Winter Fun in Grafton

Get alpine coasting thrills, hike the hills, and beat the chill with riverside eats, healthy treats, and bald eagle meet & greets – winter can’t get much cooler than in Grafton Illinois.

Aerie's Alpine Coaster is open year round in Grafton.

Outdoor Adventure

Make winter unforgettable this year by going to Aerie’s Resort and riding Aerie’s Alpine Coaster- the only ride of its kind in Illinois! Blast down 3,010 feet of track at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour through the rugged natural terrain of the Grafton hillside- with views of the river, you won’t find a thrill to top it anywhere in the Midwest!

Grafton is also home to Pere Marquette State Park- the largest state park in Illinois! Hit the trails on a brisk winter hike minus the summer insects, go rock climbing on dozens of natural rock climbing paths that have no equal for 100 miles in all directions, and watch for wildlife like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, songbirds, and even American bald eagles throughout the winter.

For an indoor/outdoor activity, lace up your skates riverside at The Loading Dock Ice Rink with tasty food and hot cocoa to follow as you view the wild Mississippi.

Enjoy hot fish from Beasley's Fish Stand in Grafton

Toasty Eats & Drinks

Starving for exciting fare this winter? Fried fish is always on the menu in Grafton- grab a basket from O’Jan’s Fish Stand, The Grafton Pub, Drifter’s Eats & Drinks, or try the tiny but mighty Beasley Fish Stand where a meal is always under $10!

Try the homemade pork rinds and kettle-cooked chili at 3rd Chute Bar & Grill, have a draft beer from The Bloody Bucket, order all the oysters you can eat at the Grafton Oyster Bar, and try some Midwest barbecue at Hawg Pit BBQ.

Bring your friends to The Terrace at Aerie’s Resort for upscale apps and sweeping views of the Mississippi or rent an igloo at the Grafton Winery & Brewhaus with a glass of wine and an elegant dinner.

Tip: Want to start your morning in Grafton? Grab a hot meal to start your day at Abigail’s Tap Room or get a hot coffee, shake, and healthy breakfast at Lighthouse Nutrition!

Discover wintering American Bald Eagles in Grafton

Eagle Excursions

Journey up the marvelous Great River Road, one of the most beautiful roads in America, and watch for wild American Bald Eagles along the way! The gigantic raptors can be seen from late December through mid-February in the region, fishing and hunting along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

About the Author

Kayla Howland

Kayla Howland is a local writer and artist who lives in Alton, IL with her Cairn Terrier, Ripley. She enjoys fiction and non-fiction writing, graphic design, painting, drawing and photography. Kayla is a graduate of Southwestern High School and Lewis & Clark Community College. She has worked doing freelance graphic design, photography and commissioned paintings since 2012.