Fall in Southwestern Illinois


This autumn itinerary is packed with favorite fall activities from spooky to festive to stunning.

Experience Fall in the Midwest, with Rivers & Routes.

Apple Picking at Eckert's.


9 A.M. | Sip Coffee at Maeva's

In case you need a paranormal fix this season, head to the legendarily haunted Milton Schoolhouse, which has now been refurbished to be a stunning space for incubating small businesses. Maeva's serves fair trade coffee alongside a constantly rotating menu of inventive beverages and tasty baked goods.

12 P.M. | Leaf Peeping Along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway

Start your weekend off on a visually spectacular note by driving down the 33-mile stretch of the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. By mid-October, the rolling hills and river bluffs will be covered in vivid shades of orange, red, rust and more.

For the best routes, check out our Fall/Winter Travel Guide.

2 P.M. | Get Into the Spirit at Eckert's

Nothing is more fun than heading to a farm in Autumn to experience picking apples and vegetables. At Eckert's Country Store & Farm, you can not only pick your own pumpkins but you can take cooking classes and enjoy AppleFest with wagon rides, festival foods and plenty of kids' activities. You'll want to spend the whole afternoon working your way through! What’s more, the kids can enjoy the petting zoo while you sip a glass of award-winning wine next door at Grafton Winery The Vineyards.

4 P.M. | Sweet Treats at The Whole Scoop

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a stop at local favorite The Whole Scoop, Grafton's premier ice cream and walk up restaurant. Not only can you enjoy seasonal treats featuring local fruit, but you can also pick up a lunch to enjoy at the outdoor picnic tables.

7 P.M. | Scenic Dinner at Grafton Oyster Bar

A riverfront location is only one of the standouts at Grafton Oyster Bar. The menu puts a focus on seafood with a Cajun and Creole twist — complete with specialties like Oyster Shooters and Alligator Sausage & Shrimp Cheesecake! Wash it all down with a signature cocktail like their house Red Sangria.

Dine at Gentelin's on Broadway.


10 A.M. | Nature Adventure with Grafton Zipline Adventures

While you may have seen the changing leaves from inside your car yesterday, today you can see them up close and personal by taking a zip line through the tree tops! The Grafton Zipline Adventures has multiple options from the Baby Bear, at only 300 feet, to the Soaring Eagle, with a 250-foot descent.1 P.M. | Walk Through Historic Elsah

Break up your drive from Grafton to Alton with a walking stop in Elsah, an early 19th-century town that has remained almost entirely intact and preserved. Get a glimpse of what life looked like over 200 years ago in the charming, small town.

6 P.M. | Early Dinner at Gentelin's On Broadway

Experience fine dining in Alton at this warm and relaxed restaurant with stunning views of the Clark Bridge. At Gentelin's on Broadway, you can choose from steak options like New York Strip or Filet Mignon or try something with an Asian flair like Peppercorn Encrusted Ahi Tuna served over soba noodles.8 P.M. | Take the Haunted Alton Tour

Some say that Alton is one of the most haunted towns in America. Find out for yourself on the Alton Hauntings Walking Tours held year round but they ramp up in September and October! You'll cover much of downtown Alton and learn about the city's haunted history.

Fun at Boonie's in Worden

Day 3

9 A.M. | Mills Apple Farm

For your final day of fall fun in southwest Illinois, be sure to visit a family-friendly farm or orchard in the Edwardsville and Collinsville area. Start early at Mills Apple Farm in Marine for wagon ride, animal visitors, a three-story maze and plenty of country ambiance. They are also known for their bakery with award-winning pies and crumbs, and pumpkin and peach picking.

12 P.M. | Boonies Farm

Open to the public on weekends, the family-run Boonies Farm in Worden is known for its u-pick pumpkin patch — ideal for a snapshot of your perfect fall day. Plus, there’s a baby goat petting zoo, unique farm traditions like the Pumpkin Cannon and a Gourd Gun and more kid-friendly activities.

2 P.M. | Liberty Apple Orchard

Set in Edwardsville, Liberty Apple Orchard is a family-owned u-pick orchard offering 13 varieties of apples for a day of picking with the family. Once you get your fill of apples, visit the One Room Schoolhouse which has been converted into a country store.

5 P.M. | Willoughby Heritage Farm

Nearby Collinsville offers the Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve — a public park simulating a farm from the 1940. There’s a 1930s Craftsman-style farm house, tractors, barns and live animals, plus hiking trails, overlooks and bridges over the 30-acre preserve.