What to do and see in Makanda, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 16, 2017 Giuseppe Pratt

Makanda is a village in Jackson County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 561, up from 419 in 2000. In the early 20th Century it used the slogan "Star of Egypt."
Restaurants in Makanda

1. StarView Vineyards

5100 Wing Hill Rd, Cobden, IL 62920-3211 +1 618-893-9463
Excellent
62%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 79 reviews

StarView Vineyards

We invite you to visit us year round, taste our award-winning wines and experience all the beauty that southern Illinois has to offer. As you sit on our large, inviting deck or under the oak tree, you can enjoy beautiful views of our vineyards. We're open daily and offer wine tastings, food and much more! We can't wait to meet you!

Reviewed By SeeJessTravel - Peoria, Illinois

We visited StarView on a rainy Thursday afternoon for lunch and some wine tastings. I prefer semi-sweet and sweet wine and enjoyed most of the wines we tasted. The woman serving us (I regret that I don't have her name) was also super knowledgeable and...MoreThank you for visiting; we appreciate it! We hope you can visit us again in the future and enjoy some wine in the sunshine!

2. Pomona Winery

2865 Hickory Ridge Rd, Pomona, IL 62975-2317 +1 618-893-2623
Excellent
70%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 43 reviews

Pomona Winery

Reviewed By AandE_G - Marion, Illinois

The Pomona Winery is a small family business run by very knowledgeable people. It is a bit out of the way, but it is way better than most of the wineries on the Shawnee Wine Trail. The wine is actually good - unlike most wineries in the area that just serve generic swill. The location is perfect, even though it is very far out from Carbondale or any other town.

3. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour

635 Robinson Hill Rd, Makanda, IL 62958-4131
Excellent
94%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 144 reviews

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour will soon become Southern Illinois' premiere outdoor experience. While traveling over 8 ziplines and 3 aerial bridges, on our breathtaking 83 acre course, you will experience the heart of the Shawnee National Forest. Suspended above the canopy floor, you will feel like you are soaring among the trees. Come to Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour to find your adventure. Strap in. Step off. Soar. Cost for the 2.5 to 3 hour guided tour is $85 per participant with a 10% discount for groups of 8 or more. There is no age limit, they must be able to understand and follow directions from our guides. There is a weight limit of 70 - 270 lbs.

Reviewed By Karen W - Manteno, Illinois

My daughter and her friend went zipping for the day. They loved it! The primary focus here is safety. Nearly tied with that is customer service. The employees are awesome to deal with.

This is our 2nd time and we will ne back. (I won't zip again - I am too afraid of heights and it was hard the first time we went so I didn't go this time).

4. Boo Rochman Memorial Park

31 Homewood Dr, Carbondale, IL 62902-6151 +1 812-454-4573
Excellent
82%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 105 reviews

Boo Rochman Memorial Park

Reviewed By Mike W - Illinois

This place is awesome for kids and kids at heart. It is a medieval setting with a "castle" labyrinth play area. The grounds are always clean and well maintained.
There are no admission and the park is open during daylight hours.
I highly recommend visiting with or without kids!

5. Alto Vineyards

8515 Highway 127, Alto Pass, IL 62905-2033 +1 618-893-4898
Excellent
74%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 51 reviews

Alto Vineyards

Alto Vineyards is Southern Illinois' oldest, most award-winning winery nestled in the Shawnee National Forest owned and operated by the Renzaglia Family. Celebrating 25 years in business, Alto Vineyards has built a brand-new 5,000 square-foot Tasting Room next to their picturesque vineyard in Alto Pass. Located 25 minutes southwest of Carbondale, Alto Vineyards is Southern Illinois' premier winery on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and now invites you to view the new facility overlooking the magnificent rolling hills of Southern Illinois. Salute!

Reviewed By Bob S - Olathe, Kansas

This was our second stop on the wine trail today and as usual we were not disappointed. This is not California, Oregon, Italy or South Africa but the scenery is lovely and the hospitality great. Our favorite at Alto was the Shiraz which they import from a family vinyard in Austrailia. After enjoying our tastings we headed to the back where we enjoyed our wine along with the friendly crowd and view. We live 300+ miles away but always enjoy our visit to the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

6. Giant City State Park

235 Giant City Rd, Makanda, IL 62958-3207 +1 618-457-4836
Excellent
70%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 243 reviews

Giant City State Park

Reviewed By Michael W - Fenton, Missouri

Southern Illinois has some wonderful natural attractions and Giant City State Park is one of them. There are several hiking trails of varied length and difficulty. Beautiful forest, bluffs, and wildlife. The park also has a CCC era lodge with wonderful restaurant and rental cabins. Our favorite trails were the Giant City Nature Trail and the Trillium Trail.

