Scott Air Force Base, located in Illinois, is not just a military installation but also a gateway to a plethora of hidden gems in its surrounding area. Whether you are stationed at the base or visiting the region, taking the time to explore these hidden treasures can prove to be a rewarding and memorable experience.
One such hidden gem near Scott Air Force Base is the charming town of Belleville. Just a short drive away, Belleville offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Begin your exploration by visiting the picturesque Downtown Belleville Square, where you can stroll along the streets lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, and delightful restaurants. Don’t forget to stop by the Belleville Main Street Park, a quaint oasis nestled in the heart of the city.
For history enthusiasts, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a must-visit destination. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cahokia Mounds was once home to the largest pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico. Explore the 2,200-acre park, hike the trails, and marvel at the ancient mounds that have stood the test of time for over a thousand years.
If you are seeking outdoor adventure, head to the nearby Horseshoe Lake State Park. With its serene lake, dense forests, and diverse wildlife, this park offers endless opportunities for activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and birdwatching. Pack a picnic and spend a tranquil afternoon surrounded by nature’s beauty.
For a taste of small-town charm, make your way to quaint communities like Lebanon and Mascoutah. These towns exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with their historic downtown areas, antique shops, and friendly locals. Take a leisurely walk, chat with the locals, and immerse yourself in the simple pleasures of Midwest life.
If you are a wine connoisseur, you’ll be delighted to know that Scott Air Force Base is situated within the heart of the scenic Illinois wine country. Traverse the enchanting wine trails and indulge in tastings at renowned wineries such as Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery or Lavender Crest Winery. Be sure to savor the flavors of locally produced wines and enjoy the breathtaking views of the vineyards.
For a fun-filled family excursion, head to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville. This family-owned farm offers a wide range of activities, including fruit-picking, petting zoos, corn mazes, and seasonal events. Create lasting memories as you and your loved ones embark on an agricultural adventure.
Scott Air Force Base’s surrounding area truly has something for everyone. Whether you are fascinated by history, seeking outdoor thrills, or simply looking to unwind in charming towns, these hidden gems are waiting to be explored. So, take a break from the military routine, grab a map, and set out on an adventure to discover the countless treasures that lie just beyond the base’s gates.