Visitors Guide to
Local Attractions
in
Saint Clair & Monroe Counties Illinois

   
The attractions of Saint Clair and Monroe Counties reflect their rich and varied history. Discover French colonial life at Cahokia, the first European settlement on the Mississippi River. Founded in 1699, the same year as Williamsburg, Virginia, and a generation earlier than New Orleans, Cahokia is over 300 years old and was once larger than St. Louis. The city of Belleville offers visitors a diverse range of attractions that includes the William & Florence Schmidt Art Center, the new Labor & Industry Museum and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. 
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Bellefontaine House
709 S. Church Street
Waterloo, IL
618-939-5300
  The Bellefontaine House was built in the 1870’s around the spring that gives the house its name. The restored home now houses the Monroe County Historical Society. Visiting hours by appointment.
   
Belleville Labor
& Industry Museum
123 N. Church Street
Belleville, IL
618-222-9430
  Devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois, the Museum chronicles the region’s contribution in the late 19th century. Located in the Conrad Bornman House on historic Church Street, the building, which has undergone an extensive renovation, houses permanent and special exhibition galleries, as well as an educational center and archives.
Broadway Center of Arts
124-126-128 E. Main
Belleville, IL
618-233-0431
  The Broadway Center of Arts is a center for performing and visual arts offering classes, gallery space, and a performance stage. In the gallery new exhibits open the first Friday of each month and on stage, a wide variety of performances are presented throughout the year.
   
Cahokia Courthouse
107 Elm Street
Cahokia, IL
618-332-1782
  Originally built about 1740 as a private residence, the Cahokia Courthouse is an excellent example of early French log construction known as poteaux-sur-solle, (post-on-sill foundation.) In 1790 the building became the administrative and judicial center for St. Clair County. During the winter of 1803-04 Lewis and Clark used the courthouse as a meeting place and post office. The courthouse was reconstructed in 1940 and now serves as a museum illustrating French Colonial life and the Lewis and Clark era.
   
Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve
Bluff Road
Fults, IL
618-458-4674
  Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve sits atop bluffs with an expansive views of the Mississippi River valley. The preserve features upland habitat that includes woodland, prairie and glade communities and has the largest complex of high-quality loess hill prairies in Illinois. The area contains the Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve Trail, a 1.4 mile loop trail that has a 250 foot ascent and is rated as moderately strenuous and is accessible year-round. Nature lovers will find a variety of wildflowers in the spring and summer and because of its diverse variety of habitat it is an excellent area for birding.
History Museum
of Monroe County

724 Elaine Drive
Waterloo, IL
618-939-5008
  This museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience history through a variety of permanent displays and changing exhibits. The museum represents a broad span of eras and interests anchored by the extensive and famed “Kueker Collection”.  The collection representing the settlement of the west, agriculture, local commerce and transportation, several wars and much more was gifted to the museum by Col. Edd and Violet Kueker of Waterloo.
Frank Holten State Park
4500 Pocket Road
East St. Louis, IL
618-874-7920
  This 1,080-acre state park is almost entirely surrounded by the city of East St. Louis and is located within sight of the Gateway Arch. The park features an 18-hole golf course and facilities for fishing, picnicking, and other outdoor recreational activities. For more information visit the park's website provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
     
   
Holy Family Parish Log Church
116 Church Street
Cahokia, IL
618-337-4548
  This functioning Catholic Church is the second church to occupy the site since 1699. The present building was completed in 1799 and is an example of the dominant French colonial post-on-sill vertical timber style of construction. Given the importance of the church to the community it is probable that Lewis and Clark visited, worshipped, or attended community gatherings at this church during their stay in the area in the winter of 1803-04.
   
Illinois Caverns
State Natural Area
G Road
Monroe County, IL
618-458-6699
  Due to Budget cuts, Illinois Caverns is currently closed.
Illinois Caverns is a 120-acre preserve in southwest Monroe County that contains woodlands, prairie, and a wild cave. An application permit and proper equipment are required to explore the wild cave. The above ground facilities include picnic areas and a half-mile prairie trail.
   
Jarrot Mansion
124 E. First Street
Cahokia, IL
618-332-1782
  This two-story brick house built by entrepreneur Nicholas Jarrot in 1810 is considered to be the oldest brick building in Illinois. The interior of the mansion is well preserved to the early 19th century period and is being continually being refurbished and maintained by the Cahokia Historical Commission.
   
