Where the heck is Everyone Going?

Line of cars.
That’s us at the end of the line.

All those cars are lined up to get on the….

Sign for Grafton Ferry.
This ferry is 18 minutes from home.

What’s there to do in Grafton? Plenty!

Riverside Flea Market sign.
Bargains, anyone?
Inside of the Boat House housing the flea market.
The opening leads out to the Loading Dock restaurant.

Grafton, Illinois is one of my favorite places to visit near our home. The drive to the ferry is just 18 minutes from our home, and the ride over the river takes about 10 minutes. Taking the ferry saves us 30 minutes each way getting to this small, river town.

Our first stop was the flea market which is held inside an old boat house building. It’s also where the ice skating rink is located should you visit Grafton in the winter. The Loading Dock restaurant is here as well, but I’ll get to that later. At the flea market, we found a rolling pin as I am getting ready to make another apple pie. Dan found these two guys selling pretzels that taste like BBQ. I am not sure how a pretzel can taste like that; it somehow involves peach wood. But I can say, the pretzels were delicious! I wonder if this is something I can make myself.

Smoked Pretzels booth at the Grafton Flea Market.
Bubba Grump
Click the Picture to go to their Facebook page.

After the flea market, we drove to the nearby Pere Marquette State Park. Here we went on a 2 mile hike. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Trail at Pere Marquette state park.
We took the Yellow to Blue trails to make a loop.
Trail at Pere Marquette State Park.
The views were worth the trek up!
Overlook at Pere MarquetteState Park.
McAdams Peak – Erected 1934
Click here to go to livingnewdeal.org.

Sign about The CCC.
Suzasissippi, This one’s for you.
Click here to read her blog about old buildings and more.

While I love Pere Marquette State Park, I do want to mention, really complain (sorry), about two things. First, the Visitor Center is closed on Sundays. It’s open the other six days of the week. Before our hike, we sat and enjoyed a snack while playing a game of Scrabble. Do you know how many people we saw walk up to the Visitor Center? A lot! Wouldn’t it serve people better to be open on Sunday – and maybe close on Monday?

Secondly, we noticed the campground was closed for renovations. Excited and optimistic, I was hoping they were putting in full hook up sites. Online research said they were putting in 50 amp service and adding some additional access to water. The dump station was also going to be improved, and there would be two full hook up sites for camp hosts. I’m disappointed that they aren’t putting in full hook up sites. I guess it costs too much, but I do wonder how long the payback period would be. Pere Marquette is a great state park. There is a lodge, a restaurant, cabins, riding stables, a biking trail to Grafton, all on the banks of the Mississippi. I’m thinking they missed the boat on the campground renovations though.

Outdoor dining and music at The Loading Dock.
The Place to Be!

After that successful hike, we were ready for food. Back to the Loading Dock to eat outside. We wore our masks in and out, and otherwise maintained our social distance. Good thing as the place was packed! A band was playing; people were dancing; only some were wearing masks. Of course, all the staff had masks on. It was a happening place, and we really enjoyed our food and the music.

After our dinner, we walked up to Main street for some ice cream,and then we headed back to the ferry. I love to visit Grafton. Even though it is so close to home, I feel like I went on a trip. There’s way more to do in the area than I wrote about, so you might want to check it out. Apparently, even Sasquatch thinks so!

This guy is definitely following us!


  1. Wow! The Grafton Chamber of Commerce should thank you for the fine review, and the state should listen to your advice about the park. Your posts are never dull; they are always about interesting places and people. Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, David. I really enjoy Grafton, and it is a popular place. However, the town has endured flooding which makes it a challenge for the people who live there. It is a really pretty area. Have a good week ahead!


  2. Hi, this post really struck a chord for me. My Mother was from Grafton and my Father’s Dad also had a house there. The entire area is rife with history. I wrote a lengthy post on our blog with a lot of information about the town and how it came to grow. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. If you are interested you can check out our post here: https://wanderingtoes.home.blog/2017/08/14/grafton-illinois-the-history-of-a-resilient-town/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you liked the post! I just read the entire post you wrote about the town’s history. It was fascinating, and what a great job! I’m going to print out your post, and highlight the buildings which still stand today. Then, I can look at them with new insight on my next visit. I would love to find a button from the Grafton Button Factory. I’ll have to do a bit of research on that. Growing up, my parents would take us kids to visit Pere Marquette once a year or so. We would stop and see the Piasa bird on the rocks, the marker for Joliet along the river road. For some reason, I just really love that area. It was very interesting to read its connections to the surrounding area – like the Eads Bridge and Jesse James, for example. Thanks for making Grafton even more special to me. I’m also hoping to explore Brussels a bit more. Thanks again, and enjoy your day!


  3. Glad to see some people in this world are out enjoying themselves. We have spent most of this year at home waiting for covid-19 to leave. My husband has medical issues. Hope you both stay safe and well out there in this world. Enjoyed reading about your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peggy. Safety is number one. We are ever mindful of Covid. We always have our masks handy and keep sanitizing wipes in the car which we use every time we get back in the car. We enjoy being outside which is a good place to be right now, but I can enjoy being at home , too. Thank you for reading, and continue to stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You outdid yourself on this one, Betty! I enjoyed learning about Grafton–which I confess to never having heard of. Thank you for the shout out to the Living New Deal and Suzassippi. I appreciate it. If it was only 18 minutes away from me, I might visit Grafton and the park often, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are more than welcome. I’ve learned a lot from your blog. My daughter’s favorite president (or one of) is FDR. I was excited to tell her about the livingnewdeal site. Another blogger commented with a link to Grafton’s history which I found to be very interesting. It is a really neat place to visit. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Who doesn’t enjoy a ferry ride, no matter how long or short. And such a wonderful place so close to home. I’m so glad you were able to visit and enjoyed your time there. What amazes me is you knew about it, I wonder how many others in this world are so busy that they have no idea of the wonderful places in “their own backyard”. May you have many, many more wonderful journeys to the gems hidden in plain sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your wishes! I think most of us have many gems right near us. And you, with your backyard ever changing, you have infinite possibilities. I hope you enjoy them, too. Enjoy your day!


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