence and economic success. The stunning gallery presents works of regional and national artists and the retail shop, known as The Artist Shop, showcases items in a variety of media while providing artists a retail outlet to their audiences.
Lewis and Clark Memorial
This memorial commemorates Camp Dubois, the 1803-04 winter camp of Lewis and Clark where they launched their Corps of Discovery expedition to the Pacific.
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.
Fults Hill Prairie/Kidd Lake Marsh State Natural Area
This natural area comprimises 532 acres of forest, prairie and flowering trees, with a trail and pond.
CITY: East St. Louis
National Lampoon's Vacation - Poplar Street Bridge
In this wacky comedy a Chicago family takes a hysterical road trip across country to reach a theme park on the West Coast. Illinois scenes include Buckingham Fountain in downtown Chicago's Grant Park (seen spouting its famous cascades of water in the background as the family leaves Chicago) and the Poplar Street Bridge that spans the Mississippi River in East St. Louis (where the family gets lost).
CITY: East St. Louis
Melvin Price Memorial Park
The 24-acre park has a pavilion, walking trails, and many other amenities. It is also the site of the Veterans of All Wars Memorial and the September 11 Memorial.
Blackberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, tomatoes, and eggplant are the specialties at this orchard.
Indian Mound Golf Course
Indian Mound offers an 18-hole golf course.
CITY: Fairmont City
Beer Barrel Pub
Must be 21
St. Louis Street Shopping
St. Louis Street in Lebanon is paved with brick and lined with many unique antique boutiques and specialty shops. Several of the stores specialize in Victorian and country collectibles, distinctive gifts, music, foods, fine glassware, and books. Shoppers can find a little bit of everything here.
Villa Marie Winery
Villa Marie is set in the rolling countryside on the eastern edge of Maryville. The vineyard grows Corot Noir, Noiret, Vignoles, Norton and Traminette wine grapes.
Spend the day tackling go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats and a video arcade.
Green Mount Crossing
Green Mount Crossing is lodging, restaurants, Target Store, Dierbergs, World Market, Chocolate Company, Beauty Brands & Spa, and Michael's.
When just about any native of the Alton area thinks of a haunted house, normally one name comes to mind - the infamous McPike Mansion. Thousands of visitors and paranormal investigators have visited the grounds of the notorious McPike Mansion claiming spirits still roam this property. Some claim the haunts date back to the property before the mansion was even built, with native American ghosts and a residue from a possible Underground Railroad stop. Other mysterious stories include servants of the building, a cook in the kitchen and a strange death of a woman in the bathtub. Some even believe that Eleanor and Henry McPike still roam the corridors of their former home. All total, more than 11 different spirits have been experienced in recent years.
Main Street Gallery
The Main Street Gallery was created to display the works of juried artist. The art is professionally shown and is available for sale. Blown glass, pottery, paintings, drawings, metalwork, and jewelry are just a few of the art pieces available.
Fairview Heights Plaza
Fairview Heights Plaza is Circuit City, Sports Authority, Gordman's, and a number of other shops.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Lincoln Place is Kohl's, Lowe's, Old Navy, Ultimate Electronics, Office Depot, St. Louis Bread Company, Linens & Things, Pier One, Marshall's and more.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Tri City Port District
This site is on the Granite City Canal, near the Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River. Tri City Port is a duty-free foreign port, as well as a loading facility for farm and other products being barged on the river.
CITY: Granite City
50-acre wooded city park located in the heart of Collinsville. Amenities consist of picnic shelters, playgrounds, fishing lake, and softball diamond.
Collinsville Crossing Mall
Collinsville Crossing is a 460,000 square foot retail development located on 52 acres, and is home to Wal-Mart, The Home Depot and many restaurants and shops.
St. Clair Antique Mall
200 dealers, 17,000 square feet all on one level.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Piasa Winery & Pub
Wine, beer, food and an amazing view of the Mississippi River are all part of the charm of the Piasa Winery & Pub. Enjoy award-winning wines made at the Piasa vineyards or try one of the more than 400 Illinois and international wines available. Sit on the deck of the riverfront pub and relax with a beer from the more than 100 imported and domestic brews on hand. Appetizers, sandwiches (including the Piasa Pounder -- take the challenge if you dare!) soups, salads, pastas and desserts are available on this full service menu.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Spring Equinox Sunrise Observance at Reconstructed Woodhenge
Meet at the reconstructed Woodhenge to hear an explanation of the discovery, form end function of this post-circle sun calendar. Arrive by 6:45 a.m.
