Located on the banks of the Ohio River in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest and the county seat of Pope County, Golconda is an idyllic small town deeply rooted in its rich history, but with an eye to the future. A plaque in City Hall declares the entire town as “Historic Golconda”, a designation reserved for only a handful of localities in Illinois.

Nineteenth century architectural features remain prominent on the facade of many buildings, reflecting back to the days when Golconda was a thriving economic hub in the region with extensive river trade. Take a walking tour of “Silk Stocking Row” and the elegant estates on the bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, and envision a way of life that has crossed a century of time untouched.

Thousands of visitors descend upon Golconda each year to enjoy the many festivals and activities sponsored by local civic organizations. Numerous antique and gift shops in the downtown area offer a wide variety items sure to interest shoppers looking for unique treasures.

Horseback riding, hiking and cycling can be enjoyed throughout the local area. Golconda is located on the National Cross Country Bike Trail, the Ohio River Scenic Byway, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, and is the destination of the annual River-to-River Relay.

The Golconda Marina is a prominent attraction that brings recreational boaters and fisherman from around the world to enjoy one of the most scenic parts of the Ohio River. The Smithland Pool, created by the nearby Smithland Lock & Dam, is the scene of many world-class fishing tournaments each year.

Golconda was the site of the former Lock & Dam 51, which was constructed and operated by the Corps of Engineers as a navigational aid on the Ohio River.  When the new Smithland Lock and Dam was completed, Dam 51 was removed and the property transferred to the City of Golconda.  The former Lockmaster Homes  were renovated and are now offered to the public for short-term rentals.

These are just a few of the offerings Golconda has to offer visitors to make your visit here entertaining, enlightening, and enjoyable.  With a variety of lodging and dining facilities, Golconda is an ideal base from which to explore the wonders of Southeastern Illinois. If you’d like to visit us, take a look at our events calendar and plan your trip today.