All those cars are lined up to get on the….
What’s there to do in Grafton? Plenty!
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.
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.
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.
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!