American Legion Post 58 Freedom Farm
40 sites, recreation building, lake swimming and fishing, boating, tent camping, handicap access.
Horseshoe Lake State Park
28 sites, lake fishing, boating, tent camping
CITY: Granite City
A Lionel train set shares space with a Li'l Abner Dogpatch Band windup toy and British toy soldiers. Antique collectibles, clothing, glassware, a mule deer antler chandelier, and many more unusual items fill the 2,000 sq. ft. "extra room" added onto the house.
Julius J. Knobeloch State Nature Preserve
Beautiful. untouched nature preserve which way originally purchased by the Knobeloch family in 1874. After a family disagreement, the land was auctioned off to the nature conservancy and then sold to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Marketplace Shopping Center
Marketplace Shopping Center is K-Mart, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Borders Books & Music, Men's Warehouse, FedEx, Kinko's, and Bombay Company.
CITY: Fairview Heights
The Legacy Golf Course
This 18-hole golf course opened in 1990.
CITY: Granite City
The Doll Corner
The Doll Corner has a large selection of antique dolls and collectibles.
Calico Moon features primitives, dry goods, rug hooking, primitive stitch, supplies, and classes.
Crossroads Center is T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Deals, and several specialty shops.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Regular racing events, including UMP Late Models, UMP Modifies, Sportsman, Street Stocks and Factory Stocks, are held on the 1/4-mile oval. Special events like the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars are raced on the 1/2-mile track.
CITY: Pontoon Beach
Prairie Peddler Antiques
Two stories of quality 18th and 19th century antiques are featured at this shop located in historic downtown Alton. Pieces include: country, primitive, formal, folk art, early iron, ceramics, pottery, mirros, clocks, textiles, baskets and early lighting. Open Wednesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, Noon - 4 p.m.
Winchester Plaza is specialty shops and local restaurants like Laredo's Mexican Restaurant and Bandana's Barbeque.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Gateway Classic Cars & Museum
Car enthusiasts are tempted by every make from Model T's to muscle cars. Shop the Antique Mall for Collectibles or attend their monthly sales and auctions.
CITY: Fairmont City
Broadway Center of Arts
Groups regularly perform at the "Black Box" Main Stage theatre.
Safari RV Park
Open year round with 33 camp sites, recreation building, and handicap access.
CITY: Fairmont City
Spirit of Peoria Cruises
Enjoy the river by boarding the Spirit of Peoria sightseeing cruise. The cruise will travel the Mississippi River and people will have a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty found here. The boat will depart and return to Riverfront Park in Alton. There are sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises. For more information or to reserve your ticket, call (800) 258-6645.
Architectural Ceramics has a great selection of ceramics for home decor, gifts, and more.
The Stone Cottage - A Loading Dock Guest House
The Stone Cottage, located about 2 miles from the Loading Dock, is a recently remodeled and beautifully appointed home was built in 1840 and is Grafton's oldest original structure. It features a full kitchen and three bedrooms with beds to sleep eight. The charming modern decor is warm and inviting; the property is perfect for a group getaway.
Belle Clair Speedway
Stock car races, drag races and demolition derbies are regular events at this speedway.
Strange Folk Festival
Strange Folk is well-known for its eclectic showcase of talented indie crafters and designers from all over the country. This festival is a Riverfront Times "Best of St. Louis" and St. Louis Magazine "A-List" award winner for Best Festival in St. Louis. The festival features 150 indie vendors selling affordable handmade, up-cycled and vintage wares. In addition to the great crafts and wares there's live music, DIY activities for kids and adults, food and a 5K.
