Our Illinois Travel Guide
Illinois boasts prairie and farm land in the north and rolling hills with forests and rock formations in the south. It is called the ‘Prairie State’ because it was once covered by various prairie grasses. It is also home to Chicago, one of the largest cities in the US. The state is famous for its wide range of skyscrapers, including the 1,451 feet tall Willis Tower- the third tallest building in North America. The state boasts prairie in the north and rolling hills with forests and rock formations in the south. This page has several guides to assist you in planning a trip to Illinois. Keep reading.
First, a little history…
Before the Europeans came, Illinois was inhabited by several Native American tribes, including Paleo-Indians. These people were also called the Mound People because of their culture of building large mounds for burial sites and temples.
In the 1670s, the French explorers were the first Europeans to set foot in Illinois. After the Indian and French War in the mid-18th century, the region was ceded to Britain. In the late 1700s, after the American Revolution, Illinois became a part of the United States and officially became a US state in 1818.
Travel Guides for this State
Find your adventure! Organized by city name…
On Lake Michigan’s shoreline, Navy Pier is an all-in-one waterfront destination with restaurants, shopping areas, museums, and movie theaters. You will also find a children’s museum and the popular Ferris wheel. There are plenty of things to do here throughout the year; however, most visitors come to the Pier during summer.
Starved Rock State Park
The park is located on the Illinois River and is known for its beautiful waterfalls and sandstone canyons. Guided hikes are arranged in the park for educational and safe hiking experiences. Some of the activities in the park include horseback riding, fishing, camping, and picnicking. The park is also one of the National Historic Landmarks. From the Lover’s Leap Overlook, you will be able to have views of the river and Starved Rock Dam.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Cahokia Mounds is the site of the largest prehistoric Indian settlement north of Mexico. The site includes some of the greatest concentrations of mounds. Multiple indigenous groups occupied this place from 700 to 1400 AD. Cahokia is a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Interpretive Center, you will find more about the history and culture of the people who used to live here.
Art Institute of Chicago
The institute was founded in 1879 and is one of America’s most famous and prestigious cultural institutes. Located in the heart of the city, the museum contains more than 300,000 works of art, including post-Impressionist paintings and ancient sculptures. Apart from that, you will find various exhibitions and a collection of medieval and Renaissance armor, African art, and textiles.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Located in Rockford, Anderson Japanese Gardens was designed by Hoichi Kurisu, a famous landscape designer from Japan. Kurisu has also designed other gardens in the US, including the Portland Japanese Gardens. The gardens’ ponds, rock formations, waterfalls, and vibrant colors provide a relaxing retreat for tourists. Inside the gardens is an on-site restaurant, ‘Fresco,’ which serves innovative breakfast and other dishes.
Some other notable places and attractions:
Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site in Galena
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Magnificent Mile in Chicago
Willis Tower Skydeck
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“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along!”