An ideal spot for a selfie with the Chicago skyline
Jumping in front of “The Bean” at Chicago’s Millennium Park
Driving down iconic Route 66
Waterfall at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford
Al fresco dining and exploring day to night on the Chicago Riverwalk
Outside The Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield
Biking along the Lake Michigan shoreline
Enjoying a Chicago rooftop with friends
Artisan pizza and craft beer from Scratch Brewing Company
Galena’s Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
- Major Airports:
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Chicago Midway (MDW)
Chicago, Route 66 and the Land of Lincoln
The Iconic City of the Midwest
Illinois is probably best known for Chicago, a world-class city regarded by many as the cultural heart of the USA. Renowned museums, stunning architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants – Chicago has it all. But what surprises visitors the most is the 40-plus kilometers of ocean-like beachfront just steps from downtown and shopping. Just beyond the city lies Chicagoland, a metro area known for its unique attractions such as Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures and exotic gardens. Some of the biggest and best malls in the USA also call the area home. Many are taking shopping to a whole new level with beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces that go on for as far as the eye can see.
Explore an All-American State
If you’re looking for true Americana through and through, there’s no better way to relive the USA’s golden age than along its most legendary highway, Route 66. Illinois’ iconic stretch features classic diners, drive-in theaters and quirky roadside attractions. And in Springfield, you’re never far from landmarks and monuments dedicated to Abraham Lincoln’s life. The 16th president’s legacy marked the beginning of a long history of presidents who called Illinois home, including Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.
Enjoy River Towns and Riveting Nature
The Mississippi River defines the entire western side of Illinois. If it’s the great wide-open outdoors you’re looking for, then you must explore Great Rivers Country. Charming river towns, steamboats, sprawling vineyards and quaint bed and breakfasts are just a few discoveries that await. This remarkable region is also home to Lewis and Clark’s historic point of departure, the Shawnee National Forest and the appropriately named Garden of the Gods. Be sure to spend some time exploring the distinctive towns you’ll find here, where the local culture includes unique shops and attractions, as well as farm-to-table dining and craft breweries and distilleries.
Meet the artisans, small-batch brewers, distillers, vintners and farmers that make Illinois thrive. Tour their studios and production houses, sample their hand-crafted treats and browse their shops for truly local experiences. From tantalizing takes on gourmet popcorn and groundbreaking espresso drinks to art, furniture and jewelry created from salvaged materials or polished stone, you’re bound to discover foods, drinks and souvenirs unlike anything else you’ve experienced.
The first Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, Chicago's Navy Pier hosts a brand new, all-season Centennial Wheel.