Illinois Office of Tourism
Whether you’re looking for a vibrant
metropolis that’s home to architectural marvels and an award-winning food
scene, outdoor adventures with lush greenery and crystalline waterside views,
or a master class in history and culture, Illinois has it all. The state’s
three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 69 state parks and seven National Scenic
Byways are just a taste of what’s on offer.
Voted the best big city in the US (Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Award),
Chicago sets the scene with its iconic skyline, world-class museums, and
diverse culinary scene. Marvel at architectural wonders and explore a rich
tapestry of theatre, comedy, and music woven throughout the city’s 77 vibrant
neighbourhoods. Chicago stretches alongside Lake Michigan, one of the Great
Lakes of North America, and a body of water so vast it seems more like an
If you’re looking to jump straight from the
city into the great outdoors, Starved Rock State Park is just an hour and a
half west. Among the towering trees and seasonal waterfalls, you’ll find
beautiful spots for hiking, boating, and fishing.
Illinois’ capital, Springfield, is a haven of
history where Abraham Lincoln’s legacy comes to life at his presidential
library and museum along with other must-see sites. Rockford boasts a dynamic
blend of history and natural beauty—meet a T. Rex at the Burpee Museum of
Natural History or unwind at the tranquil Anderson Japanese Gardens.
Take a scenic drive on the Great River Road
that follows the Mississippi River along the entire western border of Illinois,
framed by gorgeous limestone river bluffs. Relax in charming towns nestled by
the river for beautiful views… and perhaps a few spooky ones. Explore Galena’s
charming Main Street and the fascinating history of iconic 19th-century
buildings like the Dowling House, once owned by former U.S. President Ulysses
S. Grant. Don’t miss out on the thrills of Grafton with its zipline and family-friendly
alpine coaster. Then see the sights at Pere Marquette State Park. Visit Alton
for some of the best haunted tours in the Midwest—or bald eagle watching if
you’re more into wildlife than the afterlife. From Alton, the Cahokia Mounds
UNESCO World Heritage Site is just a 30-minute drive.
And if you’re looking to get your kicks on an
unforgettable road trip packed with classic Americana, don’t miss Route 66.
There are over 300 miles of this iconic road winding through Illinois—the start
of a grand trip to the Californian coast.