Top 19 Things To Do In Carbondale, Illinois

things to do in carbondale illinois
Mathew
Mathew
Updated

Carbondale, Illinois, is a busy tourist city in Jackson County better known as “Little Egypt.” It was developed as a result of the railroad construction which came in 1853 to create access to this gorgeous city. After the construction, Carbondale became one of the greatest cities to visit as it now boasts great parks, scenic landscape, museums, and a great array of restaurants to treat your taste buds. If you are a traveler planning to visit this beautiful city, there are several things you can do to ensure that your holiday is memorable. Here is a list of amazing things to do in Carbondale. Illinois as you unwind in the perfect holiday trip.

1. Entertain yourself with a live show at the Varsity Theater

Butch Walker at Varsity Theater 2016
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Enjoy a live show in one of those beautiful old theatres with spectacular decor and indoor to keep you entertained. It is one of those gorgeous theatres that could not be more perfect as it is well preserved with a fine vintage look. The venue is quite amazing with really good sound, great sight lines, and some of the coolest, most unique restrooms you’ll ever see! It is also an awesome space for a really beautiful wedding or other occasions in case you are looking for a place that can hold large gatherings.

Varsity Theater

Address: 1308 SE 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA

Website: Varsity Theater

Opening hours: Mon, Wed & Fri: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)

2. Sample artwork at Artspace 304

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Artspace 304 has been open to the public for over 25 years and has encouraged the creative culture of the people of Carbondale. It is home to some of the lively multi-arts festivals and has expanded to become a full-service local art space that involves people with the finest of art activities which you can pop in to enjoy while visiting this fantastic city. Make sure to stop by and have a look at the amazing art treats you will find in this place, and pick fine memories to tell.

Artspace 304

Address: 304 W Walnut St., Carbondale, Illinois

Website: Artspace 304

Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Sat - Tue)

Price: 5 USD (entry)

3. Unwind in a great ambiance at Tres Hombres

TRES HOMBRES (07)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user S.J. de Waard used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tres Hombres is one of the restaurants in Carbondale that offers the best Mexican food where it features a full lunch and dinner menu with daily specials and both indoor and outdoor seating spaces. It is located in the Old Town Square in Carbondale and is home to live music and offers twelve beers on tap. Make sure to try the house famous Margaritas and also take advantage of the full bar for all your cocktail needs.

Tres Hombres

Address: 119 N Washington St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Tres Hombres

Opening hours: 11am - 2am (daily)

Price: 11 - 30 USD

4. Enjoy some incredible Japanese at Yamato Steak House of Japan

Steak Meat Beef
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The restaurant comes with a stylish interior with some Japanese decor. There is a great menu which includes meals such as the New York Strip Steak Bento Box and Godzilla Roll. Even better, the steak is marinated in teriyaki and is usually very tender with a variety of sauces to go with it. This is a place you don’t want to miss if you crave for a place to enjoy a good old Japanese meal.

Yamato Steak House Of Japan

Address: 1013 E Main St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Yamato Steak House Of Japan

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm

Price: 10 - 30 USD

5. Experience the exquisite Thai food at Thai Taste

Thai Food Lunch
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Try this eatery on the ground floor of a stately building that serves both classic and unique Thai meals which come with a touch of the finest chef. This is one place you will definitely fall in love when you set foot in it. The menu and the service will blow you away. This is one of the best places in Carbondale you can sample a meal at, and you will be sure not to forget any time soon how it tastes.

Thai Taste

Address: 100 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Thai Taste

Opening hours: 11am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 8:30pm (daily)

Price: 10 - 30 USD

6. Indulge in a plate of tasty pancakes at Sunny Street Cafe

Foodiesfeed.com pouring-honey-on-pancakes-with-walnuts
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mae Mu used under CC0

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Check out this amazing restaurant for the finest breakfast and lunch, dine-in or carry-out, with fresh, wholesome food and amazing service that will pull you into this place again. The house famous pancakes are something to behold here if you step in for breakfast or a quick snack as you tour this beautiful town.

