• Day Trip,  History,  Illinois,  Kids

    Family Fun in Springfield, Illinois

    We were recently in Springfield, Illinois for another event and managed to squeeze in some sightseeing as well. This state capital is full of history and attractions. Even better, many of the things to see and do are free! The biggest draw here is the huge collection of buildings and museums related to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln made his home in Springfield for 17 years before becoming president of the United States in 1861. The downtown area is full of various…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois

    Visit Illinois’s First State Park at Fort Massac

    Fort Massac State Park is located in far southern Illinois along the Ohio River. Located in the town of Metropolis, this park is a must see. The history and views of this park make it a great road trip stop if driving on I-24. History The French first erected a fort here in 1757 which was then surrendered to the British. George Rogers Clark, the older brother of William Clark, led a group of men who captured the fort in…

  • Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids

    Waterfalls and Wildflowers at Rocky Bluff Trail

    The Rocky Bluff Trail can be found at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge near Marion, Illinois. The refuge is a popular spot for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. A pass is required to visit, but it’s only $2. There are six different hiking trails within the refuge. The Rocky Bluff Trail passes the most spectacular spots a the refuge including wet weather waterfalls, cliffs, and stunning wildflowers. Rocky Bluff Trail Distance: 2.2 mile loop. You can also take…

  • Day Trip,  Hikes,  Illinois,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis,  Trips

    7 Great Day Trips from St. Louis

    Spring break and summer vacation are right around the corner. If you are looking to stay closer to home this year, here is a roundup of several great destinations all less than two hours from St. Louis. Load up the kids, pack all the snacks, and head out to explore these great destinations. * Be sure to check the websites of attractions before visiting for up to date COVID restrictions or closures. Ste. Genevieve, Missouri Take a trip just one…

  • History,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    French Colonial History Comes Alive at Illinois’s Fort de Chartres

    Rising from the farm fields in southern Illinois is an impressive stone fortress celebrating 300 years of history. Long before the United States was established, the French ruled over southern Illinois. The proximity to the Mississippi River, the hunt for precious metals, and the rich farm ground established this area as of strategic importance. Fort de Chartres is one of the best historic sites in the state and recreates this era of Illinois’s history under French rule. History of the…