Experience the Havana Gateway Along the Illinois River Road
Known for its rich history, red brick streets and beautiful Riverfront Park, Havana has much to offer. Once a town known for its cigar manufacturing businesses and notorious gambling nightlife, where Al Capone would visit to hunt, fish and gamble, Havana has grown into a charming, classic All-American small town with direct access to a playground of natural resources, boutique shopping and exciting local amenities.
Havana’s historic downtown, lined with vintage-style lighting and quaint shops, reflects a passion for its historic buildings, 150+ year history and links to Abraham Lincoln. At the foot of Main Street is the Illinois River and Riverfront Park where you can amble the sidewalk pathways, cross the footbridge and enjoy scenic overlooks which provide a panoramic view of river traffic. Riverfront Park also boasts the nicest boat ramp to launch from within a 64 mile stretch of the Illinois River, with easy parking for vehicles and trailers and public restrooms.
Havana is proud to have three sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic Havana water tower at the top of Main Street hill, the Havana Public Library and Rockwell Mound where Lincoln and Douglas both gave noteworthy speeches, all have a rich historical significance and are listed on the registry.
Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant, and include canoeing, bird watching, hiking and biking. Hunting and fishing are also popular activities, as well as pleasure boating and jet skiing. Havana is home to the Tall Timbers Marina, where you can easily stop in and tie off for the day or the weekend, to enjoy Havana while you are traveling by river. We also boast the wonderful Havana Regional Airport where you can fly in for a day or a weekend getaway!
Havana plays host to an assortment of festivals and events throughout the year, including the annual Oktoberfest the first weekend after Labor Day each year and our annual classic car show in August. If shopping and eating are your kind of recreation, we have plenty of that as well! Havana’s historic downtown district is in the midst of a large revitalization effort, which has brought about much change in the past few years, with more improvements on the way! The town has many new shops, boutiques and dining choices, as well as unique lodging options.
Begin your journey with a stop at the Illinois River Road informational kiosk, located one block from the Havana riverfront at the corner of Main and Schrader Streets.