Top 5 Attractions to See in Illinois

Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US. However, the state of Illinois as a whole has a lot to offer as well, and it’s best to explore it in your own car. That way you can set your own itinerary and get out of the city and see its beautiful countryside as well.

History enthusiasts will especially have a blast visiting Illinois since the state has had such a prominent role in national history, as well as in the history of Native Americans.

Galena Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site

U.S. Grant was one of the most influential US presidents both as a president and as a general in the Civil War. His home in Galena was presented to him after the war in 1865 and is now restored as it was back then. It also contains belongings used by president Grant and his family.

If you plan to take a road trip from Chicago to Galena, you’ll need an international driver license for USA authorities to inspect. This short trip is usually a welcome break from exploring the city. It allows you to step back into the past and learn about the Civil War firsthand.

Dana-Thomas House, Springfield

Frank Lloyd Wright built the Dana-Thomas House in 1902. It’s one of the best-preserved Prairie-style houses and one of the largest out there. It’s a 35 room house that covers over 12.000 square feet.

The house was built for Susan Lawrence Dana, a wealthy heiress, and philanthropist. The architecture and design reflect both the aesthetic of the time and the flamboyant sense of style of the occupants. Art glass windows are an especially noticeable and studied feature and one that attracts the most attention from tourists.

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago is the most important cultural institution the city has to offer. It features artwork ranging from ancient sculpture to postmodern art. Its permanent collections include African art, medieval art, and Renaissance arms. The institute itself is of artistic value since it’s housed in a well preserved 1800s building.

It’s one of the oldest and largest museums in the world and it has over 1.5 million visitors every year. An art lover visiting Illinois should take a whole day out of their schedule to fully experience the Art Institute or at least a glimpse of what it has to offer.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Cahokia Mounds is a prehistoric Indian settlement. It’s the largest one in the US and the largest one north of Mexico. The site was used from AD 700 to 1400. At one point it has had over 20.000 occupants and covered over six square miles.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it features an interpretive center that will make your visit more enjoyable and more educational. This includes artifacts, graphics, dioramas, and audiovisual presentations. There’s also a life-size recreation of the Mississippian village that could have been found on the site.



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