Travel destinations

So. Illinois Among Underrated U.S. Travel Destinations

ILLINOIS — Looking to plan one last road trip at the end of summer or anticipate your fall travels? Southern Illinois might be the next destination for you.

A recent report by CNN Travel listed the southern Illinois region as one of its 22 most underrated destinations for travel in the United States. The list offers a look at some lesser-known vacation spots across the country.

The report offered the following description of what makes Southern Illinois underrated:

“Wedged between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, the southern tip of the state still looks a lot like Illinois in the early 1800s when the infamous Trail of Tears passed through here and a young Abraham Lincoln was still cleaving the rails.

Hikers can explore the dark woods and deep canyons of the Shawnee National Forest—and maybe spot a Sasquatch—on the 160-mile River to River Trail. Shorter hikes enter the primeval rock outcrops of Giant City and Garden of the Gods.

Some of the area’s man-made attractions include the Superman Museum and colossal statue of Metropolis, the free Cave-in-Rock ferry on the Ohio River, and the heavy metal music festival Full Terror Assault in September.

Other nearby destinations referenced were Kansas City, Oklahoma State, and the Ouchita Mountains in Arkansas.