Tourist Attractions in Illinois

25 Best Tourist Attractions to Visit in Illinois

Here is a list of the 25 Best Tourist Attractions in Illinois

1. Tunnel Hill State Trail

tourist attractions in Tunnel Hill State Trail
Tunnel Hill State Trail

This is a cycling track in the bed of an ancient railway line and was established in the late 20th century utilizing pulverized limestone for its exterior. Regular bikes will have a difficult time getting purchase on this exterior, and mountain bikes or hybrids are suggested. The track is very flat and goes for some time through a dark tunnel, so tourists should carry their own way of lighting. The forty-five-mile track leads riders from Harrisburg to Karnak and is very panoramic, providing wonderful wildflowers, Illinois prairie, oak jungles, and a diversity of wildlife, incorporating red foxes, cottontail rabbits, raccoons, deer, and opossums. Plenty of songbirds make for delightful listening as you cycle. The track has no services, so visitors are suggested to carry their own food and water.

2. Grant Park

tourist attractions in grant park
Grant Park

A 319-acre green space in the center of Chicago’s principal financial district, The Loop, Grant Park  is a town highlight with plenty of offerings to all locals and tourists and so it’s a wonderful tourist attractions in Illinois. It is the spot of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. In the park’s heart lies one of the biggest fountains in the world, the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, which has water exhibitions every twenty minutes and a light display each night from 9:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Abode to plenty of music and food carnivals, Grant Park also has an ice skating track, wall ascending opportunities, some playgrounds for kids, two marinas, and a skate park planned for skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX bikers. A baseball diamonds and tennis court round out the park’s plenty of draws.

3. Matthiessen State Park

tourist attractions in Matthiessen State Park
Matthiessen State Park

This state park was named for the renowned industrialist and benefactor Frederick William Matthiessen who purchased the lands in the late 19th century. Over 1700 acres, the park contains canyons and streams with picture-perfect waterfalls, all of which conduct their course towards the Vermillion River. Spectacular sandstone fences, high bluffs, and jungles of bluffs and cedar make this spot famous with hikers who love to relish nature’s gift. Frogs, toads, and salamanders inhabit the streams, and flying squirrels, white-tailed deer, indigo buntings, cliff swallows, and red-tailed hawks are in great number throughout the park. There are five miles of hiking tracks with comprehensive stairs, which make them imprudent for those with mobility issues. There are another nine miles of mountain biking and horse riding tracks. Close to the park access point there are washrooms and picnic tables. All these facilities made this place one of the best tourist attractions in Illinois.

4. Mississippi Palisades State Park

tourist attractions in Mississippi Palisades State Park
Mississippi Palisades State Park

A palisade is a tall, sheer cliff, the type that you find along the edges of the river, and at this 2,500-acre park in northwestern Illinois, they go along the coasts of the Mississippi at its junction with the Apple River. The park is affluent in Native American history, and a magnificent spot to find Illinois wildlife up close. There are waterfowl, coast birds, wild turkeys, and pileated woodpeckers; fishermen usually catch crappie, carp, and bass. On the fifteen miles of tracks, tourists may confront with white-tailed deer, badgers, woodchucks, squirrels, minx, and foxes. The park is peppered with bright-colored wildflowers and has picnic spots, and chances for rock ascending. It is a seasonal choice of cross-country skiers too.

5. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

tourist attractions in Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

A World Heritage Site, Cahokia Mounds is the biggest and most complex archeological spot in the United States. It is right across the Mississippi River from St. Louis and was once a pre-Columbian Native American town from c. 600-1400 AD when it was the abode to the Mississippian people. At its top in the mid-1200s, Cahokia was the abode to over 40,000 people, a community larger than mid-1200s London, England. The spot is distinguished by massive mounds that had importance to the people who resided in this place; a life-size village copy can be visited, and the wonderful museum has an instructive video, genuine relics, and info about the everyday lives of the residents of Cahokia. A self-guided audio trip of the spot is at hand, and there are strolling tracks and a gift store.

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6. Fabyan Forest Preserve

tourist attractions in Fabyan Forest Preserve
Fabyan Forest Preserve

When Colonel George Fabyan and his wife Nelle purchased important area of land in northern Illinois, they had a residence established for them by Frank Lloyd Wright, a residence that after their demise became the Fabyan Villa Museum. Col. Fabyan also had a Japanese garden created, which now is accessible to the general people, and it is a serene and silent escape from everyday life. In the 1920s, the Colonel had a big Dutch windmill relocated from its actual spot and onto his land; one of the few wind-energized windmills in the United States, it is constructed from cypress wood and dates back to the 1850s. Around the windmill is parkland perfect for picnics. The total Fabyan estate is on the edges of the Fox River and close to the Fox River Trail, and so it is a magnificent spot for fishing, strolling, and cycling.

