Things to Do in Arthur Illinois

Uncover the Hidden Gems: 10 Exciting Things to Do in Arthur, Illinois

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois

Things to do in Arthur, Illinois: Explore top attractions and hidden gems for an unforgettable visit!

Looking for a slice of authentic Americana with a dash of Amish culture? Arthur, Illinois, is your answer. This charming town packs a punch when it comes to things to see, do, and experience.

Nestled in the heart of Illinois Amish Country, Arthur is a treasure trove of unique attractions, hearty home-style cooking, and unexpected adventures. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, nature lover, or just looking for a unique getaway, Arthur’s got something up its sleeve for you.

Ready to dive into the top things to do in Arthur, Illinois? Let’s hit the road and uncover what makes this town a must-visit destination.

Basic Information

  • Population: Approximately 2,300
  • Elevation: 659 feet (201 meters)
  • Zip Code: 61911
  • Geographical Location: Arthur is located in central Illinois, straddling the border of Douglas and Moultrie counties.

Proximity Details

Closest Cities:

  • Champaign-Urbana: 35 miles northeast (45-minute drive)
  • Decatur: 35 miles west (40-minute drive)
  • Springfield: 80 miles southwest (1.5-hour drive)

Closest Airport: University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI) in Champaign: 40 miles northeast (45-minute drive)

Nearby Small Towns:

  • Arcola: 10 miles east
  • Sullivan: 15 miles south
  • Tuscola: 20 miles northeast

Arthur Illinois History

Arthur’s story begins in the 1850s when the area was settled by pioneers. The town was officially founded in 1873 with the arrival of the railroad.

But Arthur’s unique character truly emerged in the early 1900s when Amish families began settling in the area. These hardworking folks brought with them their traditional ways of life, which continue to shape the community today.

The town has grown into a harmonious blend of “English” (non-Amish) and Amish cultures, creating a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into a simpler way of life while still embracing modern conveniences.

Today, Arthur stands as a testament to small-town values and cultural preservation, drawing visitors from around the world who are curious about Amish culture and looking for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Main Attractions

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois - Main Attractions
  1. The Great Pumpkin Patch – More than just pumpkins, this 200-acre farm offers a cornucopia of activities, from mazes to exotic plant displays.
  2. Amish Country Tours – Take a guided tour to learn about Amish life and see traditional farms and businesses up close.
  3. Illinois Amish Museum and Welcome Center – Dive deep into Amish history and culture at this informative museum.
  4. Amish Country Heirlooms – Browse handcrafted Amish furniture and quilts in this charming shop.
  5. Arthur Amish Country Information Center – Start your visit here to get maps, brochures, and insider tips on exploring the area.
  6. Yoder’s Kitchen – Savor authentic Amish cuisine at this popular restaurant known for its home-style cooking.
  7. Beachy’s Bulk Foods – Stock up on homemade jams, fresh produce, and Amish-made goods at this local favorite.
  8. Dutch Valley Meats – Pick up some of the best locally-produced meats and cheeses in the area.
  9. The Wood Loft – Admire and purchase beautiful, locally-crafted wooden furniture and decor.
  10. Aikman Wildlife Adventure – Just outside town, this drive-through wildlife park offers close encounters with exotic animals.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Outdoor Activities

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois - Outdoor Activities
  1. Outdoor Amphitheater at Arthur High School – Catch a summer concert or performance in this beautiful outdoor setting.
  2. Arthur Community Park – Enjoy picnicking, playgrounds, and sports facilities in this well-maintained town park.
  3. Kaskaskia River Walk – Take a leisurely stroll along the river and enjoy the peaceful natural surroundings.
  4. Bike the Backroads – Rent a bike and explore the scenic country roads around Arthur.
  5. Horseback Riding – Several nearby stables offer guided trail rides through the beautiful countryside.
  6. Bird Watching at Shasta Park – Grab your binoculars and observe local birds in this small but charming park.
  7. Fishing at Jurgens Park – Cast a line in the park’s pond for a relaxing afternoon of fishing.
  8. Golf at Kaskaskia Country Club – Tee off at this 9-hole course just outside of Arthur.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Cultural Experiences

