Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. This week, we’re all about thrill seekers - and there are definitely several things in the southern portion of the state to get your blood pumping!
Are you craving an action-packed summer? Visit Effingham, where thrill-seekers are welcomed, and adventure abounds! Kick off your adrenaline-packed road trip at Bent Key Escape, a fully interactive and immersive experience. Gather your friends to search for hidden clues, unravel the mystery and crack the code to your escape room! Think you have what it takes to escape?...THINK AGAIN! Bring your friends, family or co-workers and experience an opportunity for team-building and excitement. Escape rooms vary by theme and level of difficulty. Visit https://www.bentkeyescape.com for more information or to reserve a room today! Maybe you’re seeking an opportunity to learn a new and exciting skill while you’re visiting? Effingham Axe Throwing offers dedicated coaching and a chance to sharpen your aim. Make reservations for date night, birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate events or just a night out with your squad! Have a fun (and safe) experience throwing inhibition – and axes, of course -- into the wind! Sessions are available in half-hour to hour-long increments; closed toe footwear is required. Visit http://effinghamaxe.com to find out more! If you’re looking for a tamer experience, or a chance to simply dip your toe into adventure, don’t miss Gopher’s Grill. This pub-style restaurant not only offers delicious food, but also features a second floor filled with arcade games and highly-entertaining golf/ hunting/ multi-sport simulators. Play a round of golf on Pebble Beach, challenge your friend to a target-shooting competition or play Home Run Derby using a real baseball and bat… “Play, pub and grub” at Gopher’s Grill! Check out https://www.gophersgrill.com for a menu and more information on booking a simulation experience.However you choose to satisfy your appetite for adventure, Effingham offers plenty of thrilling opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping!
For those who like to really get their blood pumping, there are three especially cool spots in ILLINOISouth to visit. Get down and dirty in the Illinois Caverns in Monroe County! Recently re-opened after a ten-year hiatus, it is a great place for an underground trip. Prepare for dips and holes, water, and mud. Climb down deep and crawl through tight spaces to see the glorious caverns in all its natural beauty. Make sure to bring a helmet, three sources of battery powered light, boots, and a change of clothes! You can literally spend hours down there, so make sure to pack some snacks and water, and be sure to take LOTS of pictures. Ready. Set. Go to Gateway Kartplex in Madison, Illinois where it is a speedster’s paradise! The Kartplex offers an exciting 11-turn, half-mile design! Their Sodi GT5 rental karts are not like your average indoor rental go kart. These gas-powered outdoor karts are the fastest in the St. Louis area, reaching speeds of up to 55 miles per hour! Be on the lookout for Xtreme Paintball in Millstadt, Illinois! They work hard so you can play hard. They have over 10 paintball fields to match your vibes. Get down with the Army field or storm the castle field. The best part is that the themes are ever changing so you might battle on a whole new field you have yet to experience. They also offer airsoft gameplay as well which is like paintball just with no visual markings. They have open play, or you can reserve a spot! And if physical pain isn’t quite your thing, they have outdoor laser tag like nowhere else. This is a great location to build some team bonding and trust. You will want to shoot your shot on visiting here! Southern Illinois has so many great adventures both tame and wild! These three places are only a few out of the many that will satisfy your adrenaline addiction! For more information – visit https://www.illinoisouth.org.
Surrounded by the Shawnee National Forrest, Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour’s zip lines and tree platforms are nestled inside 83 privately-owned wooded acres near Makanda, IL. and ready to provide a unique outdoor adventure for people of all ages. “Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour is going to be more exciting and more educational than any other outdoor attraction in the Midwest,” said Miles. “People can experience zip lines in any number of places, but we have created a full outdoor experience that combines the rush of flying among the treetops with learning about the flora, fauna and natural history of the area along the way. There’s really nothing else like it!” Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour is located at 635 Robinson Hill Road in northern Union County, and consists of eight zip lines. The longest zip line stretches more than 1,100 feet, which will zig-zag across the property’s bluffs and through the valley. The tour also includes 9 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest spanning 180 feet, and two short ground hikes. Guests will feel the rush of safely soaring through the forest at speeds topping 35 miles per hour while learning about the ecology, geology and history of the area from two trained guides who will lead each group of eight guests. SBCT encourages groups to book tours on-line at http://shawneezip.com or by calling 855-386-9477. Various time slots will be offered. Guests must weigh between 70-275 pounds to participate. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour is located on private ground surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest on 635 Robinson Hill Road near Makanda, Ill. The tour offers a unique way for adults and children to be exposed to nature: from old oaks and rock bluffs, to wildflowers and running streams. Other nearby tourist attractions include the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park and many unique lodging choices. Guests may access the tour site, south of Marion, Illinois, from Interstate 57 at exit 40 or 36.