Casey, Illinois, is a small town known for big things. Twelve of the world’s largest attractions are dotted around town, along with 19 other big things, perfect for a scavenger hunt filled with photo opps. Most sites are walkable from Main Street, which is lined with cute shops and cafes. Or you can rent a golf cart and cruise around town. See if you can find all the gigantic roadside attractions!
Getting to Casey, Illinois
Located off Interstate 70, near Effingham, Illinois, and Terre Haute, Indiana, Casey is a charming town about 400 miles from Detroit. It could be a great stop on a road trip to Missouri, Indiana or Southern Illinois.
Things to Do in Casey, Illinois
The main thing to do in Casey is to go searching for all the big things. And you don’t need to search far. You’ll stumble upon most of them right away. For example, the World’s Largest Mailbox is pretty hard to miss on Main Street. You can even climb up into it, take a picture and mail a letter. There’s an ice cream shop, candy store and more right outside the mailbox. Inside Wildflour Bakery (behind the fountain), you’ll find the World’s Largest Wooden Shoes, along with candy and goodies galore.
Across Main Street, you can swing in a giant birdcage, swoosh around the World’s Largest Barbershop Pole, and pretend you’re holding up a huge pencil. Stop in the souvenir shops for kitschy shirts and Casey Coffee Company for a latte along the way. Model Tees is a newer shop where you can rent golf carts for an hour or two. My daughter and I thought it was super fun to cruise around town in a golf cart, popping in and out to take pictures and visit shops.
Another block down Main Street, you’ll find the World’s Largest Rocking Chair and World’s Largest Teeter-Totter, which you can walk on. Inside The Yarn Studio shop you’ll find giant knitting needles, a large crochet hook and some lovely craft products. Further down Main Street, you’ll see a giant, green bookworm outside the library. Drive down that street to Fairview Park, which is 40 acres of outdoor fun, including a playground, soccer goals, basketball and more. The Illinois Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame and Museum is near the park, with a large softball bat lined up with catcher and umpire cutouts for you to take a pic.
Central Avenue off Main Street also hosts many large roadside attractions. You’ll find the World’s Largest Golf Driver by a giant mousetrap. There’s also a large spinning top and World’s Largest Swizzle Stick down the street.
Friday and Saturday nights, you can view movies from the back of your car at the Drive ‘N Theatre, about a 30-minute drive from Casey. My daughter and I had a blast snuggled up in the back of my SUV with blankets, pillows and popcorn. You can borrow a radio to listen without leaving your engine on.
You can also drive to see Lincoln Log Cabin, a historic site attributed to Abraham Lincoln and his family, or Heath Museum & Confectionary, birthplace of the legendary toffee bar. If you’re into the outdoors, Lincoln Trail State Park and Mill Creek are some good spots for fresh air.
Where to Stay in Casey, Illinois
Half of the reason my daughter and I chose to spend a girls weekend in Casey is because she is a huge Harry Potter fan, and the Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover in Casey has a Gryffindor-themed room. A remodeled historic brick building originally built in 1890, the Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover now features 12 rooms with private baths, and a cute little outdoor elevator to the second floor. The Gryffindor Room is on the third floor (so you’ll need to carry your luggage up a flight of stairs). From the Gryffindor rug that greets you upon entry, to the 9-3/4 sign, Hogwarts pennant, themed pillows and blankets, this room is decked out for all those who adore Harry Potter. My daughter loved her own private sleeping quarters up the spiral staircase (with two twin beds), while I enjoyed the king bed.
Places to Eat in Casey, Illinois
Our favorite food by and far was the colorful, delicious breakfast bowls served at Casey Coffee Company. You can pick from yogurt, hot oatmeal or acai on the bottom. My daughter enjoyed the Banana Split Bowl, with pineapple, strawberries, granola, chocolate chips and honey. I started my day with the Power Bowl, which included almond butter, strawberries, bananas and granola.
We ate food from Richard’s Farm twice because it was the restaurant with the most open hours over the weekend (many places are closed or have limited hours on Sundays). One evening, we dined outside in its garden. The other, we picked up. It offers a variety of foods like catfish, steaks and a Mogger salad with bacon, blue cheese and tangy dressing.
Greathouse of Pizza is known as one of the best pizza joints in Illinois South of Chicago; however, they were on vacation while we were in town, so we did not get to try their pizza. Whitling Whimsy is popular for lunch, with salads and sandwiches and located next to the World’s Largest Wind Chime. We also tried Reflections Family Restaurant, a simple café across the street from the Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover. The turkey club sandwich had slices of carved turkey on it.
We visited The Big Dipper ice cream shop next to the World’s Largest Mailbox twice. They serve seasonal and classic flavors of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream. The Lemon Meringue looked lovely. My daughter couldn’t get enough salty cashew goodness in This $&@! Just Got Serious.
Why Our Family Loves Casey, Illinois
Casey is great to visit for quirky fun. It’s calm, quiet and the people are super nice. In fact, two different locals stopped their cars to share helpful advice within minutes of our arrival. Another visitor offered to walk across the street to take a picture of my daughter and me in the mailbox. It’s simple and sweet and perfect for a laid-back family looking to create playful memories.
The Gryffindor-themed room at the Eighteen-Ninety Sleepover is an excellent stay for Harry Potter fans. You’ll find yourself geeking out at all the themed decor. My daughter had to don the round glasses, put on her robe and swish her wand around. Adorable.
We also enjoyed our first experience at a drive-in movie together. The owner was happy to chat us up despite cars pulling up behind us. There was plenty of room to spread out and the new concession building sold food and snacks.
It was a memorable weekend with big photo opps and small town cheer.
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