Things to Do in Frankfort IL – 2024 Ultimate Guide


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Welcome to Frankfort, Illinois – a charming village brimming with history, culture, and small-town charm. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Frankfort offers a delightful blend of modern amenities and old-world allure. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or foodie, Frankfort has something for everyone. Let’s explore the top things to do in Frankfort and uncover the hidden gems of this picturesque village.

Can’t-Miss Attractions

Frankfort, IL, a charming village in the Midwest, offers a variety of attractions that cater to different interests. Here are the top 5 must-see attractions in Frankfort:

1. Old Plank Road Trail: This scenic trail stretches over 20 miles and is perfect for hiking, biking, and leisurely walks. The trail follows the path of the historic plank road and is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a favorite spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

2. Frankfort Historic District: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Frankfort by exploring its historic district. The area is lined with well-preserved buildings dating back to the 19th century, offering a glimpse into the village’s past. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour to admire the architecture and learn about Frankfort’s heritage.

3. Commissioners Park: Known for its picturesque landscapes and family-friendly amenities, Commissioners Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The highlight of the park is the Frankfort Square Splash Pad, a water playground that provides hours of fun for children. The park also features walking trails, sports fields, and picnic areas.

4. Mariano’s Fresh Market: This bustling market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide selection of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and artisanal products. Visitors can browse the aisles filled with local and international delicacies, sample freshly prepared meals, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this community hub.

5. Frankfort Carriage House: Step back in time at the Frankfort Carriage House, a historic landmark that showcases the village’s equestrian heritage. The carriage house features a collection of horse-drawn carriages, sleighs, and other equine artifacts, providing a fascinating glimpse into Frankfort’s past. Guided tours are available for those interested in learning more about the village’s carriage-making industry.

These top attractions in Frankfort, IL, offer a mix of history, nature, and culture, making them must-see destinations for travelers looking to experience the best of this quaint village.

One-day trip

If you’re looking for exciting day trips within a 2-hour drive from Frankfort, IL, you’re in luck! Here are five fantastic destinations to consider:

1. Starved Rock State Park: Known for its stunning canyons and waterfalls, Starved Rock State Park is located approximately 90 minutes from Frankfort. Visitors can enjoy hiking along the park’s numerous trails, which offer breathtaking views of the Illinois River and lush woodlands. The park also features historic sites and opportunities for birdwatching, making it a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and natural beauty.

2. Galena: Situated around a 2-hour drive from Frankfort, Galena is a charming historic town known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture. Visitors can explore the town’s quaint shops, art galleries, and museums, or take a leisurely stroll along the Galena River. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the nearby hiking trails and golf courses, while history buffs can delve into Galena’s rich past through guided tours and historic sites.

3. Indiana Dunes National Park: Just over an hour’s drive from Frankfort, Indiana Dunes National Park offers miles of sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike through dunes, wetlands, and forests, or relax on the beach and enjoy stunning lake views. The park also features opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, and swimming, making it a versatile destination for nature lovers.

4. Chicago: Approximately an hour’s drive from Frankfort, Chicago is a vibrant city known for its world-class museums, iconic architecture, and diverse culinary scene. Visitors can explore cultural institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, or take a stroll along the scenic Lakefront Trail. Foodies will delight in the city’s array of restaurants and eateries, offering everything from deep-dish pizza to gourmet cuisine.

5. Matthiessen State Park: Located just under two hours from Frankfort, Matthiessen State Park is a hidden gem known for its stunning rock formations, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. Visitors can hike along the park’s trails, which wind through canyons and past scenic overlooks. The park also offers opportunities for picnicking, wildlife viewing, and photography, making it a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.

These five destinations offer a mix of outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, and natural beauty, making them ideal choices for day-trippers looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in new experiences. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely day by the beach or a hike through the woods, these destinations have something for everyone.

Restaurants and bars

When visiting Frankfort, IL, be sure to check out these five exceptional dining spots:

1. The Whimsical Spoon: Indulge in their famous “Spoonful of Heaven” dessert, a delectable combination of chocolate mousse and raspberry coulis. The cozy atmosphere and whimsical decor make this restaurant a favorite among locals.

2. Rustic Roots: Known for their farm-to-table concept, Rustic Roots offers dishes like their signature “Root Vegetable Risotto,” showcasing the freshest local ingredients. The rustic charm and welcoming ambiance make this restaurant a must-visit.

3. Harvest & Vine: Savor the flavors of their “Vineyard Platter,” a selection of artisan cheeses and locally sourced charcuterie. The elegant setting and extensive wine list make this restaurant perfect for a special night out.

4. The Copper Kettle: Try their famous “Kettle Burger,” a juicy beef patty topped with caramelized onions and melted cheddar. The laid-back vibe and friendly service at The Copper Kettle keep customers coming back for more.

5. Fireside Grill: Enjoy their “Fire-Kissed Ribeye,” a perfectly grilled steak served with garlic mashed potatoes. The cozy fireplace and outdoor patio at Fireside Grill create a warm and inviting atmosphere for diners.

For a relaxing break or evening out, make sure to visit these top two cafes and bars in Frankfort:

1. Brew & Bloom: This charming cafe is known for its unique floral-infused drinks, such as the “Lavender Latte” and “Hibiscus Iced Tea.” The cozy floral decor and relaxing ambiance make Brew & Bloom a favorite spot for locals to unwind.

2. The Barrel Room: Step into this cozy bar to enjoy a wide selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails. The intimate setting, live music nights, and friendly bartenders make The Barrel Room a popular choice for a night out with friends.

Experience the culinary delights and vibrant social scene of Frankfort, IL, by visiting these top restaurants, cafes, and bars during your stay.

Interesting Facts

Frankfort, Illinois, is a charming village with a rich history and plenty of activities to offer visitors. Here are three surprising and interesting facts about Frankfort that will make your visit even more exciting:

1. Historic Downtown: Frankfort’s downtown area is a hidden gem filled with historic buildings, unique shops, and delicious restaurants. Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets and admire the well-preserved architecture that dates back to the 1800s. Don’t miss out on the local boutiques and art galleries that showcase the talents of Frankfort’s residents.

2. Old Plank Road Trail: Nature lovers will be delighted to discover the Old Plank Road Trail that runs through Frankfort. This 22-mile trail was once a part of the historic Joliet, Aurora & Northern Railway line and is now a popular spot for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. Enjoy the scenic views of forests, wetlands, and prairies as you explore this hidden oasis in the heart of Frankfort.

3. Frankfort Historic Homes: Frankfort is home to several well-preserved historic homes that offer a glimpse into the village’s past. Take a guided tour or simply wander through the tree-lined streets to admire the beautiful Victorian, Italianate, and Greek Revival architecture. Learn about the families who once lived in these homes and the role they played in shaping Frankfort’s history.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a charming weekend getaway, Frankfort has something for everyone. Explore the village’s hidden treasures and create unforgettable memories in this quaint Illinois town.

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