Carbondale, cabins

Carbondale Cabins

Lodging on The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail

Romantic Getaways in Southern Illinois

Couples Getaway

Evenings by a campfire, sharing a romantic candlelit dinner, or packing a picnic to take on one of the beautiful trails of the Shawnee National Forest; all make the perfect setting for rekindling an old love or setting the foundation of a blossoming new relationship.

Disconnect to Reconnect

Anniversaries, honeymoons, birthdays...knowing a special date makes planning ahead for the perfect, impressive, romantic getaway easy. The special occasion getaway you've been searching for is at one of the many beautiful cabins or inns in southern Illinois.

Planning a Wedding?

There are several venues perfect for any size or style wedding. Even better, enjoy the wedding of your dreams then skip the travel time afterwards and honeymoon in The Shawnee Hills. Begin your new life at a cozy, private, romantic cabin for two and leave the rest of the world far behind.


If staying sendentary is nor your thing, satisfy your need for new experiences in southern Illinois with the abundance of options for visitors and locals alike.

  • Zipline at Shawnee Canopy Tours
  • Rock Climbing for skilled or newbies. Bring your own equipment or check out Vertical Heartland Climbing School.
  • Boating, Kayaking, and Canoeing (Rentals Available)
  • Bike trails
  • Hiking trails for all skill and endurance levels
  • Horseback riding

Bring your bikes, kayaks, boats, fishing poles, or just good walking shoes. Your new adventure is waiting in The Shawnee Forest.

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A Craft Beer Trail!

Southern Illinois not only has an excellent wine trail with award winning wines, but it also boasts blossoming breweries creating their own unique craft beers.


Within reach when you stay in southern Illinois is an abundance of top notch staging platforms for the enjoyment of musicians, traveling performances and cultural events.

Art, Crafts, and Antique Trail

Being the eclectic area that it is, southern Illinois is home to some fantastic local artisans, and antique shops in every town. Be sure to allow enough time to relax and check out all your favorite things.

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Canyons, Waterfalls, Creeks, Bluffs - Southern Illinois' School House Rock.

  • This is our version of a high rise.
  • Winter Sculptures
  • Follow undisturbed woods to a waterfall
  • LaRue Pine Hills
  • See the Face?
  • There is a reason it is called Giant City
  • Rocky Bluff Waterfall
  • LaRue Pine Hills from below

Family Vacations

Visit southern Illinois with another couple for all adult time, or plan a trip with another family.

Lodging options include cabins or rooms with enough space for everyone or, even better, a place for each family or couple to retreat at the end of the day.

What is better than to sit back and relax with your best friends, a beverage of choice, and watch the kids run barefoot on a summer evening chasing fireflies? Not much.



Parks and Playgrounds

Parks for Kids and Parents.

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Natural Areas

Explore and Learn.

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Hiking and The Forest

Open spaces open minds.

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Lakes and Creeks

Water is life.

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SIU Saluki Football
Siu Carbondale Illinois

Its own destination - Southern Illinois University in Carbondale

Look around and it will not take long to find a resident who started out as a student or teacher at SIUC and realized that no other place could offer as much as southern Illinois. SIU and The Shawnee National Forest is rich in culture and diversity. A few minutes drive could take you from an exciting SIU Saluki football game for an afternoon, then onto the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail for a relaxing glass of wine. Top the day off by dining at one of the charming local restaurants.
While visiting SIU with your student, stay at one of Carbondale Cabins cozy places instead of a stuffy hotel. Like the rest, you may decide that southern Illinois will be your next home away from home.

Castle Park

Boo Rochman Memorial Park, better known as "Castle Park" is a magical place for young and old. All enclosed with an iron fence are secret tunnels, wizards, a three-headed dragon, bridges with hidden doors and an ogre with a spiked club standing guard. The park was inspired with love as a memorial for Jeremy "Boo" Rockman, the beloved son of Barrett and Marilyn Rockman. "Boo" died tragically in a car accident at the age of 19. Dungeons and Dragons was a favored game for"Boo" and many of the parks fantasy themed characters were modeled after his favorite characters. This fantasy themed park is one of the midwest's best kept secrets and should be on the list for anyone, no matter what the age.

Giant City State Park

Take a drive through Giant City State Park with the kids. They will not be the only ones in awe of such an incredible place. Clean playground areas will be calling out for your picnic and easy (or not so easy) trails are there to explore during your day in Giant City. Most trail heads have signs that will let you know the appropriate nature trail for your family.

At Giant City State Park you will find many family activities like camping, fishing, hiking, picnic shelters, horseback riding, and an archery range. Stop by the Visitor's Center for more information.

Breathtaking natural beauty with new discoveries at every turn. Something for everyone.

Heron Pond

Heron Pond Natural ARea

Winter Hiking

Winter Hiking Shawnee National Forest

Cache River State Natural Area

The Cache River State Natural Area is an incredible, surreal experience. The wetlands is one of the more important ecological areas in the United States that provides a unique environment for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, plants, and animals. The cypress swamp is home to trees 1,000 years old or older.

The Perks of Winter Hiking

Dress in layers, stuff a backpack with snacks and a hot thermos, then head out when the bugs are long gone and the foliage has revealed its deepest secrets. Waterfalls, canyons, bluffs...truly awe inspiring beauty in the winter. Later, either stop by one of the local eateries then head back to a toasty cozy cabin to relax and relive the days adventures.

Sharp Rock Falls
Box Turtle in the woods

Take a trail and take your time. It isn't always about getting to that gorgeous waterfall or the spectacular slot canyons at Panther's Den Wilderness Area. Sometimes it is about dipping your feet into a pool along a creek or admiring the beautiful, sometimes rare, spring flowers along the Trillium Trail in Giant City.

Just take time to breathe.

Swimming Cedar Beach
Cedar Lake Beaver Trail

Many activites in the Shawnee revolve around water. Rent a pontoon boat on Little Grassy Lake, bring your fishing gear and fish at one of the many large lakes or ponds, or just sit and watch the life that all the lakes, ponds, creeks, and rivers nurture. Crab Orchard Lake now has a public beach along with Cedar Lake.

Everywhere you go you'll see a perfect picnic area to can make your own for a bit. All occupants of the forest ask that you leave the beautiful spots you choose to wander as you found it. The earth will thank you for it later.


Makanda Trading Center - cool stuff

Have a beer flight at one of the popular local craft breweries

Rain Maker's Studio Makanda Boardwalk

Think Vintage in Murphysboro - Antique Shops in almost every town

Clay Pottery, part of the Shawnee Hills Pottery Trail

Local Artisans of all media. This is a piece by Eldon Benz

Now this is crafted beer - from Scratch Brewery

All Local Talent Indeed!

So many hidden treasures if you just make the time...

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