When we heard that the Hometown of Superman, Metropolis, was located in southern Illinois, we’ve always wanted to check it out. Then when an opportunity presented itself to visit the small town of 7000, we jumped on it. This year, 2017, marks the 45th Anniversary Metropolis has been designated the Home of Superman.
Places to PLAY
Since we were visiting the hometown of Superman, we couldn’t wait to see the man himself. So off we went, looking for the Man of Steel.
Selfie with the Man of Steel
Start out at the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce to grab some info about the area. (If you look close enough, you’ll spot kryptonite on the ground.) We then walked a few feet and stood in awe at the 15-foot Superman standing on the Square. Look closely enough and you’ll notice he’s standing on the “S” shield. Erected in 1993, the statue is always hopping with people taking photos with the Man of Steel.
Super Museum – A super museum for super fans
While taking the obligatory Superman statue photos, we spotted a red, blue, and yellow building – the one and only Super Museum! Take time perusing the outside of the museum – there’s tons of photo opportunities!
We found plenty of cutouts for picture taking, cool murals on the walls, a Superman vending machine, and if you look up you’ll find Superman flying up above.
The souvenir shop is worth a peek. You’ll find comics, toys, costumes, and fun souvenirs. Don’t forget a stop in Superman’s phone booth and a souvenir. We grabbed a postcard and a bag of kryptonite (green rock candy) of course.
If you’re a fan of Superman (you are visiting his town, right?) then you’ll want to pay the $5 admission fee (kids under 5 free) to see walls (and ceilings) full of Superman memorabilia filled to the brim with anything Superman-related – toys, comics, underwear, costumes, clocks, even Superman pringles, even items from Superman shows and films such as Clark Kent’s belt and the Power Crystal from the 1979 movie. We spent about 40 minutes checking it out but could see people staying longer if they took the time to read and look at everything.
Take a short stroll
After visiting the museum, we walked down the street. and saw a few boutique shops and antique shops. But since it was Sunday, it was closed. Boo.
As we were walking, we saw a few murals on the walls that portray the history of Metropolis. You’ll find six murals located along Ferry Street and Market Street.
We also spied Thor’s Gym. Word on the street is that the owner looks like Thor.
Say hello to the “First Lady of Metropolis”
Two and a half blocks down the street (8th St. and Pearl St.) stands the life-size bronze statue of Noel Neill, the original Lois Lane from “The Adventures of Superman” television series. She was a frequent guest of the famous Superman Celebration and at one point called Metropolis her home. As a permanent gesture of love from the town and her fans around the world, the statue was erected and given the honorable title of “First Lady of Metropolis.” In honor of her memory, the 2017 Superman Celebration will be dedicated to her.
After exploring downtown Metropolis, we were ready to check out the rest of Metropolis.
Designated as Illinois’ first state park, Fort Massac State Park, a replica of an 1802 fort, was a great place to bring the kids to release their pent up energy.
We headed to the small hills where George Rogers Clark was overlooking the Ohio River. On our particular day, we saw barges slowly moving down the Ohio River. Kids still have energy? There’s a playground close by.
Metropolis Hope Light
Located at Dorothy Miller Park, the Hope Light stands as a national “Beacon of Hope” for cancer patients and survivors. As the world’s first lighthouse dedicated to the fight against cancer, it also is used as a real flashing marine beacon. We parked and took a short stroll around the park with views of the Ohio River. The kids were a little bummed they couldn’t climb it, but it still made for fun photo ops.
……and also another chance to run around again.
We decided to explore a little further out from Metropolis and took a 30-minute drive to Cypress to visit their Nature Center. Unfortunately, the center closed 30 minutes early (argh!) but all hope was not lost. We happened to stop by the Lower Cache River access for beautiful views of the swamp. If we were adventurous enough (and without the kiddos) it would have been fun to rent a canoe. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed our time and took advantage of a viewing platform. It was a nice stroll from the parking lot to the viewing platform where we saw bald cypress trees – some older than 1000 years old!
Places to EAT
After all this exploring, you know we were ready to get our grub on!
Fat Edd’s Roadhouse, 323 Ferry St.
So happy to have had the recommendation from fellow blogger to try this local joint. Our innkeeper also mentioned stopping by here for food, so we knew we just had to try it out. We came during dinnertime and the lines were long. Like we were ready to turn around and head to the nearest fast food joint. But you know what? We endured and have to say the wait was definitely worth it! In fact, we were more than happy to return again. Fat Edd’s are known for their peel n eat shrimp, but quite honestly it wasn’t my favorite. I preferred almost everything else from the fiesta nachos my kids happily slurped down or the philly cheesesteak or the mushroom and swiss cheeseburger. All delicious!
718BrewCafe, 718 Market St.
Another option for those in the area is this new brewery and cafe. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to check it out. (It was Sunday and closed. Of course.) But it looked tasty with pizzas, burgers, and a brewery! The Cafe is conveniently located across the street from the Noel Neill statue.
Places to STAY
Metropolis has a few chains to stay at but we had the chance to stay at a quaint and charming Victorian B&B, Summer Riverview B&B, a family-friendly and pet-friendly B&B. The owners Lori and William were as hospitable as can be. Stay in one of the five rooms in the mansion and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. They’ll also be offering carriage ride tours of Metropolis. How fun!
Stay tuned and see what else we did on our trip. Part 2 coming!
- Metropolis is located off exit 37 off I-24. If you go to the Rest Area, you’ll find Superman cutouts for picture taking fun. Need to fill up on gas? Head to the gas station off the interstate for more picture taking with cutouts!
- If you can swing it, try to make it to their Superman Celebration. Four days of celebrating the Man of Steel with food, carnival, costume contests, and tons of people wearing Superman costumes and other superheroes. Think county fair meets Comic Con. Look for my article in Chicago Parent soon!
- If you’d like an awesome view of the Great American Soltice coming in August, you’ll want to head to Metropolis during this time for prime viewing where it will be total darkness for two minutes and twenty-three seconds.