Four Days in Southeastern Illinois

Hidden gems await in these twelve counties in Downstate Illinois’s Eastern Region.

Day 1

Take a drive across the Cumberland County Covered Bridge on the way to Moonshine Store in rural Clark County. This mom-and-pop restaurant has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning along with Midwest Living and numerous other media outlets.

Crowds of people line up for a taste of their famous half-pound burgers. From there, enjoy some time by the pool in Robinson. Widely regarded as one of the best aquatic areas in southern Illinois, the Robinson City Park has a huge pool area that features waterslides and a splash pad complete with a pirate ship!

Pelican Cove Splash Pad in Robinson, IL

Pelican Cove Splash Pad in Robinson

To wrap up the day with even more amazing food, head to Casey’s Greathouse of Pizza, which makes one of the top ten consistently rated Chicago-style pizzas in the state. After all that pizza, check in at the Eighty-Ninety Sleepover for some shut-eye.

Day 2

Fans of old-school country music will want to check out the Jasper County Museum in Newton, home of music legend Burl Ives. Visit their informative exhibit and take a picture next to a life-sized statue of Burl playing a guitar!

Burl Ives Statue & Heritage Information Center in Jasper County, IL

Burl Ives Statue & Heritage Information Center in Jasper County

South of Newton lies Flora, which is popular with train enthusiasts thanks to the Little Toot Railroad. Generations of folks have enjoyed the quarter-scale train rides around Charley Brown Park.

Little Toot Trestle in Flora, IL

Little Toot Trestle in Flora

For a chance to get a glimpse of the rare but ever-popular white squirrel, head to Olney! This community has really embraced the white squirrel, with murals, statues, and even a White Squirrel Shoppe to buy souvenirs from. The best time to catch a peek of one is early in the morning out at Miller Grove Park!

White Squirrels in Olney, IL

White squirrels in Olney

Day 3

Start the day with a little history by paying a visit to the Lincoln Trail State Memorial in Lawrence County. The monument marks the location where, according to tradition, Abraham Lincoln entered Illinois with his family in 1830. Take a hike in Wabash County at Beall Woods State Park, then follow it up with a trip to Edwards County where barn quilts rank supreme! The Edwards County Barn Quilt Trail is comprised of over thirty barn quilts scattered throughout Albion and other communities in the county.

Beall Woods State Park in Wabash County, IL

Beall Woods State Park in Wabash County

Experience the “old west” at Grayville/I-64 KOA, a venue that isn’t a typical campground. New in 2018, this western-themed recreation facility features everything from a restaurant and bar to an electronic shooting gallery. Of course, there are camping sites including cabins to rest your head.

Grayville/I-64 KOA in White County, IL

Grayville/1-64 KOA in White County

Day 4

Tee off the morning at the Carmi Country Club in White County. This nine-hole course takes under two hours to finish, and it only runs eight bucks for a round with a cart! A short drive east sits McLeansboro, home to some of the best chicken wings around. Deep South BBQ smokes and flash fries their wings, so it’s a no-brainer to pick some up and head out to Dolan Lake for a picnic. Later that evening, catch a race at Wayne County Speedway and, when the fun is over, call it a night and get a fantastic night’s sleep at The Victorian on Main in Fairfield. Happy travels!

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