Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Alton, Illinois

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Alton, IL: Where Fun Never Gets Old – Best Places to Visit and Things to Do

Are you planning a trip to Alton, Illinois and looking for the best and most fun things to do and places to visit? Look no further! Alton is a charming town located on the Mississippi River that offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages and interests.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love exploring the town’s rich historical sites, including the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site and the National Great Rivers Museum. For art enthusiasts, there are several galleries and museums showcasing local and regional artists.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, Alton has plenty of options, from hiking and biking along the Great Rivers Scenic Route to kayaking on the Mississippi River. And for those who love a good scare, there are even spooky ghost tours to take you on a thrilling journey through Alton’s haunted past.

Key Takeaways

  • Alton, Illinois offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages and interests, from historical sites to outdoor adventures.
  • Art enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the town’s galleries and museums showcasing local and regional artists.
  • Ghost tours offer a thrilling journey through Alton’s haunted past for those who love a good scare.

The Thrilling Tale of Alton, Illinois

Welcome to Alton, Illinois, a town full of surprises and thrilling tales. Alton has been around for nearly 200 years, and it has a rich history that will leave you in awe. From the legendary man-eating bird Piasa to the world’s tallest man Robert Wadlow, Alton is a town that will keep you on your toes.

One of the most thrilling tales of Alton is the story of the McPike Mansion. This mansion was built in 1869 and has been abandoned since the 1950s. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the former owners, Henry McPike and his family. It is said that the ghosts of the McPike family still roam the halls of the mansion, and many people have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises.

If you’re looking for a thrill, you can visit the McPike Mansion and take a ghost tour. You’ll hear the spooky tales of the mansion and maybe even see a ghost or two. But be warned, the McPike Mansion is not for the faint of heart.

Another thrilling attraction in Alton is the Great River Road. This scenic route takes you along the Mississippi River and offers breathtaking views of the river and its surroundings. You’ll see towering bluffs, quaint river towns, and beautiful wildlife. The Great River Road is perfect for a scenic drive or a bike ride.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can go ziplining at Aerie’s Resort. You’ll soar above the trees and take in the stunning views of the Mississippi River. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

In conclusion, Alton, Illinois is a town full of thrilling tales and exciting adventures. Whether you’re looking for a ghostly encounter or a scenic drive, Alton has something for everyone. So pack your bags and head to Alton for a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

World’s Tallest Man and Other Guinness Records

Alton, Illinois is home to the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow. Standing at a towering height of 8 feet 11.1 inches, Wadlow holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest man ever recorded. You can learn more about this towering figure at the Robert Wadlow Statue and Information Center in Alton.

But did you know that Alton is also home to other Guinness World Records? Don Koehler, from the United States, held the title of tallest living man throughout the 1970s at eight feet, two inches tall. And Alton even has a Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as Abraham Lincoln in one place. In 2018, 250 people dressed as the famous president to break the record.

If you’re looking for more Guinness World Records, head to the Guinness World Records Museum in nearby St. Louis, Missouri. Here, you can see exhibits showcasing some of the most bizarre and impressive records from around the world. From the world’s longest fingernails to the largest collection of rubber ducks, this museum has it all.

So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to experience some of the world’s most impressive records, Alton and St. Louis are the places to be. Who knows, you might even break a record of your own!

Historical Journey Through Alton

If you’re a history buff, Alton is the perfect place for you! From Civil War Chronicles to Haunting Tales, Alton has it all. Here are some must-visit historical sites that will take you back in time.

Civil War Chronicles

Alton played a significant role in the Civil War, and you can still see its impact today. Take a stroll through the Alton National Cemetery, where over 1,600 Union soldiers are buried. You can also visit the Confederate Cemetery, where 58 Confederate soldiers are buried.

If you want to learn more about the Civil War, head over to the Alton Museum of History and Art. Here, you’ll find artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Alton’s involvement in the Civil War.

The Haunting Tales

Alton is known for its haunted history. One of the most famous haunted sites is the McPike Mansion. Legend has it that the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the original owner, Henry McPike, and his family. Take a tour of the mansion and see if you can spot any paranormal activity.

Another haunted site is the Mineral Springs Mall. Once a popular spa, the mall is now abandoned and reportedly haunted by the ghosts of former patients. If you’re feeling brave, take a ghost tour of the mall and see if you can handle the spooky atmosphere.

Whether you’re interested in American history, Civil War, or just want to hear some haunting tales, Alton has something for everyone. So, grab your camera and your walking shoes, and get ready for a historical journey through Alton!

