Carbondale bills itself as the capital of Southern Illinois, and it’s for good reason. As the home of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale is a progressive community, where diversity comes naturally. A mecca of sorts for those who love restaurants of all kinds -- from hometown coffee shops to full service fine dining establishments – Carbondale offers so much more. There’s a wide range of shopping stretching from national retailers to local specialty shops. Plus, there are spectator and participant sports and arts ranging from live theater to exhibitions. All together, it makes Carbondale a true destination community. 

The city offers highly-ranked schools, police and fire protection departments, and a low cost of living. Carbondale offers many modern health care facilities and don't forget the beautiful Carbondale Parks

At the same time, the community has a great deal to offer prospective homeowners, from historic dwellings to modern homes, rich with luxury and conveniences. Tree lined streets and historic homes can be found in many neighborhoods, while others boast new construction and intimate neighborhoods. 

The city of Carbondale is a fantastic place to work, live, visit and play. It is located in Jackson County, Illinois and has an estimated population of 25,597. Carbondale is best known for being home to Southern Illinois University and the Saluki´s, but is also a major, regional health care provider and the areas retail hub. It is in these areas where most of the local population is employed.

Carbondale Community

The community of Carbondale holds several festivals during the year. There is the "Main Street Pig out" which happens in September, an Irish festival & the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta in April, the Big Muddy Film Festival which is held in February and March, the Indian celebration of Diwali which is held in December, and a series of free outdoor concerts which are held through out the year. These concerts can be attended by visiting the Southern Illinois University campus, in city parks and in the Town Square Pavilion.

The surrounding area is unspoiled and full of natural beauty, making it a prime location for outdoor activities. Carbondale has been featured in the recent book "101 Best Outdoor Towns", acknowledging its vast national forests and other outdoor opportunities. The city and Jackson County are also becoming popular, retirement destinations.

You´ll find a wide variety of housing choices when it comes to Carbondale real estate! Close to the downtown area there is still much pre-World War II housing and the charming Arbor and Historic Districts. Moving outward, there are many unique subdivisions offering a variety of homes: from 1960-70´s family-style neighborhoods, such as Parrish Acres, to golf course and gated subdivisions, such as Stone Creek and Woodland Hills. 

Carbondale and Jackson County are fortunate in that there is quality education and opportunities available from the grade school to the college level and beyond. The Carbondale educational system is a source of pride for the community.

There are three public elementary schools in the immediate area. District 95 is within the Carbondale city limits and offers 3 attendance centers, Parrish, which offers pre-K through 1st grades, Thomas, which is 2nd and 3rd, and Lewis, which is 4th and 5th grades. Then, students move on to Lincoln Middle School for 6th, 7th and 8th grades Just south of Carbondale are Giant City and Unity Point Schools which are pre-K through 8th Each of these schools are proud of the level of parental involvement that they have.

In addition, Carbondale has several private elementary schools. The New School, Christian Covenant and St. Andrews, which is in adjacent Murphysboro, are K through 8 and are tuition based. All of these schools, public and private strive to prepare their students for the challenges of high school and beyond by providing the best quality education in their own way.

All of these elementary schools feed into High School District 165. Carbondale Community High School is home of the Terriers. The school was completed in 2000 and is located in the cities "Super Block", which also encompasses athletic fields, Lincoln Middle School and community programs.

Southern Illinois University also calls Carbondale its home. SIU offers a several different degrees in a wide variety of subjects.  Their devotion to academic excellence has given SIU students a number of accolades and acknowledgments.

Carbondale Recreation

There are many outdoor resources to be enjoyed in Carbondale and the surrounding area. Cedar, Crab Orchard and Devil´s Kitchen are several of the many nearby lakes that offer fishing and boating. Hiking and biking is fantastic throughout the Shawnee National Forest. Little Grand Canyon has been listed as the #2 spot in Illinois to hike by Trails.com. Giant City and it´s lodge was selected as "Local Secret, Big Find" by Travelocity.

For the Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods in you, Carbondale area golf courses are great. For instance, head to Hickory Ridge or Stone Creek golf courses. Both are highly competitive- Hickory has hosted 2 Nike Tour Events and Stone Creek is home to the IHSA Womans Playoffs. Whatever your pleasure, it´s just around the corner in Carbondale!

Carbondale Activities

There´s always something to do around Carbondale!

Carbondale and SIU provide many musical and theatrical productions every year. The Science Center and Black American Museum are unique to the town. Saluki Athletics have a huge following in the area. Coach Kill and Coach Lowery have taken their respective teams a long way!

Hop in your car and take a trip along the Art Trail of Southern Illinois, featuring over 600 galleries throughout the area. Or visit the Shawnee Wine Trail, which has just received the AVA designation, and meander through the hillsides from winery to winery. It seems as if every weekend brings another local festival- from the Carbondale Main Street Pig Out to the Hummingbird Festival! There´s always something to do!
Leslie Pankey
Leslie Pankey