Down State, Down Home, Downright Fun
Visit Southern Illinois and you’ll find a myriad of opportunities for outdoor recreation, special events, attractions, entertainment and more! Down State, Down Home, Downright Fun – Southern Illinois.
Explore Williamson County and you’ll find something for everyone. Amateur and professional fishing (with annual tournaments and many popular lakes), bird, fowl, deer, small game and geese hunting (known as the ‘Goose Capital’ of the world), make Williamson County a vibrant destination for all things outdoor. Four golf courses, various lakes and marinas, the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and the Shawnee National Forest add to the sporting and wildlife experiences that you’ll enjoy.
Historical centers, based around the evolution from mid 1800s coal mining company towns, offer visitors a glimpse into the area’s culture and history. Or follow the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail to sample the award-winning wines and scenic landscapes of the regions thriving wine industry. Unique and national brand dining, shopping and lodging options also offer a special brand of hospitality that is warm and friendly. Enjoy the best that Southern Illinois offers. Explore, discover and unwind in Williamson County!
Mt. Vernon, Illinois is your fun, festive and creative destination! From the renowned Cedarhurst Center for the arts, a 90 acre cultural mecca with galleries, outdoor contemporary sculpture collection and more, local artisans, wine, art and balloon festivals and so much more, a creative vibe runs through Mt. Vernon.
Go back in time to pioneer days at the Jefferson County Historical Village, a recreated village of authentic log cabins, or honor those that have served at the Hall of Honor and Military Museum. And for those days that just call for being in the sun, check out the Aquatic Zoo water park, Mt. Vernon’s newest attraction or visit Rend Lake offering fishing, hunting, camping, boating and year round fun.
With over 1200 hotel rooms and 60 restaurants, Mt. Vernon has everything you need for a day’s fun or longer vacation. We welcome you to Mt. Vernon – where creativity is constantly being redefined.
Offering scenic views, outdoor adventure, culture and year round events, Carbondale gives you so many experiences to enjoy; you’ll never need to leave the city!
Historic theatres, local and national artists and a unique assortment of shopping options make Carbondale a thriving art and culture scene. As the gateway to the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, with wineries, vineyards, microbreweries and distilleries across the area, you can truly get a sip of what is distinctly Illinois
Located on the northern edge of the Shawnee National Forest, with Giant City State Park, Little Grand Canyon, Piney Creek Ravine, Pomona Natural Bridge, Garden of the Gods, and Trail of Tears State Park nearby, you’ll find canoeing, biking, hiking, camping and adventure . Golf, 18 public tennis courts, a sports multi-complex, nature trails and a spray park mean that there is something for everyone. So gather your family to visit and explore the reasons why we say Only Carbondale!
The great outdoors to high-octane racing, a trip back in time or a trip on Route 66, sports events to unique bridges, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in the 22 county region of ILLINOISouth. Paved trails and country roads beckon cyclists, or add an engine and ramp up the speed at Gateway Motorsports Park which hosts NASCAR, NHRA and other races. Smaller tracks, minor league baseball, golf courses, nature trails, as well as boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports at Carlyle Lake and the many other lakes provide recreational opportunities for any fanatic.
Galleries, theaters, art fairs and museums showcasing everything from classic cars to Civil War and WWI memorabilia, Indian artifacts and pioneer settlements can be found in nearly every city and village. Live performances featuring music, drama and more and special events enable visitors to engage in the culture of ILLINOISouth.
With something for any budget or group, ILLINOISouth’s quaint bed and breakfasts, camping, full service hotels, retreats and lodges provide a place to rest your eyes when you’ve enjoyed the areas many attractions. And extensive dining options cater to every taste bud at the many delis, family-style, pub and fine dining establishments throughout the region. We have a little bit of everything. So SMILE, you’re in ILLINOISouth.