At the confluence of America’s two great rivers, the Mississippi and Illinois, the riverfront community of Grafton is known for its sweeping views and vibrant downtown district.

The city of Grafton was founded as a river community with an eye on supporting riverboats traveling between Chicago and St. Louis.


Boat construction, quarries, mills and more were part of the city’s early industrial years. The city housed a boat works facility which made boats through the 1960s. Grafton’s early history is the stuff of legends. Early Grafton was a bit like the Wild West, with its relatively short distance across the river to Missouri a draw to outlaws who would hide out in surrounding hollows and caves. Outlaw Jesse James and his gang reportedly spent time at The River House Hotel, or the “Bloody Bucket” as it was later known.

Enjoy the winter season in Grafton with eagle tours, ice skating, great dining and more!

Grafton, Today

A vibrant destination, Grafton now is home to a variety of well-known attractions:

The community is a popular destination for travelers and locals alike.

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Events in Grafton

The nature and culture that make Grafton so distinctive are celebrated in the city’s many events throughout the year. Learn More

Hotels in Grafton

Grafton is all about escaping the daily grind, and the city's lodging options do just that. Stay in a vacation rental on the riverfront… Learn More

Restaurants in Grafton

As the city itself is defined by its position along the river, so too is its food scene. Learn More

Things to Do in Grafton

On the hunt for outdoor adventure? Learn More