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Downstate Road Trip Round Up: Shopping!

Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. One of the most popular things to do while on a trip or vacationing is…shopping! So here are a handful of some of the notable places to shop while you are driving through Downstate Illinois.

Carbondale’s shopping scene provides an array of possibilities, offering everything you need in one town.For outdoor enthusiasts, Shawnee Trails Wilderness is where you can find the latest gear for backpacking, rock climbing and other outdoor adventures around Carbondale. If you are looking for a bike, accessories, or just need a tune-up or repair, Phoenix Cycles or Carbondale Cycle Shop is your go-to spot. For music lovers, spend some time digging through vinyls, cd’s and cassette tapes spanning all genres of music at Plaza Records. Stop next door at Mike’s Music and peruse the guitars and other instruments for sale or even sign up for lessons. Gamers and role players alike converge at Castle Perilous Games and Books. Meet up for a battle or stock up trading cards for future encounters. Also check out Campus Comics, selling comic books, graphic novels, statues, model kits and comic collecting supplies. Yesteryear Tobacconists is Carbondale’s oldest tobacco shop, offering a wide selection of all pure tobacco and special blends. For an even more special blend, head over to Consume Cannabis Co., Carbondale’s recreational marijuana dispensary. For hand blown glass and other supplies be sure to visit Legal Smile, Hemp-N-Stuff Head Shop and Blue Gorilla Supply. Qualls Hats & Co. offers popular hat brands such as Bailey, Bruno Capelo, 9th Street and Dobbs. Rahim’s Beauty Supply is a longstanding business offering hair and body products, accessories and more. These are two of our black owned and operated businesses. Leather and non-leather repairs are also available. Whether you are searching for a new jacket or tool bag, or need a simple patch or zipper fixed, Leather World can take care of you. For your thrifting needs, The Thrift Shop is full of clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, collectibles, toys, books, records, and more. For vintage pieces, check out Tropicana Vintage Clothing, offering a wide variety of vintage clothing, including fur and leather coats, sweaters, overalls and more. For the naturalists, The Neighborhood Co-op Grocery specializes in organic, local, all natural and fairly traded products. The store also has an extensive wellness section. Town Square Market offers wholesome food, supplements, personal care and wellness products.


Treat yourself – or someone you love – to the perfect find, right here, in Effingham! Discover locally-made products, antiques and collectibles, trendy boutique items and more at the crossroads of I-57 and I-70. We can’t think of a more perfect spot to indulge in some retail therapy. Are you a Food Network junkie? You won’t want to miss visiting the John Boos Factory Showroom & Outlet. This establishment is locally-owned and operated by the maker of the infamous BOOS BLOCKS cutting boards, which are featured prominently on shows like Chopped, Masterchef and The Kitchen. Find solid, quality American hardwood products, including cutting boards, butcher blocks, countertops, kitchen carts and prep tables. Perhaps you’re looking to take a stroll down memory lane… Head downtown and stop in at America’s Groove Record Store! This totally groovy, must-stop shop specializes in new and used vinyl, CD’s, blue-rays, DVDs, video games and consoles, beard care products, vintage toys and clothing, nostalgic electronics and more. You’ll find yourself reminiscing long after you leave. While you’re in the area, park the car, stretch your legs and check out the many locally-owned boutiques and shops that line the avenues of Downtown Effingham. From personalized items for children to home goods… antiques to artwork… artisanal earrings to baseball cards, you’re guaranteed to find something you can’t live without. Effingham is a proud host to these hard-working business owners and curators of locally-made, boutique and artisan goods. We invite you to visit and enjoy the experience of hunting for treasures, happening upon the unexpected and discovering delight in a one-of-a-kind find. Shop til’ you drop in Effingham… It’s what you’re craving.


There is no shortage of shopping opportunities in ILLINOISouth, as our territory covers 22 counties. Some of the fan-favorite places to shop are communities with adorable downtown areas to spend a day hopping from store to store. That type of shopping atmosphere can be found in towns like Waterloo, Belleville, O’Fallon, Lebanon, Centralia, PInckneyville, Vandalia, Casey, Olney and Mt. Carmel just to name a few. Of course, one of the best parts of shopping is the experience – and there are a few places in ILLINOISouth that provide an experience you don’t find often. One said unique experience can be found at S.D. Meadows Folk Art Gallery in Palestine. S.D. Meadows Folk Art Gallery is a store that will peak your imagination – your mind will run wild with color and creativity when you walk into this gallery. Shop original folk art pieces and a fun selection of collectible items. There is also primitive furnishing, pottery, and accessories. Ten Pin Antiques in Carlyle has been around since the sixties and has gone through some changes! This antique shop used to be a bowling alley – and it’s still evident by the scoring screens that are still hanging up, as well as the original bowling lanes that you’ll walk down! In terms of shopping, there are so many items to choose from like furniture, glassware, books, and so much more. Spinach Can Collectibles and Museum in Chester is no doubt a one-of-a-kind shop. Being the only Popeye store in the world, it has really made its mark. Find all sorts of Popeye themed items like hats, buttons, jewelry, houseware, and much more to feed or start your Popeye obsession! For more information on many other places to shop in ILLINOISouth – visit