  • Arthur Cheese Festival (September) – Celebrate all things cheese at this quirky and delicious annual event.
  • Arthur Strawberry Jam Festival (June) – Enjoy fresh strawberries, live music, and family-friendly activities.
  • Amish Country Tractor Cruise (August) – Watch as vintage tractors parade through town and the surrounding countryside.
  • Freedom Celebration (July) – Join the community for a patriotic Fourth of July celebration.
  • Arthur Mennonite Relief Sale (August) – Support global relief efforts while enjoying Amish food and crafts at this annual event.
  • Moultrie-Douglas County Fair (July) – Experience a traditional county fair with agricultural exhibits, carnival rides, and live entertainment.
  • Arthur’s Garage Sales (June) – Hunt for treasures at this town-wide garage sale event.
  • Amish Country Quilt Show (November) – Admire beautiful handmade quilts and learn about this traditional craft.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Food and Drink

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois - Food and Drink
  • Yoder’s Kitchen – Don’t miss the famous buffet featuring Amish classics like fried chicken and homemade pies.
  • The Railcar – Enjoy American cuisine in a unique setting – a restored 1930s railroad car.
  • Pauly’s BBQ – Savor some of the best barbecue in the area at this local favorite.
  • Country Cheese & More – Sample and purchase a variety of local and Amish-made cheeses.
  • The Hen House – Start your day with a hearty breakfast at this cozy local diner.
  • Roselen’s Coffee & Delights – Grab a coffee and pastry at this charming café.
  • Otto Center Bakery – Indulge in fresh-baked Amish goods, including their famous cinnamon rolls.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Shopping

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois - Shopping
  • Amish Country Mall – Browse a variety of shops selling Amish-made furniture, quilts, and crafts.
  • The Villa – Shop for unique gifts, home decor, and gourmet foods in this renovated mansion.
  • Shady Crest Market – Pick up locally-made jams, jellies, and other food items.
  • The Pewter Spoon – Find beautiful kitchenware and home decor items in this quaint shop.
  • Amish Country Heirlooms – Purchase high-quality, handcrafted Amish furniture and quilts.
  • Miller’s Dry Goods – Shop for fabric, sewing supplies, and handmade clothing.
  • Arthur Flower Shop – Pick up fresh flowers or unique gift items at this local florist.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Family-Friendly Activities

  • The Great Pumpkin Patch – Kids will love the corn maze, petting zoo, and seasonal activities.
  • Aikman Wildlife Adventure – Take a drive-through safari and see exotic animals up close.
  • Amish Buggy Rides – Experience travel the Amish way with a horse-drawn buggy ride.
  • Arthur Rotary Club Playground – Let the kids burn off energy at this well-equipped playground.
  • Rockome Gardens – Explore beautiful gardens, enjoy amusement rides, and learn about Amish culture.
  • The Homestead Bakery – Kids will love watching bakers at work and sampling fresh treats.
  • Arthur Community Pool – Cool off on hot summer days at the local public pool.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Hidden Gems

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois - Hidden Gems
  • Amish Interpretive Center
    • This lesser-known museum offers in-depth insights into Amish life and culture.
  • The Lil’ Cottage Knits
    • Discover locally-made knitwear and learn about fiber arts in this cozy shop.
  • Penn Station
    • This restored train depot now serves as a museum of local railroad history.
  • Rural Patriot Memorial
    • Pay respects at this unique monument dedicated to local veterans.
  • The Windmill
    • Snap a photo with the town’s iconic windmill, a symbol of its Dutch and Amish heritage.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Annual Events and Festivals

  • Arthur Cheese Festival (September)
    • Celebrate all things cheese with food, music, and family-friendly activities.
  • Freedom Celebration (July)
    • Enjoy a patriotic parade, fireworks, and community events.
  • Arthur Strawberry Jam Festival (June)
    • Indulge in fresh strawberries and enjoy live music and crafts.
  • Moultrie-Douglas County Fair (July)
    • Experience a traditional county fair with agricultural exhibits and entertainment.
  • Amish Country Tractor Cruise (August)
    • Watch vintage tractors parade through the countryside.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Where to Stay

