Discover what makes Mt. Vernon feel like home to so many and a special stop for many others!
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 the only courthouse, still in operation, where Abraham Lincoln himself argued a case, in 1859.
B - BBQ
You don’t have to live in the barbecue capital of America to experience mouth watering BBQ! Mt. Vernon currently has two local barbecue joints, The Frosty Mug and King Barbacoa. Enjoy a local taste of smoky, savory barbeque!
C - Cedarhurst
As one of only 3% of accredited museums in the United States, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts is a jewel in the crown of Southern Illinois. The museum includes an outdoor sculpture park, art galleries, family center, performance venue, art classes, and more. 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 and continues to grow! Here you’ll find art studios, attorneys, barber shops, several local restaurants, pet groomers, photographers, and more. Take a walk down 9th street at night under the beautiful, twinkling lights.
E - Engage in Service
Giving back and serving others are both valued highly here in Mt. Vernon. Whether you enjoy helping teens, children, the homeless, expectant mothers, or the elderly, there are several non-profit organizations that would welcome volunteers and donations. Some of these local organizations include Spero Family Services, CASA, Lifeboat Alliance, The United Way, Angel’s Cove, The Amy Center, and Jefferson County Toys for Kids.
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, 5k, and multiple bands all three days including country, rock, and blues. Shop through streets of craft vendors while you savor a funnel cake, 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 contains several historic buildings in Jefferson County including a one-room school house, log church, jail, blacksmith shop, general store, and more. Open May through October, discover a glimpse of centuries past.
I - Indulge in boutique shopping
New wedges, rompers, dresses, sweaters, blouses, accessories, you can find it all in Mt. Vernon! Mt. Vernon’s women’s clothing boutiques, Savvy, Buona Vita Boutique, and Daydream Boutique are all located downtown and carry today’s latest styles and trends. Check out Laced n Grace to pick out adorable outfits for your little girl or boy, and clothing for mom, too! Treat yourself and indulge in a boutique shopping spree!
J - Jimmie James Blue Goose
Family owned and operated since 1978, Jimmie James Blue Goose is an authentic Greek restaurant serving Gyros, Kalamata Salads, crinkle fries, and homemade Gyro stew. For dessert, try their traditional Baklava, baked by the owner.
K - King City Books
Stroll in the doors of King City Books and automatically you’ll be overtaken by the blissful smell of coffee. In this cozy bookstore, you’ll find bestselling books, novelties, espresso drinks, and a barista’s smile.
L - Live Music
No matter the time of year, live music can 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, as well. Lowery’s Irish Pub and The Frosty Mug feature live music every weekend. A few other restaurants such as El Rancherito and RARE Chop House offer live music on special evenings. King City Books hosts an Open Mic several Mondays out of the year. Check the Events tab to find upcoming live music shows 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 their corn maze, haunted house, silo slide, pirate ship hay ride, and extensive kid’s area. Find all of your fall décor necessities, pumpkins, gourds, flowers, 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 couples’ night out. Munch on a cheeseburger or pizza from the Back Office Bar & Grill while you bowl. They offer several specials and themed bowling nights.
O - Outdoors
There are plenty of spaces in and around Mt. Vernon for outdoor fitness and exploration. Sidewalk fitness paths 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 half an hour south of Mt. Vernon, Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park has miles of outdoor expanse for bike riding trails, hunting, fishing, and even boating on beautiful Rend Lake.
P - PawFest
Celebrate the special pup in your life at Mt. Vernon’s PawFest, the first Sunday in June at Veteran’s Park! Engage in contests, activities, and a pet parade. Buy crafts, food, and animal related products from a variety of vendors. You can even take home an adoptable dog or cat from the Jefferson County Animal Control!
Q - Q & Q Nails
In need of a pedi or mani? Mt. Vernon has several local nail saloons perfect for a day of pampering. At Q & Q Nails, you can choose from gel, acrylic, shellac, French, and other types of manicures and pedicures. The friendly nail artists are ready to give you beautiful nails for your next special occasion!
R - R & J’s Tactical Lazer Tag
This outdoor, tactical laser tag facility, located in Woodlawn, is fun for all ages. Climb their rock climbing wall or relax on a paddle boat ride. They also have a mobile unit that can travel to your next fundraiser, camp, birthday party, or business!
S - Sweets
Who can resist a freshly baked cinnamon roll or the smell of an out-of-the-oven apple pie? Mt. Vernon has three local restaurant bakeries serving up homemade goodies daily. At The Grille, The Diner, and Farmhouse Bakery and Café you will find sweet treats such as pies, cobblers, cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cheesecake and so much more!
T - Take a Ride
There’s never been a better time to take your Harley for a spin. Roadhouse Harley Davidson offers the best in new and pre-owned motorcycles. The annual LCPL J. Kyle Price Memorial Ride in April honors a local, fallen soldier. Check the events tab for more motorcycle rides taking place in and around Mt. Vernon.
U - Understand Your Ancestry
C.E. Brehm Memorial Library has one of the most extensive, top genealogy departments in the state with over 14,750 volumes and 3,900 macrofoam in their collection. Discover your family history and background with the several genealogy resources they provide.
V - Veteran’s Park
Treat the kids to a picnic in the park! Swing and slide on the playground, then take a walk around the pond and gazebo. Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can enjoy one of Mary’s famous Sno Cones. Tiger’s Blood, Blue Eagle, Ice Cream, there isn’t a flavor that disappoints!
W - Worship
Jefferson County is home to over 100 churches of all denominations. You can find worship services to attend multiple days of the week. Contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 618-242-3151 for help locating a church near you!
X - Xtra Bargains
Mt. Vernon has a plethora of resale shops for the best of bargain hunters. Finders Pickers Treasure Island and Renee’s Vintage specialize in primitive and vintage home décor. Several clothing resale shops include Penny Lane Consignment, Bargain Box, Designer Kids Consignment Shop, Treasure Trove Resale, and Mt. Vernon Christian Outreach & Resale.
Y - Yourself
Everyone deserves a “Me” day! Spoil yourself with a deep tissue massage from Stress Knot Massage. Then, catch a movie at AMC Theatres. Head to Times Square Mall to indulge in a little shopping. End your “me” day by stopping by Starbucks for a frappe!
Z - Zoo
Although you won’t see any live animals, you can take a trip to this animal-themed water park to beat the heat! At the Aquatic Zoo, you can wind around the lazy river, go down two enclosed water slides, jump off the low or high dive, take a lap in the pool, or relax in the zero-depth entry leisure pool. The children’s splash pad has slides just the right size for little ones, interactive animal sound features, and a tipping bucket. If a day of swimming makes you hungry, head to the concession area for a warm pretzel, hot dog, nachos, ice cream, and more!