Grafton – Illinois’ River Town

Grafton – Illinois’ River Town

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Right where the Mississippi and Illinois river – just north of St. Louis – you will find the great little community of Grafton.   Once famous for it’s local stone quarries and boat building, Grafton is now known as a picturesque little town with Bald Eagles, restaurants, wineries and wine shops, fishing, and tourism.    Grafton is an ideal location for exploring the regions many attractions and scenic drives.    The Great River Scenic Byway links many little towns and you can spend days exploring Civil War sites, bike trails, historic districts and to the south you will find the French Colonial Country with its own history and charm.  Grafton is Illinois’ River Town.

The Great River Road Photo By Dave Herholz via
The Great River Road
Photo By Dave Herholz via

Population:   Grafton is one of the smallest towns on our radar.   Home to just 700 people and 17% are over the age of 65.   St. Louis Missouri is just 25 miles to the south, so Grafton is one of our best places to live in the country and still be close to all a big city has to offer.   Many people who call Grafton home commute into the St. Louis metro area for work.  (work?)

Housing:   Zillow says the median home price is $123,000 making this a very affordable place to live.   We found several condominium complexes along the riverfront in the $190K range.    This 3 bed/3 bath home is listed at $169,900 and has 2,787 square feet.

Grafton Home for $169,900 on Zillow
Grafton Home for $169,900 on Zillow

Crime:  Crime is almost non-existent.

Climate:   Grafton has a four season climate with hot and humid summers and winters see light snow with temperatures below freezing.   Most of the rain falls in the spring.   The whole area is at risk for Tornadoes and occasional flooding from being so close to the rivers.

Healthcare:   The Aurora Medical Center provides  several specialties including cancer care, surgery, podiatry, wound care, a urgent care center and Emergency Room.

Recreation:   If you are a fisherman, look no further!  The Walleye, northern pike and sauger swim in the northern stretches of the Mississippi and the crappie, bluegills, bass and bullhead are in backwater lakes at sloughs.  Channel catfish are everywhere and the white bass fishery just explodes at times.   Occasionally, someone will hook a huge sturgeon or paddlefish.  Some of the rivers are dammed and some are running.    There are no golf courses in Grafton itself but several in the area on both sides of the river.

 Photo By bk1bennett via

Zoom in and out on the map below to see Grafton and the neighboring area!






Cheryl and her husband have just recently retired and live in the Pacific Northwest. She has been enjoying her herself by traveling around the world, playing with her grandchildren, and she frequently volunteers in her community. There is certainly never a dull moment with Cheryl. She cheerfully co-founded RetireBook and wants to share her energy, hoping that it inspires her readers to live life at its fullest.