Museums and Art Galleries

If you’re an art lover, Alton has some great museums and art galleries to check out. Here are a few of our favorites:

Mississippi Mud Pottery

Looking for a unique souvenir to take home? Look no further than Mississippi Mud Pottery. This cozy little shop is filled with handmade pottery pieces that are both beautiful and functional. From mugs and bowls to vases and teapots, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. And if you’re feeling creative, sign up for one of their pottery classes and make your own masterpiece!

Jacoby Arts Center

The Jacoby Arts Center is a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts. They have a rotating collection of exhibits featuring local and regional artists, so there’s always something new to see. They also offer a variety of classes and workshops, from painting and drawing to photography and printmaking. And if you’re looking for a unique venue for your next event, the Jacoby Arts Center has you covered.

Alton Stained Glass Works

If you appreciate the beauty of stained glass, you won’t want to miss Alton Stained Glass Works. This studio specializes in custom stained glass pieces, from windows and doors to lamps and suncatchers. They also offer classes and workshops for those interested in learning the craft. And if you’re not quite ready to commit to a custom piece, they have a selection of pre-made items for sale in their gallery.

Whether you’re interested in history museums, art museums, or art galleries, Alton has something for everyone. So grab your camera and your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore!

The Great Outdoors

Alton, Illinois is known for its breathtaking natural scenery and outdoor activities. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Alton.

The Great River Road Trip

Take a scenic drive along the Great River Road, a 33-mile stretch of highway that runs along the Mississippi River. The road connects Pere Marquette State Park to river ports such as Grafton and Alton. You’ll be blown away by the stunning views of the river and the surrounding hills. Make sure to stop at the lookout points to take pictures and soak up the scenery.

Birdwatching at Audubon Center

If you’re a bird lover, head to the Audubon Center at Riverlands. This 3,700-acre sanctuary is home to over 300 species of birds, including bald eagles, pelicans, and herons. The center has several hiking trails and observation decks where you can spot the birds in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera!

Picnic at Gordon F. Moore Community Park

Pack a picnic and head to Gordon F. Moore Community Park. This 50-acre park has everything you need for a fun day out, including picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, and a fishing lake. You can also enjoy a game of basketball, volleyball, or horseshoes. The park is located on the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway, so you can enjoy the beautiful river views while you eat.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic road trip, birdwatching adventure, or a relaxing picnic in the park, Alton has something for everyone. So, grab your friends and family and get ready to explore the great outdoors in Alton, Illinois!

Ghosts and Other Spooky Adventures

If you’re looking for a spooky adventure in Alton, Illinois, you’re in luck! This town is known for its hauntings and ghostly sightings. Here are two of the best spooky adventures to try:

Ghost Adventure at McPike Mansion

The McPike Mansion is one of the most haunted places in Alton. This historic home was built in 1869 and is said to be home to several ghosts. If you’re feeling brave, you can take a ghost adventure tour of the mansion. You’ll explore the dark, creepy rooms and hear stories of the mansion’s haunted past. Who knows, you might even spot a ghostly apparition!

Vampire Night Tours

If you’re a fan of vampires, you won’t want to miss the Vampire Night Tours. These tours take you through Alton’s historic downtown area, where you’ll learn about the town’s vampire lore. You’ll hear stories of the infamous Piasa Bird, a creature said to be half-bird, half-reptile, and half-vampire! You’ll also visit some of the town’s most haunted locations, including the McPike Mansion.

Other spooky adventures in Alton include visiting the Mineral Springs Mall, which is said to be haunted by several ghosts, and taking a ghost tour of the town’s cemetery. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these spooky adventures are sure to give you a thrill!

Landmarks and Points of Interest

If you’re looking for some interesting landmarks and points of interest to explore in Alton, Illinois, you’re in luck! There are plenty of unique and fun options to choose from. Here are a few that you won’t want to miss:

The Majestic Beall Mansion

The Beall Mansion is a beautiful historic mansion that has been converted into a bed and breakfast. But don’t let that fool you – it’s also rumored to be haunted! You might catch a glimpse of the ghostly apparitions that are said to roam the halls. But even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to enjoy the stunning architecture and luxurious furnishings.

The Ancient Piasa

Legend has it that the Piasa is a giant bird-like creature that once terrorized the local Native American tribes. Today, you can see a mural of the Piasa on the side of a cliff overlooking the Mississippi River. It’s a fascinating piece of local history and a great spot for a photo op.

