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Charleston is located in east central Illinois in Coles County (of which it is the county seat) about 10 miles east of Mattoon along Highway 130 north of Lake Charleston. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 20,437, an increase of 39 since 1990.

For outdoor recreation, locals frequent Fox Ridge State Park south of town or get in a round of golf at Bent Tree Golf Course. In addition, the Abraham Lincoln Log Cabin State Historical Site is only minutes southwest of the park.

For those seeking a post-high school educational experience, they can find it at Eastern Illinois University.

Golf Bent Tree Golf Course |
Illinois State Parks Fox Ridge State Park |

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