- The Online Guide to Travel Visiting Illinois - Midwestern Adventures Beyond the Windy City

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Cornfield Outside Highland, Illinois
Cornfield Outside Highland, Illinois by Colin Maynard on Unsplash.

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Illinois Travel Notes

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Illinois Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Discover the charm of Illinois' historic towns and villages, where cobblestone streets, preserved architecture, and rich heritage transport you to a bygone era.

About Illionis

Illinois is renowned for its wineries, breweries, and culinary scene, with plenty of opportunities to sample locally produced foods and beverages.

Whether exploring the vibrant city of Chicago, visiting historic sites in Springfield, or enjoying outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone in Illinois.

Also known as the Prairie State, Illinois sets aside the third week in September for Illinois Prairie Week; as they demonstrate the value of preserving and re-establishing the Illinois prairies.

States neighbouring Illinois: Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky.

Travel Map Mapping Illinois

Map of Illinois

Map of Illinois

Illinois is bordered by Lake Michigan and Indiana to the east, Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, and Kentucky to the south.

The state capital of Illinois is Springfield, while Chicago is America's third largest city.

County Map of Illinois

County Map of Illinois.

Colourful map of Illinois showing the location of all 102 counties.

Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Logan, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Massac, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Pope, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, St. Clair, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago and Woodford.

Illinois Overview

A state located in the Midwestern region of the United States, Illinois gets its name from the Illini Native American Confederation.

It is the sixth most populous state in the country with a diverse economy, vibrant cities, cultural attractions, and a rich history; making it an intriguing destination for residents and visitors alike.


Illinois has a diverse cultural scene.

Chicago is renowned for its theatre, with the historic Chicago Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company among its notable venues.

The city also hosts the annual Taste of Chicago, a food festival showcasing the city's diverse culinary offerings.

Illinois is also known for its blues music heritage, with Chicago being a prominent centre for the genre.


Illinois has a diverse economy, with sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, services, and finance playing vital roles.

Chicago is a major financial centre and home to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, one of the largest futures exchanges in the world.

The state is also known for its agricultural production, including corn, soybeans, and wheat.


Illinois has a strong education system and is home to several renowned universities and colleges.

The University of Illinois system, with campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield, is highly regarded.

Other prominent institutions include Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Chicago.


The state is characterised by its flat plains in the central and western regions, while the southern part is hilly.

The northern part of the state is home to the Chicago metropolitan area.


Illinois has a rich history, including its role in the westward expansion of the United States.

It was admitted to the Union as the 21st state on 3rd December, 1818.

The state played a significant role in the Civil War and was an important hub for transportation and industry during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Landmarks and Attractions

Illinois offers a variety of attractions and landmarks. In Chicago, you can visit iconic sites such as Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).

The state is also home to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, which pays tribute to the 16th President of the United States, who spent much of his life in Illinois.

Major Cities

The largest city in Illinois is Chicago, which is known for its stunning skyline, vibrant cultural scene, and diverse population.

Other significant cities include Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, and Peoria.

Natural Beauty

Illinois offers natural beauty, including state parks, forests, and lakes.

Starved Rock State Park, located along the Illinois River, is a popular destination for hiking and outdoor activities.

The Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois features scenic landscapes, including the Garden of the Gods, a breathtaking rock formation.


Illinois is passionate about sports.

Chicago is home to several professional sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (baseball), Chicago Bears (football), Chicago Bulls (basketball), and Chicago Blackhawks (hockey).

The state also hosts the Chicago Marathon, one of the major international marathons.

Visiting Illinois

When visiting Illinois, here are some of the most popular and interesting destinations in the state you shouldn't miss.

Whether you're interested in urban exploration, historical sites, natural beauty, or cultural experiences, Illinois has something for everyone.


Our first stop is the bustling city of Chicago.

Known as the 'Windy City', Chicago offers a vibrant urban experience with its iconic skyline, world-class museums, stunning architecture, and diverse neighbourhoods.

Explore Millennium Park and take a selfie at 'The Bean' (Cloud Gate sculpture), visit the Art Institute of Chicago to admire its extensive art collection, take an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife and dining scene.

Illinois Experiences


Situated in the north-west corner of the state, Galena is a charming town known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture.

Stroll down Main Street and explore the quaint shops, art galleries, and historic sites.

Visit the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, the former residence of the Civil War General and 18th President of the United States.

Take a scenic drive along the Great River Road to enjoy the picturesque views of the Mississippi River.


Situated along the Illinois River, Peoria is a vibrant city known for its rich history and cultural attractions.

Explore the Peoria Riverfront Museum, which combines art, science, and history exhibits.

Visit the Caterpillar Visitors Center to learn about the company's history and its impact on the region.

Enjoy a scenic riverboat cruise or take a walk along the Riverfront Trail.

Shawnee National Forest

Located in southern Illinois, the Shawnee National Forest offers stunning natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Explore the Garden of the Gods Wilderness, where you can hike among unique rock formations and enjoy panoramic views.

Discover the scenic trails of the Rim Rock Recreation Area and visit the Pomona Natural Bridge, a natural sandstone arch.


From Chicago, head south to the capital city of Illinois, Springfield.

Discover the rich history of the state at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where you can learn about the life and legacy of the 16th President of the United States.

Visit the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln delivered his 'House Divided' speech, and take a tour of his former home; the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

Starved Rock State Park

Located in Utica, Illinois, Starved Rock State Park is a nature lover's paradise.

The park features thirteen miles of hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, towering canyons, and breathtaking views of the Illinois River.

Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, fishing, and bird-watching.

