The perfect fall road trip in Illinois follows the Great River Road, a famous scenic route that winds along the Mississippi River on the state’s western border. This route is known for its historical points, quaint towns, and breathtaking views of natural landscapes. An ideal fall weekend road trip would begin in historic Quincy and end about 150 miles south in Collinsville. You’ll experience beautiful fall scenery, tasty pastries, historic mansions, historical points of interest, and much more.
Start the road trip at Bailey’s in Quincy to treat yourself with some fresh fudge, truffles, coffee, and other treats. This family-owned business offers over 12 different flavors of fudge including maple nut, mint chocolate swirl, and cappuccino for starters. Don’t forget to pick up a gift basket for memories of your amazing fall road trip.
The Fall Creek Scenic Overlook is part of Siloam State Park. It’s the perfect spot along this road trip because it overlooks the Mississippi River and is surrounded by lush natural habitat. This overlook was originally a rest area, but now it serves as a beautiful scenic area for nature-lovers.
Mel’s Illinois RiverDock Restaurant is the perfect spot to have lunch in Hardin. Located just south of the Joe Page Bridge, this family-owned restaurant offers delicious lunch specials and award-winning desserts. Favorite include the lemon meringue pie, barbeque pulled pork sandwich, and honey mustard chicken.
Visiting an orchard adds another special touch to the perfect fall road trip. Hagen Family Orchard has been in business since 1933 and feature top-quality produce at reasonable prices. Locals rave about the fresh peaches, so be sure to pick some for your road trip. This family-owned orchard is also the friendliest around.
The next stop of this perfect fall road trip is a beautiful fall hike on Hickory Trail. Located in Pere Marquette State Park, Hickory Trail is an old service road that connects with five other trails: Hickory North, Ridge, Ravine, Goat Cliff, Oak. Hikers can see native prairie grasses and access Twin Mounds, a scenic overlook restored to its natural state, from Hickory Trail.
For a spooky twist to this fall road trip, head over to McPike Mansion in Alton for a tour. There’s a lot of history in Alton, making it the prime spot to relax for the evening. The McPike Mansion looks like a mansion from a horror story and it hasn’t been occupied since the 1950s. It has since been restored to its original splendor, but is a paranormal hotspot with many ghost sightings.
Fast Eddie’s Bon Air is the perfect spot to relax for dinner and live entertainment on this fall road trip. Originally established in 1921, this local legend has decades of history and offers grilled burgers, shrimp, bratwursts, and other local favorites. They’ve also got a huge alcohol selection and live music nearly every day.
After a day filled with adventure and excitement, relax in the elegant Beall Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn. This gorgeous boutique bed and breakfast offers an experience you won’t forget. From feather beds to fireplaces, you’ll never want to leave this awarding-winning inn.
Although Beall Mansion offers a delicious gourmet breakfast, you’ll still want to stop by Lucianna’s Pastries for a scrumptious treat. They offer everything from breakfast pastries to desserts and drinks. Choose from scones, cookies, tarts, cheesecakes, cannolis, mousse, brownies, and much more.
The Cahokia Mounds are the last stop on this perfect fall road trip. This amazing landmark displays the ancient mounds from a civilization dating back over 1,000 years ago. Here you can tour the mounds, museum exhibit galleries, and learn all about the history of the people who occupied the Mississippi floodplains.