An iconic memorial fountain, something of a wellspring, welcomes you to charming Belleville, Southern Illinois’ and the Metro East urban region’s most populous city. Literally meaning ‘beautiful city’, Belleville is iconic in more ways than one - it is home to the Belleville Historic District which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1886 formed Belleville Philharmonic Society, which is the country’s second-oldest philharmonic orchestra, and the Veterans Memorial Fountain, which is now an iconic symbol in the Metro-east area. If you’re passing through Belleville, why not spend a few days here and explore some amazing activities in this small but iconic city? Check out our list of things to do in Belleville, Illinois.
1. Visit Braeutigam Orchards
You’ll never know how time passes in the beautiful Braeutigam Orchards in Belleville. Braeutigam started out as a small farm with a few animals. Over time it was converted into an orchard producing quality fruits such as apples and pumpkins. The family-owned orchard offers jams, jellies, honey and also conducts ‘picking your own’ product tours. Their ripening season is always looked forward to and is visited by many patrons. They even have a delicious smelling bakery selling the most divine products including awesome apple cider doughnuts!
Address: 2795 Turkey Hill Ln, Belleville
Website: Braeutigam Orchards
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 5pm
2. Watch a movie at Lincoln Theatre
Watch a movie or a performance at the Lincoln Theatre, one of Belleville’s most iconic structures sitting on the site of the 19th century Mansion House Hotel/Voss Building. The 1921-built theatre was quickly billed as the greatest vaudeville house in Southern Illinois, moving on to sound films by the time of the Great Depression. The theatre underwent many changes over the years to make way for the modern movie-watching audience. Today, the theatre also hosts live performances, including concerts and children’s theatre and is the home of the Belleville Philharmonic Society.
Address: 103 E Main St, Belleville
Website: Lincoln Theatre
3. Chill out at Fletcher's Kitchen & Tap
Fletcher’s is where you head to if you have a hankering for some delicious yet healthy all-American cuisine. Apart from an extensive bar stocked with all kinds of beer and delicious cocktails and an amazing menu, Fletcher’s is also known for its unique gaming lounge where you can enjoy playing games with your friends and family. The lounge at Fletcher’s is also a perfect spot for a late-night get-together where, apart from playing games, you can enjoy treats from the late-night menu, including wings, quesadillas, fries, pork rinds, burritos, and empanadas!
Fletcher's Kitchen & Tap
Address: 6101 W Main St, Belleville
Website: Fletcher's Kitchen & Tap
Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)
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4. Eat comfort food at Eckert's Belleville Country Store and Farms
Eat your way through vegetables and fruits of all kinds at Eckert’s Belleville Farm, which is open year-round and with activities for all four seasons. Not only does the farm make available ‘pick-your-own vegetables and fruits’ every season, the likes of pumpkins, apples, peaches, blackberries, strawberries and more, but you can even enjoy a delectable meal at their true-blue farm-to-table restaurant with seasonal delights as well as all-time favorites. The farm even has a bakery on-site, where you can feast on delectable baked goodies, wine, produce, and fresh meats too. Don’t forget to head to their Custard Shop in the summer!
Eckert's Belleville Country Store and Farms
Address: 951 S Green Mt Rd, Belleville
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
5. Check out artifacts at Labor & Industry Museum
The front of the Labor & Industry Museum located at 123 N. Church St., Belleville Illinois. Building built in 1837.Posted by Labor & Industry Museum Belleville Illinois on Saturday, 1 December 2012
Located in the Conrad Bornman House in downtown Belleville is the Labor & Industry Museum, which focuses on Belleville’s Gildred Era between 1865 and 1929. Originally poised to be a tourist center, the museum has been remodeled many times. Popular exhibits include the Union Hall, the Stove Room, and the Industrial Hall, which chronicles the significance of Belleville’s cast-iron stove industry. The iconic museum even features exhibits, artifacts, documents, and photographs related to stencil-making, brick-making, brewing, and glass-making, all of which total to more than 1000 items!
