While Illinois is home to many massive and integral bodies of water, one of its best is a river it shares with several other states. The Mississippi River runs all along the west side of the state, giving us our borders with Iowa and Missouri. From top to bottom, there are a plethora of activities to enjoy right on the water.
These 10 exciting adventures are sights to see. From state parks to historic sites, this list has it all. Check it out:
1. Grafton River Adventures
Cruises aren't just for the ocean. River tours from this company go on the Illinois River as well as the Mississippi and give guests amazing opportunities to take photos and learn river history. Enjoy 360-degree views as you sail up and down this massive body of water. Tours begin at 215 West Water St., Grafton, Illinois 62037.
2. National Great Rivers Museum
Enjoy tours and interesting exhibits at this history museum that tells the tale of the Mississippi River. It has been around since 2003 and attracts guests from near and far. Find it at Lock and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002.
3. Raging Rivers WaterPark
This riverside aquatic attraction is the most fun attraction along the lake if you love water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers. This summer fun spot is popular for locals near and far. Find it at 100 Palisades Pkwy., Grafton, IL 62037.
4. Chestnut Mountain Resort
This amazing resort in the northern most part of the state offers many fun amenities. There's a river cruise, an alpine slide, a zipline, and many other fun activities that guests love. You can stay overnight or just visit to enjoy an attraction. It is located at 8700 W Chestnut Mountain Rd., Galena, IL 61036.
5. Mississippi Palisades State Park
This National Natural Landmark is 2,500 acres and a great place for hiking, biking, picnicking, camping, and much more. It is full of Native American history as well as bridges, rock formations, abandoned wonders, and scenic overlooks. It is located at 16327A IL-84, Savanna, IL 61074.
6. Tara Point Inn & Cottages
These riverside cottages are full of magic and romance. Guests enjoy immaculate views, water activities, nature walks, and gorgeous places to sit and relax. This paradise is located at 1 Tara Point Dr., Grafton, IL 62037, and it is the perfect summer getaway for any Illinoisan.
7. Fort Kaskaskia Historical Site
This 200-acre park is on the National Register of Historic Places and features a blufftop overlooking the river. It was built in 1754 and is a historic place to walk around and enjoy the views. Find it at 4372 Park Rd., Ellis Grove, IL 62241.
8. Pere Marquette State Park
Spanning more than 8,000 acres, this riverside state park is located right at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The path is good for horseback riding, hiking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, and boating. Guests will find rocky bluffs, bald eagles, and much more here. The forest is located at 13112 Visitor Center Ln., Grafton, IL 62037.
9. Villa Katherine
This Moroccan-style home sits on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It was built in 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests can enjoy tours daily at 532 Gardner Expy., Quincy, IL 62301.
This is the southern most city in Illinois, and it sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. It is a historic city that figured in the Civil War and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At its peak (1920), it was home to about 15,000 residents, but today, only about 2,800 people live there.
What else do you love to do along the Mississippi River? Share your favorite attractions with us below in the comments.