Sunny Street Cafe

Address: 900 E Walnut St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Sunny Street Cafe

Opening hours: 6:30am - 2:30pm (daily)

Price: 11 - 30 USD

7. Take delight in then authentic Indian curry at Reema's Indian Cuisine

Indian-Food-wikicont
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mohans1995 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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Here is one of the best Indian restaurants which serve some fine authentic Indian food in Southern Illinois. The aroma of spice and delicious meals will make you want to try out everything here with a wide array of meals to choose from. This is a place where you will enjoy some of the finest Indian treats blended with a nostalgic ambiance that will make you want to come back again.

Reema's Indian Cuisine

Address: 607 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Reema’s Indian Cuisine

Opening hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 9pm (daily)

Price: 11 - 30 USD

8. Have a sip of the delicious milk teas at Q Q Bubble Tea

Classic bubble tea
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Oqmilteashop used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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This is a small, juice bar-sized place with a pretty good milk tea menu and green tea milk with Boba. There is a selection of things you can add to your drink, especially the house-famous Boba which strikes up your tea with a very unique taste that is unforgettable. Pop in this with your family or partner and have one of the finest tea tasting experiences.

Q Q Bubble Tea

Address: 701 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Q Q Bubble Tea

Opening hours: 12pm - 10pm (daily)

Price: 10 - 30 USD

9. Engage in the rich culture at the African American Museum

Museum of African American History & Culture - Wide Angle
Source: Photo by user Macfawlty used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The African American Museum of Southern Illinois features exhibits that showcase the contributions and difficult pasts of African Americans in history since its founding in 1997 as a way to preserve and portray the achievements of African Americans in southern Illinois. While here, you get to learn about important African American figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., and President Barack Obama through art and many other museum objects.

African American Museum

Address: 1237 E Main St, Carbondale, IL 62902, USA

Website: African American Museum

Opening hours: 24/7

Price: 10 - 15 USD

10. Ride horses through the Autumn Ridge Acres

Horse Mount Riding
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This is a great recreational place for your family and traveling partner if you are looking for a place to spend the day in the company of great animals. This is a great ranch that houses a number of hiking trails. You will be able to explore the trails with the help of your experienced guide. Saddle up and get ready for a fun-filled horse riding lesson!

Autumn Ridge Acres

Address: 895 E Autumn Ridge Rd, Carbondale, IL 62902, USA

Website: Autumn Ridge Acres

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 20 - 50 USD

11. Have a taste of the finest cigar at Yesteryear Tobacconist

Cigar Cigars In Box
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Pop in this shop and get yourself some of the finest cigars in this side of America with a wide variety of carefully manufactured cigars for you. Here, you will find a tobacconist who will walk yo the great list of cigars in the house and advise you on what the best preference for your pick. If you are looking for a souvenir to take back home, this is the perfect place to stop over and grab a gift.

Yesteryear Tobacconist

Address: 213 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Yesteryear Tobacconist

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 10 - 50 USD

12. Sample out secondhand goods at The Thrift Shop

Records Antique Music
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Enjoy two floors of second-hand clothing, furniture, collectibles, toys, books, music records, and all sorts of other treasures in The Thrift shop. If you are looking to spend some money shopping and also looking for great items at a pocket-friendly price, this is your ultimate spot. Stop by and grab a T-shirt to add to your wardrobe collection back home.

The Thrift Shop

Address: 215 N Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: The Thrift Shop

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 6pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: 5 - 20 USD

13. Get lost in the perfect game at Castle Perilous Games & Books

Board Games
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Castle Perilous Games & Books is one of the largest game stores in Carbondale with a wide selection of tabletop games, 200 different board games, and a great selection of comics which you will definitely love. Check in to this store and get lost in the world of comics and fun games that will give you a mind-blowing experience!

