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Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Get the best view of Alton and the Mississippi River from eight stories in the air atop the Melvin Price Locks & Dam. Take a free guided tour and see towboats and barges as they push their way through this incredible structure. It's also a great spot to eagle watch in the winter.
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.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Take an eight-block tour of some of the haunted locations in downtown Alton, investigate the four floors of the Mineral Springs Hotel, be part of a seance and top the evening off with a tarot card reading. All tours begin and end at the Mineral Springs Mall. Tour options include New Moon Haunted Tours, Waking the Dead Walking Tours, Cemetery Tours and Haunted Overnights.
J.E. Robinson Underground Railroad Tours
In the early 1800s, Alton became a safe haven for slaves escaping from the bonds of slavery. Because of the area's neighboring slave state of Missouri, runaways found refuge in the free land surrounding Alton. The tunnels of the Underground Railroad run deep beneath the streets along the "Alton Route." The area was a major stop along the Underground Railroad, hiding slaves in caves, barns and basements throughout Alton, Otterville and Jerseyville. Hear the slave's tales, feel their fear and learn about Alton's remarkable past on an Underground Railroad Tour. Tours available by appointment only.
Eagle Watching in Alton
Illinois boasts the largest concentration of wintering American bald eagles in the continental U.S., and the Alton area is a great place to see them. Mingle with a live eagle at the National Great Rivers Museum. Get a bird’s-eye view from eight stories high as majestic eagles soar along the Mississippi River at the adjacent Melvin Price Locks & Dam. Or drive along on an exciting eagle-watching expedition with a nature expert at Pere Marquette State Park during Bald Eagle Days, held from late December through mid-February.
Alton Area Landmarks Association Fall Historic House Tour
Take a self-guided tour of the beautiful historic homes, buildings and churches of Alton, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be 10-12 sites on the tour. Tickets on sale and available at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at 200 Piasa Street. Tickets are $12 for adults and will be on sale beginning in October. For more information, call 618-463-5761.
Beall Mansion - An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn
Indulge yourself at the Beall Mansion, a sumptuous Bed and Breakfast Inn located 12 blocks from the Mississippi River. Designed by Lucas Pfeiffenberger and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant mansion features 18 ionic columns, eleven and a half foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and marble and bronze statuary throughout. Let us pamper you with sumptuous feather beds, whirlpools for two, 24 hour "all you can eat" chocolate buffet, and optional gourmet breakfast in bed. Free Wi-fi. In room massage, spa, golf and corporate packages available.
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.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Walking Tours include visits to several haunted buildings as well as an exclusive guided tour of the most haunted building in Alton, the Mineral Springs Hotel. The only tour to enter Mineral Springs! Tour includes light refreshments. Bring cameras, recorders, flashlights, and any ghost hunting equipment you may have.
Historic Elsah Fall Shuttle Tours
Get ready to turn back time as you venture into the Village of Elsah during the beautiful fall season. Nestled in a valley along the Mississippi River bluffs, Elsah peeks out to those driving along the byway, beckoning with its stone cottages and tidy gardens. Better known as “the town time forgot,” Elsah is favorite spot for photographers looking for the perfect picture and visitors looking for a glimpse of early Americana. Plan on taking a peek at a couple of the historic buildings in the village including the Green Tree Inn B&B.
Illinois Amish Country
The town of Arthur is located in the heart of Amish country, home to more than 2,000 Amish residents and hundreds of charming countryside businesses, Illinois' Amish Country offers shopping, dining, special events and guided educational tours (some of which feature meals in actual Amish homes).
Amish Country Tours with ACM Tours
ACM Tours is a full service, receptive tour guide company with many special services available at no additional cost. We literally open the door to fabulous Illinois Amish Country! We are ready to assist you with meals, attractions, lodging and step on guide service. We have available trained, professional, local step-on guides who are well versed in the history, customs and folklore of this most unique part of Illinois.
Amish Adventures & Stellar Tours, Inc
Amish Adventures will give you an up close and personal tour of the Illinois Amish culture and religion as you travel back in time along our quaint country roads with our professional and informed tour guide. To help our visitors learn more about the Amish culture, we offer a variety of tours that are customized to fit your itinerary. Tours of Amish homes, Amish farms, Amish woodworker's shop, a meal in an Amish home and a Step-on Guided Tour of the Amish countryside!
Aurora Downtown Walking Tour
Take a self-guided tour of Aurora's historic downtown. Tour brochures are available at the Aurora Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Illinois Lincoln Highway
Take a journey on the Illinois Lincoln Highway, a 179 mile National Scenic Byway. From the Indiana border, west toward the mighty MIssissippi, you will find an adventure filled with variety, rich in history and heritage. As you travel the Lincoln Highway route across northern Illinois, take time to discover each communities' unique culture and special offerings and find a past era woven together with the present.
Boone County Conservation District
The Boone County Conservation District manages over 3,00 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands in scenic Boone County, Illinois. Minimum impact recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs are offered to the public throughout the year.
The Original American Passion Play
Now in its 93rd season, the American Passion Play is one of the oldest, continuously-performed, passion plays in the United States. This Biblically accurate performance takes the audience on a spiritual journey to Palestine, 30 AD where they travel with the living Christ, meet his Apostles and follow his ministry from the Sermon on the Mount to His resurrection and ascension. The play features beautiful scenery, live pipe organ music, live voices and even live animals.
Epiphany Farms Enterprise (EFE) is a “Farm to Fork” concept that practices sustainable, beyond organic, environmentally friendly techniques. EFE harnesses ideas from a wide range of agricultural theories, such as permaculture and intensive pasture rotation, to cultivate a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and animals. Pioneering a new food system frontier, they blend their farm and restaurants to create one self-sustaining organism. Tours of the farm are available.
Built in 1869, the brick mansion boasts 14 rooms featuring Italianate architecture and local river lore history. Tours offered daily. The Historical Society hosts special events & luncheons.
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music holds diverse collections of personal papers, archival records, and museum artifacts documenting America’s music heritage from the nineteenth century to the present, as well as scholarship produced by nationally and internationally recognized composers, musicians, conductors, and inventors. The Center is home to the world’s largest concentration of original compositions by John Philip Sousa, one of many significant historical collections that document the American band movement and the early evolution of electronic and avant-garde music. The Sousa Archives strives to provide exceptional service, programming, access, and tours of our collections to all visitors.
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
Tall Ship Windy
Navy Pier's resident 148-foot, four-masted schooner pays tribute to the Great Lakes' rich maritime heritage during a variety of cruises each day.
Architecture River Tour with Shoreline Sightseeing
Enjoy a 75-minute Chicago River tour led by our experienced and entertaining guides. Discover why Chicago is known as the birthplace of the skyscraper as you cruise by more than 40 world-famous landmarks. Day and evening departures from two convenient locations: Gateway Park at Navy Pier and the Michigan Avenue Bridge.