Scenic Makanda
Makanda Vulture Fest
Scenic Makanda

Makanda IS THE Solar Eclipse Centre in 2017 & 2024!

Solar Eclipse Makanda

Photo Provided by:
Gallatin County teacher
Lindsay Adams


  • Alcohol is prohibited
  • Make sure to bring plenty of
    liquids to keep hydrated.
  • There will be designated parking lots for visitors in
    the downtown area and parking attendants directing traffic to those specific area. There will be a parking fee.
  • All visitors will be required to leave the parking areas after sundown. No overnight parking will be allowed.
  • No camping will be allowed on any Village or railroad property at any time.

    Makanda Featured on TV!

    Makanda on TV



    Spirit of Makanda

    Est. 1845
    Inc. 1888

    Smiley Water Tower



    Welcome to Makanda

    Ask any Makanda resident what makes Makanda different and better than other surrounding towns and you'll probably hear responses like beautiful, scenic, quiet, and unlike any other town in Southern Illinois. Makanda is known for it's unique shops and businesses on the boardwalk - unlike anything else you'll find. Makanda is the Gateway to Giant City State Park with the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and the scenic River to River Trail passing through the village.

    Makanda RailroadMakanda got its start in 1845 as a boarding house and construction camp for the Illinois Central Railroad. Makanda was been known by several names of Markanda, Markands, and Markauda. In 1872, it received its present name of Makanda and was named after a local Indian chief. The village was incorporated on February 7, 1888.

    The economy of Makanda was once very closely tied to the railroad. Makanda was a major shipping hub for Chicago for fruits and vegetables. The community once stretched up and down the valley and hillsides with a boardwalk extending to the entrance of Giant City State Park. Makanda was a thriving town with grocery stores, a bank, barbers, a dentist, three doctors, an undertaker, hotels, a jail, and various other establishments.

    Old Downtown MakandaMakanda has survived multiple floods and fires that have claimed the downtown buildings such as the L. L. Bell building and also surrounding buildings and houses. Each time the town was rebuilt.

    Present day Makanda has become an affordable place for artists from Southern Illinois University and the surrounding areas to create and display their work downtown on the boardwalk. Makanda is a small, thriving community and home to the Vulture Fest held the third weekend in October. The Vulture Fest features food, live music, and art.