7. Owl Creek Vineyard

2655 Water Valley Rd, Cobden, IL 62920-3549
Excellent
57%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 92 reviews

Owl Creek Vineyard

Reviewed By cruisin*tigger - Chicago, Illinois

We were visiting for the eclipse weekend and stopped here for a glass of wine. Loved the interior with lots of owl decor, but not over the top. :) The red wines were fabulous, especially I think it was the Owl blend? Staff was great. Resident kitty with a skull and crossbones tag on his collar - but couldn't be more sweet. :)

8. Bald Knob Cross of Peace

3630 Bald Knob Road, Alto Pass, IL 62905 +1 618-893-2344
Excellent
78%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 50 reviews

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

Reviewed By J0sephine65 - Syracuse, New York

This site is well worth the drive into the country and up a narrow, winding mountain road. The Cross is awesome, and the visitor center is very welcoming. The staff person was most pleasant and answered our questions. She also added some interesting personal anecdotes. I would highly recommend this stop. They expect huge crowds for the Total Eclipse in a couple weeks. Glad we were able to visit before then.

9. Pomona Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge Road, Pomona, IL 62975
Excellent
62%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Pomona Natural Bridge

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

The Pomona Natural Bridge, located near Pomona, Illinois, in the Shawnee National Forest, won't make anyone forget the Natural Bridge near Lexington, Virginia. But it is something worth seeing if you are in the vicinity. It is one of many spectacular natural wonders that are abundant in the Shawnee National Forest. It is about 30 meters long, three meters wide and three meters thick. It is a hidden hiking treasure that is located only 15 to 30 minutes drive from several southern Illinois communities such as Carbondale, Cobden, Alto Pass, Murphysboro and Anna. From Murphysboro, take Route 127 south for 9 miles to Pomona Road, then go west for 3 miles. This fascinating stone arch, was formed by the forces of erosion over millions of years. This formation and other rock outcrops in the area consist of sandstone, a fairly soft, erodible bedrock. Water exerted the most powerful effect here, gradually washing away softer, less resistant sandstone leaving a natural rock bridge spanning 90 feet. There is ample parking at the trail head and the actual hiking trail is easily identified with its gravel cover and small blue sign. The area isn't stroller friendly and there is no camping. The Natural Bridge in Virginia is so much taller but the Pomona bridge is just as long if not longer. As the trail descends to the creek bottom an overlook reveals a view of the Pomona bridge from above. There is a great photo spot at the base of the rock bridge where a semicircle of trees and rock outcroppings serve as a beautiful backdrop for this natural wonder. The Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, is 215 feet tall and spans 90 feet. Who knows? If Thomas Jefferson hadn't made the Virginia property famous by purchasing it from King George III of England for 20 shillings in 1774, the Pomona Natural Bridge might be the most famous stone arch in the country.

10. SIU Arena

1490 Douglas Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901-4332 +1 618-453-5341
Excellent
60%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

SIU Arena

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

It was the first time I had visited SIU Arena since 1967. That's right, 50 years ago. As a young sportswriter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, I had covered a high school basketball game in the Carbondale Holiday Tournament on Southern Illinois University's home court. On this occasion, I was back on campus to receive a journalism award and I decided to return to SIU Arena. I had heard that the facility, which was opened in 1964, had undergone a $29.9 million renovation in 2010 and I was curious to see what changes had been made. SIU Arena is an 8,339-seat multi-purpose arena on the SIU campus in Carbondale. From the first time I saw it, at a high school supersectional basketball game in 1965, I was impressed with how close the fans were to the action, how they were seated in a circular rather than a rectangular configuration that provides clear sight lines. The renovation included new seating throughout the lower and upper levels, improved accessibility and entrances to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, middle handrails in all aisles, improved concessions, additional restrooms and a new scoreboard. But the biggest improvement of all is the newly constructed atrium on the east side of the arena. Inside the atrium, which is now the main entrance to SIU Arena, fans can visit the SIU team store and take a stroll down memory lane with the SIU Hall of Fame. Inside the main walkway, fans are treated to painted murals of famous moments in SIU basketball history. Inside the bowl area, you can recline in a newly furnished chair back seat and look skyward to the domed rooftop where banners are hung to honor Walt Frazier and other SIU basketball stars who went on to play in the NBA and SIU teams that qualified for the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen. When you walk around SIU Arena, you quickly realize that SIU basketball isn't just a game, it's a way of life in Carbondale.

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