Top 15 Things To Do In Mt Vernon, Illinois

things to do in mount vernon illinois

Mt Vernon’s motto is “Creativity Redefined.” This is why this Illinois city is known as the “Festival Arts City.” Part of its culture is the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, which is an art museum covering art and architecture. Look into the city’s history at the Jefferson County Historical Village, a museum covering much of the past since the city was founded in 1817. Mt. Vernon also offers green spaces and other rural locations, like Miller Lake, where fishing and boating are the order of the day. More fun can be had at the Aquatic Zoo Water Park with its colorful slides. If you’re planning to visit this artistic city, here’s a list of things to do in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, that you can try out.

1. Make a big splash at the Aquatic Zoo

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

The Aquatic Zoo is the perfect place for the whole family to have fun. There are exciting water slides, tubes, a high-dive over the pool and the Lazy River, where you can relax and just float in the sun. Kids have fun on the log bridge, trying to cross without falling into the water while others perform laps in the 25 m (82 ft) pool. All the water slides are colorfully depicted as giraffes and other zoo animals.

Aquatic Zoo

Address: 1700 S. 34th Street, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Aquatic Zoo

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 6pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm

Price: From 6 USD

2. Enjoy art classes at the Cedarhurst Center For The Arts

Sip & Paint Event
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Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt Vernon is a visual and performing arts institution. The center displays permanent and temporary exhibits of American artworks and hosts regular concerts. The center also offers art classes in painting, drawing, stained glass, quilting and ceramics.

Cedarhurst Center For The Arts

Address: 2600 E Richview Rd, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Cedarhurst Center For The Arts

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: From 10 USD

3. Learn about Mt Vernon at the Jefferson County Historical Society

Old log house
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Jefferson County Historical Village in Mt. Vernon offers a fascinating museum and an interpretative center covering the history of the county and town. View log houses dating back to the 19th century, a log jail, church and a one-room school. There are also functional blacksmith and print shops to visit and period merchandise is on display in the general store. Visit the medical building to see the variety of medical equipment used way back them.

Jefferson County Historical Society

Address: 1411 N 27th St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Jefferson County Historical Society

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12:30pm - 4:30pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm

Price: Free but donations welcome

4. Relax and chill out at Stress Knot Massage

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bhattharasinthorn... used under CC BY 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Stress Knot Massage is part of the Chiropractic Wellness Center of Mt. Vernon. They have been offering a professional massage service in the city for 10 years. Massage therapy helps a guest’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Techniques include deep pressure and intense stretching, relaxing, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, point therapy and aromatherapy massage with essential oils. This is the perfect way to relax and get rid of the tensions of daily living and working.

Stress Knot Massage

Address: 1009 S 42nd St. Suite 6, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Stress Knot Massage

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 10am - 6pm; Thu: 10am - 7pm; Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: From 40 USD

5. Enjoy a meal at RARE Chop House

Wood-Grilled Cap, White Truffle Bearnaise
Source: Photo by Flickr user Lou Stejskal used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

RARE Chop House serves a range of entrees, shareable plates, lunch and side dishes, along with a remarkable wine list. Among the shareables are Basil Bruschetta, P.E.I. Mussels and Crab Croquettes. Entrees include Braised Chicken Pot Pie, Crab Stuffed Salmon and Chicken Florentine. The lunch menu offers meat dishes including roasted prime rib, burgers, chicken alfredo and French dip.

RARE Chop House

Address: 224 S 10th St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: RARE Chop House

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11am - 4pm, 5pm - 9pm; Sat: 4pm - 9pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

6. Smell that smoke at Bandana's Bar-B-Q

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

Bandana’s BAR-B-Q is a Southern-style barbeque restaurant with a cowboy theme. Their real wood pit smokers work 24 hours a day and the restaurant encourages visitors to “smell that smoke” as they are about to dine. All meats are hand-rubbed prior to smoking with a dozen herbs and spices. There is also a variety of side dishes, including potato salad, coleslaw, fried corn on the cob and grilled garlic bread.

Bandana's Bar-B-Q

Address: 308 S 44th St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Bandana’s Bar-B-Q

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

7. All you can eat at Asian Buffet

Asian buffet
Source: Maxpixel

Asian Buffet in Mount Vernon, Illinois, is recognized for its outstanding Chinese cuisines and excellent service. The buffet serves a modern interpretation of classic Chinese dishes made with only the highest-quality fresh ingredients. Enjoy all you can eat delicious food from the buffet!