7. Peoria

tourist attractions in Peoria

One of the best tourist attractions in Illinois, this town is located on the Illinois River. It is called after the Peoria Indians and was established in 1691 by the French traveler Henri de Tonti. This beautiful riverfront town brags about 9,000 acres of parkland, and it acts as the headquarters for the American machinery leviathan, Caterpillar, Inc., which recruits 93,000 people. Tourists to the town frequently proceed right to the Caterpillar Visitor’s Center, which exhibits instances of its colossal earth-moving machinery and has wonderful hands-on simulators. Other tourists are attracted to the Peoria Zoo, which has an extraordinary African Savannah portion or to the yearly art fair that occurs along the waterfront. 

8. Shawnee National Forest

tourist attractions in Shawnee National Forest
Shawnee National Forest

This national forest is situated in the southernmost portion of Illinois in the undulating hills of the Ozarks and the Shawnee Hills. It is a variation of eco-systems: distinctive rock developments, oak and hickory jungles, flourishing wetlands, swamps covered with cypress trees, grasslands loosely scattered with wildflowers, and the winding Ohio River. Over its 268,000 acres are miles upon miles of hiking tracks that invite fastened dogs and horseback riders. Primeval campsites are available, as are basic cabins. Tourists to the park can relish track strolling, picnicking, fishing, or observing wildlife, which incorporates big groups of deer. There are a Visitor Center and substantial academic programming for all ages.

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9. Starved Rock State Park

tourist attractions in Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park

This state park is the most toured draw or a wonderful tourist attractions in the state of Illinois. About one hundred miles from Chicago, this National Historic Landmark is lively with charm. There are ravines, high, tree-topped bluffs overlooking the Illinois River, and thirteen miles of hiking tracks to welcome tourists near to the natural beauty of the park. Fourteen of the eighteen canyons have waterfalls, and instructed hikes through these ravines are at hand and are the secured way to visit. The park has a visitor lodge and a campsite while a little camp store serves the requirements of overnight tourists. Day tourists may utilize the picnicking regions, which have some sanctuaries, drinking water, picnic tables, and restroom opportunities. From late December until March, Starved Rock State Park becomes a hub for watching exotic bald eagles; thousands of them gather to the park every year.

10. Morton Arboretum

tourist attractions in morton arboretum
Morton Arboretum

This  is the best provision in Lisle, Illinois in the Chicago metropolitan region. Established over 1700 acres, the arboretum has sixteen miles of hiking tracks and other paved courses for driving or cycling. Its plenty of offerings incorporate an aroma garden, a ground cover garden, and a labyrinth. Kids’ garden assists make know kids to the arboreal reservation. Morton Arboretum has wide academic programming for people of all ages, incorporating collaborative programs with regional colleges and universities. The Sterling Morton Library has more than 27,000 books and papers on trees, botany, and nature. The gardens have a gift store and a café, and tourists can hire bicycles to investigate the paved tracks.

11. Naperville Riverwalk

tourist attractions in Naperville Riverwalk
Naperville Riverwalk

The Riverwalk in Naperville, Illinois is a serene and panoramic spot to walk along the west branch of the DuPage River. This 1.75-mile route is covered with brick, and it is wonderfully landscaped and peppered with fountains, bridges, statues, artwork, and gathering and ceremony acccommodations. A café with an oper-air courtyard overlooking the river distributes pub-style food and ice cream. Plenty of retail stores are situated along the Riverwalk, as is the beloved Centennial Beach and Centennial Park’s skateboarding/inline skating opportunity. Tourists may hire kayaks and paddleboats or take kids to the Jaycee playfield. Midway along the Riverwalk is a bell tower, the carillon of which carmingly rings each hour on the hour.

12. Anderson Gardens

tourist attractions in Anderson Gardens
Anderson Gardens

This garden in Rockford, Illinois was encouraged by trips Rockford businessman John R. Anderson took to Japan and to the Portland, Oregon Japanese Garden. He and a Japanese architect, Hoichi Kurisu, planned the Japanese garden, which began as a special scheme on Anderson’s belongings. Thought the best Japanese garden in the United States, it is planned in the fashion of a 13th century walking the garden with plenty of water features, serpentine routes, rock development, and a group of Japanese maples, cloud pines, rhododendrons, azaleas, and magnolias. Fish, ducks, and minks are portions of the backdrop of the garden, which is today an unprofitable organization with all funds going towards philanthropic works. It is an ideal spot to abandon the pressure of the world behind and where you can come back to tranquility and peace. This magnificent garden is one of the best tourist attractions in Illinois.

