Illinois, known as the Land of Lincoln, is a state that combines rich history, natural beauty, and exciting urban life. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, there’s no shortage of places to explore in this diverse state. From the iconic landmarks of the Windy City, to the natural wonders of Shawnee National Forest, Illinois offers something for everyone.

This blog post will take you on a tour of the 9 must-visit attractions in Illinois that showcase the state’s beauty, history, and culture.

1. Navy Pier

Chicago’s Navy Pier is a hub of entertainment and excitement that’s a must-visit destination for everyone. It offers 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, theaters, museums, and beautiful lake views.

The Ferris Wheel and the Children’s Museum are great options for families, while those interested in the arts can visit the Shakespeare Theatre, or catch a live music performance at the Navy Pier Beer Garden. And don’t forget to indulge in some classic Chicago-style food at one of the many eateries along the way!

2. Millennium Park

Another landmark of Chicago that can’t be missed is Millennium Park, home to the famous “Bean” or Cloud Gate sculpture.

The park boasts beautiful gardens, public art installations, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, where you can catch free live performances during the summer. It’s a perfect spot to relax and take in the city’s vibrant energy.

3. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Illinois is known for being the Land of Lincoln, home to America’s beloved 16th President, “honest Abe.’’ The state is rich in historical landmarks that remind us of his achievements and legacy.

Located in Springfield (his birthplace), the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a fascinating destination that presents an interactive and immersive experience of Lincoln’s life, his presidency, and his impact on the nation.

4. Shawnee National Forest

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventure, head to Shawnee National Forest, located in southern Illinois. The forest spans over 280,000 acres and offers breathtaking scenery, hiking trails, lakes, and waterfalls. It’s a perfect escape from city life and a chance to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

5. Starved Rock State Park

Another natural wonder of Illinois that’s worth a visit is Starved Rock State Park, located near Utica. It offers 18 canyons, waterfalls, and plenty views of the Illinois River that you won’t want to miss.

There are various hiking trails that cater to different levels of fitness, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to hike for very long. You can head to Lover’s Leap Overlook and find a boardwalk trail with stairs, or head straight to French Canyon Trail if you want to see a waterfall.

In any case, after all of that hiking in Starved Rock State Park, your legs will probably be *starved* for a rest! Lucky for you, recreational cannabis is now legal in Illinois. And for Illinois residents who need relief on a regular basis, medical marijuana is also a viable option. If you think you may qualify for medical marijuana, visit Veriheal to learn more.

6. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio

If you’re an architecture buff, you’ll appreciate the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most famous and influential architects. Located in Oak Park, Wright’s former home and studio is a National Historic Landmark that offers a glimpse into his personal and professional life, as well as examples of his iconic designs.

7. Illinois State Capitol

Located in Springfield, the Illinois State Capitol is a stunning structure that’s a symbol of the state’s government and history.

The building features a domed roof and a rotunda with a sculpture of George Washington and Lincoln. Visitors can take guided tours of the building and learn about the state’s legislative process.

8. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Another important —and mysterious— historic site in Illinois is Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, located near Collinsville. It’s the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city that is thought to be home to thousands of people over 700 years ago.

The site features pyramid-like, earthen mounds, plazas, and interpretive exhibits that offer some limited insight into the culture and lifestyle of the ancient inhabitants. The question is: why did a city of over 20,000 people seem to vanish, leaving almost no trace they were ever there?

9. Great River Road National Scenic Byway

The Great River Road is a National Scenic Byway running along the Mississippi River that passes through five states, including Illinois. It offers an epic driving tour full of incredible views, stops to explore small towns and other attractions along the way.

From scenic overlooks to cozy bed & breakfasts, this byway has something for everyone. And don’t forget to take a break, stretch your legs, and indulge in some local cuisine!


Illinois is a state that offers something for everyone, from the bustling city life of Chicago, to the natural wonders of Shawnee National Forest, and the historic landmarks that remind us of the state’s prehistoric roots. This list of 9 must-see attractions is just a taste of what Illinois has to offer, and we encourage you to explore even further. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, there’s an adventure waiting for you in Illinois!

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Data Science Field

Previous article

Top 5 Advantages of Interior Design Rendering for Your Interior Design Business

Next article

You may also like