The Arcola, Arthur, Sullivan and Tuscola Communities of Amish Country of Illinois invite you to travel back. Travel back to a simpler time, where craftsmen and artisans create beauty with their hands. Travel back for heirloom antiques and unique shops. Travel back for one-of-a-kind recreation and dining experiences that will appeal to your whole family.
Arcola -Broom Corn Capital of the World
Arcola, the “Broom Corn Capital of the World,” marks the entrance to Amish Country of Illinois and features several sites, attractions and events that should be on any visitor’s list.
Each and every Labor Day, Arcola embraces its heritage with its world renowned Broom Corn Fesitval. Folks come from all over to experience the unique crafts, free entertainment, great food and the many broom activities on display. The festival’s parade is Central Illinois’ largest and is home to the world famous Lawn Rangers, who twirl and toss their brooms to the delight of children young and old.
Raggedy Ann and Andy creator Johnny Gruelle was born in Arcola, and the community honors him and his creations each year at the Raggedy Ann and Andy Friendship Gathering. The event, held in June at the Arcola Center, brings collectors from the world over to trade dolls and priceless stories of Raggedy Ann and Andy. The event also provides a number of fellowship activities for families to ensure that the National Toy Hall of Fame characters remain enamored in the hearts and minds of generations to come.
Arcola’s historic downtown is lined with stately buildings and a host of unique shops that offer shoppers opportunities to purchase art, antiques, locally made Amish baked goods as well as hand-crafted Amish furniture.
Arthur - Heart of Illinois Amish Country
Arthur is the heart of the Illinois Amish country and home to the largest and oldest Amish community in the state of Illinois. The homes and businesses of our nearly 4,500 Amish are located just outside the Village of Arthur.
The Amish are all around us. They reside in the country on farms where often a family business will be located, too. You’ll see our Amish friends and neighbors on the street, shopping in the stores, eating at our restaurants. One of the first things you learn being in the midst of an Amish settlement is that their practices may be different than the modernity of our non-Amish world, but the people are basically the same. In fact, the Amish emphasize this quite a bit.
Tour the countryside to observe the Amish way as they go about their daily lives. Keep it simple, plain and useful. The Amish welcome you to their shops and businesses. Please respect their culture by refraining from taking their picture. Feel free to take photos of Amish “things,” but please refrain from including Amish people in your photographs.
While you’re out in the country, be sure to visit The Great Pumpkin Patch. Open September 15 through October 31, The Great Pumpkin Patch invites guests to see over 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from over 30 countries around the world. Numerous premier displays, over 5,000 hardy mums, various mazes and gardens grace the grounds as well as several places to eat and drink on the farm and lots of entertainment on the weekends.
Arthur has something to please all tastes. If you are shopping for a perfectly tailored suit, a beautiful piece of homemade solid wood furniture, or an amazing slice of apple pie, Arthur is sure to deliver. So whether you are coming for an afternoon or a weekend, plan ahead and experience what the Arthur Area has for you.
Contact the Arthur Visitor Center at their offices or by phone at (217) 543-2242 for Amish countryside tours, and Amish home meals.
Sullivan - Excitement Inside and Out
Fun and excitement for the whole family is the name of the game in Sullivan.
It all begins with beautiful Lake Shelbyville. With over 200 miles of pristine shoreline, this 11,000 acre lake is big enough for all your camping, boating, swimming and fishing fun. Additionally, the areas around Lake Shelbyville provide many other ways to enjoy nature in this beautiful setting. Miles and miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails afford an excellent opportunity to get close to nature and wildlife. If you’re camping in a tent, or an RV there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from.
Sullivan has a beautiful downtown square with a historic courthouse that is the hub of activity year-round, especially when our own Little Theatre on the Square is in season. Since 1957, The Little Theatre on the Square has been bringing Broadway quality entertainment to Sullivan and the heart of Central Illinois.
Additionally, several downtown shops including the Maker's Mercantile and Gypsy Soul Revival, Reverie & Rule and Cathrine's Gallery are sure to satisfy your shopping needs! Handmade, one-of-a-kind merchandise, farmhouse style and antiques are just a sampling of the shopping you will find in the Sullivan area.
A rural community, positioned in the heart of Illinois Amish and farming country, yet offering world-class golf, trendy, designer brand shopping, and eclectic artisan offerings; Tuscola epitomizes the harmony of Trending Rural.
Love to shop ‘til you drop? No visit to Tuscola is complete without a visit to the Outlets at Tuscola. As Central Illinois’ largest outlet mall, they offer fabulous name brand shopping without breaking a sweat or your budget. For unique artisan crafted treasures be sure to visit The Vault Arts Collective in downtown Tuscola!
Tuscola’s Historic Downtown will remind you of a simpler time. From Flesor’s Candy Kitchen to one-of-a-kind antiques and treasures, our quaint shops and brick sidewalks will take you back. Don’t miss Festival Corner in the old town square, featuring a gorgeous Victorian gazebo.
For a little fun in the sun, enjoy one of Tuscola’s parks. Ervin Park is fun for the whole family. While you’re there be sure to check out the Prairie Land Pride playground. Perfect for the young, and the young at heart.
Tuscola is full of warmth and small town charm. Whether you’re looking to spend the day, or the weekend there's something for everyone!