Charleston, located in East Central Illinois, is a great destination for those seeking a daytrip or close-by weekend getaway. Home of Eastern Illinois University and rich with sights and activities, Charleston offers a unique experience to all visitors. Whether you're interested in outdoor recreation, modern art, historic locations, or shopping, this city has got it all!

Outdoor Recreation

For the outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and take in some fresh air while exploring the beauty within and around Charleston. A network of trails is available to the public, and showcases breathtaking vistas along the way. Sites like Fox Ridge State Park, Lake Charleston, and Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail are some of the hotspots for outdoor activity. Other venues offering a great outdoor experience are the Bent Tree Golf Course and the Charleston Speedway.


There is something for everyone when it comes to shopping in Charleston! Whether you're interested in antiquing, boutique shops, consignment and resale, or bookstores and vinyl records, you'll have plenty of browsing to do. Looking for a more leisurely experience? Charleston has you covered, with spas and hair salons, modern art, and local specialty shops to indulge in. A few popular spots include Bob's Bookstore, Persimmon Lane Vintage Gift Shop, and Positively 4th Street Records.

Food & Drink

The perfect trip wouldn't exist without great food! Charleston has the staples of any worthwhile destination, offering breakfast hot spots, fine dining, bar & grills, and smoky BBQ joints. Not sure what to try? Just ask a local, these friendly folks will point you in the right direction! Some local favorites include Roc'sBlackfront Tavern & Grill, Joey's Place, and Pop's Hometown BBQ.


Sights and Activities

The land of Lincoln is never short on things to do and see. Historic sites depicting what life was like in the 1800s is a favorite among visitors. There are also local Civil War era sites to soak up some history at. There are a number of great spots to visit close by if you're looking for a great historic exhibition like the Dudley House or the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. You can also catch a show at the Charleston Alley Theatre or Doudna Fine Arts Center.


Not exactly a history buff? That's okay, Charleston is ripe with rich annual attractions to check out depending on the time of year you choose to visit. Have fun!