Located in Illinois, Scott Air Force Base (AFB) is an important military installation that serves as the headquarters for the United States Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air Force Global Strike Command. While it is mostly known for its military presence, the surrounding area holds a wealth of hidden gems. Quaint towns and vibrant communities near Scott AFB offer a multitude of attractions and activities for both residents and visitors alike.
One such hidden gem is Belleville, a historic city with a charming downtown area. Founded in 1814, Belleville boasts beautiful architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the charming Main Street lined with local shops, boutiques, and delicious eateries. The annual Art on the Square event, one of the nation’s top-ranked juried art shows, attracts artists and art enthusiasts from all over the country. Additionally, Belleville is home to numerous parks, including Bellevue Park and Hough Park, where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities and picnics.
Another nearby town worth a visit is Edwardsville, known for its lively atmosphere and impressive architecture. The town’s Main Street is lined with a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. History buffs will appreciate the numerous historic sites, including the Wildey Theatre and the Benjamin Stephenson House. The town also offers an extensive trail system that connects various parks, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking and cycling.
For those seeking a unique small-town experience, Lebanon is the perfect destination. Known as “The Antique Capital of Southern Illinois,” Lebanon is home to a plethora of antique shops and flea markets. Visitors can spend hours browsing through the vast collection of vintage furniture, clothing, and collectibles. The charming town square, filled with historic buildings and quaint shops, invites visitors to step back in time. Lebanon also hosts the annual Septemberfest, a festival featuring live music, food vendors, and a classic car show.
O’Fallon, another nearby town, offers a perfect blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. The vibrant community is known for its exceptional parks and recreational facilities, including the Family Sports Park, hosting a variety of athletic fields, a swimming pool, and a skate park. O’Fallon also boasts a lively downtown district, packed with unique shops, locally-owned restaurants, and breweries. The city hosts various events throughout the year, such as the O’FallonFest and the Fall Fest, which showcase the community’s spirit and sense of belonging.
Lastly, Mascoutah is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked. This cozy town offers a close-knit community and a rich history. The Mascoutah Heritage Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the town’s past. The town also hosts several annual events, such as the Mascoutah Homecoming, featuring live performances, food vendors, and a carnival. Mascoutah is also home to numerous parks and recreational areas, where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and picnicking.
The quaint towns and vibrant communities near Scott AFB offer a diverse range of attractions and activities for all interests. From historic downtown districts to extensive park systems, visitors will find themselves immersed in local culture and surrounded by friendly faces. Whether you’re a military member stationing at the base or a curious traveler passing through, make sure to take the time to uncover these hidden gems and experience the unique charm they have to offer.