Kidd Lake State Natural Area
Bluff Road
Fults, IL
618-458-4674
  Kidd Lake State Natural Area is an example of the once expansive wetlands of the Mississippi floodplain known as the American Bottom. It is an important rest stop for migrating waterfowl and continues to provide critical habitat to a diverse range of birds, as well as amphibians and reptiles. Kidd Lake State Natural Area is a primitive area primarily devoted as a home to wildlife. There are no man-made improvements to provide visitors easy access to the area such as trails, parking lots, etc.
   
Emma Kunz House
602 Fulton Street
Belleville, IL
618-234-0600
  The Emma Kunz House, built in 1830, is the oldest Greek Revival brick home in Illinois. This classic example of an ethnic German "Street House" is now a museum and is completely furnished to illustrate the hardships of early settlers.
   
Martin-Boismenue House
2110 E. First Street
East Carondelet, IL
618-332-1782
  Built in the late 18th century the Martin-Boismenue House, this French colonial style home has two large rooms on the first floor, a basement cooking area, an attic, and two broad open porches on the front and back, known as galleries. The building and period furnishings provide a glimpse into the lifestyle of local villagers at the time of Lewis and Clark.
National Shrine of
Our Lady of the Snows
442 S. DeMazenod Drive
IL Rt. 15 at IL Rt. 157
Belleville, IL
618-397-6700
  Located on over 200 acres of rolling hillsides and valleys the grounds feature unique architecture, imaginative landscaping, and devotional areas. The Main Shrine features a 2,400-seat amphitheater with grassy slopes. Other features include The Way of The Cross, Resurrection Garden, The Lourdes Grotto replica, and Annunciation Garden. Each year at Christmas, the Shrine features The Way of Lights, with thousands of decorative light sculptures, decorations, and other special Holiday attractions.
   
Peterstown House
275 N. Main Street
Waterloo, IL
618-939-4222
  This restored 1830s building began as a general store, tavern, and inn for stagecoach travelers on the Kaskaskia Trail. The Peterstown Heritage Society rescued the building from demolition and it is now a museum furnished with antique furniture of the mid-1880s. A pioneer log cabin was relocated to the property in 1975.
   
Rex's Museum
8219 Gall Road
Waterloo, IL
618-939-7810
  This museum features toy trains, windup toys, toy soldiers, antiques and collectibles, clothing, and glassware.
   
The Rock Mill
Mill Road
Maeystown, IL
618-458-6464
  The Maeystown Preservation Society operates this museum on 19th century immigrant life and the history of Maeystown in this old flourmill.
   
Saint Peter's Cathedral
200 W. Harrison Street
Belleville, IL
618-234-1166
  Completed in 1866, St. Peter’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the state of Illinois and is modeled after the Cathedral of Exeter, England and its English Gothic style of architecture, which utilizes high, pointed arches aiming towards heaven. Prominent features of the Cathedral include sculpture and stained glass, the north nave and baptistery, the Marian Shrine, the south nave, and the sanctuary area. No visit to the Cathedral would be complete without viewing and possibly hearing the magnificent organ, which contains 49 ranks of pipes.
   
White Rock Nature Preserve
Bluff Road
Valmeyer, IL
618-458-4674
  White Rock Nature Preserve is home to 306 acres of Illinois' natural habitat. The tract is located within the Hill Prairie Corridor, a 25-mile stretch of ribbons and patches of hill prairie perched on top of the Mississippi River bluffs. White Rock Nature Preserve hosts several rare habitats including loess hill prairie, limestone glades and upland forest. It contains two miles of non-looping trails through dense woodlands with both trails ending at hill prairies.
   
William & Florence
Schmidt Art Center

2500 Carlyle Avenue
Southwestern Illinois College
Belleville, IL
618-222-5278
  This new 6,800 square foot privately funded art gallery was opened in 2002 consists of a permanent and teaching art collection more than 400 pieces. Sculptures, paintings, photographs, lithographs and monographs from renowned artists such as Claus Moor, Salvador Dali, Ansel Adams, Rembrandt Van Rijn, and Robert Motherwell are included in the collection which also features a beautifully landscaped sculpture garden and walkway. The Schmidt Art Center and Gallery regularly features special exhibitions.
   
