Race to Experience Southwest Illinois

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Through the power of storytelling, urban historian Shermann 'Dilla' Thomas is helping to change the narrative locally and nationally about Chicago and Illinois’ value to the world.

Telling Alton’s Unique Story

Today, that story takes us to Alton. Throughout its 175-year history, the Alton region has played a key role in a variety of notable events and the lives of prominent figures—from Lincoln's House Divided speech to Elijah P. Lovejoy's abolitionist newspaper and a legacy of historic Underground Railroad sites.

Plan your Alton Experience

When visiting Alton, there’s no shortage of historical attractions—stop by the famous Lincoln Douglas Debate Square, check out the Alton Museum of History and Art, book an Underground Railroad Shuttle Tour to discover key sites along the legendary network, or visit the statues of Miles Davis (born in Alton) and Robert Wadlow (the world’s tallest man). 

Adventure seekers can head to nearby Grafton for a heart-racing zipline experience, complete with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. While you’re there, take a wooded hike through Pere Marquette State Park and enjoy a glass of locally made wine at Aerie’s Resort & Winery.

Support Local Makers

These local businesses offer one-of-a-kind products that can only be found in this region's unique communities — and authentic experiences you won't soon forget.