Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello

4.5
#42 of 135 in Parks in Illinois
Named one of the 7 Wonders of Illinois by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, Allerton offers 1,500 acres of beautiful, outdoor surroundings. This picturesque setting includes:

Extensive formal gardens

More than 100 outdoor sculptures and garden ornaments

Natural areas including the Sangamon River, floodplains, lowland and upland forests, a meadow and a 30-acre demonstration prairie

14 miles of interpretive hiking trails

A century-old, Georgian-style mansion with reflecting pond
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Allerton Park & Retreat Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
109 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We first heard about Allerton Park and Gardens when we were in Kuai and visited Allerton's Hawaiian Garden. It was on our list to visit someday and finally we were able to combine it with another trip...  more »
  • We visited Allerton Park on a nice day in September. The designs of the various gardens are fantastic. The sculptures ranged from the famous Fu Dog garden off the two-story gazebo which also had beaut...  more »
  • Beautiful scenery!! Sunken gardens, sun singer, FOO dogs etc.. this place offers amazing views, rolling hills, fun trails and a haunted place to stay! Give it the ol' visit treatment.  more »
Google
  • My wife and I had our wedding here in May 2017. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the gardens, the mansions, and the staff were through the entire process. We were fortunate that the weather cooperated in early May for our wedding date and the gardens were absolutely beautiful. The peony garden, when in full bloom, is a sight to behold and the rest of the gardens are well kept and made for a pleasant walk to the ceremony in the Sunken Gardens. Allerton provides a golf cart and driver for your use throughout the day of your wedding and we took full advantage, and took pictures throughout all the gardens before and after the ceremony. The Sunken Gardens were setup the night before and available to us for rehearsal and everything was in place and wiped down the day of the wedding. In short we lucked out with a picture perfect day for our garden ceremony and Allerton didn't disappoint - everything was silky smooth. But that's not all. Since we had our reception at the Mansion we were able to rent out the entire building for the weekend. Us and our entire wedding party stayed at the Mansion both Friday and Saturday night. We had a rehearsal dinner there on Friday with breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday. The food was delicious and the service was great. Since we had the mansion booked we were also able to utilize the rec room in the basement and party into the night. We were also pleasantly surprised on Sunday morning to go to breakfast and find they had moved all our centerpieces from the reception into the dining area for breakfast - a detail we didn't ask for, but was done because they're on top of those little details. And finally the reception. The reception was wonderful. The Allerton mansion provides a nearly perfect backdrop - basically, additional decoration is strictly optional. And they'll put tables pretty much everywhere. We had tables outside by the Koi pond, high top tables near the bar, long tables for gifts and pictures in the Butternut room, big round tables in the gallery for dinner, and smaller cafe tables in the library where our DJ was setup. We were able to have a late night snack of pizza (which was voraciously consumed by our guests) and the fire pit just outside the library was lit in the evening. And although the reception officially ended at 11, those of us who still had some party left in them just headed outside and enjoyed the fire and some more adult beverages (BYO). If it wasn't enough for the mansion to be gorgeous and prepped perfectly. The staff was thorough and pleasant. And nobody deserves higher marks than Jordan. Through the planning process my wife and I were frequently overwhelmed and anxious. Every single time we met with Jordan we walked away feeling fantastic about our wedding. She has an answer for every question and she'll guide through the entire thing. She was absolutely fantastic. If it sounds like I'm heaping on just about every accolade I can, it's because I am, they deserve it. If it sounds like I'm using hyperbole, I'm not, they were just that good. We looked at a couple other more affordable options before we decided on Allerton. Truthfully, our mind was already made up before we left the park, but we wanted to do our due diligence before that kind of monetary commitment. We're glad we picked Allerton, it couldn't have been better otherwise. Now the nits to pick: - The rooms are a bit uneven in both size and quality. But, none of my guests mentioned anything particularly bad about any of the rooms, just some peculiarities. To me, this is what to expect when staying in a 100+ year old mansion that's been turned into a hotel/event space. Also, the room rates are right for what you get. - They serve Coke, not Pepsi. That's it. Those are my nits. Literally the worst part of the experience was being served Coke instead of Pepsi - a completely subjective and nonsensical nit to pick. When that is the worst part of an experience, you know it was good. If you're considering Allerton for an event, do yourself a favor and just vote yes. You won't regret it.
  • Beautiful grounds with many trails to take, gardens to view and statuary to gaze upon. The trails are not well marked as to finding the beginning and end of them, but they are amazing to walk regardless of that. Be sure to take plenty of water to drink during warm weather.
  • This is a great place to visit anytime of the year in all weather conditions, please be respectful of the other visitors, don't litter or leave trash. Some trails may be too muddy but there are always other routes or trails to access where you may do less damage. Enjoy the spring wildflowers and leave them for others to enjoy. You can bring pets but keep them on a leash and under control. The staff does a great job of educating the guest and offers a lot of different events throughout the year.
  • Love this place. Ive atteded several events and have never been disappointed. Great for hiking!
  • Spend a day and experience this place. You won't regret it! One of the wonders of Illinois. It's free.

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