Nauvoo is small town USA, but still offers its tourists a plethora of things to do. With it's quaint shops, farmland and the mighty Mississippi River, it can be a beautiful place to relax and unwind. There's still plenty to do, up until about November 1st.
From dining at the famous Hotel Nauvoo, sampling the delicious fudge at the Fudge Factory (plus buying some to take home!), shopping for souvenirs at Zion's Mercantile, the Allyn House, or Mary Lou's Art & Needle work shop or even the Nauvoo Pharmacy, you'll find something for everyone. If books are your forte, we have bookshops such as Latter Day Harvest and Neff's Old House Books to keep you entertained.
Head "down to the flats" and tour the buildings of yesteryear. See how our ancestors worked in days gone by, and how easy we have it today. Take a wagon ride, (or two) and listen to stories of yesteryear. Brush up on your own ancestry by visiting the Family Search center. Check out the visitors centers where they'll be happy to let you know of any shows or extra performances going on.
Nauvoo Mill & Bakery, Grandpa John's, Baxter's Winery, and The Apron are also good choices for "wetting your whistle" or "grabbing a bite" to eat. Nauvoo has two beautiful parks, you could even have a picnic! Want a little exercise? Walking around Historic Nauvoo will give you that, or if you want something a little more challenging, check out Motley Fitness.
There are numerous historical sites to visit and activities fit for the entire family. There will always be something for your family to do in Nauvoo. One of the most attractive incentives when coming to tour Beautiful Nauvoo is that all attractions, events and activities are free of charge! So what is there to do when coming to tour Nauvoo?
Places To Visit
- Nauvoo Historical Society Museum
- Joseph Smith Historic Site
- Nauvoo Illinois Temple & Visitor Center
- Land & Records Office
- Family Search Center
- Nauvoo State Park
- Brigham Young Home
- Baxter's Winery
- The Fudge Factory
Nauvoo Family Fun Activities
- Handcart Treks
- Oxen and Wagon Rides
- Pioneer Games
- Trail of Hope
- Carriage Ride to Inspiration Point
- Wagon Tour of Old Nauvoo
- Family Living Center
- And So Much More!
Nauvoo Summer Shows
- BYU Performing Groups
- Nauvoo Bagpipe Band
- Sunset by the Mississippi
- Just Plain Anna Amanda
- High Hopes and River Boats
- Nauvoo Brass Band
- Street Madrigals
- Nauvoo Remembered Historical Vignettes
- Music in the Grove
- Carthage Jail (about 30 min away)
- Carthage LDS Visitor Center
- Old Fort Madison (only 10 min away)
- George M. Verity Boat Museum in Keokuk (only 20 min away)
- Keokuk Lock & Dam
- Deer Run Golf Course in Hamilton, IL (only 15 min away)
A Piece of Nauvoo History...
When the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saints arrived in Commerce Illinois they were simply searching for a place to call home, free to practice their religion and raise their families. Needing a large tract of land for the many Latter-Day Saints that had wagon-trained from Missouri, Joseph Smith purchased the unwanted and uncultivated swampland that lay between Commerce and the mighty Mississippi River. The Mormons designed and developed a breathtaking public works project to rid the newly-purchased land of the swamp that covered much of it. The Mormons created a massive drainage system that soon cleared the area. This system was an incredible undertaking, requiring thousands of hard labor hours and precise planning on the part of the Mormons. But, the Mormons were used to hard work in their travels. This drainage system is still in use today.
Soon Commerce Illinois was renamed Nauvoo. The name is from the old Hebrew word for beautiful place. Not long after the name change took effect, Nauvoo received a special charter of incorporation from the state legislature of Illinois. This charter gave the elected leaders of Nauvoo far-reaching rights, including the right to raise a militia for defense. Missionaries from the group were spread wide and far. Some were in the southern United States while others were in Europe spreading their faith. Converts came to Nauvoo by the hundreds from places near and far. By 1844 Nauvoo was the largest city in Illinois with a population in excess of 12,000, as large as Chicago. The industrialist Mormons built a thriving city where once there was nothing. The Mormons began construction of a massive physically imposing structure of limestone; it was called the Nauvoo Temple and it stood 128 feet long, 88 feet wide and was capped with a tower that measured 82 feet from the ground. It was a magnificent structure that stood as the crown jewel of Nauvoo. You could see it perched on the highest spot in Nauvoo for miles around.