Situated between the natural beauty of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and the Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve, the city of Carbondale is known for its vibrant cultural attractions and educational resources, thanks in large part to Southern Illinois University. There is a lot to see and do here, including:
At the Hot Wheels Skatium in Carbondale, roller-skating is alive and doing extremely well. Your family will love this skating rink offering lessons, private parties, arcade games, a snack bar and lounge area. Packages are available that include skate rental, food, a lesson and rink time.
If you would like to try something a little less strenuous, then the Hickory Ridge Public Golf Course is for you. Part of the Carbondale Park District, the 18-hole championship course offers smooth greens, demanding sand, water hazards and long fairways suitable for golfers of all levels of expertise. An onsite restaurant will keep you refreshed after you play.
While you are golfing, your kids might enjoy a day at the Science Center of Southern Illinois, a hands-on museum for children ages three to 13. The center encourages children’s natural curiosity through more than 50 exhibits and an ongoing calendar of special events. Parents will appreciate the monthly Grownups’ Night Out: a kids’ movie night with dinner, play and science activities—and no adults required.
When you enjoy your grownups’ night out, you may also be enjoying some local wine. Carbondale is part of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, and Honker Hill Winery and Vineyard will give you a glimpse (and taste!) of what the area has to offer. Unlike some wineries that import grapes, everything at Honker Hill is made from fruit grown in its vineyard. Be sure to try the sangria: it is a special treat here most wineries don’t offer.
If you keep following the wine trail, you will come across the Little Grand Canyon, one of Carbondale’s best-kept secrets and an answer to those who think of Illinois as flat: there is a 365-foot climb from the canyon floor! From the top you will get a panoramic view of the Big Muddy River and the Mississippi floodplain. There are options for both casual and experienced hikers along the trail, and everyone can enjoy the sandstone walls, see the deer and falcons that call the canyon home and climb a natural stone staircase.
If you would like your outdoor activities a little less wild, then the Cedar Lake Recreational Facility is for you. The city owns and operates a public beach and boat dock, and offers fishing, swimming and all sorts of active recreation.
In addition to these area attractions, Carbondale offers everything you might expect from a college town: ongoing lectures, student and off-campus theater productions, a thriving multifaceted and multicultured religious community, and it is even sometimes referred to as the “town of poets” for its flourishing literary community. All of which adds up to a great place to visit. If you’re looking for a great place to stay, check out our Carbondale, IL hotels below and book today!
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