Southern Illinois offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in the region:
Shawnee National Forest: This expansive forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, camping, fishing, and birdwatching are popular activities here. The Garden of the Gods and Giant City State Park are must-visit areas within the forest.
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Garden of the Gods: Known for its stunning rock formations and breathtaking views, this natural wonder is a great spot for hiking, photography, and enjoying the outdoors.
Image Credit: Garden of the Gods
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail: Southern Illinois is home to a growing wine industry. The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail offers a chance to visit local wineries, taste regional wines, and enjoy beautiful countryside views.
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Cache River State Natural Area: Explore the unique wetlands, swamps, and diverse wildlife in this natural area. The Heron Pond- Little Black Slough Trail is a popular choice for birdwatching.
Image Credit: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Giant City State Park: This park features unique rock formations, lush forests, and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. Don't miss the opportunity to dine at the rustic Giant City Lodge.
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Bald Knob Cross of Peace: This iconic cross stands as a symbol of peace and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It's a great spot for both spiritual reflection and photography.
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Cave-in-Rock State Park: Explore the massive limestone cave and its history as a hideout for outlaws. The park also offers hiking trails, camping, and opportunities to explore the scenic Ohio River.
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Southern Illinois University (SIU) Campus: If you're interested in education and culture, you can explore the SIU campus, which often hosts events, galleries, and performances.
Image Credit:Southern Illinois University
Blue Sky Vineyard: Another notable stop on the wine trail, this vineyard offers wine tastings, a charming atmosphere, and often hosts events like live music and festivals.
Southern Illinois Miners Baseball: If you're a sports enthusiast, catch a baseball game at the Rent One Park to support the local team, the Southern Illinois Miners.