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Collinsville (Illinois)

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Saint Louis Metro East : Collinsville
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World's largest Catsup Bottle

Collinsville is a city in Southern Illinois in the Saint Louis Metro East area. The "Horseradish Capital of the World," 85 percent of the world's horseradish is grown in Collinsville and the surrounding area.

Understand

Collinsville is a small city and is a suburb of St. Louis in the Metro East. It is roughly in the middle of a string of towns extending from Edwardsville to Belleville. The city consists mainly of the original town on the river bluff and an expansion built up around I-70 at the base of the river bluffs. This part has all/most of the major restaurant chains, hotels, and several "big box" stores. You will also find the Gateway Conference Center [1] in this area.

Up on the bluff you will find the older part of the city. It is largely a white, blue-collar midwestern town. It has more of a small-town feel than a suburban feel. The original downtown is called "uptown" [2] to differentiate it from the newer commercial area by I-70. Although it was run-down for the past few decades, "uptown" is currently seeing a revitalization.

Collinsville is located at longitude 90W, making it one quarter of the way around the world from Greenwich.

Climate

noframe

Check the weather forecast for Collinsville from NOAA.


The Mississippi River makes this area humid, though temperatures are generally moderate. Storms can occur at any time of the year. July and August are hottest and most humid, and January and February are cold, with occasional snow. Average temperatures range from 21°F in the winter to 90°F in the summer (-6°C to 32°C), but summer highs of 100°F and winter lows of 0°F are not uncommon (38°C and -18°C).

Get in

Most people will arrive by car via I-55/70.

Get around

Most people will get around by car. MCT [3] provides bus service in the city.

See

  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, 30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, IL 62234, 1 618 346-5160, [4]. On the western side of town, Cahokia Mounds marks the site of the largest Native American city north of Mexico from centuries ago.
  • Catsup Bottle Water Tower, 800 S Morrison Ave, 618-344-8775, [5]. Collinsville is home to the world's largest catsup bottle. At 170 ft (50 m) tall, it would hold 100,000 gallons of catsup, or water. Souvenirs available downtown at Ashmann's Pharmacy, 209 East Main, Collinsville and online at catsupbottle.com. free.
  • Fairmount Park Racetrack, 9301 Collinsville Road, 1 618 345-4300, [6]. Horse race track. Live racing several days a week during season, usually late April through August. Simulcast racing from other tracks year round.

Do

Collinsville has a variety of festivals throughout the year including:

  • Horseradish Festival, 1 618 344-2884, [7]. Held in early June each year. Events include a root toss, a horseradish-eating contest, horseradish recipe contest, Bloody Mary contest, and Little Miss Horseradish.
  • Italian Festival
  • World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival, 800 South Morrison Ave, [8]. Held annually in July. Events include Catsup taste test, hotdog eating contest, Little Miss Tomato and Sir Catsup.

Buy

There isn't much in the way of shopping in Collinsville. There are a handful of retail stores in "uptown" and a couple of big box stores in "downtown". Most people in Collinsville will drive to Fairview Heights to shop.

Eat

  • Bandana's, 4 Commerce Dr (Just off Bluff Rd on Commerce Dr), 1-618 344-4476, [9]. Su-Th 6AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. BBQ $1.50-17.
  • Bob Evans, 600 N Bluff Rd, 1 618 344-1131. Su-Th 6AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 6AM-10:30PM. American Cuisine. Friendly staff, plenty of light, lots of ice tea: a good place to relax and recover after touring Cahkia Mounds. $5-12.
  • Porter's Steakhouse [10]
  • Ramon's Eldorado Restaurant, 1711 Saint Louis Road (At the fork of Saint Louis Rd and Collinsville Rd), 1 618 344-6435. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Traditional Mexican. Visiting archeologists eat here. $2-16.
  • Smoke Pit Bar-B-Que
  • Zapata's Mexican Restaurant [11]


Most major chain restaurants and fast food franchises are represented in Collinsville, primarily in "downtown" around I-70.

Drink

There are several bars mainly concentrated in "uptown" Collinsville some are more upscale and some are dives.

Some of the better establishments are:

  • The Fifth Quarter - A new sports themed bar & grill.
  • Friday's South - a newer bar & grill.
  • Johnny's Sidebar - a wine bar.

Sleep

You'll find most major hotel chains around the Gateway Conference Center.

  • Doubletree Hotel, 1000 Eastport Plaza Dr, 1 618 345-2800 (fax: 1 618 345-9804). Formerly Holiday Inn
  • Drury Inn, 602 N Bluff Rd, 1 618 345-7700 (fax: 1 877 317-4651).

Contact

Get out

  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Gateway International Raceway, 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL, 1 618 482-2400 (fax: 1 618 482-3919), [12]. Hosts automobile, truck, and hot rod races sanctioned by NASCAR, ARCA, USAC, and NHRA.
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