Two Rivers Winery
Bring a picnic lunch and Two Rivers Winery in historic Grafton will supply the wine or beer! Featured wineries include Hopewell Winery and Villa Maria Winery, although a variety of Illinois wines are available including Alto Vineyards, Von Jakob and St. James. Micro-brew beers, seasonal beers and four draft beers are on tap. In case you forgot your picnic basket, Two Rivers Winery offers cheeses, sausage and crackers in addition to 6 and 12-inch pizzas. Two Rivers Winery has indoor and outdoor seating that features a great river view. Hours: Wednesday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Watershed Nature Center
A 3,000 ft. wheelchair-accessible pathway at lake level and wood-chipped trails wind through forested areas. An elevated walkway spans the wetlands and two observation towers, a wildlife viewing blind, an outdoor amphitheater and classroom.
Acorns Golf Links
Acorns Golf Links is located in Waterloo, Illinois featuring 6,701 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 . The course rating is 72.3 and it has a slope rating of 125. You will not find subdivision golf at Acorns; just nature, beautiful scenery, challenging design, and you. Making Acorns the premier public course to test your game, have fun with good friends, or to get away from your daily hussle and bussle. Acorns features zoysia fairways, five tee boxes; matching every level of golf and large bent grass greens. Designed by William Ebeler, the Acorns golf course opened in 1997.
The History Museum of Monroe County
Anchored by items gifted by Col. Edd & Violet Kueker, this collection represents the settlement of the West, numerous U.S. wars and early transportation. There is even a display of items from the Stone Age retrieved during a local archaeological dig. Changing displays and Special Exhibits from the Museum collection and "on loan" items provide awesome journeys through the pages of history.
Annbriar Golf Course
Ranked seventh-best golf course in the state of Illinois, Annbriar is an 18-hole, par 72 course. Photo Credit-Annibriar-Golf-Course
Yanda Log Cabin
An authentic log cabin located in the heart of Glen Carbon, it has the original ceiling rafters and attic floor. The sidewalks are made from a 1912 school building. The Cabin is used for group activities and community events. Tours by appointment.
CITY: Glen Carbon
Labor & Industry Museum
The Labor & Industry Museum is the only public institution devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois. The centerpiece is Jumbo, a 19th-century steam engine along with coal mining, carpentry, and stove-making exhibits.
Sit back, sip your drink and enjoy the serenity of the Mississippi River as it flows past The Loading Dock Bar and Grill in Grafton, Illinois at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Like being on vacation, it's the only place like it where you can sit by the water and watch the boat traffic on the river while enjoying stunning views of the palisades. Bring the kids along by day or at night, listen to live music while enjoying a full menu of hot fresh food served right off the grill. Make sure you begin your meal munching on a basket of chips dipped in the famous Dock Salsa!
Stonewolf Golf Course
The 18-hole, par 72 Stonewolf is one of only four Jack Nicklaus Signature courses in Illinois and Missouri.
CITY: Fairview Heights
Aunt Bea's Attic Antiques
Unique antiques and collectibles from all over the world.
In business since 1998, this Belleville gay bar features karaoke on Wednesdays, and dancing to live DJs on select Saturday nights.
Tamarack Country Club
This 18-hole golf course was designed by Pete Dye.
Yorktown Golf Course
Designed by golf legends Pete Dye and Bob Goalby, Yorktown offers an 18-hole lit par 3 golf course.
Grand Marais Golf Course
Grand Marais includes an on-site restaurant and pro shop.
The boutique gift shop offers several lines of unique women’s clothing, trendy handbags, artisan jewelry and stylish scarves. Each season brings exciting new fashions and accessories for shoppers to choose from. The adjoining IceHouse Winery features our private label wines, award-winning wines from the Midwest and imported varietals from abroad. Visit the store to see for yourself the large assortment of exquisite items to adorn yourself and your home. Choose from our beautiful selection of fashion jewelry, women's sweaters, flags, wind chimes, scented candles, scented night lights, seasonal items, and gifts.
Comfort Inn - Alton
From the moment you arrive at Comfort Inn, we want you to relax and feel at home. Our helpful staff is here to welcome you, and you'll find everything to suit your needs, including clean, comfortable, and well-appointed rooms with cozy beds. A free deluxe continental breakfast, indoor heated pool, and fitness center. We also offer free high-speed Internet access. Feel at ease knowing that your satisfaction is important to us!
Open from April to October, this theatre shows first-run movies, and is one of only 200 drive-inns left in the United States.