Labor & Industry Museum
Address: 123 N Church St, Belleville
Website: Labor & Industry Museum
Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed Sun - Fri)
6. Visit the beautiful National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
With over 200 acres (80 hectares) of land, the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville is one of North America’s largest outdoor shrines. A Catholic sanctum to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is dedicated to Rome’s Basilica of Saint Mary Major, which saw snowfall during summer according to legends. The land on which the shrine is located also includes a large gift shop, a conference and visitors center, a residence for the Oblates, an apartment complex for retired people, a restaurant, and even a hotel. During Advent and Christmas, the Shrine hosts an outdoor 1.1 million white-lights display known as ‘Way of Lights’.
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Address: 442 S Demazenod Dr, Belleville
7. Tour the wonderful St. Clair County Historical Society
In historic downtown Belleville lies the St. Clair County Historical Society, Illinois’ oldest county historical society. The 1905-founded historical society features a fantastic collection of photographs, books, and historic documents to educate people about, preserve, and disseminate the fascinating history of the St. Clair County of Illinois. Tour the wonderful sites of the 1867-built Greek-revival Victorian Home Museum, the 1851-built Emma Kunz House, the Messinger Cemetery and Veterans’ Memorial, and the Messinger Schoolhouse with well-informed docents as you learn all about the days gone by.
St. Clair County Historical Society
Address: 701 E Washington St, Belleville
Website: St. Clair County Historical Society
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
8. Relax at Frank Holten Park
The relaxing Frank Holten Park, a 1,080-acre (~47 million sq. feet) park is a perfect place for spending time admiring the green spaces, for picnicking, fishing and for enjoying a day out in Belleville. The park even features an 18-hole golf course, two beautiful lakes, and a wide variety of animal and plant life. Nature lovers will love the shaded park and its many trees including sycamores, poplars, oaks, maple, Scotch pines, as well as flowers and bushes like honeysuckle, bridal wreath, and the water lilies. You could even end up spotting fauna such as minks, groundhogs, foxes, raccoons, and rabbits.
Frank Holten Park
Address: 161 62220, IL-161, Belleville
Website: Frank Holten Park
9. Try margaritas at Casa Maria Mexican Grill
Casa Maria Mexican Grill brings you authentic and fresh flavors from the shores of Mexico right to the streets of Belleville. Try the expansive menu which includes salads, quesadillas, fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, and even delicious desserts. Their salsa is just perfect with the right mix of spices and comes with a bowl of complimentary chips. However, you have to also try one of their delicious and fabulous margaritas, for no Mexican meal is complete without them! Try the Casa, the Caddy Maria, and the Casa Maria, which all feature house and choose-your-own tequilas in the mix. These lip-smacking frozen margaritas feature house tequila mixed in the frozen goodness of peach, strawberry, mango, and lime!
Casa Maria Mexican Grill
Address: 100 N High St, Belleville
Website: Casa Maria Mexican Grill
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm
10. Check out artwork at Mid-Century Modern Architecture Museum
The Mid-Century Modern Architecture Museum in Belleville is one of its most iconic and historic buildings. Originally the ‘Terry and Thelma Blazier House’, the home was acquired by the Belleville Historical Society to be converted into a museum symbolizing Midcentury Modern architecture. The place, which is under renovation, also features the life and work of Charles E King, the original Belleville architect who designed the home for the Blaziers back in 1952. The house/museum even has an attached apartment (for Thelma’s sister, Vivian) furnished in an authentic midcentury-style which can be rented on Airbnb!
Mid-Century Modern Architecture Museum
Address: 8501 W Main St, Belleville
11. Visit Julius J Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve
If you are a nature lover, then the local oasis of the Julius J Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve is for you. Here you can reconnect with nature and come in close contact with animal and plant life, including wildflowers. The nature reserve features a 0.7 mile (1.1 km) long lightly trafficked loop trail which can be used by people with all skill levels. Between April and October, you can go walking, running, jogging, bird-watching, and hiking in the great outdoors, and even get your furry friends along (on a leash). For a relaxing day out in Belleville, whether it is with your friends, family, or your furry friends, head to the Julius J Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve.
Julius J Knobeloch Woods Nature Preserve
Address: 3018 Rentchler Rd, Belleville
12. Enjoy live music at Silver Creek Saloon and Grill
Take a break from all the sightseeing in Belleville and head to Silver Creek Saloon and Grill, where delicious food and live music will have you enjoying a fantastic, fun-filled evening. Not only does Silver Creek Saloon have a fully stocked bar with a huge selection of draft and bottled beer, but it also has ‘Daily Drink Specials’ and a variety of specialty drink recipes too. Enjoy all this while listening to foot-tapping music by talented local bands every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Sunday afternoons during summer.
