Destination guide

Explore Illinois from vacation home rentals

It's not nicknamed the "Prairie State" for nothing. Illinois is characterized by vast swathes of pretty, flat grasslands which provide a habitat for a ton of wildlife and plenty of possibilities for outdoor fun. To the north, on the banks of Lake Michigan, is Chicago, one of the world's great cities. If you score an Illinois vacation rental here, expect world-class museums, retail spaces to satisfy even the pickiest of shoppers and one of the most iconic skylines in the US. This is the start of Route 66, the epic roadway which has led brave souls out west for centuries. It's a fitting place to start.


Historic attractions near Illinois vacation rentals

Illinois is filled with fascinating historic sites to explore on your trip. Vacation rentals are available near places like the Buckingham Fountain, a historic rococo fountain in Grant Park with light and water shows, and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, a marked trail commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition. You'll also like the Chicago Water Tower, a castle-like stone tower built in the 19th century.

Things to do

Attractions near your Illinois vacation homes

You would need a book to write about all the attractions that are housed in Chicago, let alone the rest of the state. There are some notable highlights, though. If you're lucky enough to nab an Illinois vacation rental in the big city, you'll be treated to a ton of free world-class museums. The Oriental Institute features ancient artifacts from the East, while the National Museum of Mexican Art is the biggest Latino art museum in the country. If you like wildlife, you can stop by Lincoln Park Zoo on the banks of Lake Michigan. Opened over 150 years ago, it's home to more than 1,000 animals.


Activities near your Illinois summer rental

Whether you're planning to come and stay in an Illinois vacation rental with the rest of the family, or just as a couple, the state's got your activities covered. After you tire of Chicago's shopping scene – difficult for most retail junkies – there's a whole world of lakes, rivers and forests which provide countless outdoor activities. If you saddle up, you can go horseback riding along the prairies. Not adventurous enough for you? No problem. You can don a helmet and life jacket to go racing down the water rapids on rafts, or even hurl yourself out of a plane, with a parachute of course.


Local weather for your trip to Illinois vacation rentals

It's unsurprising that the summer break sees the biggest influx of family vacationers to Illinois. It's festival season in Chicago and the whole state is drenched in hot weather. It's not necessarily the best time to visit, though. If you plan to stay in an Illinois vacation rental and explore the big city, your best bet is nabbing one during the slightly cooler shoulder months, you'll still bathe in bright skies and a warm climate but the crowds have all but disappeared. Visiting Illinois in winter? With lots to do and rock bottom pricing on rentals there is no reason not to.

Natural features

Fascinating wildlife inhabits Illinois' grassy landscape

The Prairie State's miles of grassy land are home to some fascinating wildlife. The once endangered bobcat, similar to a domestic cat but twice the size, now thrives in the state with an estimated 5,000-strong population. If you go walking in rural Illinois, your chances of spotting an eastern cottontail rabbit are good, as is spotting little woodchucks, often called ground hogs. Eastern wild turkeys were once extinct in the state but have been successfully reintroduced and now thrive around the wooded areas. Lake sturgeon are doing rather well too, growing up to 6 feet in the waterways.

Food and drink

Sample regional cuisine in Illinois

Midwestern cuisine is a unique blend of the tastes of Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe and Native North America and focuses on simple and hearty dishes. Illinois is a top producer of corn and soybeans, both of which are prominent in the cuisine, and Chicago-style dishes are common throughout the country. If you want to experience the distinctive flavors of the Midwest, visit a restaurant near your Illinois vacation rental.

Can I find a vacation rental around Illinois?

Yes, our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 2,714 vacation rentals near Illinois. From 132 Cabins to 786 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Illinois for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Illinois?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Illinois. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Chicago: 1,694 vacation rentals
  • Galena: 277 vacation rentals
  • Starved Rock State Park: 54 vacation rentals
  • The Galena Territory: 221 vacation rentals
  • Chicago Loop: 744 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Illinois! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Illinois?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Illinois:

  • Chicago: 1,694 rentals
  • Galena: 277 rentals
  • Carbondale: 110 rentals
  • Naperville: 158 rentals
  • Evanston: 1,192 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to Illinois?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in Illinois are:

  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW): 1,689 vacation rentals
  • O'Hare International Airport (ORD): 1,643 vacation rentals
  • Carbondale, IL (MDH-Southern Illinois): 63 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Illinois?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Illinois. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Wrigley Field: 1,661 rentals
  • Grant Park: 1,264 rentals
  • Chicago Water Tower: 1,658 rentals
  • McCormick Place: 1,390 rentals
  • Naval Base Great Lakes: 96 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Illinois listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Illinois

1,694 vacation rentals
277 vacation rentals
110 vacation rentals
158 vacation rentals
1,192 vacation rentals
23 vacation rentals
17 vacation rentals
27 vacation rentals
18 vacation rentals
Fox Lake
179 vacation rentals
58 vacation rentals
55 vacation rentals
Oak Park
1,466 vacation rentals
49 vacation rentals
21 vacation rentals
47 vacation rentals
18 vacation rentals
Saint Charles
31 vacation rentals
Apple Canyon Lake
244 vacation rentals
106 vacation rentals