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9 Best Places To Visit In Illinois, USA

Illinois, a state of notable firsts, is located in the heart of the United States. The first skyscraper and the first Ferris wheel were both built in The Prairie State. In addition to being the largest corn producer in the US, Illinois also has the world’s busiest airport and the country’s tallest building, both named after the Illinois River.

road trips from Chicago

Because it was here that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, began his political career, Illinois is often referred to as ‘The Land of Lincoln’. There are numerous monuments and landmarks in the state dedicated to this figure, which shows the state’s pride and respect for him. Many small towns and state parks can be found in Illinois, but the Windy City, Chicago, is the state’s most populous and well-known city.

Chicago is a traveler’s dream, thanks to its abundance of world-class museums, memorable landmarks, delectable cuisine, and unique shops. With over 10 million annual visitors, it’s one of the largest cities in the United States. And, given that Illinois sports betting is legal and live, the state has become an even bigger draw.

The following are a few of the region’s top tourist attractions.

1. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Springfield is home to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a wonderful resource for learning about Lincoln’s life and legacy as well as the history of Illinois.

Even before the museum’s doors opened in 2004, the collection had been in the works for at least a century. In addition to public viewing, the facility is used for research, and not all of the collections are accessible.

2. The Magnificent Mile of Chicago

Visitors to Chicago dare not miss a trip to the city’s famed Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile.

driving in chicago

Shopping on The Mile includes everything from upscale boutiques to name-brand department stores.

Many famous buildings, including Trump Tower and the Wrigley Building, can be found on the Magnificent Mile, along with museums, live entertainment, hotels, and restaurants.

3. The Historic Site of the Ulysses S. Grant Home

When Ulysses S. Grant returned from the war in 1865, he was greeted with this house in honor of his service as a Civil War hero.

There is a large collection of Grant’s personal items in the Grant Home, which has been restored to its 1860s appearance.

Tours of the house are available to the general public, who can learn more about this American Civil War hero upon a visit to the house where he actually lived.

4. The Field Museum of Natural History

The largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found is housed in the Field Museum of Natural History. Sue, the T-Rex, is 42 feet long and 13 feet high at the hips. 

Also included in the museum are permanent exhibits on the American continents and Egypt’s pharaonic past. 

5. Chicago’s Art Institute

The Art Institute of Chicago, one of Chicago’s most popular cultural destinations, is well-known around the world for its extensive collection.

what to do chicago

The late-nineteenth-century structure houses a diverse collection of art, ranging from ancient sculptures to post-impressionist works.

The museum’s most notable works include Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-portrait and a Han Dynasty tomb sculpture dating back over 2000 years.

6. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is Chicago’s largest park, stretching six miles and encompassing 1,200 acres.

Many trails, lakes, and paths make the park ideal for outdoor recreation. 

The Clark Street and Diversey Parkway markets are just a short walk away from the park, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat.

7. Grant Park

Located in the city’s financial district, this large urban park is the site of many of Chicago’s biggest events, including the Blues Fest and Lollapalooza.

Grant Park’s centerpiece is the Buckingham Fountain, one of the world’s largest fountains.

Every hour, the fountain’s 134 jets are activated for twenty minutes.

Lighting and music enhance the experience at night.

8. Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium, founded in 1930 by Chicago businessman Max Adler, is a museum dedicated to astronomy and astrophysics. With public telescopes, 3D lectures, and a Planet Explorers exhibit for kids, the Adler Planetarium is a must-see for anyone interested in the cosmos.

Adler’s steps are a popular smooch spot for couples and a great vantage point for taking in Chicago’s skyline.

9. Anderson Japanese Gardens

Waterfalls, ponds, streams, and rock formations abound in these 10-acre Japanese gardens in Rockford, as does an authentic Sukiya-style guest house and tea room.

The gardens provide a peaceful and serene setting for relaxation, as well as areas for meditation and contemplation.