If you’re seeking a unique cultural experience in Illinois, Rockome Gardens, located in Arcola in the state’s Amish countryside, is a great destination to explore!
Rockome offers an Amish country tour, guiding visitors through a variety of destinations in the area – a truly authentic Amish experience. One stop on the tour is the Illinois Amish Museum, which takes tourists through a number of exhibits that tells stories of the Amish people and the history of the Amish settlement from its start in 1865.
Additional destinations and activities on the tour allow visitors to experience the lifestyle of the Amish community through traditional experiences. Some of those opportunities include touring an Amish home, enjoying a meal at the table, and meeting an Amish woodworker.
Beyond the home experience, visitors also have the chance to view the lush countryside. During this time, a well-informed tour guide highlights the farms, homes, schools, and businesses in the area, explaining how they relate to the Amish way of life.
While in Arcola, be sure to check out the Simply Amish store, which sells handcrafted Amish furniture. Also, grab some tasty baked goods, as well as unique trinkets at The Homestead Bakery and Sisters. See also this post on Abraham Lincoln’s home state.
The Makanda Boardwalk
Are you an artist, art enthusiast or just someone looking for a new favorite art piece for your home? You can discover inspiration everywhere you look in Makanda, Illinois! The town is located in the southern portions of Illinois, just a short ride southeast of Saint Louis.
One of the key places to enjoy Makanda’s art scene is along the celebrated Makanda Boardwalk. The block of storefronts and studios, also known as the “Valley of the Arts,” is a center for local artists and craftspeople to display their prized pieces of work.
Located at the end of the Boardwalk, Rainmaker Art Studio displays incredible sculpture pieces made from bronze and copper by artist Dave Daris. He learned his unique metal smith trade while traveling around the Midwest more than 40 years ago. Dave showcases his awe-inspiring pieces in his studio and in the one-acre garden that rests directly behind the property – make sure to wander into the garden to view his full collection!
To see more local work, visit Visions Art Gallery located just down the Boardwalk. It features hand painted glass, woodworking, painting, photography and pottery by more than 60 local artists. Visions Art Gallery is a great place to see a variety of mediums all in one place and find what speaks to you.
Visitors who work up an appetite while wandering along the boardwalk can savor delicious sandwiches at the Makanda Country Store. Remember to save room for the store’s hand-dipped ice cream cones – you’ll thank us later! The Country Store also has a variety of local and international specialty items like jams and coffee to take home. Check out also this interesting post about Peoria.