Castle Perilous Games & Books

Address: 2919, 207 W Main St, Carbondale, IL 62901, United States

Website: Castle Perilous Games & Books

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm

Price: 10 USD onwards

14. Do some leather shopping at Leather World

Woman Shopping Lifestyle
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Go to a shopping spree in this fantastic family-owned business which specializes in leather jackets, vests, gloves, tool bags, and other accessories. Even better, they offer leather purses, hats, and wallets and also do repairs where they fix that broken zipper and stitch the broken strap on your purse or shoes.

Leather World

Address: 100 W Walnut St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Leather World

Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Fri: 11am - 5:30 pm; Sat: 10am - 3pm (closed on Thu & Sun)

15. Enjoy an organic experience at Carbondale Community Farmers Market

Farmers Market Produce Fresh
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This is a non-profit project organized by the Carbondale community farmers to give them an opportunity to sell their farm produce to the larger community. If you are visiting this city and you are looking for a place to buy some fresh groceries, this is your right spot. You will find the widest variety of fresh groceries you will ever come across in this part of town!

Carbondale Community Farmers Market

Address: 1301 E Walnut St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Carbondale Community Farmers Market

Opening hours: Sat: 9am - 12pm (closed from Sun - Fri)

16. Have a full-filling workout experience at Warehouse the Ultimate Gym

Weights Lifting Power
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If you are looking for a place to exercise while visiting Carbondale, this is a place you can step in to have a fulfilling exercising session. From the state-of-art exercising equipment to the well-trained gym attendants you will be sure to learn something new. You can also take private classes if you are looking for extra fitness.

Warehouse the Ultimate Gym

Address: 220 W Chestnut St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Warehouse the Ultimate Gym

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 7pm; Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat: 9am - 1pm (closed on Sun)

17. Enjoy the amazing world of ferns at Fernlands Nature Preserve

Beech, ferns and lily of the valley in Gullmarsskogen 2
Source: Photo by user W.carter used under CC0

HIkers looking for a place to trail and enjoy a good day outdoors, here is a perfect spot where you can do all that and more. With the numerous varieties of ferns and other plants, you’ll be sure to learn a lot about nature as you hike in it. Make a plan and head out to the woods and enjoy the flora and fauna of Carbondale’s finest reserve.

Fernlands Nature Preserve

Address: 468 Kennedy Rd, Carbondale, IL 62903, USA

Website: Fernlands Nature Preserve

Opening hours: 24/7

Price: Free

18. Hike the trail of Brush Hill Nature Preserve

Hike Hikers Scene
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This is a reserve owned by the Green Earth organization which has been taking care of nature around. If you are looking for great hiking trails in the middle of the woods and fresh air this is your ultimate hiking spot. Make sure to look out for unique bird species and plants which I’m sure will give you a perfect unwind environment as you walk.

Brush Hill Nature Preserve

Address: 1085-1087 E Park St, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Website: Brush Hill Nature Preserve

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

19. Experience the smoothness of Grand River Spirits' handcrafted whiskey's

Whisky Drink Glass
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Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Grand River Spirit which currently produces hand-crafted blends of whiskey, gin, and rum. Each step of the spirit-making process is handled with care and enough precision to ensure that the final product is extremely smooth. You will also have the chance to sample the various types of liquor produced here and also you can carry some for your friends and family back home. Even better, there are cocktails offered on site with a great touch of finesse to give you a truly unforgettable taste.

Grand River Spirits

Address: 428 Wood Rd Carbondale, IL 62901

Website: Grand River Spirits

Opening hours: Fri: 4pm - 7pm; Sat: 11am - 5pm (public visit closed from Sun - Thu)

Visit Carbondale for a holiday to remember

If you are looking for the finest way to spend your holiday, make sure to sample this great list of things to do in Carbondale, Illinois, for a holiday of a lifetime with your friends, family or partner. This city gives you the perfect holiday feel you’ll ever come across in this part of America.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Mathew Mulinge is a trained project developer and a mentor who loves traveling. In addition, he is an experienced outdoor adventurer who loves the thrill of venturing into mountains and outdoor...Read more

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