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Alton, Illinois

Alton, Illinois (Map) Located on the Mississippi River and approximately 15 miles north of St. Louis, Alton, Illinois offers easy access to all the amenities of a metropolitan city. With a population of over 27,000, Alton is part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Alton is a river town uniquely located at the confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Visitors can tour the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, the busiest lock and dam on the main channel of the Mississippi River. The National Great Rivers Museum located next to the dam showcases the structure and engineering.

For those looking to visit or move to Alton, the city truly has a little bit of everything. Alton is rich in history and culture and has a multitude of shops, restaurants and outdoor activities.

Sitting right across the river from St. Louis, residents and visitors have easy access to all a metropolitan city has to offer, including professional sporting events, the St. Louis Zoo, museums, the Muny Opera, the Science Center and the Gateway Arch.


The city of Alton provides a number of public and parochial educational opportunities for students of all ages. Alton Community Unit School District 11 consists of seven elementary schools, one high school, one middle school, an early childhood center and an alternative education school. It serves close to 7,000 students a year. Alton High School hosts an honors program as well as an award-winning math team and music program.

There are multiple opportunities for those seeking higher education in the area. Lewis and Clark Community College, located in Godfrey, Illinois, is a two-year higher education institution with multiple campuses throughout the area. Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, located in Edwardsville, Illinois, is a nationally recognized university. There are also many colleges and universities located in St. Louis.  

Shopping and Recreation

Alton boasts an array of places to shop and eat. In downtown Alton, visitors will find an abundance of locally owned shops selling pottery, furniture, flowers, groceries and clothing. Alton also has a mall which includes two department stores and many specialty shops.

During the summer months, downtown Alton hosts a farmers market from June to October. Many local farmers, crafters and businesses sell their goods, including fresh vegetables and fruits, local honey, plants and flowers, jewelry, art, baked goods and much more!

With almost 200 restaurants throughout the Alton region, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for Italian, Greek, Mexican, Chinese or American style food, Alton has somewhere for you.

Alton is ideal for the outdoor lover. Visitors can ride their bike down the Great River Road, take a peaceful hike at the Olin Nature Preserve or go to one of Alton’s 16 city parks that include multiple sports fields and playgrounds.

From December through March, visitors can see the second largest bald eagle population in the nation when they migrate to the Mississippi River Valley.

Arts and Culture

Dating back to 1818, Alton was discovered by Rufus Easton. The city grew into a river trading town with a prosperous economy. During this time, many Victorian style homes were built, and can be seen throughout Alton today.

The first prison in Illinois was also built in Alton, where approximately 12,000 confederate soldiers were held during the American Civil War. Only a small corner of the prison still stands near the Alton waterfront. 

Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and Miles Davis, a legendary jazz musician, once called Alton home. Both Wadlow and Davis have statues dedicated to their memory in Alton.

Visitors can attend a play or musical at the Alton Little Theater, one the oldest community theaters in the state. Each season, the theater performs a variety of comedy, drama and musicals.

The Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, located on the riverfront, is also a great place to catch a concert during the warmer months of the year. Alton Museum of History and Art is an excellent museum to visit that preservers the heritage of Alton.

Alton was the location of many historic political events including the seventh site of the Lincoln-Douglas debate. In downtown Alton, there is a memorial site that has two oversized statues of Lincoln and Douglas.


Whether you are Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist or of other faiths, Alton and the surrounding communities offer a wide range of churches and houses of worship.

Real Estate

Alton Telegraph (Newspaper)

Located just 15 miles from St. Louis, Alton provides a small town feel with easy access to a full range of amenities.

Whether you love Victorian-style homes or modern-day construction, Alton has homes to suite anyone’s taste.