SENIORS VISIT ILLINOIS



Seniors Check Out Alton, The “River City”

Alton, located on the Mississippi River in Madison County just above the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and just below the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers is truly a “river city”, rich in history. Senior birders, each year from Christmas to the end of February Alton boasts the largest gathering of American bald eagles outside Alaska.

Located along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the Greater Alton area has five wineries, fifty antique shops, fifteen bed and breakfasts and guest houses, nine golf courses, historic sites and fine dining.

Founded in 1818 by Col. Rufus Easton, Alton is named after his son. Easton was the first postmaster of St. Louis, a judge, and a land speculator who laid out the town and selected choice lots for his family and friends. The town quickly became a transfer point where deep draft steamboats of the lower Mississippi and the shallow draft steamboats of the upper Mississippi exchanged their cargo.

During the summer months there’s great hiking and boating. In Autumn, the drive along the Great River Road can’t be beat for taking in the beautiful fall colors. Many historical buildings dating back to the early 19th century still remain in Alton.

Just ask any citizen and senior visitors will learn about a fearsome monster known as the Piasa Bird (pie-a-saw) that once terrorized the Illini Indians near Alton.

 Seniors Meet World’s Tallest Person

Seniors will want to shoot a photo or two of the statue of Robert Wadlow who was was a pituitary giant. He was born in 1918, a completely normal baby, 8 ½ pounds.

At the time of his death in 1940 he was 8′, 11.1″ tall and weighed 439 pounds making him the world’s tallest person in history. The McPike and Beall Mansion (now a B&B) are great sites for a visit in Alton along with a host of other Free Attractions.

 Don’t just see the sites, hit the open road of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway all around Alton and experience it all firsthand. Escape in time to be a part of history as you embark on the journey westward with Lewis & Clark.

Pere Marquette is the largest state park in Illinois and it offers year-round activities for everyone. There are more than 8,000 acres for camping, fishing, hiking and horseback riding for senior visitors to enjoy.

If you want to stay for a weekend, book a room or a cabin at the Pere Marquette Lodge or one of the several fine B&Bs in town.

Alton is one fun town, so plan to spend a day or two. You might just end up staying a full week. Located right on the Mississippi, so there is plenty of adventure awaiting your visit. jeb

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