If you’re looking for the best things to do in Illinois, then the answer could be simple. Chicago is arguably one of America’s most historic and beautiful cities.
The state is named after the French city and is known for having been the birthplace of the United States. Chicago has been called the third largest metropolis in America and is the home of the Chicago Bears football team. Chicago is also considered to be the second largest city in Illinois.
There are many great things to do in Illinois. There are several vacation destinations, from Illinois’ lakes and forests to its beaches and world famous universities.
The state of Illinois was named by French immigrants who settled there in 1815. It is one of the Midwestern states bordering Minnesota in the north and Indiana in the south. Known as the “Prairie State”, it is marked by long prairies, rolling hills, forests and farmlands.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and museum chronicles the early life of Abraham Lincoln, the second president of the United States, and the path of the Civil War. Combining historical scholarship with modern showmanship techniques, this museum is among the top 10 most visited museums of all time. Visitors can tour its many rooms, including the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, a permanent memorial to the Civil War president. There are also various historical exhibits, including The Battle of San Jacinto, an oral history of the war, and the Civil Rights National Monument. You can also check out the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center, where you can check out some of his artifacts and view his personal papers.
From its inception, the Navy Pier has been home to the Navy’s largest annual summer event, which is the Chicago Summer Naval Show. The annual event is an eclectic blend of entertainment, food, and community involvement that provides Chicagoans an opportunity to celebrate Chicago’s rich heritage of shipping and naval history. Over the past several decades, the Chicago Summer Naval Show has become one of the most popular events of the Chicago summertime months, attracting more than one million guests each year. This year, the show will take place from June 8th to August 5th. Chicago Navy Pier is also home to the Fleet Week parade, one of the largest parades in North America.
Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park, located in the southern Illinois city of Champaign, Illinois, is one of only four such parks in the United States that preserve the “Rocky Mountain Front Range” landscape. It is also considered a national park because it is open to the public every day from April through October. The park is home to more than 1 million acres of beautiful landscape, including scenic river meadows, beautiful forests, and wildlife refuges. Starved Rock State Park is also known as the “American Alps.”
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is located in Grant Park, just east of downtown Chicago, and is among the world’s largest and oldest art museums. Recognized for its impressive curatorial practices and popular appeal among many visitors, the Art Institute of Chicago attracts nearly 2 million people each year. This enormous and popular institution not only provides high quality education to their students but also maintains a strong community presence. A growing number of visiting artists and performers are now making the Art Institute their main residence or studio. This is because it offers the best educational and artistic opportunities for those who are looking to make a name for themselves in this competitive and dynamic field. It is very important to understand how to access this amazing institution as it is located very close to the city center and the University of Chicago which give the students the chance to experience the life of a student right at the heart of it all.
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site has long been one of the most impressive and fascinating archaeological sites in all of North America. The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located right across the Mississippi River in southwestern Illinois between Collinsville and East St. Joseph. It is believed that these mounds were used as a sacred place to the ancient Native Americans. Today, this site is considered the world’s first major archaeological site. It contains the remains of fifty-two large cairns, burial mounds, and other archaeological structures that date back over eight thousand years. A few of the artifacts discovered have even been dated to twenty-five thousand years ago. The site has also contained evidence of a massive battle and the remains of over a hundred thousand arrows, spearheads, and shell beads.
The Anderson Japanese Garden
The Anderson Japanese Garden is a large 12-acre Japanese garden located at Rockford, IL. The garden was built by the late Japanese-American architect, Tomiaki Anderson. He was born and raised in the United States and his family moved to Rockford, IL after the war. Tomiaki grew up in the Rockford area and was involved in the early development of many of the businesses that are still in operation today. One of these businesses was the original Anderson Japanese Garden, which is now a very popular park and school facility that cater to the education needs of Rockford public schools and local businesses.
The Willis Tower
The Willis Tower is a 110-story, 3,814-foot skyscraper at Midway Airport in Chicago. At its opening in 1973 it was the third tallest building in the United States, a distinction which it still holds today. The Willis Tower was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1963. After World War II, the Willis Tower was used as a storage facility for the Federal Aviation Administration and as a radio station.
Shedd Aquariums is an indoor public pool in Chicago, IL, in the state of Illinois. The facility opened on May 30, 1929, and has been the most popular indoor water park in the USA ever since. It was created by Charles Durning, a Chicago businessman. It’s been known as the “City of Dreams” for many years, so you can understand why many people choose this facility to take their family vacation. Although it has been around since 1930, it is not only one of the best-loved water parks in the state, it also is a favorite attraction for those who are looking for a good family day out.
Lincoln Park is a well planned, designated neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago, IL. Laying just south of downtown Lincoln Park, this is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire city. It is known as the cultural center of Lincoln Park because of the Lincoln Memorial Museum, Lincoln Park Conservatory, and many other beautiful and historic buildings. Lincoln Park was first made into a neighborhood in the 1920s. It grew into a larger neighborhood as people flocked to Lincoln Park during World War II.
Grant Park is an urban park located within the central business district of the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. Located within the heart of the district, its many features include the Millennium Park, the Buckingham Fountain, and the Chicago Cultural Center. This park also features various parks and public amenities, including a Chicago Department of Parks and Recreation, a popular swimming pool, and even an amphitheater. Located on Chicago’s South Side, this park is known to be one of the most popular in the entire city.
The Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium was designed by renowned Chicago-based architecture firm of Oehler Associates. The Adler is one of the largest state-of-the art public science museums in North America. It was first established in 1930 by prominent Chicago businessman Max Adler. It’s located on the northern tip of Northeastern Island in Lake Michigan on the eastern shore of Chicago, Illinois. The planetarium houses an awe-inspiring collection of celestial objects including stars, nebulae, planets, comets, and the moon as well as a vast collection of rare earth artifacts. You can experience the wonders of the universe inside the magnificent facility. It offers various programs for both the adults and children.
The Chicago Cultural Centre
The Chicago Cultural Centre, established in 1897, is an important part of Chicago’s history and tradition. The Chicago Cultural Centre, a National Historic Landmark, was established with the vision of helping the Chicago population “receive, preserve, and develop the arts and cultural history of the nation as a whole.” The City of Chicago offers a wide variety of opportunities for entertainment and education including cultural programs, exhibits, lectures, concerts, festivals, cultural programs, and public events that bring people of all ages together. The City’s Museum of Contemporary Art is the most prominent area where visitors will have a chance to see a selection of contemporary art by many of the world’s top painters, architects, and illustrators.
The Lincoln’s Tomb
The Lincoln’s Tomb is where President Lincoln was laid to rest following his historic inauguration in March of 1861. The Lincoln Tomb has been the site of countless presidential visits by many members of Congress. The Lincoln family mausoleum is located on Oak Ridge Cemetery at Springfield, Illinois, where his grave is unmarked. Today, a commemorative plaque, the second known of this historical landmark, honors the place where Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest. The plaque is located at the very site where Lincoln was killed by a bullet from a Civil War sharpshooter. The memorial was designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, who later became a famous artist and sculptor.
The Chicago Lakefront
The Chicago Lakefront Trail is an eighteen.5 mile long partial public use path for cycling, walking, skating, and running, located on the western bank of Lake Michigan on Chicago’s west side. The trail runs along the lake’s eastern boundary and runs north and south of the downtown area. The trail follows the banks of the Chicago River, which is lined with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, playgrounds, picnic areas, etc.
The Chicago Botanical Garden
The Chicago Botanical Garden is one of the most famous gardens in America. It was established in 1893 and is one of the main attractions for the Midwest. The Chicago Botanical Garden has over 50,000 active members, among the biggest membership of any American botanic garden. Members enjoy a wide range of activities, ranging from the gentle stroll through the park to the vigorous workout on the many outdoor treadmills in the park. Individuals of all ages, skills, interests, and experiences to participate in programs, visit classes, and walk around the grounds year round.
The Leaning Tower Of Niles
The Leaning Tower Of Niles is basically a half-scale replica of the famous Leaning Towers of Pisa in Italy. This is located in Niles, IL, and was built by industrialist Robert Ilg in 1934 as a recreational facility for employees of his Ilg Hot Air Electrical Ventilation Company of Chicago. It is located at 6100 W. Touhy Ave. Although it’s not as big as Pisa’s giant tower, the Niles Leaning Tower is still pretty impressive – and you can even take it to your local amusement park!
The Niles Leaning Tower offers several different attractions to its visitors. For example, on the west side of the building there are two observation platforms where you can look into the tower, allowing you to see everything that’s going on inside. If you’re looking for something a little bit more challenging, there are also observation rooms on the sides of the tower that offers an unobstructed view of the area beneath. Another attraction is the water park, which is located below the tower. The slides and rides offer a great way to spend the day. There’s also a concession stand right next to the tower, where you can grab a drink or lunch before your adventure.
The Museum of Science & Industry
The Museum of Science & Industry is an information museum located in Chicago, IL, at Jackson Park, just off the downtown lakefront. It is housed inside the former palace of fine arts at the 1893 World’s Fair. There are also three museums and a worldarium within the area. The Science Museum holds exhibits on various subjects such as biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics and astronomy, but it also specializes in the study of the natural sciences, which includes Earth, space, and solar systems, among others. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of meteorites.
Pullman National Park
Pullman National Park, a historic tourist attraction in the state of Illinois, is located near the town of Pullman, in the state’s northern portion. It’s not too far from Chicago and is easily accessible by road through Illinois State Park. The park is made up of many areas and features beautiful landscapes, monuments, and parks. The National Park Service has a nice website with information about the park.
The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s premier shopping district. The bustling, vibrant district is home to classy stores, upscale boutiques, funky restaurants and sleek hotels. Landmarks in the neighborhood include the vintage Chicago Water Tower skyscraper, the neo-Greek Tribune Tower and the grandiose, century-old John Hancock Building. Great museums nearby include the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hayden Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium.
There is also a great food scene in the neighborhood, thanks to many top-notch restaurants, bistros and cafes. Some of the best places to shop are Cuchulainn Italian, the famed downtown shopping center Pancho Villa, the recently opened boutique The Boutique at Irving Park and the upscale Davenport Country Club. Many of the local eateries and bars are also worth a look at.
List of Image Sources
25 Best Things to Do in Illinois:
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum / Canva
- Navy Pier / Canva
- Starved Rock State Park / Canva
- The Art Institute of Chicago / Canva
- The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site /Canva
- The Anderson Japanese Garden / Canva
- The Willis Tower / Canva
- Shedd Aquariums / Canva
- Lincoln Park / Canva
- Grant Park / Canva
- The Adler Planetarium /Canva
- The Chicago Cultural Centre /Canva
- The Lincoln’s Tomb / Canva
- The Chicago Lakefront / Canva
- The Leaning Tower Of Niles / Canva
- The Museum of Science & Industry / Canva
- Pullman National Park / Canva
- The Magnificent Mile / Canva