Welcome to Alton, a charming town nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River in Illinois. Known for its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Alton offers a plethora of activities and attractions to explore.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, this guide will introduce you to some of the best things to do in Alton.
From exploring historic sites and museums to experiencing the scenic beauty of the riverfront and enjoying local cuisine, Alton promises a memorable experience for visitors of all interests and ages.
So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders that await you in this picturesque town!
1. National Great Rivers Museum
If you’re looking for educational and interesting things to do in Alton, Illinois, then a visit to the National Great Rivers Museum is a must.
This unique museum offers a range of exhibits that focus on the Mississippi River, along with tours and the opportunity to see a working lock and dam.
At the National Great Rivers Museum, you’ll find a variety of educational exhibits that provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the Mississippi River.
These exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including the river’s history, ecology, and importance to the surrounding communities.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the natural world, the museum has something to offer everyone. One of the highlights of the museum is the opportunity to take a tour.
These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating insights into the workings of the Mississippi River.
You’ll learn about the importance of the river for transportation, the role of the lock and dam system, and the impact of human activities on the river’s ecosystem.
Phone: +1 618-462-6979
Address: 1 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002, United States
2. Gordon F. Moore Community Park
Gordon F. Moore Community Park in Alton is a sprawling park that offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Spanning over 704 acres, this park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
With its impressive golf, tennis, and baseball facilities, as well as meticulously landscaped gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this expansive green space. For golf enthusiasts, Gordon F.
Moore Community Park offers a top-notch golf course that provides a challenging and enjoyable experience. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to improve your skills, this park has everything you need.
The well-maintained greens and fairways provide a picturesque backdrop as you test your swing and aim for that perfect shot. Tennis lovers will appreciate the park’s well-maintained tennis courts.
Whether you prefer singles or doubles, these courts are perfect for a friendly match or a more competitive game. Grab your racket, find a partner, and enjoy a day of friendliness.
Phone: +1 618-463-3580
Address: 4550 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002, United States
3. The Soul Asylum
“The Soul Asylum” in Alton is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and memorable experience.
With its captivating ambiance and diverse offerings, this place is sure to leave you spellbound. Upon entering “The Soul Asylum,” you will be greeted by a mesmerizing display of art and music.
The walls are adorned with thought-provoking paintings and photographs, showcasing the talent and creativity of local artists.
The air is filled with soulful melodies, as live musicians serenade visitors with their captivating performances. As you explore further, you will discover an array of intriguing workshops and events that cater to various interests.
From painting classes to poetry readings, there is something for everyone at “The Soul Asylum.”
These interactive sessions provide an opportunity to learn new skills, express yourself, and connect with like-minded individuals in a welcoming and nurturing environment.
For those seeking tranquility and relaxation, the meditation and yoga classes offered at “The Soul Asylum” are perfect.
Unwind your mind.
Phone: +1 618-468-1051
Address: 301 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, United States
4. Rock Spring Park
Rock Spring Park in Alton is a wonderful place to visit, especially if you have a furry friend with you.
The park offers a dog-friendly environment, allowing you to bring your four-legged companion along for a day of fun and adventure. One of the best things to do in Rock Spring Park is to take a leisurely walk or hike along the park’s beautiful trails.
With your dog by your side, you can explore the park’s scenic pathways and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The trails are well-maintained, making it easy for both you and your canine companion to navigate through the park. If your dog loves to play and socialize with other dogs, Rock Spring Park is the perfect place for them.
The park features designated off-leash areas where dogs can run freely and interact with other furry friends.
This provides a great opportunity for your dog to burn off some energy and make new friends in a safe and controlled environment.
Phone: +1 618-463-3580
Address: 2116 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002, United States
5. Alton Mural
Alton Mural is a must-visit attraction in the charming town of Alton. Located in the heart of the city, this captivating mural showcases the rich history and vibrant culture of the area.
With its impressive size and intricate details, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. The Alton Mural is a visual masterpiece that tells the story of Alton and its evolution over time.
The mural depicts key historical events, significant landmarks, and influential figures that have shaped the town’s identity.
Each brushstroke brings to life the spirit and essence of Alton, providing a unique insight into its past and present. Stepping in front of the Alton Mural, you will be transported back in time as you explore the various scenes depicted in the artwork.
From the early settlers and indigenous tribes to the bustling riverfront and the rise of industry, the mural captures the essence of Alton’s history in a captivating and engaging way.
Address: 310 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, United States
6. Lincoln/Douglas Square
Located in the heart of Alton, Illinois, Lincoln/Douglas Square is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists. This historic square holds great significance as it was the site of the seventh and final debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858.
While the place description is listed as “null,” there are plenty of exciting things to do and explore in this area. Upon arriving at Lincoln/Douglas Square, you will be captivated by its charming ambiance and rich historical atmosphere.
The square features a beautifully landscaped park, adorned with statues and plaques commemorating the famous debate.
Take a leisurely stroll through the square, and you’ll feel transported back in time to the era of Lincoln and Douglas. One of the main highlights of the square is the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center.
This visitor center provides a comprehensive insight into the historical significance of the debates, showcasing artifacts, interactive exhibits, and informative displays. Learn about the intense political discussions that took.
