Meet Our Town

Welcome to Carbondale, Illinois! A city of more than 21,717 residents, Carbondale is home to a thriving business community enormously 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 the "Capital of Southern Illinois."

Woman Walking on a Trail

Facts About Carbondale

  • The Carbondale area is called “Little Egypt.” Theories about the nickname's origins range from the region’s supplying grain to northern and central Illinois during an 1800s 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; approximately 10 percent of the population is foreign-born.
  • Since 1903 the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, composed of Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty and students, 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

  • Requested and received $2.1 million in SIMPO STU funding to extend Oak Street to Rendleman Road
  • Secured a $2 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant to expand the bike path
    from Old Highway 13 to Wood Road
  • Awarded a $2 million grant to cover 80% of the funding of Phase 1 of an entertainment and event plaza in
    downtown Carbondale
  • Awarded $1 million for the reconstruction of McRoy Drive
  • Awarded a $500k grant from the State of Illinois for accessibility improvements at the Superblock
  • Made the World Atlas 8 cutest small towns in Illinois list
  • Winner of "GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award," since 1986
  • Winner of “GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” for 30 years
  • Received an unmodified opinion (the highest and cleanest kind of opinion an auditor can express) from the
    auditor in the presentation of FY 2022 financial statements in conformity with the Generally Accepted
    Accounting Principles
  • Awarded the Department of Energy Communities LEAP Pilot Program Technical Assistance
  • Named "Tree City USA" since 1981; Received Tree City USA Growth Award for the 8th consecutive year
  • Winner, Bronze level for Bicycle Friendly Community since 2016