Skip to main content
Beautiful scenery along the Great River Road

Illinois

Illinois: Cruise the Sights of the Great River Road

1 of 1
  • States:
    Illinois

Go on a historic adventure along the Mississippi River as you journey through these riverfront towns.

Breathe in the sweet smell of the Mississippi River as you drive the winding Great River Road through Illinois. Feel the wind in your face as you pass by endless kilometers of breathtaking landscapes and relax as you visit picturesque and historic riverfront towns along the way.

The Hauntingly Beautiful Town of Alton

The scenic shores of Alton are perfect for canoeing, kayaking, boating or fishing. Get close to nature while hiking numerous trails in the luscious landscape. Get a taste of local cuisine at Gentelin’s on Broadway and see the amazing works of craft masters at The Alton Stained Glass Works and Mississippi Mud Pottery. Go on a tour and learn why Alton is known as one of the most haunted small towns in the USA. If you’re looking to learn more about the impact of the Mississippi River, have fun at the National Great Rivers Museum’s interactive exhibits.

Relax on the shores of the Mississippi in Alton

Relax on the shores of the Mississippi in Alton
View more

Be Charmed by the Architecture in Elsah

Escape to the early 1800s when you visit the tiny village of Elsah, which listed on the National Registry for Historic Places. Nestled along the Great River Roads limestone bluffs, Elsah is a scenic getaway for travelers. For a relaxing and peaceful tour, travel down the tree-lined streets and see the beautifully preserved buildings and homes. Let time stand still as you shop at an old-fashioned general store, snack on some locally grown fruit, stroll the ruins of the Ice House and learn about the town’s architecture in the Village Museum.

More information

Grafton: Fun Times in the Great Outdoors

The river town of Grafton is filled with hometown flavor, natural beauty and relaxing river views. Get your heart pumping when you try the Grafton Zipline Adventure; soak up the breathtaking views as you soar across nine zip lines and descend 61 meters. Slow down and relax on a riverboat cruise while you float by towering bluffs and historic landmarks. Excite your taste buds when you go on a tasting tour of the local wineries, get close to nature when you hike the beautiful trails in the Pere Marquette State Park, and pick your own fruit at Eckert’s countryside farm.

Feel the excitement as you zip down the Grafton Zipline Adventure

Feel the excitement as you zip down the Grafton Zipline Adventure
View more

Get a Double Dose of History in Moline

Spend the day in downtown Moline and see 100 historical buildings that are filled with antique shops, restaurants and pubs. Indulge at Lagomarchino’s Soda Fountain & Deli, a retro shop that serves ice cream sodas, malts, hot fudge sundaes, chocolate confections and truffles. Once you’ve filled up on sweets, visit the John Deere Pavilion to learn about U.S. farming history and to see agricultural science and technology through interactive exhibits. Finish your day aboard a Mississippi River dinner cruise with Celebration River Cruises as you dine, unwind and dance.

Lagomarcino's Soda Fountain & Deli serves delicious handmade chocolate

Lagomarcino's Soda Fountain & Deli serves delicious handmade chocolate
View more

Rock Island: Outdoor Adventures and Lively Nightlife

Explore charming Rock Island as you go on an adventure through historic structures and luscious greenery. Hike or ride trails in over 20 parks. Improve your swing at one of the golf courses and learn how to play disc golf at Longview Park. In the summer, enjoy Whitewater Junction Aquatic Center’s pool with four water slides, a tot slide and water spray features. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the historic Broadway District to view a 19th century neighborhood. When the sun goes down, head downtown to the nightclubs, art galleries, theaters, coffee shops and restaurants.

More information