Illinois Travel Guide

The name "Illinois" is derived from a Native American word that means "tribe of superior men." The first Europeans to arrive in Illinois in 1673 were Louis Joliet and Father Marquette. Illinois was the 21st state to join the Union when it was admitted on December 3, 1818. "State Sovereignty, National Union." is the motto for the state.
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More info about Illinois

Illinois is a Midwestern state bordering Wisconsin in the north and Indiana in the south. Known as the “Prairie State” it is marked by fertile prairie lands, forested farmland, and beautiful rolling hills. Chicago, the largest city in the U.S is located in the northeast on the edges of Lake Michigan. It is known for its skyscrapers, including the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower and sleek, 1, 451-ft., Willis Tower.

A trip to the Windy City is not complete without checking out the beauty and history found at Shedd Aquarium and the American Museum of Natural History. There are also many parks in Illinois from which to choose. The state’s crown jewel is the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium; these two institutions are the only ones in Illinois. Other popular natural parks include Cook County Park and the Illinois Nature Museum in Chicago.

Chicago is home to world-famous institutions of learning like the University of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and American Museum of Natural History. Chicago offers many other attractions that are sure to keep visitors coming back year after year. Two popular parks to visit are Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier. Both of these parks are near the airports and offer easy transportation to nearby hotels.

While on a vacation in Illinois visitors may take in a trip to one or more of the state’s museums. The Illinois Museum of Art is located in Chicago’s downtown; other popular art museums are the Illinois Science Center in Chicago and Shedd Aquarium in Lincoln Park. Some of the more family-friendly attractions are the zoo in Lincoln Park and Fort Ridge Park. Illinois is full of scenic attractions and fine dining opportunities; there’s something for everyone at home and on the go in Illinois.

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Illinois is horseback riding. A few of the state parks that offer trail rides are Northern State Park, State Farm Park, and Peotone Park. Guided tours of historical sites are available at each of these parks. Bikers can find many trails in central Illinois and south-central Illinois.

The great outdoors is easy to find in Illinois. From golf courses to beautiful lakes and forests visitors will have many opportunities to explore the landscape and become accustomed to the change in scenery every year. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Illinois and northern Indiana. A popular hiking trail is the Chicago RiverWalk. Numerous other hiking trails exist throughout the state.

When visiting the various state parks in Illinois, or taking a hiking trail, visitors may wish to take a state park hopper card. This card allows free access to over 365 state parks and preserves throughout Illinois. With a hopper card, state park visitors may visit any Illinois state park they wish for the length of time they wish.

Rockford is one of the premier towns in southern Illinois. Known for its rich history, shops, and restaurants, the town of Rockford is the gateway to scenic northern Illinois. Visitors who travel to Rockford should take time to check out the numerous outdoor activities the town offers. Local residents and businesses offer guided hiking trails, cabin rentals, shopping, and lake activities.

One of the most popular Illinois locations is Joliet, where families can find a wide range of attractions to see and do. Some of the best parks in Illinois are located in Joliet and its surrounding areas. Two of the most popular hiking trails in Illinois are located in Joliet. State Park Winnebago located north of Joliet and Riverwoods Preserve located in southern IL have numerous hiking trails through beautiful wooded areas. Other areas of excellent attraction are the Cedar Lake State Park in Barnevea and the Stone River State Park just outside of De Kalb.

The scenic fields and dense forested areas in southern Illinois provide some of the most interesting spots to photograph nature in Illinois. The central Illinois area has some of the best parks and wild grassland in the state. Several popular park locations in southern Illinois include the Kankakee River State Wildlife area, Hunter, Wilson, and Bourbonnais National Forests. Other places in southern Illinois where people can spend their weekend getaways are Peotone and Union counties along the southern shores of Lake Michigan.

Illinois is a great state for anyone who enjoys nature. There are several parks in Illinois, nature preserves, forests, and green space. When a person goes on a trip to northern or eastern Illinois, they should definitely consider staying at a quality hotel or resort near numerous parks and natural areas that are sure to be a fun and exciting part of any vacation. The top 25 best places to visit in Illinois are only a few of hundreds of incredible places that people visit when visiting this great state of the union.