Mississippi River Town
Grafton is a wonderful small town along the Great River Road near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. During the Great Flood of 1993 the town was nearly lost, but it has reinvented itself to become a thriving river town and a great place for a visit.
On a recent holiday weekend some friends and I took a drive from St. Louis, along the Great River Road and one of our stops was Grafton. I hadn't been there in years and was delighted to see all the shops, wineries and restaurants that doted the main street of the town.
At the Port of Grafton we were greeted with this delightful faux lighthouse. The lighthouse was dedicated in 2007 to symbolically mark the rise of Grafton after the Great Flood of 1993.
photo by mbgphoto
Grafton is a great place to spend an afternoon. Enjoy visiting the shops, tasting some new wines at one of the several wineries in town or enjoy a great crabcake sandwich while watching the boats leave the marina!
Big Kahuna - right on the riverfront
Relax in Quiet River Town
We enjoyed a delightful lunch at the Big Kahuna, which is located above the marina at the Port of Grafton. The food was good, the waitresses were friendly and on this beautiful September day we ate on the deck and had a wonderful view of the marina and the river.
When you go to Grafton this is a must stop. It is fun to sit on their deck and watch the barges and boats motor down the river. You will also see lots of birds. Fishing is also a popular sport from nearby decks.
As we ate our lunch we enjoyed watching the ferry leave the Illinois side and head across the river to St. Charles county.
The Grafton ferry is located on the Illinois side at the foot of Illinois Route 3, just upriver of the Grafton public boat ramp. On the Missouri side, it terminates just off of Grafton Ferry Road alongside the St. Charles County Airport. From there it is a short ride to highway 94 and about 10 miles to the St. Charles city line.
I have taken the ferry on previous trips and it is always a fun ride...along with saving some time. The ferry trip takes about 10 minutes and the drive around to St. Charles county would take nearly an hour.
Read about the Great River Road
More Grafton Activities
If you a e an adventurous type of person there are several activities that might interest you. The Raging Rivers Water Park is full of fun slides and all types of water activities or you might want to try the Zipline Adventure in Grafton.
For those of you who enjoy wine Grafton has several different wineries to try. Pick up a bottle of wine some cheese and enjoy a pleasant day in this river town.
There are several shops along the main street including the Fudge Store Country Corner and a wonderful little ice cream shop where we stopped to have a cone on our way out of town.
Just a couple of miles up the road from Grafton you will come to Pere Marquette State park. If you enjoy hiking this is a great place to visit. You can also drive up to the top of the park where there is a great lookout where you can see across the river. I enjoyed stopping at the lookout and photographing a large group of butterflies that were lighting on the wildflowers.