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Travel Tips

  1. Best Time to Visit Spring and fall offer mild weather and fewer crowds. Summer is peak tourist season.
  2. Transportation Having a car is essential for exploring Arthur and the surrounding Amish country.
  3. Respect Amish Privacy Always ask permission before photographing Amish people or their property.
  4. Sunday Closures Many Amish businesses are closed on Sundays. Plan accordingly.
  5. Cash is King Some Amish businesses don’t accept credit cards. Bring cash just in case.
  6. Dress Code While not strictly necessary, modest dress is appreciated when visiting Amish areas.
  7. Guided Tours Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about Amish culture and history.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois – Famous People and Organizations

  • Abe Woodhull: While not from Arthur, this fictional character from the TV show “Turn: Washington’s Spies” shares a name with Arthur’s county.
  • The Amish Community: While not individuals, the Amish families of Arthur have collectively made the town famous.
  • Simply Amish: This nationally recognized furniture company originated in Arthur.
  • Rockome Gardens: While not a person, this former theme park put Arthur on the map for many tourists.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois Conclusion

Arthur, Illinois, is more than just a dot on the map – it’s a vibrant slice of Americana that offers a unique blend of cultures. From the fascinating Amish way of life to the warm small-town hospitality, this charming town offers a rich tapestry of experiences.

Whether you’re exploring Amish craft shops, savoring home-style cooking, or enjoying the beautiful countryside, Arthur has a way of surprising and delighting visitors. It’s a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to appreciate the simpler things in life.

What truly sets Arthur apart is its ability to offer a glimpse into a traditional way of life while still providing modern comforts and attractions. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of small-town America and a reminder that sometimes, the best adventures are found off the beaten path.

So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the charm of Arthur for yourself. Who knows? You might just find yourself planning your return trip before you’ve even left town.

Things to Do in Arthur Illinois FAQs

Q: How long should I plan to stay in Arthur, Illinois? A: A full day is enough to hit the main attractions, but to truly experience all Arthur has to offer, consider staying for 2-3 days.

Q: Is Arthur, Illinois, suitable for family trips? A: Absolutely! With its family-friendly attractions, parks, and events, Arthur offers plenty of activities for all ages.

Q: What’s the best way to get around Arthur? A: Having a car is essential for exploring Arthur and the surrounding Amish country. The town itself is small and walkable, but many attractions are spread out in the countryside.

Q: Are there any famous movies or TV shows filmed in Arthur? A: While not a major filming location, Arthur’s Amish community has been featured in several documentaries about Amish life.

Q: What’s the weather like in Arthur? A: Arthur experiences all four seasons. Summers are warm (avg. 85°F/29°C), winters are cold (avg. 32°F/0°C), with mild springs and falls.

Q: Is Arthur expensive to visit? A: Arthur is generally an affordable destination. Many attractions are free or low-cost, and there are dining and accommodation options for various budgets.

Q: Are there any annual events I shouldn’t miss? A: The Arthur Cheese Festival in September and the Strawberry Jam Festival in June are popular events. The Freedom Celebration around July 4th is also a highlight.

Q: Is Arthur wheelchair accessible? A: While efforts have been made to improve accessibility, some Amish businesses and rural attractions may have limited accessibility. It’s best to inquire ahead of time for specific locations.

Q: Can I see everything in Arthur without a car? A: While you can explore the downtown area on foot, having a car is essential to fully experience Arthur and the surrounding Amish country.

Q: What’s the best souvenir to buy in Arthur? A: Handmade Amish quilts, furniture, or food items like jams and cheeses make great souvenirs that capture the essence of Arthur.

We hope you enjoyed this guide to things to do in Arthur, Illinois! Have you visited Arthur before? What was your favorite experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below and help other travelers discover the charm of this unique town!

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