A – Appellate Courthouse
Built in 1854, the Appellate Courthouse carries rich, local history. In 1888, the courtroom turned into a temporary hospital, under the supervision of Clara Barton, after a disastrous tornado struck the town. It is also the only courthouse, still in operation, where Abraham Lincoln himself argued a case in 1859.
B – Boutique Shopping
Boutiques offer a personalized shopping experience with unique finds, all while supporting a local business! Mt. Vernon is proud to have several outstanding boutiques. Laced N Grace sells baby girl and toddler clothing, as well as jeans and apparel for women. Located downtown, Mod Threads Boutique offers women’s apparel, jewelry, graphic tees, and more. New to Mt. Vernon, Two Little Babes Boutique and Resale has boutique baby boy and girl clothing and accessories, as well as resale items. Rude Boutique sells trendy western apparel. Little Britches Children’s Boutique not only sells clothes but also has a variety of baby gear such as strollers and car seats. You will want to spend a whole day checking out these incredible boutiques!
C – Cedarhurst Center for the Arts
The 33,000 square foot cultural center boasts four galleries, an interactive family learning center, and acoustically sound performance hall. The museum sits on 80 acres that include the outdoor Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park, Shrode Art Center, historic Mitchell Home, and Schweinfurth House. The annual, two day Cedarhurst Art & Craft Fair in September, draws thousands to Mt. Vernon.
D – Downtown
Historic Downtown Mt. Vernon is home to many local businesses that continue to grow! You’ll find boutiques, hair salons, local restaurants, pet groomers, The Granada Theatre, a general store, and more. Take a walk down 9th street at night under the beautiful, twinkling lights. Downtown Mt. Vernon is also home to many community events during the year including Fall Fest, car shows, live music, and the annual Christmas parade.
E – Exercise
Want to support small businesses while you work out? Mt. Vernon has four locally owned gyms. Femme Fit 618 is a women’s only gym that offers 24 hour access to its members plus several fitness classes and personal trainers. King City Strength and Performance is also a 24/7 access gym that provides bodybuilding, powerlifting, strength and conditioning, youth strength training, spin class, and personal training. Funxional Fitness has fitness classes for adults, kids, and sport specific camps. They also have CrossFit workouts of the day that can be adapted to any fitness level. Finally, Mt. Vernon Fitness is a no contract gym that provides fitness machines and workout areas for anyone looking to get stronger.
You can also check out the free Mt. Vernon Fitness Court located on South 34th Street in Lincoln Park.
F – Fall Fest
On the last weekend of September, the streets of Downtown Mt. Vernon are flooded with festival goers. At Fall Fest, you can enjoy a 100+ entry parade, marching band competition, Cruise-In car show, and live music all weekend including country and rock. Shop through streets of local vendors while you savor a corndog, shakeup, or other delicious festival foods!
G – Golf
Play a round of golf at one of two courses in Mt. Vernon- Indian Hills and Green Hills Golf Club. Indian Hills is a public 18-hole course with two sets of tees for different skill levels. Also an 18-hole course, Green Hills is primarily membership based with a full service restaurant and pro shop.
H – Historical Village
Take a step back in time to the 19th century. The Jefferson County Historical Village is home to several historic buildings in Jefferson County including a one-room school house, log church, jail, blacksmith shop, general store, and more. The Village also hosts several events throughout the year for all ages including live music, story time, train exhibits, and a candlelight walk. Open May through October, discover a glimpse of centuries past.
I – Indoor Fun
When the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s helpful to know there are still indoor places to go to have fun! The Zone is open on the weekends for loads of play. There is so much to do including a wide gymnastics area, ninja course, bouncers, arcade area, and more. They also offer packages for birthday parties and themed day camps. Preschoolers and adults alike can even take gymnastic classes at The Zone.
The Beck Family Center at Cedarhurst is another area for fun indoor play. Admission is free and open to the public. Children can enjoy a lite brite station, several hands-on art activities, create their own sculpture with pool noodles, or have story time under the tree.
J – Jimmie James Blue Goose
Family owned and operated since 1978, Jimmie James Blue Goose is an authentic Greek restaurant serving Gyros, Kalamata Salads, and crinkle fries. For dessert, try their traditional Baklava, baked by the owner. Known by many as the best gyro in the area!
K – Kingdom Seasonings
Kingdom Seasonings is a unique store located on Mt. Vernon’s downtown 9th Street. Here you will find a variety of spices, baking mixes, coffee, kitchen accessories, dips, and more. We recommend trying the owner’s homemade tortilla chips with salsa!
L – Live Music
No matter the time of year, live music can always be found in Mt. Vernon. Cedarhurst’s well-known, Thursday Night Live showcases local singers and musicians every Thursday evening between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Several other musical performances are held in their Performance Hall throughout the year. The Granada Theatre hosts several concerts and shows all year long. Local restaurants such as El Rancherito and RARE Chop House offer live music on special evenings. Check the Events tab to find upcoming live entertainment in Mt. Vernon.
