Your Dream Benton Vacation

Enjoy Rend Lake

Explore the Heart of Southern Illinois

Welcome to Rend Lake, the hidden gem of Southern Illinois. Nestled between Franklin and Jefferson counties, this picturesque destination offers a perfect blend of serene beauty and thrilling adventure. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat in nature or an action-packed getaway, Rend Lake's diverse landscapes and activities promise unforgettable experiences for every traveler.


Rend Lake

Rend Lake is a dream destination for those seeking both tranquility and adventure. This stunning lake, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Ideal for families, couples, and solo travelers, Rend Lake boasts excellent fishing, boating, hiking trails, and bird-watching spots, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The nearby town of Benton enriches the experience with its charming local culture, cuisine, and history. Staying at Rend Lake means immersing yourself in an environment where every day brings a new discovery and a chance to connect with nature.

Things To Do

  1. Boating and Fishing on Rend Lake: Rend Lake, renowned for its expansive and serene waters, is a paradise for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish including crappie, bass, and catfish, making it an ideal spot for anglers of all skill levels. Rent a boat or bring your own to explore the lake's hidden coves and fishing hotspots.

  2. Hiking and Bird Watching in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park: This state park, embracing the northern shores of Rend Lake, offers miles of picturesque hiking trails that meander through diverse habitats. It's a haven for bird watchers, with opportunities to spot local and migratory bird species amidst the lush greenery. The park's trails range from easy to challenging, catering to all hiking enthusiasts.

  3. Golfing at Rend Lake Golf Course: For those who enjoy hitting the links, the Rend Lake Golf Course presents a beautiful setting to play. This well-maintained course offers 27 holes with varying levels of difficulty, set against the backdrop of the stunning Rend Lake landscape. It's a perfect blend of sport and scenic beauty.

Places To Go

  1. Rend Lake Visitor Center: A great starting point for any trip to the area, the Visitor Center provides insights into the lake's history, flora, and fauna. Interactive exhibits and knowledgeable staff offer a deeper understanding of the region and its ecological significance.

  2. Sesser Opera House: For a touch of local culture and history, visit the charming Sesser Opera House in the nearby town of Sesser. This historic venue hosts a variety of events, from musical performances to community theater, offering a glimpse into the vibrant local arts scene.

  3. Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center: Located near the entrance of Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, this center showcases the work of Illinois artists and artisans. It's a wonderful place to appreciate regional art, purchase unique crafts, and even attend workshops or artist demonstrations.

Food To Eat

  1. Southern Illinois Barbecue: The region around Rend Lake is known for its mouth-watering barbecue. Local joints and smokehouses serve up tender, slow-cooked meats slathered in rich, flavorful sauces. Don't miss out on the pulled pork, brisket, and ribs.

  2. Catfish and Local Catch: Given the lake's abundance of fish, many local restaurants offer fresh, deliciously prepared catfish and other catches from Rend Lake. Enjoy these delicacies fried, grilled, or in traditional Southern preparations.

  3. Homemade Pies and Desserts: Southern Illinois is also famous for its homemade pies and desserts, often made with locally sourced fruits and traditional recipes. From classic apple and peach pies to decadent chocolate and pecan desserts, there's something to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Where to Stay Nearby

Looking for accommodations to fully Enjoy Rend Lake?
Here are the top three recommendations to get you started.

"Rend Lake whispers the secrets of the earth, beckoning travelers to its shores where the sun kisses the water, and every moment becomes a cherished memory."

- Unknown