For anyone who is driving across the country, there is a small little town called Effingham, Illinois. Effingham is nestled in between St. Louis and Chicago. We took an adventure out to the Midwest to visit this old American town. Effingham is quiet and filled with southern hospitality. If you are in need of a relaxing day trip, be sure to stop by!
"We drove through the evening where we found a town which housed seventeen hotels."
We were in much need of sleep at this point. We stayed in the Comfort Inn, only because the hotel had a sauna. We left the hotel and found a Family Video the next day, remember blockbuster? Family video is a store where you can rent movies in person, very retro.
In the town of Effingham lies Americas tallest cross, Cross at the Cross Roads. The cross is made of steel, stands at 198 ft, and was built in 2001. Surrounding the cross are the Ten Commandments, which are voice activated. Christianity is well known in the Midwest and this cross is the heart and soul of god. It is here to spread the word. Believer or not, it is still a beautiful sight to see.
The Hodgson Mill is a cabin replicated to look like the original Hodgson Mill. This place is full of seasonal and holiday baking supplies from brownie and cornbread mixes, to flour, coffee, jam, pies, honey, and much more. They carry local foods as well. What drew us to this location were the gluten-free products and non-gmo, very hard to find in the Midwest. The staff of The Hodgson Mill was very friendly and listened to what we had to say. Did we mention it is a family owned business?
Effingham has a really nice downtown area where we found a few places. We started at a local pub called The Office. The office is a pub across from a park where a BBQ competition was being held. The Bartender said this about the bar, “It is another good day at the office.” They have reasonable prices and a good understanding of their alcohol selection. At the end of the downtown area, there is a non-vacant movie theater, The Heart Theater. It is currently out of business but still stands as a historic landmark. The Heart theater was built in 1940. In Effingham, most of the clothing stores are catered towards women. The one store that caught our eye was The Red Thread. We would describe the store as a boutique full of bohemian with a touch of modern style. They also had popular brands and a hint of western. We discovered the term Red Thread means a magical thread for lovers, meaning they are destined to be together, soul mates.
We had to eat at this point, from the voice of the locals. They all recommended either Niemerg's Steakhouse or Firefly. Of course, we looked into Firefly because of the farm-to-table menu. We couldn’t be happier with our choice. We had the opportunity to eat outdoors with a view of the pond and the crops. Yes it was hot, but definitely worth it. We highly recommend this restaurant for healthy options and delicious food. We were about to leave Effingham but as a last minute stop, there is a well known lake called Lake Sara. This lake is a beauty to be seen in a suburban town. Tons of photos can be taken here. There is a small playground for children and the locals fish here often.
Effingham is a wonderful day trip stop if you are looking for a small town to adventure in, from a rental movie store to a downtown area or a place to sleep. Effingham is sure to be a place to miss. We can't wait to be get on the road again. There is so much left to explore in the Midwest!
HERE ARE SOME MORE PLACES IN EFFINGHAM WORTH CHECKING OUT!