Things to Do

Unique Monticello is home to Robert Allerton Park, called “One of the 7 Wonders of Illinois” by the Illinois Board of Tourism. Allerton allows you to reconnect with nature through 14 formal gardens, statues from around the world, and intricate trails along the Sangamon River Valley. Allerton Mansion is a popular destination for weddings and events. The Sunken Gardens provide a splendid backdrop for any special occasion or family photo opp.

Each Saturday and Sunday from May-October, the Monticello Railway Museum provides visitors a chance for an hour-long ride on a vintage passenger train. Passengers can board at either the museum located off of I-72 or at the Wabash Depot, located across the street from Zybell House. The Polar Express, which runs from mid-November through mid-December, gives kids young and old a chance to read the story while the train makes its round-trip visit to the North Pole. Tickets for the Polar Express go on sale in early June and sell out quickly.

Monticello is about a 45-minute drive to Amish Country of Illinois near the towns of Arcola, Arthur, Sullivan, and Tuscola. The region includes heirloom antiques and unique shops and one-of-a-kind recreation and dining experiences that appeal to the whole family.

Zybell House is a 30-minute drive to Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois. State Farm Center is home to Fighting Illini basketball and a first-class line-up of entertainment. Krannert Center for the Performing Arts brings in world-class theater and music performances, including the Ellnora Guitar Festival.

Monticello is just 30 minutes from Decatur, 50 minutes from Bloomington and Mattoon-Charleston and 60 minutes from Springfield, a popular destination to explore Abraham Lincoln. It is about a 2-hour drive from both Chicago and Indianapolis and about 2.5 hours from St. Louis.

The region is also home to a number of wineries.

Visit Champaign County is a great resource for a complete list of sites and events in the area.

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