Address: 100 Market St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
7. Lovejoy State Memorial
Located in Alton, the Lovejoy State Memorial is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and those interested in the abolitionist movement. This significant landmark pays homage to Elijah P.
Lovejoy was a prominent newspaper editor and abolitionist who lost his life fighting for the cause of freedom. The Lovejoy State Memorial stands as a testament to Lovejoy’s dedication and bravery.
It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by individuals who fought tirelessly against slavery during a tumultuous period in American history.
This memorial is an opportunity for visitors to learn about Lovejoy’s life, the impact of his work, and the broader struggle for equality.
Visitors to the Lovejoy State Memorial will find a wealth of information and exhibits that provide insights into the life and legacy of Elijah P. Lovejoy.
From photographs and artifacts to interactive displays, the memorial offers a comprehensive look at his journey and the influential role he played in the abolitionist movement.
Address: 1299 E 5th St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
8. Lucy Haskell Playhouse
Located in Alton, the Lucy Haskell Playhouse is a must-visit destination for those looking to explore the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
This charming playhouse is a testament to the enduring spirit of the community and offers a unique experience for both locals and tourists alike.Null.Step inside the Lucy Haskell Playhouse and be transported back to a bygone era.
The playhouse, built in 1885, was originally designed as a play area for Lucy Haskell, the daughter of a prominent Alton family.
Today, it stands as a beautifully preserved piece of history, showcasing the architectural and design elements of the late 19th century.Null.As you wander through the playhouse, you’ll be struck by its intricate details and timeless charm.
From the ornate woodwork to the delicate stained glass windows, every aspect of the playhouse exudes elegance and sophistication. It’s like stepping into a living museum, where you can truly appreciate the craftsmanship of the era.
Phone: +1 618-463-2235
Address: 1211 Henry St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
9. Piasa Park
Piasa Park is a must-visit destination in Alton, offering a variety of exciting activities for visitors of all ages.
Located in a picturesque setting, this park is a true hidden gem that should not be missed. One of the main attractions of Piasa Park is the breathtaking Piasa Bird mural.
This larger-than-life artwork depicts a Native American legend and adds a touch of cultural significance to the park.
The mural is a popular spot for photo opportunities and is sure to leave a lasting impression. For outdoor enthusiasts, Piasa Park offers a range of recreational activities.
The park features well-maintained walking and hiking trails that wind through scenic landscapes, providing an excellent opportunity to explore and connect with nature.
Whether you are an avid hiker or simply looking for a leisurely stroll, the trails at Piasa Park offer something for everyone. Additionally, Piasa Park boasts a beautiful picnic area, perfect for enjoying a delicious meal amidst the tranquil surroundings.
Address: 900 W Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, United States
10. Melvin Price Lock And Dam
Located in Alton, Illinois, the Melvin Price Lock and Dam is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to explore the area.
This impressive structure is not only an engineering marvel but also offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the inner workings of a lock and dam system.
The Melvin Price Lock and Dam is situated on the Upper Mississippi River, serving as a crucial component of the river’s transportation system.
It plays a vital role in maintaining the river’s water levels and ensuring safe passage for barges, boats, and other vessels.
One of the main highlights of visiting the Melvin Price Lock and Dam is the chance to witness a lock-in operation.
A lock is a section of a waterway that can be closed off to control the water level, allowing boats to navigate through areas with varying depths.
Visitors can observe the lock in action as it fills or drains, creating a fascinating spectacle. The dam itself is an impressive sight to behold. Standing tall at over 1,200 feet.
Phone: +1 618-462-1713
Address: Mississippi River, Alton, IL 62002, United States
11. Argosy Casino Alton
Located in Alton, Illinois, the Argosy Casino offers a thrilling experience for both locals and tourists. This riverboat casino is renowned for its wide array of slots and table games, promising endless excitement for gambling enthusiasts.
With a diverse selection of games, visitors can try their luck and potentially hit the jackpot. The Argosy Casino Alton is not just a gambling destination; it is also a hub for entertainment.
Throughout the year, the casino hosts a variety of performances and shows, providing guests with an unforgettable experience.
From live music to comedy acts, there is always something happening at the Argosy Casino. In addition to the thrilling gambling and entertainment options, the casino also boasts a range of dining choices.
Whether visitors are craving a quick bite or a fine dining experience, the Argosy Casino has it all. From casual cafes to elegant restaurants, there is something to satisfy every palate. One of the standout features of the Argosy Casino Alton is its unique setting.
Phone: +1 800-711-4263
Address: 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
12. Clark Bridge
Clark Bridge is a prominent landmark in Alton, offering visitors a unique experience. This iconic structure spans the Mississippi River, connecting Illinois and Missouri.
With its impressive design and breathtaking views, it is a must-visit attraction in the area.nullThe bridge serves as a vital transportation link, facilitating the movement of people and goods between the two states.
Its significance goes beyond functionality, as it has become a symbol of connectivity and unity.
Locals and tourists alike appreciate the bridge for its architectural marvel and the sense of awe it inspires. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the Clark Bridge provides an excellent opportunity for leisurely walks or cycling.