Melvin Price Locks and Dam

The Melvin Price Locks and Dam is an impressive feat of engineering that allows boats to travel up and down the Mississippi River. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a barge passing through the locks. It’s a great spot to watch the river traffic and take in the beautiful scenery.

These are just a few of the many landmarks and points of interest that Alton has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or just having fun, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. So get out there and start exploring!

Fun Activities and Workshops

Looking for something unique and exciting to do in Alton, Illinois? Check out these fun activities and workshops that will surely keep you entertained and engaged.

Escape Room Challenges

If you’re up for a challenge, then you’ll love the escape room challenges in Alton. Gather a group of friends and test your problem-solving skills as you work to escape the room before time runs out. Some popular escape room challenges in the area include:

The Great Escape – Can you escape the clutches of the mad scientist before he turns you into his next experiment?

Escape the Room STL – With multiple rooms to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your skills to the test.

Mastermind Room Escape – From bank heists to haunted houses, there’s a room for every type of adventurer.

So, put your thinking caps on and get ready for a thrilling adventure!

Pottery Making Workshops

If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, then you’ll love the pottery making workshops in Alton. Learn the art of pottery from experienced artists and create your own unique piece to take home with you. Some popular pottery making workshops in the area include:

Jacoby Arts Center – Take a pottery class and learn to create beautiful pieces using the potter’s wheel.

Alton Stained Glass Works – Create your own pottery masterpiece while surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows.

The Art Room – With a variety of classes to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect pottery making workshop for you.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to get your hands dirty with clay!

No matter what your interests are, Alton has plenty of fun activities and workshops to keep you entertained. So, get out there and start exploring!

Events and Festivals

Alton is a town that loves to have a good time, and there’s no shortage of events and festivals to keep you entertained year-round. Whether you’re a music lover, foodie, or history buff, there’s something for everyone.

Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market: If you’re a fan of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and supporting local businesses, you’ll want to check out the Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market. Held every Saturday from May to October, this vibrant market is the perfect place to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, artisanal cheeses, and unique handmade gifts.

Haunted Alton Tours: Looking for a spooky good time? Haunted Alton Tours will take you on a guided tour of some of the town’s most haunted locations, including the infamous McPike Mansion and the Mineral Springs Hotel. You’ll hear chilling tales of ghostly apparitions and unexplained phenomena as you explore Alton’s dark side.

Alton Food Truck Festival: If you’re a foodie who loves to sample new and exciting flavors, you won’t want to miss the Alton Food Truck Festival. Held every August, this festival brings together some of the best food trucks from around the region, serving up everything from BBQ and tacos to ice cream and gourmet grilled cheese.

Alton River Dragon Festival: The Alton River Dragon Festival is a celebration of Asian culture and the mythical creature that has become a beloved symbol of the town. Held every September, the festival features dragon boat races, live music, martial arts demonstrations, and delicious Asian cuisine.

Eagle Days: Every January, Alton plays host to Eagle Days, a celebration of the majestic bald eagle that makes its home along the Mississippi River. Visitors can take guided tours to see the eagles up close, attend educational presentations, and participate in hands-on activities for all ages.

No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something fun and exciting happening in Alton. So grab your friends and family and get ready to make some unforgettable memories!

Food and Local Delicacies

Alton is not just a place for outdoor adventures, it’s also a foodie’s paradise. From classic American fare to international cuisine, Alton has a lot to offer when it comes to food. Here are some of the local delicacies that you must try when visiting Alton:

1. Hot Salami Sandwich

You can’t leave Alton without trying the famous Hot Salami Sandwich. It’s a classic sandwich made with Genoa salami, pepper cheese, and a special blend of spices. It’s so good that you’ll want to have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find this sandwich at any of the local delis in town.

2. Cold Boiled Shrimp

If you’re a seafood lover, then you must try the Cold Boiled Shrimp. It’s a simple dish made with boiled shrimp served with cocktail sauce. It’s perfect for a hot summer day and pairs well with a cold beer. You can find this dish at any of the seafood restaurants in town.

3. Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis specialty that you can find in Alton. It’s a rich and buttery cake made with cream cheese, butter, and sugar. It’s so delicious that you’ll want to take a whole cake home with you. You can find this cake at any of the local bakeries in town.

4. Fried Chicken

You can’t go wrong with Fried Chicken in Alton. It’s a classic American dish that’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You can find this dish at any of the local diners in town.

