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Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello

(100 reviews on the web)
Art Gallery
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have hiked quite a number of places. This was my 4th trip (granted over 28 years) to Allerton. The lack of or severely outdated signage is horrid. Some signs are from 2005, others are seemingly on ...  more »
  • The room was as pictured however the bathroom was unbelievably small. I was in room 7 of The House in the Woods. Shower was small and to try to get the water temperature right the nozzle spurted out i...  more »
  • We drive thru Allerton Park at least once a week. Almost always see deer and red tail squirrels. Have seen an American Eagle a couples of times along with blue birds. We go to most of the summer conce...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • We really enjoy the hiking trails at Allerton. It's a great place if you're interested in wildlife, photography and a little peace and quiet!
  • The gardens are very well taken care of and the art is worth the drive. Saw a concert there and had a lovely time.
  • While the Alerton grounds are beautiful and I definitely recommend day trips to hike and explore, the event accomations were infuriating. I was there as a bridal party member. Our bride and groom paid a ton of money to have their wedding at Alerton (too much for what was included). Unfortunately Alerton is in the middle of nowhere so for events everyone has to stay on site. Alerton takes advantage of this fact at a level that is frankly unethical. After billing the bride gobs of cash they then billed all of her guests 90-130$ per night. This wouldnt be terribly odd except that for those of us staying in the large mansion/bnb with the bride everyone was charged the same $130/night despite HUGE disparities in room size and upkeep. Some of the rooms are no bigger than a closet and have not been updated or frankly upkept for decades or more. Other rooms are huge and lavish with remodeled amenities (though still very vintage with very old furniture). Dust pans and cork board were left out in the Halls in one area. What's worse, apparently knowing this discrepancy Alerton staff appear to have intentionally mislead the bride. They would not show the rooms and instead sent her a layout so she could assign rooms with no indication or mention of the disparities or which rooms were which. They clearly hide this reality from those they are selling bridal packages to. It's just a shitty surprise when you show up on your big day. As a result the bride's own brother and his girlfriend and one of her bride's maids and her husband ended up paying the same $130 per night (2 nights mandatory for bridal party) to stay in rooms barely big enough for a full size bed with plaster literally falling off the walls. Others of us had decent rooms (for such an old building) and still others had lavish accommodations. It is completely unethical to charge the same outlandish price for the lesser rooms than one does for the lavish rooms. Moreover Alerton despite charging "for profit" prices seems to use it's non profit status as an excuse for skeleton crew size staff and sub par upkeep. You don't get to say "well it's just because it's an nfp and you know how budgets are for nfps" when you not only charge "for profit" prices but also ask for donations and volunteers! For what it's worth the staff that is there are all spectacular from what we could tell. The food was really good too and again the location is lovely with lots to explore. It seems the whole thing might be better managed by a real for profit event company than a university whose attentions to detail and appropriate pricing are occupied elsewhere.