M – Marlow’s Pumpkin Patch
Family owned and open to the public September- October, Marlow’s Pumpkin Patch is fall fun for the whole family! Venture through the corn maze, haunted house, silo slide, and pirate ship hayride. Kids of all ages can run around in their massive children’s play area. Find all of your fall décor necessities including pumpkins, gourds, mums, and more!
N – Nu Bowl Lanes
Mt. Vernon’s 28-lane bowling center, Nu Bowl Lanes, is perfect for birthday parties, a family fun day, or date night. Nu Bowl is not just a bowling alley. They also have an arcade, pro shop, and restaurant, The Back Office Bar & Grill. They offer several weekly specials and themed bowling nights including cosmos bowling.
O – Outdoors
There are plenty of spaces in and around Mt. Vernon for outdoor exploration. Sidewalk fitness paths around the SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital and Mt. Vernon Reservoir give joggers a space to run in the sunshine. King City Dirt Riders Club, located off HWY 37, provides 120 acres of off-road bike riding. Less than 15 miles south of Mt. Vernon, Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park provides outdoor expanse for bicycle trails, hunting, fishing, and even boating on beautiful Rend Lake.
P – Pet Services
Mt. Vernon is full of local businesses ready to take care of your beloved pet! Going away on a trip? Jagger’s Doggie Daycare or Poodles to Hounds can board your dog and take care of them while you are away. They also offer grooming services. Other local businesses that offer pet grooming include Groomingdales, Kingdom Pets Dog Grooming, Tailored Pets, Big Paws Little Paws, Doggie Day Spa, and Bark At the Moon Dog Salon. Country Acres Kennels provides pet grooming as well as boarding.
Q- Quality coffee
Sip a quality cup of coffee at Bagels and Brews Mini. Located at 2003 Broadway, Bagels and Brews is more than your typical coffee shop. Their incredible espresso drinks, frappes, and smoothies are handcrafted just for you. Whether you enjoy a caramel macchiato, iced latte, or americano, they have it all. Enjoy a toasted bagel with cream cheese or a bagel sandwich such as the avocado toast bagel or fruit bagel.
This outdoor, tactical laser tag facility, located in Woodlawn, is fun for all ages! Climb the rock climbing wall or relax on a paddle boat ride after you are done playing laser tag.. R & J also has an indoor laser tag location with arcade games at the Times Square Mall. Kids and the young at heart can enjoy fun arcade games and more!
S – Sweets
Who can resist a freshly baked cinnamon roll or the smell of a homemade apple pie? At Farmhouse Bakery and Cafe you will find sweet treats such as pies, cobblers, cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, and so many others!
T – Teens
Mt. Vernon has two gaming stores that provide a space for tabletop gamers to gather and play. Asgard Keep sells Magic, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh cards and accessories. They also host tournaments and events. Order a delicious pizza while you play!
Colossus Comics and Games sells comics, cards, and several games. Customers can engage in tabletop gaming tournaments and comic con events, too.
U – Up, Up, & Away!
Mt. Vernon Outland Airport is a civic public use airport covering 1,100 acres with two runways. Many corporate, business, and private aircraft owners use the airport for their flights. Over the years, several political leaders and even entertainers have landed at the airport. The Midwest LSA Expo, held annually, attracts exhibitors and attendees from several states. Inside the airport, Bonnie Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. They offer daily specials and a buffet.
W – Wedding Venues
Looking for that perfect place to hold your special day? A Pocketful of Sunshine is an extravagant wedding venue with a climate-controlled barn that can hold your wedding, reception, or other parties. Tables, chairs, decorations, and outdoor games are all available. A Pocketful of Sunshine is just one of the many wedding venues in Mt. Vernon. Other stunning venues include The Granada Theatre, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, The DoubleTree by Hilton, and Snow Family Homestead.
X – Xtras
A couple other places in Mt. Vernon that deserve a mention are Sissy’s General Store and La Magueyera Mexican Store. Sissy’s is a unique gift store in downtown Mt. Vernon. They sell a little bit of everything including shoes, candles, holiday decor, hand towels, and other knick knacks. La Magueyera is a Mexican grocery store that sells Mexican bread and pastries. You will also find all the spices and ingredients you need for your favorite Mexican dishes.
Y – Yellin’ Helen’s
Yellin’ Helen’s is a homemade ice cream stand located in Dix, Illinois. Open year round, their ice cream and dole whip flavors rotate weekly. Some of their delicious flavors include strawberry butter, maple, black cherry, lemon, and coffee ice cream. They sell soups in the winter and always offer pulled pork and chicken salad sandwiches. If it’s too cold to sit outside, pull through the drive-thru for quick service.
Z – Aquatic Zoo
Although you won’t see any live animals, take a trip to this animal-themed water park to beat the heat! Wind around the lazy river, slide down two enclosed water slides, jump off the low or high dive, take a lap around the pool, or relax in the zero-depth entry leisure pool. The children’s splash pad has slides that are just the right size for little ones, interactive animal sounds, and a tipping bucket. Don’t forget to head to the concession area for a warm pretzel, hot dog, nachos, ice cream or other tasty treat!