Nauvoo Historic Sites are owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They offer many experiences including the Visitors' Center, Live Performances, Summer Pageants, Oxen, Wagon and Carriage Rides. Tours are free of charge. Guided tours are only provided by missionaries. Groups of over 25 are asked to submit a reservation request. Group gathering places are also available on request.
The Joseph Smith Historic Site includes the Mansion House, the Smith Family Cemetery, Red Brick Store, Community of Christ Visitors' Center and more. Guided tours are only provided by Community of Christ volunteers or staff. Groups of over 20 must submit a reservation request. Tours begin at the Red Brick Store and last approximately 1 hour. $5 preservation fee per person required.
Carthage is located approximately 23 miles from Nauvoo. Be sure to plan for travel time and waiting time to take a tour of the jail. Some days, the wait could be long. Tours are 30 minutes long and begin every 15 minutes. Tour size is limited to 15 individuals. While part of your group waits for others to finish touring, they can wait on the peaceful grounds of the site.
As you consider meal planning, be aware that Nauvoo has limited dining facilities but is always striving to provide services that will help you enjoy your visit. There are no eating establishments that can handle large groups on short notice. Please advise restaurants if you plan on bringing a large group to their business so they can prepare for you. Our locally owned businesses have many options for larger groups, but you must call in advance and schedule through the individual business. Catering options are available as well.
Nauvoo's narrow streets were not designed for buses and large recreational vehicles. During summer months, having many large vehicles on the road can present a challenge for local traffic. For this reason, Nauvoo classifies RVs of 30 feet or longer as buses and requires that they use the same designated routes and parking areas as tour buses. Please pay careful attention to these essential rules. When you contract with a bus company for travel here or drive your own large RV, instruct all drivers to always follow bus routes and park only in designated bus parking areas. Buses must obtain a sticker from the city that verifies they have read the rules governing bus and RV behavior. Please remind drivers that GPS units might direct them to use roads that are not fit for bus traffic. This can lead to damage for both roads and vehicles.
Please park cars in designated parking areas only. Following local ordinances will prevent being ticketed. Buses may not park on the street but should park west of the Visitors' Center or in the lot near Kimball and Main streets.
Please recognize that Nauvoo is a small town of about 1,000 residents. Each summer, tens of thousands of visitors come to see Nauvoo Historic Sites, and this can be overwhelming for locals. You can help all visitors and residents have a better experience by respecting local property and following some simple rules of courtesy:
- Pay attention to your group noise, especially after curfew (10:00 pm weekdays; 11:00 pm weekends).
- Remain on sidewalks when walking in town and stay off of private residential property.
- Do not obstruct traffic or walk in the street. Mulholland Street is a highway with semi truck traffic. Be aware and watch for vehicles when crossing the highway.
- Take time to visit local businesses; however, be considerate of small spaces when traveling as a group.
- Always provide youth with appropriate adult supervision.
- Clean up after yourselves if you have outdoor activities, and do not litter at any time.
- Obey posted signs and Nauvoo City traffic ordinances.