Welcome to Elsah & Grafton
Often referred to as “the town that time forgot,” the Village of Elsah was the first community in its entirety to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Nestled in the bluffs along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the little town of Elsah peeks out at those driving by.
The village is a favorite of photographers as the charming structures are visually appealing and offer a glimpse into the past. Many describe Elsah as a New England village plopped down right next to the Mississippi River. Visitors enjoy touring through the village to the historic homes, cottages and luscious gardens.
Attractions & Places to Stay in Elsah
At the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Grafton is a real river town located on the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Grafton is the oldest town in Jersey County and gives you a feeling of what life was like on the river in the early 1900s.
For 150 years, the “river rats” of Grafton have battled the swelling waters of the rivers with numerous floods. Lines on the sides of buildings along Main Street mark where the rising waters consumed the community during the flood of 1993. The resilience of the town is evident in the bustling tourist community that Grafton has become. Unique gift shops, antique stores, wineries, award winning bed & breakfast inns, “hot fish” sandwich stands and quaint hotels line the Main Street and riverfront. Visitors can effortlessly immerse themselves in recreational opportunities.
The Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail runs through the heart of downtown with views of the river. Canoe, kayak, boat and bike rentals can all be found on the riverfront. Hiking trails and scenic overlooks are abundant throughout Pere Marquette State Park. Raging Rivers Water Park is a hot spot to cool off with water slides, wave pools and a great view of the river and bluffs. In the fall, roadside cider stands, pumpkin patches and apple orchards are visitor favorites on the Great River Road.