Asian Buffet

Address: 419 S 42nd St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Asian Buffet

Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)

8. Browse the latest novels at King City Books

Book store
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

King City Books is an independent book store in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, with all the classics, latest novels and children’s books on display. There is a coffee shop inside the store so you can relax with a tasty cup while browsing the bookshelves. Regular readings are held by local authors and other events are held here regularly. The shop opens early.

King City Books

Address: 104 N 9th St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: King City Books

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 6pm; Sat: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

9. Browse the latest second-hand bargains at Treasure Trove Resale

Tokyo Thrift Store
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jeff Kramer used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that is so true. Treasure Trove Resale offers a range of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, along with an assortment of household items for sale. While shoppers can get bargains here, the shop also donates a portion of their sales to support the local Meals on Wheels program in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Treasure Trove Resale

Address: 1921 Broadway St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Treasyre Trove Resale

10. Enjoy a drink at The Frosty Mug Bar & Grill

Mug of beer
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Whether looking for some great barbecue, or a cold glass of beer, The Frosty Mug Bar & Grill can offer both. The bar serves a range of different meats, spiced and cooked on the barbeque to your liking, and at reasonable prices. Choose from ribs, pork loin, brisket, half chicken, pulled pork and BBQ nachos, as well as daily specials and sides. Wash down the meal with one of the best craft beers.

The Frosty Mug Bar & Grill

Address: 1113 Salem Rd, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: The Frosty Mug Bar & Grill

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7am - 11pm; Fri: 7am - 2am; Sat: 11am - 2am; Sun: 12pm - 10pm

11. Have an amazing breakfast at Waffle Company

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Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Waffle Company serves the best breakfasts from early in the morning until just after lunch. Choose from a wide range of egg and toast dishes, omelets, sandwiches and great scrambles. Select one of the delicious waffles from the menu, including the Large Belgian Waffle or Pecan Waffle. Enjoy a plate full of great pancakes or French toast, along with various delicious side dishes. Let the kids choose from their own menu, including Mickey Cake and Mini Waffles. There is also a selection of soups and salads.

Waffle Company

Address: 4115a Broadway St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Waffle Company

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

12. Attend a service at LifePointe Church

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

Worshippers at LifePointe Church believe the Bible, with both its Old and New Testaments, is the word of God. Both local residents and visitors to Mt. Vernon, Illinois, are welcome to worship here on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday evenings.

LifePointe Church

Address: 13229 N Chestnut Ln, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: LifePointe Church

Opening hours: Sunday Worship: 10:29am; Wednesday service: 7pm

13. Have some fun at Nu Bowl Lanes

Bowling lane
Source: Peakpx

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Nu-Bowl is a 28-lane bowling center with well-trained and friendly staff. The snack bar offers a menu of drinks and snacks, while The Back Office Bar & Grill offers more, including a gaming parlor, burgers and pizza. There is a games arcade for extra fun, including racing cars and air hockey.

Nu Bowl Lanes

Address: 3226, 1315 N 17th St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Nu Bowl Lanes

Opening hours: Mon - Tue, Thu: 9am - 10pm; Wed: 3pm - 10pm; Fri: 9am - 12am; Sun: 12pm - 8pm

Price: From 8 USD

14. Enjoy watching a game at Pro's Sports Bar

Team Insider Sports bar at Tune Hotel, Makati
Source: Photo by Flickr user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Watch the latest sports and big games as they happen, while enjoying a cold beer or other preferred drink. Also, enjoy tasty bar fare. The bar also offers live music evenings.

Pro's Sports Bar

Address: 1308 Salem Rd, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Pro’s Sports Bar

15. Keep up the exercise regime at Anytime Fitness

anytime fitness
Source: Photo by Flickr user bertknot used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Anytime Fitness offers a range of fitness centers all over the USA and Canada. Pop into the local center in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to find out about memberships and free trials on all the latest exercise equipment, with professional staff available to help. The equipment includes treadmills, ellipticals, exercise cycles, stair climbers, rowing machines, free weights, racks and other training tools.

Anytime Fitness

Address: 606-616 S 42nd St, Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA

Website: Anytime fitness

Opening hours: 24 hours

Enjoy your visit to Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Mt Vernon, Illinois
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rklawton used under CC BY-SA 2.5

When visiting this attractive city, explore everything there is to see while enjoying the various things to do in Mt Vernon, Illinois, USA. Go ahead and use our recommendations above and gear up for a memorable experience in the lovely city of Mt. Vernon.

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

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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