New Adventures in Alton, Illinois

Minutes from St. Louis, MO on the banks of the Mississippi lies Alton, Illinois. Alton offers an array of restaurants, unique shops, and thought-provoking contemporary and historical sites to explore. As the backdrop of Hulu’s newly released season three of Small Business Revolution-Main Street, this thriving town received a $500,000 makeover. When visiting Main Street you can feel the community’s pride as they share their old town history and the new town flare.

Robert Wadlow Statue 8ft. 11 in. talll

Things to do
Here are some of the places that I think will put a smile on your face. Visit the Robert Wadlow statue and see how you measure up. Standing at 8 feet and 11 inches tall he still holds the title as the world’s tallest man in Guinness Book of World Records. Explore the architectural gem known as the Haskell Playhouse, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The single room playhouse is extravagantly decorated in a classic Queen Anne Style.  Next, see an incredible view of Alton and the Mississippi River from the Melvin Price Locks and Dams and Great Rivers Museum. The Melvin Price Dam is one of the largest dams on the Mississippi. It is listed on the National Audubon Society’s Great River Birding Trail, and they offer free tours daily. Does the possibility of a paranormal experience entice you? Known as “One of the most haunted small towns in America” explore the notorious sites by taking a haunted self-guided or guided tour. For items that will make great gifts or conversation pieces for the home, stop by “Antique Row” where more than 30 antique and specialty shops carry unique one of a kind collections.

Two statues in front of a white building with an american flag.

Ready for a Lunch Break?
For lunch, drop into My Just Desserts open from 11 am to 4 pm. This eclectic throw-back restaurant serves daily lunch specials that include a delicious half-pound chicken salad sandwich, fresh salads with dressings made from scratch, hearty soups and of course mouthwatering, fresh homemade pies. Their famous pies have a delightfully flaky crust packed with distinctive delicious flavors that reflect their unique names.

Brick building with a striped awning and hand-lettered windows.

If you like German Chocolate Cake Mrs. Ledbetter’s pie is the one to try. The creamy texture and the buttery flavor along with the coconut and pecan crunch will please your palate.  I suggest ordering your dessert selection along with your lunch to make sure they don’t run out of your favorite flavor.

Pecan pie with whipped cream.

Scenic Journey
Cruise in your car or ride a bike along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway of the Mississippi River. The scenic route is amazing at sunset and displays breathtaking colors in the fall. Journey this picturesque byway for about 20 minutes to Pere Marquette State Park and enjoy the remarkable view of the Illinois River, or maybe delight in a day of horseback riding and hiking.

Street lines with trees changing colors in the fall.

Brush and Trees with red and orange leaves in the Fall.

For a good time and a great place to socialize, head over to Fast Eddie’s for a beer and a burger. This 21+ establishment is a very popular hangout for patrons from both the Illinois and Missouri sides of the river. Their large roadhouse bar has cold drinks, live music, and a tasty menu. They proudly serve a scrumptious homemade bratwurst, peel & eat shrimp shish-kabobs, and yummy burgers. Not in the mood for a big crowd? Kick back at one of the local pubs or restaurants and relax under the stars on the patio or sip a martini at the bar. Morrison’s family owned Irish Pub, one of the featured businesses on Small Business Revolution-Main Street offers a lavish selection of Irish Whisky and Scotch plus a song if you go on the right night. If you are a night owl and in the mood to give Lady Luck a try, Argosy Casino Alton awaits your arrival. Illinois’ first-ever riverboat casino is a hotspot for entertainment and dining.

Brick storefront with red neon signs

There are plenty of historical and contemporary adventures in and around Alton. From the Underground Railroad to the water escapades of the Raging Rivers Water Park, the opportunities for fun and excitement are limitless. Next time you want to get away for a week consider Alton, IL.


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This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Merilyn J. Are you interested in traveling to Alton? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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