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Alton (Illinois)

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Alton (Illinois)

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Stephen Douglas debating in Alton

Alton [5] is a charming river town in Illinois just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis MO. Once a blue collar town of heavy manufacturing, Alton has transformed itself into a tourist destination and wedding and reception mecca of the Midwest.

Located along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, named one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois, the Greater Alton area has five wineries, fifty antique shops, fifteen bed and breakfasts and guest houses, nine golf courses, Alton Marina, Alton Square Mall, boating, parasailing, hiking, biking, historic sites, fine dining, and more.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • Alton is within fifteen minutes or less of I-270 and I-255. Illinois Route 3, Illinois Route 140, and Illinois Route 143 run through Alton.

By plane[edit]

  • Lambert St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL), 10701 Lambert International Blvd, +1 314 426-8000, [6]. Alton is only 25 minutes from Lambert St. Louis International.
  • St Louis Regional Airport, 8 Terminal Drive East Alton,

+1 618 259-2531 or toll free +1 888 562-9950, [7].

By train

  • Amtrak, 3400 College Ave., +1 800 USA-RAIL, [8]. Station stops on each route.

By boat[edit]

  • Alton Marina [9] #1 Henry Street, +1 618 462-9860.

Get around[edit]

  • Champagne Limousines, 3406 West Delmar Avenue, Godfrey, Toll Free: 1-800-500-2526, In MO (314) 567-5466, In IL (618) 466-7001, [10]. Luxury limousine service to the entire St. Louis Metro-East area since 1984. Fleet includes new Lincoln Town Car Limos 10, 12, & 14 Passengers. New Lincoln Navigator Stretches, new Hummer H2 Stretch For 16 To 18 Passengers, Classic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, new Model Sedans And Vans For Airport Service.

See[edit][add listing]

Robert Wadlow, The Gentle Giant
  • Alton is a bird watchers paradise. Each year from Christmas to the end of February Alton boasts the largest gathering of American bald eagles outside Alaska. Trolley, motor coach, limousine, and self guided tours are available in season.
  • Lewis & Clark Trail Site and Museum
  • Lincoln Douglas debate site
  • Alton Museum of History.
  • The Robert Wadlow Statue is a life-size statue of Alton native Robert Wadlow, the tallest man who ever lived. He measured 8'11" when he died in 1940 at age 22 from a foot infection.
  • Alton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, [11]. Official website of the Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau. Call Toll Free 1-800-Alton-IL for a free All Around Alton Guide or personal help in planning your Alton, Illinois Trip.
  • National Great Rivers Museum, #2 Locks and Dam Way, 1 618 462-6979. 9AM-5PM. The story of the Mississippi River and its impact on America, from prehistoric times to today, is told here. Operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Three times a day, you can tour the giant Melvin Price Locks and Dam which span the Mississippi, and watch barges and boats rise or fall in the locks to continue their trip along the river. free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Beall Mansion Historic Home Tour, 407 E. 12th St., 1 618 474-9100 or Toll Free 1 866 The-BEALL, [1]. Tour this 3 story turn of the century mansion that was built as a wedding gift. Thirty to forty-five minute narrated tours of the history, architecture and furnishings. Located in the Middletown Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are by appointment. Adults $12, Seniors $9, Children $6.  edit
  • Haunted Alton Tours, History and Hauntings Book Co., 515 East Third Street, 1 888 446-7859 (), [2]. Tours start at 7:00PM, see website for schedule. Ghost hunter Troy Taylor calls Alton "one of the most haunted small towns in America", and he'll attempt to show you why with this tour through the old downtown area. $20 per person.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Alton, Illinois is a shoppers paradise with over 50 antique shops and Alton Square Mall to choose from. Special Third Thursday Shop 'Til You Drop events are scheduled each fall and winter.

  • Alton Square Mall, 200 Alton Square Alton, [12]. Shop the big stores including Macy's, JC Penney, and Sears, plus over 70 specialty stores.
  • Mineral Springs Mall, 301 East Broadway Alton, [13]. Dine & Shop in this former downtown Alton hotel.

