For architecture, river views and antiquing, look into Alton Ill, just north of St. Louis.
You might also head south about an hour to Fern Cliff State Park and Giant City State Park which are north of the Carbondale area. Both of them have wonderful bluffs and forrested landscapes with Giant City having tremendouse blocks of huge stones that have split into wide streets and avenues that are often two stories deep. There is mild climbing and great trails and on Sundays, the lodge at GC has the best all you can eat fried chicken dinner I've ever tasted. It's family stayle as far as side dishes, so go with an empty stomach.
By the way, the lodge itself is a great subject from the CCC days of the thirties. Huge building of native stone and enormous pillars of poplar, sort of built in the so called National Park style. Definitey worthy of some exposures both inside and out.
Closer to the St. Louis area is Cahokia Mounds which is a gigantic development of indian mounds that are reminiscent of some of the Maya cities.
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I just came back from a weekend of camping in the Shawnee National Forest. Saw plenty of old farms etc. on our way. We went to the east side which might be a little farther than you want to travel but there are small towns around the area surrounded by farms. Contact me if you want some specifics.
Best place to shoot it is the park area on the west side (MO side), with numerous vantage points.
Thanks for the suggestions - time and weather permitting I hope to be able to check out a number of them.
Hello,,, well if you were in the southern most tip of Ill you'd be near Tennessee and Reelfoot Lake ...
Neat old towns with plenty of hidden jewels
Garden of the Gods