The majestic Nauvoo Temple on the western edge of Illinois attracts visitors from all over the world. For followers of the Mormon faith, it's sacred ground.

But the beautiful river town of Nauvoo has a turbulent past.

Mormon founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were brutally murdered by a mob in 1844 – victim's of religious intolerance. This terrible chapter in American history led to the exodus of thousands of Mormons from Illinois.

Despite the tragedy, time has helped to heal the wounds. And today, Nauvoo enjoys a renaissance.

Due to a bend in the river, this beautiful Mississippi River town is surrounded by water on three sides, and the end result is a warming effect that's perfect for grape growing. The Labor Day weekend Grape Festival is a celebration of the region's rich wine-making heritage.

You can visit Baxter's Vineyard and Winery and taste the fruit of the Nauvoo region. Baxter's is said to be the oldest winery in Illinois.

You'll see 150-year-old vineyards at Nauvoo State Park. The Rheinberger House Museum tells the story of the German, and later, French, settlers who cultivated grapes and other fruit.

Nauvoo Temple: visitor information

Historic Nauvoo

Joseph Smith Homestead & Cemetery

Baxter's Vineyards & Winery
2010 E. Parley Street
PO Box 342
Nauvoo, IL 62354
Phone: (217) 453-2528
Toll free: (800) 854-1396
Fax: (217) 453-6600

Nauvoo Grand Bed & Breakfast
2015 Parley Street
Nauvoo, IL 62354
(217) 453-2528

Nauvoo Tourism
Accommodations, events restaurants & shows

Nauvoo Historical Society

Hotel Nauvoo
1290 Mulholland Street
Nauvoo, IL 62354
(217) 453-2211