Meet Our Town

Welcome to Carbondale, Illinois! A city of more than 26,305 residents, Carbondale is home to a thriving business community strongly boosted by Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, recognized nationally for outstanding education, research, and athletics. Located in the heart of beautiful Southern Illinois, Carbondale and the surrounding region offer scenic lakes, a national forest, and abundant recreational opportunities, including two stops along the Southern Illinois Golf Trail. Carbondale is also the front door of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, the home of fabulous restaurants serving international cuisine, the retail center for multiple counties, and the region's cultural center, with many stages filled with music, dance, and live theater.

Carbondale is a bustling community of unusual shops, diverse commerce, cultural activities, and many other luxuries that would be expected in a large city - yet it maintains the comforts and charm of a small town. Although the title is unofficial, many residents consider Carbondale to be the “Capital of Southern Illinois.”

Woman Walking on a Trail

Facts About Carbondale

  • The Carbondale area is referred to as “Little Egypt.” Theories about the nickname's origins range from the region’s supplying grain to northern and central Illinois during an 1800's famine, to comparing Illinois' southern tip to Egypt’s Nile delta region. SIUC's nickname, the Salukis, references this association, as the saluki was the royal dog of Egypt.
  • Carbondale is home to various ethnic groups and cultures, and approximately 10 percent of the population is foreign-born.
  • Since 1903 the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, composed of faculty and students of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, talented community members and area professionals, has brought outstanding music to Southern Illinois.
  • Carbondale has excellent Amtrak service with three trains daily to and from Chicago with one train daily to and from Memphis and New Orleans.

Awards & Accreditations

  • "All American City Award", Finalist
  • Accredited Police Department
  • Awarded the "Progressive City Award" by Ameren for Energy Conservation
  • Awarded the "Sunny Award" for transparency in government
  • Certified Local Government for Historic Preservation
  • City Government Budget and Financial Reporting Awards annually since 1986
  • Dedicated to protecting property and savings lives as a nationally accredited "StormReady" Community
  • Honorable Mention, "City Livability Award"
  • Illinois and National Main Street Community
  • Named by Outdoor Life Magazine as one of the top 200 towns for Sportsmen for the facilities at Cedar Lake
  • Past winner "Best Small City in Illinois"
  • Past winner, "Governor's Hometown Award"
  • Selected as "101 Best Outdoor Towns"
  • Selected as "Tree City USA", since 1981