Collinsville Travel Guide

Discover the top attractions, outdoor adventures, hiking and biking routes, food and drink scene, local culture, and safety information for Collinsville, Illinois.

Introduction to Collinsville

Located in St. Louis Metro East, Illinois, Collinsville is a hidden gem in the Midwest region of the United States of America. Known for its rich cultural history, beautiful natural attractions, and friendly locals, Collinsville is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and authentic travel experience.

List of Places to Visit in Collinsville

Collinsville offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you are interested in learning about the city’s history, exploring the outdoors, or indulging in local food and drink, here are the top places to visit in Collinsville:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: Step back in time and explore one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements in North America.
  • Collinsville Historical Museum: Discover the city’s fascinating past through interactive exhibits and artifacts.
  • World’s Largest Catsup Bottle: Take a photo with the iconic water tower, which boasts its love for Heinz ketchup.

Natural Attractions of Collinsville: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Horseshoe Lake State Park: Go boating, fishing, or camping at this picturesque state park.
  • Kidd Lake: Enjoy a hike or bike ride around this serene lake.
  • Catsup Tower Park: Take a leisurely stroll and admire the scenic views of the city from the top of the hill.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Collinsville

Collinsville offers a variety of trails for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Here are the most popular ones:

  • MCT Nickel Plate Trail: This 14-mile long trail offers scenic views of the countryside and connects to other trails in the area.
  • Cahokia Creek Trail: Follow the creek and enjoy the lush scenery on this 5.7-mile long trail.
  • Horseshoe Lake Trail: This 2.8-mile long trail surrounds the lake and offers stunning views of the water and wildlife.

Best Things to Do in Collinsville: Activities and Tours

If you are looking for unique experiences in Collinsville, here are some of the top activities and tours:

  • Haunted History Tour: Learn about the spookiest stories of Collinsville on this ghost tour.
  • Beer Tasting Tour: Indulge in local craft beer and learn about the brewing process at the Kräftig Haus in Breese.
  • Troy Town Ghost Tour: Explore the history and hauntings of the nearby town of Troy on this one-of-a-kind tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Collinsville

If you have a week to spend in Collinsville, here is a suggested itinerary:

Day Activity
1 Visit Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
2 Explore Downtown Collinsville and the Historical Museum
3 Go hiking or biking on MCT Nickel Plate Trail
4 Relax at Horseshoe Lake State Park
5 Take a ghost tour of Collinsville
6 Taste local craft beer on a beer tasting tour
7 Explore Troy Town on a ghost tour

Food and Drink Scene of Collinsville

Collinsville is home to many unique and delicious restaurants and bars. Here are some must-try dishes and beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Horseshoe Sandwich: This local specialty is a open-faced sandwich that usually includes meat, fries, and cheese sauce.
  • Pork Steak: A Midwest favorite, this tender and juicy cut of pork is a must-try in Collinsville.
  • Fried Chicken: Get your hands on some crispy and flavorful fried chicken at one of the many local restaurants.

Local Beverages

  • Kräftig Lager: This local brew is a popular choice among beer enthusiasts in Collinsville.
  • Egyptian Chai: Sip on a warm cup of Egyptian Chai, a sweet and spicy tea that blends traditional chai spices with locally grown herbs.

Where to Stay in Collinsville: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Collinsville offers a variety of accommodation options for all budgets. Here are some of the top choices:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Collinsville-St. Louis: This upscale hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the city’s attractions.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites St. Louis Pontoon Beach/Granite City: This affordable hotel boasts a convenient location and modern amenities.
  • Collinsville Airbnb: For a unique and authentic experience, consider staying in a locally owned Airbnb.

What to Buy in Collinsville: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Looking for the perfect souvenir or gift to bring back home? Here are some ideas:

  • Collinsville Water Tower T-Shirt: Show off your love for the city with a quirky t-shirt featuring the world’s largest catsup bottle.
  • Cahokia Mounds Souvenirs: Take home a piece of history with authentic artifacts and souvenirs from the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
  • Kräftig Beer: Grab a six-pack of the local brew to enjoy at home or give as a gift to a beer-loving friend.

Local Culture and Customs of Collinsville

Collinsville is a friendly and welcoming community that values its rich history and unique culture. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs and traditions, including:

  • Being polite and courteous to locals.
  • Respecting historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
  • Sampling local cuisine and beverages.

Best Time to Visit Collinsville

The best time to visit Collinsville is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be cold and snowy.

Do’s and Don’ts of Collinsville

When visiting Collinsville, remember to:


  • Respect local culture and customs.
  • Take advantage of the city’s outdoor attractions.
  • Explore the unique history and attractions of the city.


  • Litter or damage local landmarks and natural areas.
  • Disrespect locals or their customs.
  • Overlook the city’s authentic food and drink scene.

Safety and Health

Visitors to Collinsville do not need to take any specific health precautions but should ensure that they follow basic safety practices, including:

Safety in Collinsville

  • Always lock cars and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.
  • Stay aware of surroundings and avoid walking alone at night.
  • Use caution when exploring natural areas and parks.

Health in Collinsville

  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellent when spending time outdoors.
  • Stay hydrated and take breaks during physical activities in hot weather.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary.

Getting to Collinsville: Transportation Options and Logistics

Collinsville is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are the most convenient options:

Airports Near Collinsville

  • Lambert–St. Louis International Airport (STL) is the closest airport to Collinsville, located 27 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Collinsville

  • Greyhound: The nearest Greyhound bus station is in St. Louis, approximately 12 miles from Collinsville.

Other Options

  • Car rentals: Renting a car is a popular choice among visitors who want to explore the area independently.
  • Rideshare and Taxi: Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Collinsville.

How to Get Around in Collinsville

Collinsville offers a variety of transportation options to help visitors get around the city, including:

  • Car rentals: Rental cars are available at the airport and at several locations in the city.
  • Public transportation: The Madison County Transit system offers bus service in Collinsville and the surrounding areas.
  • Rideshare and taxi: Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Collinsville.

Where to Go Next from Collinsville: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Collinsville’s convenient location makes it a perfect starting point for exploring other Midwest destinations. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions:

  • St. Louis, Missouri: Just a short drive away, St. Louis offers a wealth of attractions, including the Gateway Arch and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • Springfield, Illinois: Explore the capital city of Illinois and visit landmarks like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
  • French Colonial Country, Missouri: Immerse yourself in 18th-century French culture at this nearby historic district.


Collinsville offers a unique and authentic travel experience for visitors seeking to explore the Midwest region of the United States. From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, the city has something to offer for everyone. With this comprehensive tour guide, you can plan your visit to Collinsville with confidence and explore all that this charming city has to offer.