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13. Lincoln’s Tomb

tourist attractions in Lincoln’s Tomb
Lincoln’s Tomb

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born on February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Mainly self-taught, he passed the Illinois Bar and started his career as a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois under the instruction of his wife’s cousin, John T. Stuart. Before and after his phases as a part of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lincoln and his companion had a prosperous law practice in Springfield, and it was in this city that he wedded and had four kids. Abraham Lincoln was nominated President on November 6, 1860, and guided the country through the Civil War. On April 14, 1865, he was murdered by a Confederate sympathizer in a Washington, D.C. theater, and his corpse was brought home by rail to Springfield at the petition of his wife. Lincoln’s Tomb is in Oakridge Cemetery and is accessible to tourist year-round.

14. Elmhurst

tourist attractions in Elmhurst

This is a western outskirt of Chicago with a people of nearly 45,000. It is a site for the arts with a fine art museum that provides lessons to grown-ups and kids. It also has a large classical orchestra and theater groups and renditions. The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art attracts plenty of tourists; its accent is on cutting and smoothing stones and exhibiting them as pieces of art. The town of Elmhurst is a wonderful location to try shopping with a downtown center providing about three hundred distinctive traders. Many family entertainments can be enjoyed at the indoor trampoline park in the city.

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15. Alton

tourist attractions in alton

Just fifteen miles north of St. Louis, Missouri, Alton, Illinois is thought to be a portion of the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Famous for its limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River, the town and its neighboring region provide wonderful drives along the Great Rivers Scenic Route. Archeological remains of the town’s prehistory can be seen in the National Great Rivers Historic Museum, and outside, a primitive illustration of a piasa bird can be found on a bluff face. Alton is the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis, and it was the spot of the ultimate discourse between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858. From its ordinary starting as a Mississippi ferry-crossing, Alton has flourished to be a significant core for the arts, especially theater.

16. Quincy

tourist attractions in quincy

This town is located on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Dogwood-lined roads and beautiful architecture, much of it in conventional German style, make this town an attractive spot to travel. Quincy has an affluent history; it was a secured refuge for Mormons leaving behind the oppression they faced in the eastern states and was a main halting point on the Underground Railway, which assisted African American people to escape the south and slavery. Same as plenty of towns on the Mississippi, Quincy has a tradition of blues music, but it also has a yearly film carnival, a magnificent opera company, and a nice theater.

17. Galena

tourist attractions in galena

This is a little town of fewer than 4,000 citizens in the most northwestern tip of the state. Over 85% of this historic city is a National Historic District, and it is famous for its architecture and its long mining history. Before Europeans colonized in this place in 1821, Native Americans excavated the region for more than a thousand years, and they extracted the mineral galena, a lead oxide, out of the earth. Immigrants carried on the excavation, and for the sake of economy, Galena became a key steamboat harbor on the Mississippi River. Now traveled for its history and its nice residences, Galena has a breathtaking main road presenting six blocks of French Colonial, Greek Revival, and Italianate abodes, one of which belonged to Ulysses S. Grant, the 14th president of the United States. Encompassed by undulating hills and green valleys, Galena is a magnificent spot to travel or reside.

18. Bloomington

tourist attractions in bloomington

The 12th biggest town in Illinois Bloomington has a sister town, Normal, which parts in its municipal decision-making. The region was first utilized as a camp for the Kickapoo Native Americans until Euro-American colonizers reached the rivers and woods of the town in 1820. Bloomington-Normal is a town with multiple faces and is a wonderful tourist attractions in Illinois. Outdoor lovers like its forty-four separate parks and its three golf courses. Enthusiasts of the arts can relish theater, the symphony orchestra, and the town’s ballet unit. The region has a little but captivating zoo, which has several of the most uncommon wild cats in existence: the Amur Leopard and the Sumatran Tiger. An immense indoor rock ascending park is a huge beloved amongst both tourists and natives.

