The wide variety of homes available, the small-town safety and friendliness, and the availability of larger-city amenities make Carbondale a great place to live.
The most historic housing is located in the heart of town in the West Walnut Street Historic District. Homes here date from the 1850s to early 1900s. Housing close to the SIUC campus is always in demand, making the southwestern sector of the city a center for new development. Rural subdivisions featuring spacious lots set among the scenic rolling hills of Southern Illinois are also popular.
The natural beauty of the area — including rivers, lakes, a variety of golf courses, and Shawnee National Forest — entices many residents to enjoy numerous outdoor activities, including beautiful national and state parks, bicycle paths, four public golf courses, and 14 public parks. Other benefits of living in Carbondale include sidewalks on most streets, plenty of street lighting, cable, wireless high-speed and DSL Internet availability, and underground wiring in the newer areas.