"Safe travels" are the new key words as everyone begins to plan for summer getaways and adventures.
Throughout the Great Rivers & Routes region in southwest Illinois, restaurants, retail shops and hotels, bed & breakfast inns and guest houses are taking extra precautions to ensure everyone can enjoy a fun-filled visit. From restaurant staff wearing masks as they interact with diners, to newly implemented "Stay Safe" measures at area hotels, businesses throughout the region are working hard to keep everyone safe.
Don't forget -- bring your masks and hand sanitizer. But most of all, bring your enthusiasm for all the region has to offer.
Area hotels, guest houses and more are taking extra steps to ensure the safety and comfort of all overnight visitors. Best Western Premier in Alton has implemented a six-step 24-hour "Stay Safe" program for all guest rooms. The popular breakfast buffet at the restaurant has been replaced with a "Grab N Go" breakfast. The hotel fitness center and indoor pool are currently closed.
Litchfield's Hampton Inn has developed safety protocols including installing plexiglass at the front desk, implementing pre-packaged grab and go breakfasts and stationing bottles of hand sanitizer throughout the hotel. Staff wear masks and a paperless check in system has been implemented.
For more information on specific hotel safety procedures, please contact the individual hotel.
Outdoor dining is available at most bars and restaurants in the six county Great Rivers & Routes region. All have implemented state guidelines for dining. Those guidelines are available here.
Parking lots, sidewalks and in some areas, streets have been closed, to enhance outdoor dining seating. Here is a look at some restaurants offering outdoor dining options.
Area indoor attractions remain closed at this time but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy strolling the grounds of these sites. Lewis & Clark State Historic Site in Hartford has acres of outdoor areas to explore and access to rest room facilities. Climb to the top of Monk's Mound at Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Center in Collinsville. Enjoy the trails, animals and more at Willoughby Heritage Farms in Collinsville.
Kayak, paddleboard and boat rentals have opened at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield. Ride the SkyTour to the top of the river bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers at Grafton's Aerie's Resort. Safety protocols are in place for visitors on the SkyTour.
More sites anticipate opening in Phase 4 of Illinois' Restore Illinois Reopening plan which is anticipated to begin in late June.