city in Madison County, Illinois, United States

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

At the Lewis & Clark Trail Site and Museum

Understand edit

On 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

Map of Alton (Illinois)

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

By train edit

Alton is served several times per day by Amtrak via its Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis. Additionally, the long-distance Texas Eagle trains also calls here, it runs between Chicago and San Antonio, with thru cars to and from Los Angeles.

By boat edit

Get around edit

  • 2 Champagne Limousines, 3406 West Delmar Avenue, Godfrey, +1 314 567-5466 (in Missouri), +1 618 466-7001 (in Illinois), toll-free: +1-800-500-2526. Luxury limousine service to the entire St. Louis Metro-East area since 1984. Fleet includes Lincoln Town Car Limos 10, 12, & 14 passengers. Lincoln Navigator Stretches, Hummer H2 Stretch for 16 to 18 passengers, Classic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, new model sedans and vans for airport service.

See edit

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.
  • 1 Lincoln Douglas debate site.
  • 2 Alton Museum of History and Art, +1 618 462-2763.    
  • 3 The Robert Wadlow Statue. 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.
  • 4 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.

Do edit

  • The Beall Mansion Historic Home Tour, 407 E. 12th St., +1 618 474-9100, toll-free: +1-866-THE-BEALL (843-23255). 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.
  • Haunted Alton Tours, History and Hauntings Book Co., 515 East Third Street, toll-free: +1-888-446-7859, . Tours start at 7PM, 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.

Buy edit

Alton, Illinois is a shopper's 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.

  • 1 Alton Square Mall, 200 Alton Square Alton. Shop at stores like JC Penney and over 70 specialty stores.    

Eat edit

  • 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, +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

  • Fast Eddie's Bon Air, 1530 E. 4th Street, +1 618 462-5532. “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, +1 618 462-5881. 11AM-4PM. Famous for homemade pies, ½ pound chicken salad sandwiches and tollhouse brownies. They serve a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. The menu changes daily. Very reasonable.

Sleep edit

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, +1 618 474-9100, toll-free: +1-866-THE-BEALL (843-23255). This upscale bed and breakfast inn with a guest list that includes politicians, 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. 12 blocks from the Mississippi River on Millionaire's Row in the Middletown Historic District.
  • Comfort Inn, 11 Crossroads Ct, +1 618 465-9999. 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.
  • Super 8 Motel, 1800 Homer M. Adams Pkwy, +1 618 465-8885. Hotel amenities include: 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, +1 618 462-4145. Charming bed and breakfast above the Alton Stained Works in the historic Downtown Alton 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.

Go next edit

  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site - 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.
  • Godfrey, just to the north, has the last remaining Mister Donut shop in the States.
Routes through Alton
ChicagoCarlinville  N   S  St. LouisEND
DallasSt. Louis  SW   NE  CarlinvilleChicago
DavenportJacksonville  N   S  KirkwoodSt. Louis via  
END ← Jct    N   S  HartfordEast St. Louis

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