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Top 10 Places to Visit in Illinois

Photograph Flickr by John Picken via Wikimedia Commons

#1 Chicago

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is an international popular city of United States. The city is world famous for its attractions including Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago is home to many of the tallest buildings. The tallest building in the city is the 110-story Willis Tower.

Shawnee National Forest
Photograph by Daniel Schwen, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Shawnee National Forest

Located in Southern Illinois, Shawnee National Forest is beautiful forest with wetlands, canyons, and unique geological features. The forest is in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. There are six natural ecological regions lying within Shawnee National Forest with diversity of plant and animal species.

Starved Rock State Park
Photograph by Daniel Schwen, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock State Park is known for scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. With 18 canyons, waterfalls, and natural springs, the park is most beautiful place to visit. Park activities include hiking trails, camping, fishing, paddle boat, and kayaking.

Photograph by Eovart Caceir via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Springfield

Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and the home of 16th U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. The city is also known for popular Cozy Dog (corn dog on a stick) and Horseshoe sandwiches. Top Springfield landmarks and historic sites to visit are Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Old State Capitol State Historic Site, Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, and Presidential Library and Museum.

Photograph by Julien.scavini, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Galena

Galena is Illinois one of best tourist destination city known for its architecture, history, and resorts. The historic district downtown area are the main attractions popular for unique architecture, shops and art galleries.

Matthiessen State Park
Photograph by Cspayer, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 Matthiessen State Park

Matthiessen State Park is known for unique rock formations, canyons, and waterfalls. 1 mile long main canyon consisting of the Upper and Lower Dells provides spectacular views. The Upper Dell continues to Cascade Falls, where the canyon drops 45 feet and the Lower Dell begins. The park is perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, camping, and picnicking.

Photograph by Alexbaumgarner, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Rockford

Located on the banks of the Rock River, Rockford is popular for museums, unique shops, gardens, and art and culture. The city is also known for various venues of cultural and historical significance. Rockford attractions include Anderson Japanese Gardens, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Discovery Center Museum, and Rockford Art Museum.

Chicago Harbor Lighthouse
Photograph by Rickdrew, via Wikimedia Commons

#8 Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

Chicago Harbor Lighthouse can be seen from Navy Pier, especially at the end of the pier. Various tour boats are available in the area to get close for better views.

Photograph by Robert Lawon, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Peoria

Peoria along the Illinois River is known for French colonial history. The Peoria RiverFront is one of popular location for outdoor concerts, festivals, and events. The city attractions include Peoria Riverfront Museum, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria Zoo, Wildlife Prairie Park, and Luthy Botanical Garden.

Cahokia Mounds
Photograph by Skubasteve834, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds is a state historic site of pre-Columbian era known for manmade earthen mounds. The park is located west of Collinsville, Illinois and it has about 80 mounds. This historic site is archaeological remnants of the central section of the ancient settlement that is today known as Cahokia.

Best State Parks to Visit in Illinois