The Pie Pantry
The Pie Pantry offers a great selection of soups, salads, and burgers, and of course delicious pies, by the slice or as a whole.
The Orchards offers an 18-hole golf course.
Collinsville Historical Society Museum
Local and world histories are combined in these exhibits.
Great Godfrey Maze
Get your kicks at the Great Godfrey Maze! It’s time to go cruising to the finish line as you race your way through two separate mazes cut into a 7-acre cornfield. You may have to yield to oncoming traffic or hit a few detours along the way, but everyone gets a little lost sometimes. Plus, ride on the car train, check out the zip line or play around in the corn crib. Go to www.GodfreyIL.org and check the calendar for special movie nights, festivities and the haunted maze! In October, the ghosts and goblins will come out after dark. Admission is $6 for 12 and up, $4 for ages 6 through 11 and children 5 and under are free. For more information, call (618) 466-1483.
End of the Trail Inn
Enjoy the comfort of this guest house. Amenities include a cozy sitting room, kitchen, and a deck with a view of the Mississippi River. Perfect for a couple looking for a relaxing getaway. The End of the Trail Inn is close to restaurants, shops and area attractions.
The subject of intensive historical interest, the Mansion is probably the oldest brick house in the state of Illinois. It was built in 1810 by Nicholas Jarrot, who was a native Frenchman and landowner in Cahokia.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches"). Several are located at the Rivers Project and interested individuals can attend this free 1 hour program on Saturdays, June through August,to learn more and get involved in geocaching.
Saturdays, May through October, experience the Land of Goshen Community Market! The Market is your best source for locally grown, fresh, naturally ripened farm products; tasty baked goods with locally grown ingredients; and wonderful art and gift ideas.The selection changes weekly so plan to visit more than once to fully appreciate the wide selection available. Live entertainment and free demonstrations add to the festive atmosphere. A safe, wholesome environment for kids, so bring the family and stop on by! From 8:00 a.m. till Noon.
Berger-Kiel Log House
The log house gives a glimpse into local life in the 1800s. While at the park, visit the refurbished caboose and passenger train.
Mascoutah Heritage Museum
The museum focuses on the businesses that helped the city grow, particularly milling.
Log Cabin Museum
In the park next to Hamel School, this building was built between 1820 and 1852 and moved to Hamel in 1980. Artifacts from the period are displayed inside.
This facility features 50,000 square feet of flexible convention and exhibition space that can be configured for gymnastics, martial arts and dance/cheerleading. Each year Gateway Center hosts over 500 events, including state and regional gymnastics competitions.
Josephine's Tea Room
Enjoy a Girls' Day Out with lunch at Josephine's Tea Room in Godfrey. Fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts made daily highlight the menu. While at the tea room, browse the many gift shops on the complex, including Josephine's Gifts, the Monticello House, Fred's Shed featuring discounted merchandise and the new Christmas House. Jospehine's is the perfect stop for a girls' day out shopping and having fun. Hours: M -F 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., S 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Open on Sundays in December 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
This monument memorializes Elijah P. Lovejoy, whose work and death in Alton gave him a place in history for the abolition of slavery. During the slavery era, Elijah Lovejoy was a pastor who wrote anti-slavery editorials so controversial he became an object of hatred by slaveholders. Despite threats to his life, he continued his anti-slavery writings in the Alton Observer, even after three of his printing presses were thrown into the Mississippi River. It was this persistence that led an angry pro-slavery mob to attack and kill him in 1837.
Three Springs Park
Three Springs Park is a multi-purpose facility with a lighted softball and baseball field that can be converted in to smaller fields for a total of six. Also at the park are tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, and volleyball courts. a half-mile walking trail and playground equipment round out the amenities.
Stroll brick-paved St. Louis Street in the Lebanon Antiques District, where you’ll find more than 20 antique and specialty shops in this historic town that was founded in 1804, during the time of the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Three Sisters Crafts & Gifts
Three Sisters Crafts & Gifts offers handmade crafts, beads, jewelry-making supplies, home decor, scrapbook and quilting supplies, and much more.
Mascoutah Country Club
This nine-hole golf course was designed by Darryl Stein.