19. Evanston

tourist attractions in Evanston

Illinois, Evanston has a beautiful town center where you will see a wonderful selection of theaters, music venues, and eateries. Abode to Northwestern University, Evanston is a modern outskirt north of Chicago where you will also see the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse, established in 1873. The lighthouse was put in the spot in the aftermath of some destruction of ships by watercraft racing onto the shallow waters of Lake Michigan on the way to Chicago. It was, for its service life, the most brilliant and head lighthouse in the region. On a bright day, take the children to Lighthouse Park, a green spot with a kids’ playfield and a beach with a picnic spot.

20. Rockford

tourist attractions in Rockford

The second biggest town in the state of Illinois exterior of the Chicago Area Rockford is frequently called “The Forest City” for its 20,000 acres of green accommodation. Four rivers go through Rockford, there are some golf courses, and Rock Cut State Park is a refuge for boat riders and campers who love its immaculate lakes and hiking tracks. Rockford brags about its history, which tourists can know about at Midway Village, a settler village with costumed guides and historical displays. The Burpee Museum of Natural History is devoted to an even earlier native history, and it has a wonderful dinosaur display that incorporates a total T-Rex framework.

21. Chicago

tourist attractions in chicago

The third biggest town in the United States, Chicago has a wealth of thrilling chances that attract millions of tourists each year. Chicago lies on the western bank of Lake Michigan, and its immense port system incorporates coasts and beachfront parks. Parkland is a significant town characteristic; there are more than 570 parks, the highlight being Lincoln Park, a 1200-acre location. Chicago contains two major league baseball teams, and teams in the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA. Enthusiasts of arts and culture visit to find its gatherings of visual art and to listen to the Chicago Symphony. They can also relish spontaneous comedy at one of the many town areas and to enjoy jazz, blues, and soul music. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most ancient and biggest in the country and has collections of internationally renowned artworks, incorporation the Old Masters, impressionists, and American art.

22. Springfield

tourist attractions in springfield

The state epicenter, Springfield, Illinois is famous as the birthplace of America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln and so it’s a magnificent tourist attractions in Illinois. Much of the tourism in the town aims at this majestic man, and enthusiastic people may travel the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln’s Tomb, and the law offices where he worked before becoming president in 1861.

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The Dana-Thomas House is extensively traveled, as it is the most comprehensive instance of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. The town is established on the plains close to the serpentine Sangamon River, and the Adams Wildlife Center grants locals and tourists to get in touch with Springfield’s natural neighborhoods with its 40 wooded acres. Springfield is a halt on the renowned Route 66, and there are diners along with it in evocative style. The Hoogland Center for the Arts is a beloved spot, and it features programs of ballet, theater, symphony, and orchestra. 

23. Champagne-Urbana

tourist attractions in Champaign-Urbana

The principal campus of the University of Illinois, the state’s biggest university, is situated in the town of Champaign-Urbana. This place is a glimmering instance of a college city. Technically, Champaign-Urbana is two separate towns, but they mix together into one metropolis. Hug the spirit of higher education by visiting the Spurlock Museum, a wide collection of captivating relics from across the world. Whether you’re seeking for some delicious coffee or you’re doing your weekly shopping, the Market at the Square is an energetic, amusing spot to hang out, specifically on Saturdays.

24. Lincoln’s New Salem

tourist attractions in Lincoln’s New Salem
Lincoln’s New Salem

One of the most powerful American Presidents is doubtlessly Abraham Lincoln. Whether you’re an American history enthusiast or an admirer of Lincoln’s presidency, show respect to the great man with a trip to Lincoln’s New Salem. This national monument is an ideal rebuilt of the authentic New Salem, also in Illinois, where Lincoln resided between 1831 and 1837. At Lincoln’s New Salem, you can see 23 open constructions. Plenty of them are log cabins, and some of them contain one or more guides dressed in period costumes. The furniture, costumes and even the horses are precise to the time period, and this can be a tremendous method become accustomed to Lincoln’s role in Illinois.

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25. Arthur

tourist attractions in arthur

One of the most distinctive spots to travel in Illinois is Arthur. This is the biggest population center of the Illinois Amish community, and you’ll part the streets with horse and buggies when you drive through. There are just about 2,300 inhabitants in this tiny city, but it’s always full of energy and activity with native carnivals and Amish-maintained stores. Take a stroll down Vine Street to visit shops with antiques, fresh bread and cheeses, and handicrafts. Take a drive through the landscapes nearby to find quilt stores, Amish-manufactured furniture stores, and farms. A couple of miles outside of the city, The Pumpkin Patch is a must-visit in the fall, and the 4th of July fireworks exhibition is a top summer draw in the state.

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