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Allerton Park and Retreat Center
Built as a private residence by artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900, Allerton Park and Retreat Center is a historical treasure that was donated to the University of Illinois in 1946. The property contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a mansion and reflecting pond, a 10-acre meadow, formal sculpture gardens, hiking trails, a café, and several lodging facilities.
Away from the distractions and noise of everyday life, Allerton offers a unique opportunity to experience art, nature, and history. Explore 14 miles of hiking trails, wander through formal gardens with over 100 garden ornaments, and marvel at the quiet, expansive grounds. Organized programs open to the community and visitors include outdoor concerts, youth summer camps, themed dinners and educational events, nature hikes, and tours.
Allerton has become a destination for meetings, conferences, weddings, retreats, and special events for people from all over the country. Businesses and organizations find the secluded, intimate setting offers time and space for quiet reflection and truly creative thinking. Wedding couples and guests are offered a truly unforgettable experience in the sun-kissed gardens or majestic Mansion.
Visit Central Illinois’ “best kept secret” and discover why it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois! Free; open 8am to sunset. The Visitor Center is open daily, 9am-5pm, and is an unstaffed, self-guided resource with maps, displays, and restrooms. Find current hours and menu for the Greenhouse Café here.