Mt. Vernon
Spend the day or a weekend enjoying the specialty shops and boutiques in Mt. Vernon! With a large variety to choose from, you are sure to find a niche that piques your interest! In our downtown area alone, you can visit Daydream Boutique, Laced ‘N Grace, Sissy’s General Store, Easton’s Flowers & Gifts, The Blossom Shoppe, Watt’s Up Light Store & More and the brand-new Colossus Comics and Games! Though their name may be misleading that they only have medical equipment, Byrd Watson Medical Downtown also has a great line of shoes for many occasions and Vera Bradley bags you must check out! Just east of downtown on Old Fairfield Road, Lena’s Flowers & Things has a unique variety of gifts and décor. And north of downtown on Route 37, you won’t want to miss Bryn’s Cookie Bin, which opened March 1st! Be sure to get there early because the sweet treats sell out fast! If you have smaller children at home, you will definitely want to make a stop uptown at Little Britches Boutique! And if you like specialty gifts and upscale clothing, a stop at The Gallery across from Walgreen’s for Carl’s and M.E. Jackson Jewelers is a must! More home décor, novelty and picking stores can be found on the outskirts of town including Finders Pickers Treasure Island, Roval’s Vintage Gypsy and The Painted Cowgirl Market, among others. If resale and consignment shops are your jam, call the Mt. Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau at 618-242-3151 for a list! While you are in town, make sure to check out the event calendar at the recently reopened The Granada Theatre! With more than 50 restaurants in Mt. Vernon, you are sure to find a place for a delicious meal or snack! Check out the restaurant listing at


Southernmost Illinois
Travel the scenic roads across Shawnee Forest County in Southernmost Illinois to discover some unique shopping spots. For an abundance of unique shops, take a road trip to Murphysboro, Illinois’ BBQ capital. BBQ aficionados have long known the trip to Murphysboro, is more than worth it. The small town hosts a barbecue cook-off every year and is perhaps the only town in the country with two Barbecue Hall of Famers. You will enjoy shopping Apple Blossom gifts, Love of Family and Home, Think Vintage and more. For the lover or art and all things creative, visit 276 Art Exchange, in Equality. Fine arts and heritage crafts made by local artisans. High-quality works of art, hand-made heritage crafts, local literature, and other items unique to Southern Illinois. You can even book a private shopping experience here. Annabelle Market, Main Street Anna is where you will find local honey and lavender products, decor, jewelry, books and lots of treasures! Even some stuff for the guys! It’s a girl’s shopping dream! In Cobden, find Packrat’s Paradise with Antiques, vintage, repurposed and locally made items – all local growers, collectors & artisans. With over 30 vendors and unique items and a great shopping experience.

“Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, doesn’t know where to shop”. If you’re looking for a little happiness, we invite you to shop with us in Williamson County! In Williamson County we have a wide variety of boutiques and specialty shops that offer everything from necessities to indulgences. You’ll find several small shops throughout the area that sell locally sourced meat, produce, dairy products, and more. The Big Muddy Hogs is a great food hub to check out while you’re in the area! Get fresh ingredients to make a delicious meal at your Airbnb or pick up a few things to take home with you! We also have a few specialty skin and body care shops that offer everything from basic hygiene care to luxurious self-care products. One of the area’s best kept secrets, Cinda’s Botanical Blends, offers hand-made, all-natural skin care products, soaps, and more. We also have a wide variety of hobby shops! Whether you’re an outdoorsman or a maker, we have a shop for you! The Crappie Pro Shop is a great stop for anglers. This shop has high quality products and top-notch service! If your hobbies lean more to the creative side, we have a number of great shops to help get you started! Steven’s Floral, Gifts, and Framing has supplies for all kinds of fun crafts and projects! For the collectors, check out Fox Sports Cards & Collectibles. Williamson County has over a dozen antique and primitive shops as well as home décor and furniture stores. If you’re obsessed with interiors or looking for a few unique pieces to spice up your current décor, check out Deloufleur Decor & Designs or Warehouse Antique Mall! Find these shops and much more when you shop small in Williamson County!

Downstate Road Trip Round Up: Shopping! - Mt. Vernon, IL Tourism