Its pedestrian and bike lanes offer a safe and enjoyable way to explore the area while taking in the scenic beauty of the river.
The bridge’s well-maintained pathways make it easy for visitors to traverse between Alton and Missouri, soaking up the picturesque surroundings. Photography enthusiasts will find the Clark Bridge to be a captivating subject.
Address: West Alton, MO 63386, United States
13. BEALL MANSION An Elegant Bed and Breakfast Inn
Located in the charming town of Alton, the BEALL MANSION An Elegant Bed and Breakfast Inn offers a plethora of exciting activities for its guests.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking relaxation, there is something for everyone in Alton. One of the top attractions in Alton is the Alton Museum of History and Art.
Here, visitors can delve into the rich history of the town and learn about its significance in the development of the region.
From exhibits on the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area to displays showcasing the Lewis and Clark expedition, the museum provides a comprehensive overview of Alton’s past.
For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Piasa Bird State Park is a must-visit.
This park is home to the iconic Piasa Bird mural, a massive painting on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Hiking trails wind through the park, offering breathtaking views of the river and surrounding landscape.
Phone: +1 618-474-9100
Address: 407 E 12th St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
14. Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau
The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, located in Alton, is a hub of information and resources for visitors looking to explore the area.
With its vast array of attractions and activities, there is never a shortage of things to do in Alton. One of the top attractions in Alton is the Alton Museum of History and Art.
This museum offers a glimpse into the rich history of the region, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Alton’s past.
Visitors can learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area, as well as the significant role Alton played during the Civil War. For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Piasa Bird is a must.
This iconic limestone mural, perched high on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, is a sight to behold.
The Piasa Bird is an important piece of local folklore and its depiction on the bluff has become a symbol of Alton. Another popular attraction in Alton is the National Great Rivers Museum.
Phone: +1 618-465-6676
Address: 200 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002, United States
15. John M Olin Nature Preserve (Nature Institute)
Located in Alton, Illinois, the John M Olin Nature Preserve, also known as the Nature Institute, is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
With its stunning beauty and diverse wildlife, this preserve offers a plethora of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. One of the main attractions at the John M Olin Nature Preserve is the extensive network of hiking trails.
These well-maintained trails wind through the preserve, allowing visitors to explore its various ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and prairies.
Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, these trails offer something for everyone. The Nature Institute also provides educational programs and guided tours for those interested in learning more about the flora and fauna of the preserve.
Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the different habitats, sharing fascinating insights about the plants and animals that call this place home.
Phone: +1 618-466-9930
Address: 2213 S Levis Ln, Godfrey, IL 62035, United States
16. Audubon Center at Riverlands
The Audubon Center at Riverlands is a must-visit destination in Alton, offering a wide range of activities and experiences for nature enthusiasts.
Nestled along the Mississippi River, this center provides a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the region’s diverse wildlife and natural beauty.
One of the main highlights of the Audubon Center is its extensive network of trails that wind through various habitats, such as wetlands, forests, and prairies.
These well-maintained paths offer visitors the chance to observe a rich variety of bird species, including migratory birds that use the Mississippi Flyway as a crucial migration route. For birdwatchers, the Audubon Center is a paradise.
With over 300 bird species documented in the area, it provides an excellent opportunity to spot and learn about different avian species.
Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner, the center’s knowledgeable staff and volunteers are always available to guide and educate visitors about the birds they encounter.
Phone: +1 636-899-0090
Address: 301 Riverlands Way, West Alton, MO 63386, United States
17. Alton Museum of History & Art, Inc.
The Alton Museum of History & Art, Inc. is a local art and heritage museum located in the charming town of Alton.
Established in 1971, this museum holds a significant place in the community, preserving and showcasing the rich history and artistic talent of the area. One of the most notable aspects of the Alton Museum of History & Art is its unique location.
Housed in an 1832 college building, stepping inside feels like taking a journey back in time.
The architecture and ambiance of the building add to the overall charm of the museum, creating an immersive experience for visitors. As you wander through the museum, you will be greeted by an impressive collection of local art.
Paintings, sculptures, and other artistic mediums come together to tell the story of Alton’s creative heritage.
From traditional landscapes to contemporary pieces, there is something to captivate every art enthusiast. In addition to the art collection, the museum also boasts an extensive display of historical artifacts.
Phone: +1 618-462-2763
Address: 2809 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002, United States
Alton offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors. From its rich history and landmarks to its picturesque natural landscapes, this charming town has something for everyone.
Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical sites, enjoying outdoor adventures, or indulging in local cuisine and shopping, Alton has it all. The numerous museums, parks, scenic trails, and local events ensure that visitors can always find something new to discover.
With its friendly community, welcoming atmosphere, and diverse offerings, Alton is a destination worth exploring. So, if you’re planning a trip to Illinois, don’t miss the chance to experience all that Alton has to offer.
Angel Portillo is an experienced tourism professional who has worked in the travel industry for many years. He has extensive knowledge of the different destinations that are popular among tourists, and is able to provide tips and advice on how to make the most of your visit. His passion for travel is evident in her writing, which is full of interesting and descriptive details about the different places he’s visited.