5. Italian Beef Sandwich

The Italian Beef Sandwich is a Chicago classic that you can find in Alton. It’s a sandwich made with thinly sliced beef, peppers, and onions served on a hoagie roll. It’s a messy sandwich, but oh so delicious. You can find this sandwich at any of the local Italian restaurants in town.

In conclusion, Alton has a lot to offer when it comes to food. Whether you’re in the mood for classic American fare or international cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds. So, don’t be afraid to try something new and indulge in the local delicacies.

Sports and Recreation

You might not think of Alton as a sports destination, but you’d be wrong! There are plenty of ways to get active and have fun in this town.

If you’re a golfer, you’re in luck. The Rolling Hills Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole course that’s perfect for a day out with your buddies. And if you’re not a golfer, you can still enjoy the rolling hills and scenic views by taking a hike or bike ride on the nearby trails.

If you’re looking for something a little more high-octane, head to the Gateway Motorsports Park. This track has everything from drag racing to go-karts, and you can even take a ride in a NASCAR stock car. Just be sure to hold on tight!

For a more laid-back experience, check out the Alton Marina. You can rent a boat and spend the day on the river, or just relax and watch the boats go by. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking.

If you’re a fan of team sports, head to the Gordon F. Moore Community Park. This park has everything from baseball and softball fields to soccer and football fields. And if you’re not interested in playing, you can always just grab a hot dog and cheer on the local teams.

No matter what your sport or activity of choice is, Alton has something for everyone. So get out there and have some fun!

Nearby Attractions

Exploring Grafton

Just a short drive from Alton, you’ll find the charming river town of Grafton. This quaint town is a must-visit for anyone in the area, with plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

One of the top attractions in Grafton is the Raging Rivers Waterpark. This waterpark is perfect for families, with plenty of thrilling rides and attractions for all ages. You’ll find everything from lazy rivers to wave pools, and even a zip line that takes you over the water!

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Grafton also has plenty of antique shops and boutiques to explore. You’ll find unique treasures and souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else. And of course, no trip to Grafton is complete without a stop at one of the local wineries. Be sure to sample some of the delicious local wines and take a bottle or two home with you.

Visit to Elsah

Another nearby town worth exploring is Elsah. This historic town is known for its beautiful architecture and charming streets. Take a stroll through town and admire the well-preserved buildings, many of which date back to the mid-1800s.

One of the highlights of Elsah is the Elsah General Store. This store has been in operation since 1883 and is a must-visit for anyone in the area. You’ll find everything from homemade fudge to locally-made jams and jellies.

If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, be sure to check out the nearby Pere Marquette State Park. This park has plenty of hiking trails, fishing spots, and picnic areas to enjoy. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local wildlife, including deer and bald eagles.

Overall, there are plenty of nearby attractions to explore during your visit to Alton. Whether you’re looking for family fun or a relaxing day of shopping and wine tasting, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the wackiest attractions in Alton, IL?

Alton, IL is full of surprises, and some of the wackiest attractions include the Piasa Bird mural, the World’s Tallest Man statue, and the Haunted America Tours building. You’ll definitely want to snap a few photos at these unique spots!

Where can I find the best burger joint in Alton, IL?

If you’re looking for a delicious burger, look no further than Castelli’s Restaurant at 255. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up juicy burgers for over 80 years, and they definitely know what they’re doing.

What are some unique date ideas in Alton, IL?

If you’re looking for a unique date idea, consider taking a scenic drive on the Great River Road, visiting the Alton Marina, or taking a stroll through the beautiful Gordon F. Moore Community Park. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to make memories with your special someone.

What makes Alton, IL a must-visit destination?

Alton, IL is full of history, charm, and natural beauty. From the stunning views of the Mississippi River to the historic McPike Mansion, there’s something for everyone in this quaint town. Plus, the friendly locals and delicious food make it a must-visit destination.

What are some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Alton, IL?

If you’re looking for the perfect Instagram shot, head to the Clark Bridge, the Piasa Bird mural, or the Alton Marina. These spots offer stunning views and beautiful backdrops for your photos.

What are the top outdoor activities to do in Alton, IL?

Alton, IL is a nature lover’s paradise. Some of the top outdoor activities include hiking at the Gordon F. Moore Community Park, kayaking on the Mississippi River, and exploring the beautiful Pere Marquette State Park. You’ll definitely want to pack your hiking boots and sense of adventure for a trip to Alton.

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