12 Midwest Backroad Scenic Drives
Southern Hills, Illinois
The drive: State-127 from Murphysboro to Jonesboro in southern Illinois (155 miles southeast of St. Louis) covers less than 25 miles, but it can take all day to explore the region.
Worth a stop: Stretch your legs in Shawnee National Forest, where an easy, quarter-mile observation trail in the Garden of the Gods offers a look at sandstone rock formations (left). Explore the area's wineries and orchards. In Alto Pass, halfway through the drive, stop at the Root Beer Saloon, a kitschy, taxidermy-filled cafe serving many varieties of the drink in frosty mugs.
For information: Contact Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau. (800) 248-4373; southernmostillinois.com