Top things to do

Historic Site in Southern Illinois

Fort Kaskaskia

A few miles south of Ellis Grove, Fort Kaskaskia sits on a bluff beside the river. The French built it around 1759 to defend against British attacks. All that remains today are lonely earthworks around the perimeter…
Historic Site in Southern Illinois

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

A surprise awaits near Collinsville, 8 miles east of East St Louis: classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site with the likes of Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids is Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Cahokia pr…
Wildlife Reserve in Southern Illinois

Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

You certainly don't expect to find a Southern-style swampland, complete with moss-draped cypress trees and croaking bullfrogs in Illinois. But it's here, at Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Check it out from …
Bridge in Southern Illinois

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Before driving into Missouri, detour off I-270 at exit 3. Follow Hwy 3 (aka Lewis and Clark Blvd) south, turn right at the first stoplight and drive west to the 1929 Chain of Rocks Bridge. Open only to pedestrians a…
Historic Site in Southern Illinois

Lewis & Clark State Historic Site

In Hartford (across the river from St Louis), the stellar Lewis & Clark State Historic Site marks the spot where the explorers departed on their journey. The 55ft boat replica (in the visitor center), reconstruc…
Forest in Southern Illinois

Shawnee National Forest

An exception to Illinois' flat farmland is the green southernmost section, punctuated by rolling Shawnee National Forest and its rocky outcroppings. The area has numerous state parks and recreation areas good for hi…
American in Southern Illinois

Ariston Cafe

Fork into chicken fried steak and red velvet cake while chatting up locals at the 1924 Ariston Cafe in Litchfield.
Tower in Southern Illinois

Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

The 150ft tower provides sweeping views of the area where the explorers launched their epic voyage.