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

August 25, 2017 Claudia Navarrete

Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary here was used during the war to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.
Restaurants in Alton

1. Great Rivers Scenic Route

along Mississippi River, Alton, IL +1 618-709-6426
Excellent
81%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
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5 based on 191 reviews

Great Rivers Scenic Route

Reviewed By jyates34 - Paducah, Kentucky

I've traveled up and down along this scenic highway many times aboard boats heading between Chicago, Minneapolis and ports north to Memphis, New Orleans or Pittsburgh and always enjoy seeing the river from the shoreside too.

This is a great place for river enthusiasts to drive along and see the ever-changing Mississippi River during all seasons from the comfort and safety of their car.

2. World's Tallest Man Statue

2800 Block of College Avenue, Alton, IL
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 128 reviews

World's Tallest Man Statue

Reviewed By Alan A

We happen to pass by here and stopped for a quick visit. It is really cool to be able to compare how tall he was to your own height. My granddaughter was amazed at how tall he was. Really close parking and a quick little stop.

3. National Great Rivers Museum

#2 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL +1 636-899-2600
Excellent
69%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 83 reviews

National Great Rivers Museum

Reviewed By 52761 - USA

We live on the upper Miss. This little museum was chalk full of interesting facts and demonstrations of life on the river. Interactive exhibits-try to steer a barge through a lock! Kids and adults will enjoy this.

Free and easy to see in half an hour.

4. Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument

Monument & 5th Streets, Alton, IL 62002
Excellent
46%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
19%
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0%
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4.5 based on 31 reviews

Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument

Reviewed By Rbj2040 - Alton, Illinois

The Lovejoy Monument is particularly interesting as is the story of Elijah P. Love joy' dedication to anti-slavery efforts. The monument sits amidst other local luminaries of history and ordinary folk who helped make Alton a remarkable industrial and agricultural area. For more information on Elijah P. love joy and others who rest in the Alton City Cemetery, stop by the Hayner Genealogy and Local History Library at the corner of 4th and State Streets downtown Alton.

5. Alton Prison

214 William St, Alton, IL 62002-6146
Excellent
18%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
45%
Poor
8%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 37 reviews

Alton Prison

Reviewed By richb102 - Alton, Illinois

This site will not take long to see but definitely provides a glimpse into Alton's part in the Civil War. Any history buff will get enjoyment out of this site.

6. Argosy Casino Alton

1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002-6276 1-800-711-GAME
Excellent
20%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
15%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 82 reviews

Argosy Casino Alton

Reviewed By Bob D - Saint Louis, Missouri

While I enjoy the fact that Illinois casinos are smoke-free, I prefer an alternate St. Louis metro area facility more than here, where their limits are more player-friendly.
This was the monopoly facility back in the day, and seems like they never fully met the competition when the market opened.
If you do go, just look for ghastly neon paint and you'll know you're there. This place is fugly.

7. Haskell Playhouse

1211 Henry St, Alton, IL 62002-3645 +1 618-465-3026
Excellent
60%
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40%
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4.5 based on 5 reviews

Haskell Playhouse

Reviewed By JMCSTL - Saint Louis, Missouri

The Alton Municipal Band plays Sunday evening summer concerts in Haskell Park, with the Queen Anne architecture & Eastlake style trim work of the Playhouse providing a wonderful backdrop for an enjoyable hour of music. My wife & I attended a Muny Band concert on a rare cool night in late July, and were treated to a mix of jazz & Latin & popular show tunes with a bonus: two sets by St. Louis resident jazz singer Erin Bode. The band did a good job accompanying her, and in between they played some very good ensemble pieces. I thought the first chair flutist & the percussion section - especially the high school aged members - were particularly noteworthy (no pun intended). And a special mention of the fun & friendly "JoJo the Clown" who led several young kids from the audience on a march around the park area, while another youngster acted as "guest conductor" for the band.

Check the Alton, IL city website for concert schedules, which are held in two of their city parks on different nights (Thursdays & Sundays). But the Haskell Park location by the Playhouse has easy access & plenty of free street parking & a big expanse of grass to spread out your blanket/lawn chairs to enjoy some music in the park.

8. Historic Museum of Torture Devices

301 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002-2402 +1 618-465-3200
Excellent
35%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
12%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 24 reviews

Historic Museum of Torture Devices

Exhibits and information have been researched and are historically accurate. The curator of our museum has visited Torture Museums in Europe where most of these devices originated. A collection of books on the sublect is available to browse while at the Museum. We are always on alert for information and adding new exhibits to our collection. Over 50 exhibits of torture devices from all over the world, some very simple, some diabolically clever, some still in use today. We have new Torture exhibits, and are expanding the museum to include the "Odditorium" which includes exhibits of Medical Quackery, Civil War Medicine and artifacts, human anomalies,VooDoo, and other curiosities. We plan to open these exhibits by the end of July, 2014.

Reviewed By dogsnwolfs - Greenwood, Indiana

the historic museum of torture devices is a very cool exhibit of ancient (and not so ancient) devices used through the ages to keep people in line. some were used by clergy, others by law enforcement. all were gruesome and amazing to behold. if you're...MoreThank you for your very positive review. We are always looking for new exhibits and keep adding new ones. Please come again if you are in our area,

9. Gordon F. Moore Community Park

4550 College Ave, Route 111, Alton, IL 62002-5051 +1 618-463-3580
Excellent
33%
Good
67%
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4.5 based on 3 reviews

Gordon F. Moore Community Park

Reviewed By JMCSTL - Saint Louis, Missouri

Gordon Moore Park is on the eastern edge of Alton along Route 111/IL-140/College Avenue. The park grounds are huge, with acreage on both sides of the highway and lots of open space to explore. The Spencer T. Olin public golf course occupies the eastern and southern parts of the park, with the rest offering sports fields (baseball/softball & soccer/football) and several picnic areas & playgrounds. There are a nature trail & several memorial areas, and a large stocked fishing lake. The park has an Oriental Garden, and the beautiful & well-maintained Nan Elliott Memorial Rose Garden. There are plenty of parking lots near each major activity area with adequate spaces to accommodate visitors & sports participants.

My wife & I visited the Park on a Sunday evening in mid-August, so see & photograph the Rose Garden and to listen to the carillon concert. These free concerts are offered on Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 5:30 pm, Memorial Day through September. The Carillon bell tower is right along the main road that curves through the southern portion of the Park, with the carillonneur sitting in a nearby cottage to play. Visitors bring their lawn chairs, find a shady spot on either side of the roadway near the tower & rose garden, and enjoy the music. There also are two long benches under a trellis structure overlooking the Rose Garden, and a couple of park benches nearby. The music is beautiful, with a different musician from the community playing each week. On occasion, the carillonneur also will allow visitors to see & learn about the instrument inside the cottage building.

Gordon Moore Park is one of the nicer & larger community parks we've encountered in our travels around the U.S.. It has many things to see and do for people of all ages. My wife & I intend to return before the end of the Carillon concert season to hear more from this unusual instrument. We recommend a visit to the Park to area residents as well as visitors, to enjoy the gardens and green spaces and picnic/play areas.

10. Alton Little Theater

2450 Henry St, Alton, IL 62002-4448 +1 618-462-6562
Excellent
100%
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5 based on 1 reviews

Alton Little Theater

Reviewed By amsullvn - Owensville, Missouri

ALT is a great place to plan a group outing! Linda and Cindy were wonderful to work with throughout the planning process! Discounts are available for groups of 20+.

The entire group enjoyed Exit Laughing! It's amazing to see what a small community theater can produce! Kudos to all involved!

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