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  • PMR Team

The Ultimate Summer Vacation - Your Backyard

School’s almost out, and your kids are just itching to hit the road. While you all may be ready to go, your wallet may not exactly agree. So, what can you do without breaking the bank? Why not stay local? Yeah, you live in Southern Illinois, but have you really LIVED in Southern Illinois? There’s so many unique hidden gems within two hours of Marion that something’s sure to pique your interest.


Want to get out of the house? Try some cool stays we have in the area! Take your family with you to live like Tarzan at the Timber Ridge Outpost. Heights not your thing? Then take a look at their original 1850’s log cabin for a more rustic stay! Don’t fret if you wanted the cabin experience but can’t find one there, there’s plenty more places to find your cabin fix in the area, including Giant City Lodge, Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals, the Olde Squat Inn, and many, many more.

Not close enough to nature? Why not try a yurt! When Camp Manitowa isn’t housing kids during summer camps, there are yurts available to rent that give you access to a wide variety of activities on the campground, including fishing, swimming, campfires, GaGa ball, and more!

Looking for a more traditional place to stay, but maybe not a hotel? Try an inn! You can take your break from school back in school at the Davies School Inn & Suites. Looking for more of an adult-only time? Check out the eco-friendly Makanda Inn & Suites. There are plenty of listings on the Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association’s website as well for you to check out!


You think you’ve seen it all in Southern Illinois? Think again. There’s lots of hidden gems and fun adventures just waiting for you to join in.

Did you know you don’t need the deep sea to go scuba diving? That’s right - Mermet Springs, right here in Southern Illinois, allows diving and snorkeling without the ocean tide! Wanting to stay top-side of the liquid? Try renting a kayak and making your way through the Cache Wetlands to see the cypress forests. Water not your thing? Then zip through the tree tops at Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours. Wanting to head up further? A drive up the Route 3 Great River Road can lead you to several amazing sites, including the cursed town of Kaskaskia, Illinois’ first capital, the Statue of Popeye in his hometown of Chester, Mary’s River Covered Bridge, and even the historic Fort de Chartres, along with the gorgeous views overlooking the mighty Mississippi. Keep the kids entertained for hours with in one place - Boo Castle Park. This unique park nestled off of Giant City Road takes kids back to a time where dragons roamed and knights served the land.

Are you ready to head back indoors? Well, we can help you there, too. Get your glamorous self over to Studio B in Carbondale for the ultimate selfie session, sure to make your Instagram light up. If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, look no further than the Makanda Boardwalk. Full of unique pieces and local artists, you’re sure to find just the right thing you didn’t know you’re looking for. Ready to unwind? Hit up one of the over 20 wineries throughout the region, or even one of the dozens of craft breweries making their appearances - there’s always new ones to be discovered, and you may just find a new favorite!

So what are you waiting for? There’s so much more around here, we could barely make a scratch in this short article. Make Southern Illinois your new favorite vacation location! Let us know in the comments what your favorite Southern Illinois hidden gem is!

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