Granite City was born a mill town that gained most of its early population from immigrants from Central Europe. The Port of Granite City is rich with the heritage of solid brick home, attractive churches, and beautiful city parks. It is also part of the St. Louis metropolitan area. For information on the many things to see and do in the metro area, visit the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Bureau website.
The Port of Granite City is in the transitional zone between humid continental and humid subtropical climate zones of the central United States. With no mountains or large water bodies, it experiences both hot humid summers and cold winters. Enjoying four distinct seasons, spring is wet and sometimes has severe weather than can include tornadoes and even the occasional winter storm. Winters can be extremely cold and snowy, and they are punctuated by freezing rain and ice storms. Temperatures range from an average high of 32°C (90°F) in July to an average low of -6°C (21°F) in January. The Port of Granite City gets about 39 inches of precipitation each year, including 22 inches of snow falling from December through March.
The biggest park in the Port of Granite City is Wilson Park. Covering 74 acres, the park offers many different recreational opportunities as well as a wide variety of native and rare trees and formal gardens. Wilson Park in the Port of Granite City offers seven baseball fields, six lighted tennis courts, a softball field, a lighted basketball court, a playground, and one of the biggest handicap-accessible playgrounds in the central US. Especially during the hot summers, visitors enjoy the wading pool and water slide. A ice-skating rink offers public amusement as well as the home for the Granite City High School Warrior Hockey team. There is also an outdoor pavilion and stage, a 2.3-kilometer (1.4-mile) fitness trail, and eight picnic shelters.
History buffs will enjoy the Old Six Mile Museum inside the Emmert-Zippel House. The beautiful 158-year-old home contains collections of Native American and Civil War artifacts as well as vintage 1830s furnishings. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
About 11 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the Port of Granite City is Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, the location of an ancient indigenous city that existed from about 600 AD to 1400 AD. The 8.9 square kilometer (2200 acre) site once contained 120 manmade earthwork mounds dotting an area of about 3800 acres (six square miles). Eighty of the mounds survive today. Cahokia Mounds is the biggest Mississippian culture archaeological site in North America. The National Historic Landmark is protected by the State of Illinois, and it one of the United State's 21 World Heritage Sites.