We will be going through Arthur in Amish country on our way back from New Years trip to Chicago. Any opinions, suggestions or preferences
from my limited knowledge of the community (also, you can visit nearby arcola, IL), from what i gather, it's nothing like the communities in PA, OH, MI etc.... i drove thru the area once about 9-10 years ago and i saw a few mennonite-looking folks out and about, but that's about it.... then again, as i recall, it was a sunday.....
I completely agree with the above poster. I suppose if you're traveling that way anyway you could get off the expressway and look around, but my guess is you'll spend less than an hour there. If you were thinking of making a special trip, skip it.
Here is a snip from another similar post I wrote about a few other options when heading south on 57:
...you'll be passing right through the Shawnee National Forest--definitely worth a visit. Also of note, if you're so inclined, is the Southern IL Wine Trail, Cave in Rock State Park and Garden of the Gods.
Just north east of Mt. Vernon is the small town of Olney, which is famous for its white squirrels. The city park just off of 130 is white squirrel ground zero. They're a hoot!
My very favorite restaurant in all of southern IL is in Effingham. The Firefly Grill is a chef owned, locally sourced, laid back casual place with out of this world food. It's absolutely worth a stop.
If you decided to head South on 55 instead of 57, you could hit Springfield, which is way more interesting and tourist-worthy than Arthur.
I made a side trip to Arthur once. It's not worth it. The Amish community there doesn't consider itself a sideshow for auslanders. Springfield has more to offer and you can stare all you want at our politicians. They can be very entertainingEdited: 06 December 2012, 02:10
Thank you all very much for the info. but you might have misinterpreted our reason for going. Our main reason for stopping will be the shopping, we love the furniture, quilts & toys. We never go looking for a sideshow, we go out of respect for their craftsmanship and artistry. So I guess my question should have been directed more at the shops in Arthur rather then the Amish themselves.
I55 is our normal route to Chicago and we have said we should see a little more of Springfield so maybe we should make that a priority our next trip. We come to visit family so we always drive straight through going & coming home, but we thought we would start adding a day or 2 coming back so we could see a little more of the sights.
We are planning to spend the night in Effingham so the Fire Fly Grill is now in our plans
Check out the website.
There aren't a ton of shops in downtown Arthur. A few craft shops, a quilt store, a store specializing in oil lamps. The best locations for furniture, quilts, etc. are direct from the homesteads in the area. I believe there's info (and maybe a map) on the website about some of those. Otherwise, there's a visitor center on the north end of town and they can point you in the right direction for whatever you're intereested in. Have fun!Edited: 06 December 2012, 21:56
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