3 Reasons to Take a Culinary Arts Road Trip to Makanda, Illinois

Do you have a passion for culinary arts and a strong desire to enjoy all that life has to offer? If so you’ll definitely want to head on down to Makanda, Illinois and the surrounding area. The area is overflowing with culture, restaurants, bakeries, bars, wineries, and more, all of which are sure to have your taste buds dancing with delight. Makanda is a part of the country that hasn’t fallen prey to Hollywood. You won’t find fancy buildings and lots of glitz and glam. Instead, you’ll enjoy mother nature at her absolute finest. From cabins to cottages and even bed and breakfast. Makanda boasts natural beauty, unaltered hiking trails, and a culinary and art culture that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Let’s take a quick look at five reasons you’ll want to squeeze in time for a culinary road trip to Makanda

There’s Something Taking Place All Year Long

You probably think of vacationing in a cabin or cottage during the summertime but we are here to tell you, there’s no better place to wake up to a white covered ground and snow glistening trees than Makanda. And even right in the middle of February, you will find a little bit of everything taking place here. At the Touch of Nature Environmental Center in February, you can enjoy the Maple Syrup Festival. An annual event where you’ll get an up close and personal experience with syrup making. Learn this sweet culinary arts process. Make sure to bring the kids along (13 or older) on this trip because they’re going to love watching the live lumberjack presentations and everyone can get involved in making syrup. This is an event where you can make memories that are sure to last a lifetime. 

There’s a Bar for Everyone

In fact, we have a bar right downstairs in the Inn for our guests who can invite friends or family they might have in the area. You will find a rum selection rarely found in most bars. We strive to provide our guests with a variety of choices at reasonable prices. But don’t be fooled we have some great top shelf choices. 

Inside the Root Beer Salon in Alto Pass IL, Culinary Arts with a twist

Makanda is the place to come for a tasty beverage. Ask any local and they’ll tell you again and again how the city is near some of Southern Illinois’ best bars and pubs. There’s even a saloon a Root Beer Saloon, home of Mr. Frosty. Stop by and enjoy a cold beverage served in a frosted mug and be mesmerized at the uncanny ambiance.

You’ll find more than 150  mounted ducks on the walls and over 175 sets of antlers ranging from a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, and more. And don’t forget to stop in at the wooden cigar store and snap a photo with the huge statue of King Tut. Many people who stop by say it’s one of their favorite places near Makanda, but there’s so much to take in that it can boggle the eye.

Looking for the Quintessential Dive Bar

If you’re looking for something a little more appropriate for adults, then come on down to Fuzzy’s Tavern. This fun little dive bar is sure to knock your socks off with its superior customer service and a vast selection of alcoholic beverages. It even features a beer garden.

Because the owners are locals, you can rest easy knowing you’ll enjoy down-home Southern charm when coming here for a drink. Sarah Hansen left Fuzzy’s Tavern a 5-star review on Google where she raved about the bar’s amazing atmosphere.

“A hidden gem! Went down to Southern Illinois on a Bachelorette Party. After the wineries closed we were told to check this place out. So glad we did 🙂 We all had a blast!! There was a 2 man band, a couple of older gents, and they rocked. The bartender, Kim is an absolute doll!! Make sure to give her hug if you stop by ;)”

Restaurants, Restaurants, Restaurants = Culinary Arts

Just because Makanda isn’t a fancy Hollywood scene doesn’t mean it’s lacking restaurants and eateries. After spending the day relaxing in a nearby cottage or cabin at the Makanda Inn, you won’t have to look far for an excellent place to grab dinner. You can even go into the city for a hot breakfast every morning if you want and sit and conversate with the locals.  Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza is a go-to Italian hotspot that serves up some of the best pizza in Southern Illinois. For a small town homey feel, head down to Harbaugh’s Cafe where you’ll find great tasting southern food and great customer service. If you’re looking for an eatery that serves vegetarian dishes, the Longbranch Cafe & Bakery is a perfect choice.

Want more of a fine dining Culinary Arts experience? In Anna IL you will find the Brickhouse Grille. In Carbondale Try the Newell House and its downstairs bar the Grotto, Jazz on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays. A little North of Carbondale on Rt 51 is Tom’s Place, refined Culinary Arts. 

What are you waiting for? Start your culinary road trip to Makanda today!

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