Shopping in the Tri-Cities Area is always convenient. The traditional downtown areas are in transition from retailing to business and services, but a few shops and stores remain, offering furniture, appliances, jewelry, and apparel.
Nameoki Road (Route 203), a major north-south artery, has become the citys principal commercial street. It is lined, block after block, with shopping centers offering all manner of goods and services, large free-standing stores, auto service stations, and a host of restaurants. The Greater Granite City Area blends the qualities of a small town and a rich metropolitan area with aVariety of eating establishments.
More than 60 restaurants and cafeterias serve some of the best home-away-from-home-cooked meals in the Metro-East area. Whether youre looking for a quick hamburger or an elegant candlelight dinner, youll easily find both in the greater Tri-Cities Area.
Restaurants serving everything from pizza and Polynesian to American and Chinese to Mexican and Italian fare, together with centrally located hotels and motels, serve the needs of all welcomeVisitors.
The shopping centers have a dozen to more than two dozen stores and are often anchored by a large food store or other major retailer. They offer the advantages of convenient parking and competitive prices.
A new shopping area is expected to grow around a major national discount department store that has located on Route 3, a primary highway that runs along Granite Citys western edge. Located in the northwest section, the area has attracted two of the citys automobile dealers. Northgate Industrial Park is nearby.
The homes of the Tri-Cities Area reflect its 100 years of progress. They range broadly in design and size; from gracious oldVictorian "painted ladies" to sparkling new ranch and two story styles and from small bungalows and Cape Cod models to attractive apartment complexes.
Near downtown and stretching northeast to Wilson Park at the center of the city, homes range from classic turn-of-the-centuryVictorian mansions to stout American Foursquare designs of the 1920s and 1930s. Equally splendid older homes surround the parks perimeter, interspersed, occasionally, by a contemporary design.
To the northeast, beyond Wilson Park, there are smartly styled subdivisions from the 1960s through today, places like Maryville Heights, Wilshire Manor, and Oak Lawn Terrace. In theVicinity of Worthen Park, on the citys northeast side, there are new executive-style homes built on large elegantly landscaped lots, where three-car garages are commonplace.
The pride of the people of Granite City shows in the manner they keep their homes. Everywhere throughout the city, houses are beautifully maintained. Many of the homes built in the early decades of this century display the crisp freshness of restoration. Rental apartment complexes, all attractively landscaped, have plenty of open green space separating the buildings.
Theres a homea family placein Granite City fitting every budget and every lifestyle.
Outdoor loving Tri-Cities Area families take full advantage of the splendid facilities found in the areas 12 beautiful city parks and in the areas several exceptional state parks.
Wilson Park, in the heart of the community, is the oldest and largest of the dozen parks operated by the Granite City Park District, which observed its Diamond Jubilee concurrently with the citys Centennial celebration. Opened in 1923, the park covers 74 tree-shaded acres and is the site of a new swimming complex, a covered ice skating rink, ball diamonds, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, lighted tennis courts, a well-equipped playground, fitness trail, picnic tables and shelters, beautiful garden areas for relaxation, concession stand, restroom facilities, and a new gazebo for band concerts.
Worthen Park, on Granite Citys east side, is second largest with more than 27 acres. It offers soccer fields, a sandVolleyball court, picnic shelter, playground, ball diamonds, basketball courts, a concession stand, and restroom facilities. Most of the citys other parks, while smaller, feature recreation facilities such as ball diamonds, basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, and tennis courts.
Three parks are passive, designed for relaxation, with eye-pleasing landscaping and gardens. One passive park contains a war memorial, a fountain, and attractive flower beds.
In Madison, hikers and bikers enjoy a singular trail that connects the city with Chouteau Island; outdoor enthusiasts cross the Mississippi RiverVia the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, once a crossing for old Route 66. SoonVisitors will be able to stroll through an island nature preserve and enjoy a riverside recreational development presently being planned by the city.
InVenice, kids, parents, and seniors enjoy activities and the scenery at Lee Park, located on the Mississippi River. the village ofVenice continues to look to the area along the Mississippi for future recreational and commercial development.