Eat[edit][add listing]

At the Lewis & Clark Trail Site and Museum
  • Bossanova Martini Lounge & Restaurant, 112 West 3rd Street, +1 618 462-1175. Martinis galore and fine food with each dish reflecting a different international flavor.
  • Gentelin's on Broadway, 122 East Broadway, Alton, Illinois 62002, +1 618-465-6080. Fine dining with a view of the Mississippi River. Excellent lobster stuffed raviolli appetizer, roast duck, and selection of steaks and seafood.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Fast Eddie's Bon Air, 1530 E. 4th Street, (618) 462-5532,[14]. “Beer, burgers and boogie.” Translated: cold beer, cheap food, and live entertainment have made Fast Eddie's one of the largest beer retailers in the country. An Alton phenomenon everyone has heard about and that you have got to experience.
  • My Just Desserts, 31 E. Broadway, 618-462-5881, [3]. 11:00am-4:00pm. Famous for homemade pies, ½ pound chicken salad sandwiches and tollhouse brownies… just to name a few! They serve a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. The menu changes daily based upon what the kitchen is craving at that particular moment so you’ll never have the same thing two days in a row. If you’re worried that My Just Desserts is a “tea room” that your husband wouldn’t be caught dead in… don’t, because they're not. Stop by and say hello any day of the week between 11am and 4pm. Located downtown in historic Alton Illinois just a few blocks from the river. They have a slice of pie with your name on it waiting for you – but come early!! very reasonable.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

From charming to luxurious, chain motels to one of a kind bed and breakfasts and guest houses, Alton has lodging accommodations for every need and budget. With so many things to see and do in Alton, Illinois and the rest of the Greater St. Louis Area travel experts recommend making the most of your trip by staying multiple nights.

  • Beall Mansion An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn, 407 E. 12th St., (618) 474-9100 or toll free 1-866-The-BEALL (1-866-843-2325), [15]. This upscale bed and breakfast inn with a guest list that includes politicans, Hollywood notables, TV celebrities, and Miss America. Guestroom features include triple sheeted feathered bed, HDTV, DVD, complimentary WI-Fi, telephone with free local calling and voice mail, private bath with Italian marble floor, shower, and clawfoot tub or whirlpool for two. All stays include a complimentary 24 hour all you can eat chocolate buffet. Leisure, corporate, and extended stay rates are available. The Beall Mansion also hosts weddings and receptions for 2 to 100, small meetings, and corporate retreats. Located 12 blocks from the Mississippi River on Millionaire's Row in the Middletown Historic District.
  • Comfort Inn, 11 Crossroads Ct., (618) 465-9999, [16]. Free continental breakfast, indoor heated pool, fitness center, and business center. Rooms include a micro-fridge, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, in-room safe, and high speed internet access.
  • George Street Suites Guest House | Extended Stay | Corporate Housing | Vacation Home, 1108A George St., (618) 433-9403, [17]. A hotel/motel alternative featuring all suites lodging by the night, week, or month. Suites include living room; bedroom(s); bathroom(s); full kitchen with plates, pots, pans, glasses, and utensils; complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV, and DVD.
  • Jackson House Bed and Breakfast, 1821 Seminary St., (618) 462-1426, [18]. Located in upper Alton on ten wooded acres, bed and breakfast facilities include a Victorian home, remodeled barn, and an earth home known as "the cave." The cave is one of the few handicap accessible bed and breakfast facilities in the Greater Alton area. Pie is served with breakfast each morning.
  • Super 8 Motel, 1800 Homer M. Adams Pkwy, (618) 465-8885, [19]. Hotel amenities include: Super Start Plus breakfast, high speed wireless internet, 24-hour front desk, microwave/refrigerators and hairdryers in all rooms. Children under 18 stay free. 62 rooms available, smoking on third floor, no elevator.
  • Tiffany Inn, 410 E. Broadway St., (618) 462-4145, [20]. Charming bed and breakfast above the Alton Stained Works in the historic Downtown Alton. Conveniently located in the heart of Alton's antique district within walking distance of quaint shops and restaurants. Packages that include bed and breakfast accommodations and stain glass making workshops are available.

Get out[edit]

  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, 30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, 1 618 346-5160, [4]. Cahokia Mounds, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the largest Native American city north of Mexico before the time of Columbus. You can climb to the top of the largest prehistoric earthen work in the new world, visit a world-class museum, and learn about life in Illinois a thousand years ago.  edit

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