From Carlinville, it's roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the south to St. Louis and 100 miles (161 kilometers) to the northeast to Champaign.
When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck from your precious vacation time, it's good to keep in mind that Carlinville is just just the start; Central Illinois is home to a treasure-trove of fabulous things to see and do. You'll also find Staunton, 19 miles (31 kilometers) to the north, and Jerseyville 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the northeast.
Approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the north of Carlinville is Springfield, an important regional center where you'll find Prairie Capitol Convention Center, Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site and Dana-Thomas House. Henson Robinson Zoo, Illinois State Fairgrounds and University of Illinois at Springfield are also good places to spend a little time.
This area is known for its fine traditional villages; these are often evocative windows into the region's colorful history.
If you're the kind of traveler who likes to kick back a little while holidaying, this region is great for shore fishing and picnicking.
Sadly, vacations can't last forever, so when it's time return home, head to the nearest major airport in Springfield, 40 miles (64 kilometers) away.