There are a variety of things to do in Illinois. Your choice of Illinois vacation spots depends on your interests, your budget, and when you plan to go. There is something in the state for just about everyone - great cities, beautiful wildernes, and landmarks of American history. Here are just a few of the most popular things to in Illinois.
Fun Things to Do in Chicago
For some people, the words "Illinois vacation spots" and "Chicago" are synonymous. Indeed, there are so many fun things to do in Chicago, that one can write volumes about this incredible city. Be sure to visit the Willis Tower, The Navy Pier and the John Hancock Center. in the warm weather, explore the beach that is located in the downtown area. A walk along the elegant Michigan Avenue is a great place to take in the architecture and explore the various shopping opportunities. If you are traveling with children, a trip to the Children's Museum is another one of the fun things to do in Chicago. Pay a visit to Grant Park and the Buckingham Fountain. At night, enjoy a theatrical performance at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. After a few days in this great city, you will come away singing "My kind of town, Chicago is!"
Springfield Illinois is another one of the popular Illinois vacation spots. This is where you can explore history. Anyone interested in the life of Abraham Lincoln should definitely pay a visit to Springfield, the town where the young attorney practiced law before entering politics and becoming President. Exploring the historical sites and monuments of Springfield is one of the most popular things to do in Illinois. If you are interested in modern architecture, be sure to visit the Dana-Thomas house, which was designed by the renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Shawnee National Forest
Anyone who loves nature and the great outdoors should pay a visit to Shawnee National Forest, where the picturesque Ozark and Shawnee Hills commune with miles of rolling farmland. The Shawnee National Forest is situated between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. It encompasses most of far southern Illinois. The 280,000-acre national forest is home to five distinct ecosystems, which include prairie wetlands, hardwood forests, lakes, rivers, and small canyons.
Dickson Mounds Museum
If you are interested in archaeology and Native American culture and history, the museum, which is located in Lewiston Illinois, is a great place to visit.
If you want to travel back to the simpler days of the 1940s, pay a visit to Rockome Village, outside of Springfield.Here, you can visit Small Town USA, where you can visit a 1940s schoolhouse, and buy a gift at an authentic 5 and 10 cent store!
Arthur Illinois: Amish Country
If you do decide to visit Rockome Village, you may also want to visit bearby Arthur Illinois, home to the Illinois Amish Country. This is an excellent area for Illinois shopping. Stores feature typical Amish furniture, quilts, pasteries and more.
In 1854, Rock Island was the place where the first railroad reached the Mississippi River. Eventually, the city became a commercial success because of the railroad that bears its name, the legendary Rock Island Line. The folk singer Leadbelly even wrote a song about this famous railroad:
Now, the Rock Island line
She's a mighty good road
Rock Island line is the road to ride
Ya, the Rock Island line
She's a mighty good road
And if you want to ride
You gotta ride it
Like you find it
Get your ticket at the station
On the Rock Island line
The island itself is also the site of the Arsenal Museum, which is the largest ammunition and firearm factory since the time of the Civil War. The museum is located near a Confederate cemetery.
Take Me to the Fair
If you are visiting Illinois in August, be sure to catch the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. This event features typical State Fair attractions, along with some unique activities such as an Ethnic Village and a Key West exhibit.
Knights Action and Caribbean Water Park
As long as you are in Springfield in the summer time, why not cool off in the Knights Action and Caribbean Water Park. You can also practice your golf skills at the park's golf range, and visit the Route 66 Twin Drive In Movie Theater, located right next to the park!
The History of Raggedy Ann
Did you have a Raggedy Ann or Raggedy Andy Doll as a kid? Pay a visit to the John Gruelle Raggedy ann Museum in Arcola.
These are just a few of the fascinating things to do in Illinois and Illinois vacation spots. Be sure to peruse our other pages on Illinois travel!