Silver Creek Saloon and Grill
Address: 2520 Mascoutah Ave, Belleville
Website: The Silver Creek Saloon and Grill
Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)
13. Enjoy a karaoke night at Schatze's
Sunday through Thursday is a roaring hit at Schatze’s where karaoke brings together patrons in what promises to be a fun-filled, exciting evening. Schatze’s, an establishment on Main Street in Belleville, is a famous, fun dive known for its very cold beer, amazing peel-and-eat shrimp, and cheap but delicious burgers, apart from hosting karaoke evenings. If you sing, get on the stage and belt out fun numbers as you dig into great beer and cocktails, lip-smacking bar food such as jumbo shrimp and onion rings, and enjoy a night out in Belleville.
Schatze's Bar & Grill
Address: 2301 E Main St, Belleville
Website: Schatze's Bar & Grill
Opening hours: 8am - 2am (daily)
14. Enjoy a game at Cutter's
Monday Special! Pizza and a Pitcher of Beer $10 all day!Posted by Cutter's on Monday, 20 November 2017
How about some all-American casual dining while watching a game with your friends in Belleville? Cutter’s is the place to go for its boasts of great food and drinks at affordable prices. Dig into some delicious mac and cheese bites, salads, fish dishes, nachos, mozzarella sticks, fries, chicken strips, pizzas, and burgers, while ordering rounds of perfect drinks from the bar as you cheer with your gang in front of the TV. Cutter’s also features alfresco seating which makes for a great place to dine on pleasant summer evenings.
Address: 239 Carlyle Ave, Belleville
Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)
15. Enjoy DJ nights at The Luna Lounge
Added 2 more beers to our selection and frozen margaritas?Posted by The Luna Lounge on Monday, 26 June 2017
If you’re out in Belleville on a Saturday evening, you have to go to the Luna Lounge, where the DJ spins amazing, foot-tapping music, a dance floor that beckons you, and there’s food that you’ll love. Featuring an extensive menu of quesadillas, sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads, salads, and appetizers, Luna Lounge also has amazing cocktails, jello shots, and local craft beers. Try the Philly cheese quesadillas, the Luna Burger, Cajun grits, and blackened shrimp, along with beer and some amazing cocktails to wash them down.
The Luna Lounge
Address: 104 W Main St, Belleville
Website: The Luna Lounge
Opening hours: Sun- Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 1am
16. Grab a beer at Hofbräuhaus St. Louis-Belleville
A massive dining hall decorated with Bavarian flair, arched white and blue ceilings, long bench seating, and a giant Geman flag as the backdrop - Hofbräuhaus is an Oktoberfest fantasy where sausages, pretzels, and delicious German beer flow freely. Five classic German beers, a Dunkel, a Hefeweizen, a lager, and two seasonal options, are available by half-liter or liter, served in glass steins. Enjoy them while listening to a rotating roster of performers playing a combination of popular hits and traditional German drinking songs, complete with alphorn and cowbells! If you’re hungry, eat your way through German classics including sauerkraut, potato salads, pretzels, sausages, sauerbraten, and more.
Address: 123 St. Eugene Drive, Belleville
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)
17. Dig in at Papa Vito's Pizza
There’s no better place for pizzas in Belleville than at Papa Vito’s Pizza, a household name in pizzas around Belleville. Papa Vito’s is also known for their other menu items such as toasted ravioli, breadsticks, wings, and salads too. For the best experience to eat at Papa Vito’s, start off with a garden salad with the house dressing or tortellini soup, before moving on to the best pizzas on the menu - All-meat Monster and the Veggie Deluxe pizzas. Do save room for dessert!
Papa Vito's Pizza
Address: 318 E Washington St, Belleville
Website: Papa Vito's Pizza
Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sun: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm (closed on Mon)
Nature lovers, foodies, culture buffs - every traveler has something which will fascinate them about the beautiful city of Belleville. Head to Belleville, roam the gardens, eat to your heart’s content and witness the history and culture of one of Illinois’ most iconic towns.
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