Illinois is the Midwest region's most populous state and the fifth most populous state in the nation. It is nicknamed the “Prairie State” because most of the state was covered in prairies when the first settlers arrived. It is known for its sites dedicated to Abraham Lincoln in Springfield and other areas. It is also the birthplace of Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan. There are numerous things to do in Illinois in various cities around the state.
Chicago is the state’s largest city, home to about 65 percent of Illinois total residents, and the third most populated city in the U.S. Many popular things to do in Illinois are located in the Chicago metropolitan area, often called Chicagoland.
The John G. Shedd Aquarium is known as the World’s Aquarium and it is home to almost 8,000 aquatic species from both saltwater and freshwater habitats.
The Willis Tower, previously called the Sears Tower, is a popular tourist spot standing at 1454 feet or 110 stories. Visitors can ride a 70-second elevator to the top of the building to experience exciting views of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The building also offers informational exhibits and interesting facts.
Chicago also hosts numerous famous events every year that attract millions of residents and tourists alike. For example, The Taste of Chicago is held in the end of June for 10 days. A variety of restaurants from around the city set up areas for visitors to taste many different types of food - read Chicago guides here.
Springfield is the state capital and the sixth most populous city. It is known for being the home of Abraham Lincoln before he moved to the White House. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the life of the 16th president.
Knight’s Action Park and Caribbean Water Adventure, located in Springfield, is one of several Illinois water parks. The water park area features bumper boats, a wild river, water slides, giant wave pool, pedal boats, and children’s play area. The action park attractions include kiddie rides, go-karts, arcade, miniature golf, and Route 66 Twin Drive-In.
Carbondale is often referred to as the capital of southern Illinois, as it is the most populated city in the southern region. It is situated on the northern border of Shawnee National Forest, which offers an abundance of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Attributes of the forest include Cave in Rock, Little Grand Canyon and Garden of the Gods.
Carbondale is also known for its variety of annual festivals such as the Lights Fantastic Parade held in December. The celebration features a variety of events and activities such as art shows, alternative gift fair, holiday tea, lighting of the tree, and pictures with Santa’s reindeer. Another notable festival is the Southern Illinois Irish Festival held every April to celebrate the Irish heritage of Illinois.
From historical sites to thrilling water parks, there are so many things to do in Illinois. When thinking about travel accommodations, check out the various Illinois vacation rentals in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale. You won't be disappointed in your destination or accommodations.