If you're looking for a weekend getaway or just some adventure in Southern Illinois, take a look at these suggestions. Here is a collection of some of our favorite local hang-outs. There are some great trails to walk, waterfalls to view, restaurants for eating, lodges to explore, a water tower to climb with a great view of Southern Illinois, giant rocks to crawl around on, cabins to stay in and lakes to swim and fish in. Don't forget to visit their calendar of events for special happenings such as the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Fall Festival usually held Labor Day weekend or the Apple Festival in Murphysboro also during the month of September. Of course, due to the pandemic - many events have been cancelled but stay tuned, things change.
One of the most scenic places to stay is the Giant City Lodge. Located in Giant City State Park, there are ample trails to discover, horseback riding and relaxing cabins to enjoy. Built from multi-hued sandstone and timber (circa 1930's), the Lodge's Bald Knob dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can also sample some of the excellent Bed & Breakfasts in the area. Take a look at those listed on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and some have cabins with great views too! One of our personal favorites is the Historic Bell Hill Bed & Breakfast in Cobden, IL. The property has the look and feel of a southern plantation with some wonderful old farm buildings that make for some amazing photographs. They also can plan and deliver a complete wedding package. Then, you can call us to put together your honeymoon!
Murphysboro is the home of the Apple Festival with their apple pie eating and contests, apple peeling contests, delicious Barbeque and the Historic Liberty Theater.
Southernmost Illinois guides you to the attractions, events and area maps of the bottom of the state. This information opens the counties of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union for your exploration. If you can't find something to do in these pages, you're just too hard to please. If you're a history buff, don't forget to visit places like the Bald Knob Cross, Tamms Historic Depot, Mound City National Monument and Cemetery or the home of Elijah P. Curtis. The Garden of the Gods, Cave in Rock, Shawnee National Forrest and more can certainly provide adventure with parks, lakes, trails, camping and horseback riding.
Williamson County, which covers cities like Creal Springs, Herrin, Johnston City, and Marion, offers a wide variety of information on listings of parks, hunting & fishing, public pools and so much more.
If you're a wine conoisieur, take a look at the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. They have a PDF map (click on map which you can download or print) so you can take a drive and see the sights and do some wine tasting. Contact information as well as their hours are listed on this site.
Several of them even offer cabins for rent. Some of the wineries includes Alto Vineyards, Blue Sky Vineyards, Hedman Vineyards, Hickory Ridge Vineyard & Winery, Kite Hill Vineyards, Feather Hills (Orlandini) Vineyard, Owl Creek Vineyard, Pomona Winery, Starview Vineyards and Von Jakob Vineyard.
Make sure to look up the winery's website before you go to make sure they are open for business and any special requirements for you to visit - given Covid19 restrictions.