Golfers enjoy the challenges offered by several area golf courses. Arlington Golf Course is a 6,947-yard championship course located a short distance east of the city. It features a swimming pool among its facilities. Nearby is The Legacy Golf Course, another excellent 18-hole course with such amenities as a pro shop and a restaurant. Two courses in nearby Edwardsville are also easily reached by Granite City golfers. Another popular course is Rivers Edge at a nearby army depot. The Granite City Park District plans a comprehensive program of summertime sports, recreation, and special events during the summer months. Included are boys baseball and girls softball schools, tennis lessons for all ages, step aerobics, country line dancing, flag football, golf lessons, a preschool, and band concerts in Wilson Park.
Tri-Cities Area families also enjoy the facilities of several state parks. The nearest is Horseshoe Lake State Park, a 2,854-acre park with a 1,200-acre lake shaped like an oxbow or horseshoe. It offers 48 tent and trailer campsites, fishing and boating (with a boat ramp and boat rentals), picnicking and playgrounds, and is a favorite spot for bird-watching. More than 55 different species have been spotted along the trail that winds through the park.
To the north of Granite City, a few miles north of Alton, is Pere Marquette State Park, an 8,000-acre recreation Mecca. It offers every form of recreation that families love, from camping and swimming to boating and fishing to trails for equestrians and hikers. The park even has a 72-room lodge that is open year-round. The lodge features a 190-seat dining room, a beamed great room with a mammoth stone fireplace, and an indoor swimming pool. A conference center at the lodge is a 2,900-square-foot facility that can accommodate 300 diners.
To the east of the Tri-Cities Area lies mammoth Carlyle Lake, 18 miles long and covering 26,000 acres, with 11,000 acres of public land surrounding it. Three thousand-acre Eldon Hazlet State Park stands on the western shore of Carlyle Lake. It features 336 camp sites accommodating trailers and a walk-in area containing 36 tent camping sites. Theres also a group camping area. Carlyle Lake, itself, offers power and sailboating, fishing, and the full roster of water sports. The lake has several marinas, a sailboat harbor, and four large sand beaches for swimming.
All the family fun is available in and around the Tri-Cities Area.
The Tri-Cities Areas proximity to St. Louis opens itsVast cultural landscape to residents. Still, there is much to enjoy at home.
High school drama students and musicians perform regularly to appreciative audiences. The SummerStage Players, an amateur thespian organization, started doing plays in 1981 and has continued ever since. Today, the group has its own 70-seat theater and does five programs annually, performing each from three to five times. The SummerStage Players have about 70 active members and presents comedies, dramas, and musicals.
Drummer Stan Fornaszewski and his collection of musicians has been a fixture in Granite City entertainment scene for decades. His big band performs summertime concerts in Wilson Park and he provides big bands, orchestras, and combos for all occasions.
The Granite City Public Library is a cultural focal point in the community, providing a wealth of books and services. The librarys programs for preschoolers, such as Summer Storytime Fun, are popular. So too are special events like the Three Billy Goats Gruff Puppet Show, programs by folks from the St. Louis Science Center, and The Magic House, from the St. Louis Childrens Museum.
It is the Tri-Cities Areas proximity and ease of access to St. Louis that rounds out its cultural scene. The big city beckons with such inspiring attractions as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. The Orchestra, whose home is Powell Hall, presents its summer County Pops concert in Queeny Park, a relaxing 570-acre site that is easily reached from Granite City.
St. Louis Muny Outdoor Theater presents a summer series at a beautiful, 12,000-seat theater in Forest Park. Forest Park is also the setting for the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, and the St. Louis Art Museum. The famous Fox Theater in St. Louis brings to its stage the top names in show business.
Other cultural highlights in St. Louis are the Missouri Botanical Gardens, a 2,400-acre arboretum and nature preserve, and the National Museum of Transportation featuring transportationVehicles of yesteryear. Throughout the St. Louis area there are dozens of museums, art galleries and historic places toVisit. For those who seek their entertainment in gaming, the action of the Alton Belle Casino is only a few miles north in Alton.
In all of this, the Tri-Cities Area shares the applause.
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