Alexander County - 9 Attractions You Must Visit


About Alexander County

Alexander County in Illinois is a wonderful getaway for small-town charm and beautiful scenic views. Located near the Shawnee National Forest, visitors to Alexander can explore a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, swimming, boating, nature walks and more! There are numerous eateries to satisfy your cravings and local vendors selling unique products. Historic sites provide fascinating insights into the past. Whether you’re looking for rest and relaxation or adventure and exploration

Types of Attractions in Alexander County

Activities Around

List of Attractions in Alexander County

Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge is an iconic part of Alexander County. Spanning the Mississippi River, this double-deck cantilever truss bridge carries both Interstate access and railroad tracks. Built in the 1960s, it serves as a major transport corridor for locals and travelers alike. Standing 230 feet tall at its highest point, it's impossible to miss when driving through Alexander County. With its brightly painted lines and rustic charm, it's also a beautiful sight.

Cairo Custom House Museum

The Cairo Custom House Museum is a great place to experience the rich cultural history of the city. The museum features exhibits such as period photographs, artifacts from local events, and even items from the once-thriving cotton trade market. You can also explore a one-room log cabin from 1814 and its furnished living room, kitchen, parlor and bedroom that helps bring to life the lifestyles of early settlers in southern Illinois.

Cairo Mississippi River Bridge

The Cairo Mississippi River Bridge has the unique distinction of connecting two states. Kansas to the north and Missouri to the south. Constructed in 1964, this bridge stands 856 feet long and is 133 feet tall. It carries traffic along U.S. Route 51/ IL Route 3 its length of four spans across the Mississippi River and provides safe passage for thousands of vehicles each day. The bridge offers a stunning view at sunset as well as other times of day and has become an iconic landmark.

Fort Defiance State Park

Fort Defiance State Park

Man-made Structures- Other


Fort Defiance State Park, is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. A picturesque lake surrounded by grassy trails, fields and woodlands invites visitors to explore and reconnect with nature. During the summer months, boating enthusiasts can rent boats or set sail on their own kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Throughout the year, parkgoers can take advantage of one of the several picnic areas available, watching birds swoop down looking for food.

Horseshoe Lake-Alexander

Horseshoe Lake-Alexander

Lake/ River/ Ponds

Horseshoe Lake is an amazing destination for outdoorsy types looking for a fun vacation spot. Located just west of the Mississippi River, this scenic body of water spans over 1,500 acres and is surrounded by hiking trails, picnic spots, and plenty of opportunity to go fishing. Whether you bring your own boat or rent one from a nearby marina, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy all day long.

Magnolia Manor

Magnolia Manor

Iconic Buildings

Magnolia Manor is situated in Alexander County, and serves as a beautiful example of traditional Southern architecture. The brick facade is captivating, with stately columns and majestic arches marking the entrance. Inside, visitors experience elegant design elements such as ceiling medallions and crystal chandeliers that were crafted during the era when inhabitants enjoyed a life of luxury and opulence.

Mississippi-Ohio River Confluence

Illinois offers a unique and fascinating confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. This is a special location where two of the nation's most iconic waterways meet and begin to mingle their waters. As they come together, they create a beautiful hybrid river that is unlike any other in the world, home to rare species of fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Visitors can explore this natural site by taking part in kayak or canoe tours, or enjoying it from land at nearby campgrounds.

Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest is a truly incredible destination for outdoor recreation. Spanning an area of 280,000 acres, this national treasure is home to hundreds of native mammals and birds, as well as several endangered species. Visitors can enjoy activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, birdwatching, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery of flowering meadows and rolling hills.

Thebes Courthouse

Thebes Courthouse

Iconic Buildings

Thebes Courthouse is a historical building located on the banks of the Mississippi river. Built in 1845 as a courthouse for justice and order, it now serves as an artistic center for Alexander County and beyond. Notable events hosted at Thebes Courthouse include theater productions and art exhibitions that are open to the public. It has been carefully preserved to maintain its original architectural beauty and charm.

Map of attractions in Alexander County


For more information about Alexander County, visit:,_Illinois