Southernmost Illinois has rich historic heritage, a spectacular national forest, and two great rivers. Youcan organize hours of fun at Harrah’s Casino, and before of after the action, see the sites of Metropolis. A 3-hour tour can include Superman Square and Museum, historic Elijah P. Curtis House & museum and Fort Massac State Park.
You can also follow the route of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, visit orchards and farm markets. Travel up Bald Knob Mountain, for a spectacular view of the Shawnee National Forest below. Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch in a sandstone and white oak timber lodge at Giant City State Park.
A visit to Historic Cairo can include the Safford Memorial Library, a working library of Queen Anne architecture, which houses a valuable collection of Civil War documents and museum quality antiques and paintings. Ft. Defiance State Park, where you can view the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from atop Boatman’s Memorial.
The U.S. Custom House Museum, built in 1872, houses several unique historical items including a desk once used by Gen. U.S. Grant during the Civil War. Magnolia Manor is a 4 story, 14 room mansion full of history. Historians will give the group a guided tour, and answer questions, and luncheons can be arranged.
If the hustle and bustle of interstate traffic has left you feeling frazzled, then it is time to exit off the fast lane and merge onto the Ohio River scenic route, where you’ll find a relaxing ride across some of southern Illinois’ most picturesque scenery. From the breathtaking landscape at Garden of the Gods, to the historic sites of Cairo, The Ohio River National Scenic Byway offers a glimpse of some of southern Illinois’ premier attractions and charming countryside.
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