Stone Bridges Tour
Monroe County, IL
  The landscape of Monroe County is dotted with a number of European-style stone arch bridges. greatriverroad.com has put together an easy driving tour to see five of these structures. The scenery along this route winds its way through scenic farmlands, colorful forests, through the historic town of Maeystown, and beneath the bluffs along the American Bottom lowlands. This stone bridge route is especially nice during autumn.
   
Victorian Home Museum
701 E. Washington Street
Belleville, IL
618-234-0600
  Built in 1866 by a successful German immigrant, the St. Clair County Historical Society has furnished this Victorian Greek Revival house in the manner of a typical upper class Victorian family. On display are 19th century furnishings by local craftsmen, changing displays of vintage clothing, quilts, and other artifacts from St. Clair County.
   
Skyview Drive-in
5700 North Belt West
Belleville, IL
618-233-4400
  Belleville is lucky to have one of the few drive-ins left in the country. The drive-in offers multiple new releases on its two screens so pack your coolers and snacks and head off early to insure a great spot! The Skyview also features a concession stand and a kids’ playground. For more information visit the Skyview Drive-in website.
Eckert's Country
Store and Farms
Belleville, IL
  Route 15 & S. Green Mount Road
618-233-0513
Eckert's Fun Farm
Millstadt, IL
  2719 Eckert Orchard Lane
618-233-0513
The EDGE!
Belleville, IL
  701 S. Belt W
618-236-2102
Family Sportsplex
Belleville, IL
  2346 Mascoutah Avenue
618-277-7111
GCS Ballpark
Cahokia, IL
  1403 Nickel Avenue
618-337-3000
   
Nearby Attractions
  Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri
Sainte Genevieve has the largest concentration of French Colonial architecture in North America and includes the Bolduc House, the Amoreaux House, and the Maison Guibourd- Vallé. The influence of the American expansion into the area in the 19th century can be seen at the Felix Vallé State Historic Site. Nearby Hawn State Park and Pickle Springs Natural area offer nature lovers unique hiking opportunities.
  Randolph County, Illinois
Located across the Mississippi River from Ste. Genevieve, Randolph County is where Illinois began. Attractions include Fort de Chartres, the Pierre Menard Home and the Fort Kaskaskia State Historic site.
  Jefferson County, Missouri
Visitors to Jefferson County can explore the prehistoric lifestyles of Native Americans at Mastodon State Historic Site and Washington State Park. Other attractions include one of the last remaining covered bridges in Missouri at Sandy Creek Bridge State Historical Site and the Anheuser Estate in Kimmswick.
For Travelers Heading Up River
  St. Louis Area
Metropolitan St. Louis has a lot to offer its visitors. The area's most prominent attraction is the Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial complex that also includes the Museum of Westward Expansion. St. Louis has a number of outstanding public institutions that are free to visit including the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, and the Science Center. The St. Louis region has a number of green spaces for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Faust County Park, in St. Louis County, is home to many historical and cultural attractions including the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, a historical village, and the St. Louis Carousel. The county is also home to Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, the Powder Valley Conservation Area.
  Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area is one of America’s newer scenic byways. With over 20,000 acres of forest and wetlands at the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, it is a nature lovers paradise. Visitors will find spectacular colors in the fall and bald eagles in the winter. History abounds in the region ranging from the prehistoric Cahokia Mounds to sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
For Travelers Heading Down River
  The Mississippi Meets the Ohio River Region
After the Mississippi River passes St. Louis it begins to change character. When the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois it is halfway on its journey to the sea. It is here that the brown muddy water of the Mississippi begins to mingle with the clearer water of the Ohio. Without the locks and dams the Mississippi begins to wind and curve so much so that the distance by water from Cape Girardeau to the Gulf of Mexico is twice the distance as a crow flies. The region where the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River is an area of transition in several respects both in terms of the flora and fauna but the culture begins to take on that of the Deep South. The Meeting the Ohio region of the Middle Mississippi River Valley offers it visitors a wide variety of options of activities to do and sites to see. Whether you’re looking for historical or cultural sites or a place to enjoy nature you’ll find it in this part of the country.
   

 
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