Don't miss the sunset over the Illinois River; it's a spectacular sight.

Enjoy Illinois:
Insider insights and a trip planner, tailored to your interests.

State of Illinois:
Visitor information from the official state of Illinois department. This section provides you with a wealth of information on Illinois attractions from historic sites and museums to outdoor recreation. Whether you are visiting for a day or have lived here your entire life, you will be sure to find something incredible to do in Illinois.


Situated on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is Illinois to most people.

Along the lakefront are plenty of beaches, museums and parks. The Gold Coast is the wealthy district of North Lake Shore Drive.

Chicago is a transportation hub, and the financial centre of the Midwest.

The world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885, and the city went on to construct many more great architectural statements.

The Loop, between the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, is the downtown area that sprouts upwards. This is the street museum par excellence, and you'll come away with an eye for an architects signature.

Chicago Accommodation

Where to Stay in Chicago

Best Western Grant Park Hotel

Best Western Grand Park Hotel, Chicago

Best Western Grand Park Hotel: 1100 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

This Best Western hotel is located across the street from Grant Park Bandshell and just half a mile from Soldier Field, Shedd Aquarium, State Street, and Buckingham Fountain.

Discover a unique urban experience at the Grant Park Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago with genuine hospitality and thoughtful amenities, including an outdoor terrace with sweeping city views.

Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown

Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Hotel

Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown: 511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois.

Two blocks from the Magnificent Mile, the hotel's suites offer views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. Each suite is beautifully decorated with a private bedroom and spacious living room.

The long-named Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel is just a short walk from Navy Pier, the Chicago Riverwalk, Water Tower Place and shops on Michigan Avenue.

Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park

Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park Hotel

Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park: 200 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois.

With beautifully appointed, extraordinarily spacious guestrooms and spectacular lakefront suites, this award-winning luxury hotel is host to some of the city's most extravagant galas and social affairs.

Rising gracefully above Millennium Park and Chicago's impressive lakefront, The Fairmont Chicago is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Hotel Chicago Downtown

Hotel Chicago Downtown

Hotel Chicago Downtown: 333 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Part of the Marina City complex, the hotel is perfectly-positioned to allow you access to the best restaurants, shopping and nightlife downtown Chicago has to offer.

Sophisticated, stylish and luxuriously modern, Hotel Chicago is located in the heart of the city’s upscale River North area.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago: 225 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Considered one of the best downtown Chicago hotels and one of the top hotels in the United States, this four-star luxury hotel is part of the renowned collection of Kimpton Hotels.

Awaken your taste buds and wrap yourself in luxury at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago.

Kinzie Hotel

Kinzie Hotel, Chicago

Kinzie Hotel: 20 West Kinzie Street, Chicago, Illinois.

With striking Chicago murals, thoughtfully crafted amenities and an undeniably Chicago ambiance, your boutique River North guest room has everything you need for an unforgettable Windy City experience.

Located in the epicenter of the city's vibrant River North neighborhood, Kinzie Hotel personifies Chicago's friendly, relaxed aura.

Omni Chicago Hotel

Omni Chicago Hotel

Omni Chicago Hotel: 676 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Located in the heart of the 'Magnificent Mile', this is one of the best-loved hotels in downtown Chicago. Every space exudes the luxury and sophistication you expect from a four-diamond hotel.

Said to be among the finest in all of Chicago, the Omni Chicago Hotel is close to everything Chicago has to offer. Dine at the superb restaurants of downtown, explore the Art Institute of Chicago or take a stroll along the beautiful lakefront.

Pendry Chicago

Pendry Chicago

Pendry Chicago: 230 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Steeped in history and anchored in style this modern-day luxury hotel pays homage to both the past and the present with contemporary, comfortable interiors and signature culinary concepts.

Steps from some of the city's best sights, attractions and lakeside highlights, Pendry Chicago gives you unparalleled access to just about everything.

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel: 1 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois.

The hotel offers the ambience of a uniquely upscale hotel; a place of style, leisure and comfort where the busied traveller can unwind in the heart of the city and enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Chicago.

The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel has an indoor pool and health club, a spa treatment room and a Lobby Lounge for guests to relax and unwind.

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel, Chicago

The Drake Hotel: 140 East Walton Place, Chicago, Illinois.

Perfectly located in Chicago's most exclusive area, overlooking Lake Michigan, the hotel offers dazzling views of Lake Shore Drive and Oak Street Beach.

The pride of Chicago, The Drake Hotel has been the choice of celebrities and heads of state since its opening in 1920.

The Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago Hotel

The Peninsula Chicago: 108 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Located in the heart of Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile', this is one of the city's most luxurious and sophisticated hotels; the five-star hotel that brought traditional Asian service to a city already renowned for the warmth of its hospitality.

Since its grand opening in 2001, The Peninsula Chicago has been awarded numerous accolades; number one being: 'Where Far Eastern Graciousness Meets Midwestern Hospitality'.


Springfield was first settled around the time that Illinois became a state in 1818, and in 1837 it became the state capital.

Map of Springfield

Map of Springfield

As Abraham Lincoln lived and practised law in Springfield, from 1837 until he became president in 1861, the city is a memorial to his life, even though he was born in Hardin, Kentucky.

The only home that Lincoln ever owned is now a national historic site, and the Lincoln Tomb contains the burial places of Lincoln, his wife, and three of their sons.

Illinois Travel Guides

Fodor's Chicago (Travel Guide) Top 10 Chicago Chicago (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

Illinois Travel Guides - Illinois Maps.

About Illinois - Illinois Weather:
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