After Williamson County was created, three commissioners met at Bainbridge in 1839 to determine the best site for a county seat. They settled on the area that would become Marion due to its central location within Williamson County. They called it Marion after General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, an American Revolutionary War hero. At that time just one couple lived in Marion, corn and wheat farmers William and Bethany Benson. Population growth was slow but steady.
In 1982, Marion experienced one of its greatest disasters. A tornado tore through the city, killing 10 people, injuring 200 more, and causing between $85 million and $100 million worth of damages. A memorial in the Town Square remembers the people that lost their lives in the natural disaster.
The resilient people of Marion rebuilt and became stronger than ever in the wake of the tornado. Their efforts have helped make Marion the charming city it is today.
When to Visit Marion, IL
Marion enjoys its best weather from July to November, so try to time your vacation to take advantage of it. Summer temps rarely exceed 90 degrees. Fall temps are cooler, with highs of around 80 degrees in September and the high 50s in November. The favorable weather conditions are ideal for annual events. Travel during August to attend the Williamson County Fair. Wait until September to visit Marion Main Street HubFest.
Like so many Illinois cities, winters in Marion are bitterly cold. Even when the weather starts to warm up from April to June, you'll have strong winds to contend with. While everybody hopes Marion never experiences a tornado as strong as the one that caused widespread damage in 1982, you're better off steering clear of the city during tornado season.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Marion, IL:
Marion by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Marion, IL. You can use these charts to determine the best seasons to make a reservation in Marion during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Marion, IL
Marion doesn't have truly opulent hotels, but there are a few local accommodation options offering superior rooms. You'll feel pampered when you stay at one of these high-end Marion hotels.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Marion proudly states that 98 percent of guests would recommend the hotel to others. Such high customer satisfaction comes from a combination of excellent service and facilities. The rooms are colorful and contemporary, with flat-panel TVs showing premium cable channels including HBO, CNN, and ESPN, free high-speed internet access, and USB charging ports for all your electronic devices. The free breakfast is a real treat, with sausages, scrambled eggs, biscuits with gravy, muffins, Belgian waffles, and much more. Fairfield Inn also has an indoor pool, whirlpool, and exercise room.
Drury Inn Marion feels like a home away from home, especially if you choose a two-room suite. The bedroom and living area both have LCD TVs, along with microwaves, fridges, and coffee makers. It's easy to stay connected with loved ones at home with free Wi-Fi and local and long-distance calls. Enjoy your favorite breakfast options like sausage, scrambled eggs, and Belgian waffles free. Hot foods and cold drinks are also free each evening with the 5:30 Kickback. You can always get free soda and popcorn from the lobby; they're perfect for watching movies in your room!
Affordable Hotel Options in Marion, IL
3 Star Average Prices: $97.99
As a relatively small city, Marion's hotels tend to be more affordable than larger metro areas like Chicago. You'll find some of the lowest room rates at these Marion hotels.
Super 8 Marion is ideally located off I-57 and Route 13. It has simple but modern guestrooms with wall-mounted flat screen TVs, work desks, microwave ovens, fridges, and free Wi-Fi. All guests are welcomed with pet-friendly and accessible rooms. Rollaway beds are also available for large family groups. Start your day with the free SuperStart breakfast bar, which features a selection of cereals and a make-your-own waffle station.
Econo Lodge Marion is another affordable choice just off I-57. The rooms have a retro charm, with plush bedding and wooden furniture. Guest laundry facilities are a great added bonus for extended stays. No matter how long you're visiting, you'll enjoy the free Easy Starts continental breakfast each morning. Also free are two of life's great essentials, coffee and Wi-Fi. The Econo Lodge Marion features facilities usually reserved for luxury hotels like a fitness center, an indoor heated pool, and a sauna. Business travelers are catered to with a meeting space and print, copy, and fax facilities.