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Illinois Top Attractions

Top 36 things to see and do in Illinois

  • 7.7 /10
    Lincoln Park thumbnail
    Part of Lincoln Park by the South Pound and Chicago skyline.

    Lincoln Park is one of the best residential neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. It features vintage townhomes that offer single-family and apartment-style living. The streets are tree-lined, and many houses even boast a small yard. Parking is difficult, though. If you don't have a residential parking permit, you may find yourself circling the blocks for quite some time, looking for a parking space.In addition to its residential charm, Lincoln Park is host to numerous Chicago attractions ...

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  • Legoland Discovery Center is located in Schaumberg, Illinois about 30 miles northwest of Chicago just off I-90/94W. This is just one of Legoland's locations, however. Other Discovery Centers can be found in Germany and Legoland theme parks are in California, the UK, Denmark, and Germany. One day admission to Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago is $14 for adults and $10 for children, if you book online. The Discovery Center is open all year round, though hours change slightly during the summer months, so check on their website before you plan your trip ...

    Read more about the Legoland Discovery Center

  • 7.4 /10
    No country is complete without its own set of historic landmarks. Oftentimes, these landmarks have been established for a purpose that is far from being a landmark. But, over the years, the popularity and its contribution to the culture and history to that particular country could not be disregarded that it eventually is granted this noble distinction.

    In the United States, one particular historical landmark is the infamous Route 66 ...

    Read more about the Route 66

  • The Fabyan Dutch Windmill is one of the best examples of authentic Dutch windmills in the entire United States. Located along Fox River Trail in Geneva, Illinois, this working windmill was built between the years 1850 and 1860 by a German craftsman named Louis Blackhaus using wood and other materials that were shipped from the Netherlands to the United States.

    In 1914, the windmill was purchase for an amount of $8,000 by Colonel George Fabyan, after whom the windmill was named after ...

    Read more about the Fabyan Dutch Windmill

  • Located along River Drive in Moline, Illinois, the John Deere Pavilion was created to serve as a venue to celebrate the past, the present and the future of the agricultural industry. The beginnings of the pavilion can be traced as far back as 160 years ago when John Deere first invented and developed his first ever self-scouring plow. The success of Deere's self-scouring plow invention, and the company that was established shortly thereafter, has been recognized to be one of the primary factors for changing the course of the history of the Midwestern community ...

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  • Located on the corners of Michigan and Monroe Avenues in downtown Chicago, Illinois, the Art Institute of Chicago was founded back in 1879 to serve as a museum and an arts school. The museum is home to thousands of different art works and artifacts which have been categorized into different collections to celebrate the beauty and glory of different works of art throughout the centuries. The exquisite artifacts and art works that have made the Art Institute of Chicago its home have drawn many art students form its arts school that could be seen in different sections of the museum sketching their own interpretation of selected artworks ...

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  • The city of Chicago, Illinois, is one that is lined with skyscrapers. One of the most famous of these skyscrapers is the John Hancock Center. Dubbed simply as "Big John" by the locals, the John Hancock Center was completed in 1969 and stands 100 stories tall. It is known for its distinct X-shaped braces that serve as the decoration of the fa├žade of the building as well. These braces allowed the engineers to construct the John Hancock Center in such a way that it would withstand the powerful wind forces that blow about in the Windy City ...

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  • Originally established as the city's Public Library, the Chicago Cultural Center was built in 1897. Its designed was inspired by the neo-classical style of the World's Columbian Exposition which was held four years earlier. The Chicago Cultural Center is considered to be one of the most expensive buildings ever constructed. At the time of when it was built, the Chicago Cultural Center's construction was pegged at $2 Million. The interior of the building are crafted using the highest quality marble, hardwood, stained-glass, polished brass and glass mosaics ...

    Read more about the Chicago Cultural Center

  • 7.3 /10
    Wrigley Field is the second oldest baseball stadium in the United States. Home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, Wrigley Field was established back in 1914 under the name of Weeghman Park, after Charles H. Weeghman who was once the owner of the property where the Wrigley Field now stands. The name was changed to Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley, Jr. who was the owner of the Chicago Cubs. The baseball stadium had become the site of some of the most historic moments in baseball history ...

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  • Millennium Park stands between Michigan Ave. and the waterfront in the heart of Chicago. For many, this park is also Chicago's heart. It represents over twenty-five years of lobbying by the philanthropic community and its eventual collaboration with the City of Chicago to construct. Now, Millennium Park is a major Chicago landmark.

    Visitors to Millennium Park will enjoy the wide, grassy spaces and the modern sculptures and design ...

    Read more about the Millennium Park

  • 7.3 /10
    At the heart of the Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, you will find Cloud Gate which is now becoming one of the most popular attractions in the city today. Created by a British artist named Anish Kapoor, the Cloud Gate sculpture got its name from the fact that 80% of the entire sculpture reflects the Chicago skyline. Made out of pure stainless steel plates craftily arranged to provide its seamless look, the Cloud Gate sculpture was unveiled in July 2004. It measures 66 feet long, 35 feet wide and weight 110 tons.

    The Cloud Gate sculpture is known among the locals as "The Bean" due to its bean-like shape ...

    Read more about the Cloud Gate

  • 7.3 /10
    Brookfield Zoo is located in Brookfield, Illinois, just 15 miles southeast of Chicago off of Interstate 55. It is open daily throughout the year, though the hours change on a seasonal basis, so be sure to check their website before planning your trip. General admission is $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. Special exhibits may cost extra.

    The Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Zoological Society that runs it are committed to educating visitors of all ages about animals and animal conservation ...

    Read more about the Brookfield Zoo

  • 7.3 /10
    Take a step back in the past by visiting the Amish Country of Central Illinois. This area is especially defined by the towns of Arthur, Arcola, Sullivan and Tarscola. ...

    Read more about the Amish Country

  • The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is located just ten miles west of the >Chicago Loop in Oak Park, Illinois. It is easily accessible from downtown Chicago by both car and public transportation. Seven different tours are available of Wright's Home and the surrounding historic district. Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust's website for more information on how to purchase tickets.

    When you are in Oak Park, make sure to check out other buildings designed for Wright: the Robie House designed in 1908, and Unity Temple designed in 1905 ...

    Read more about the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

  • The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Illinois's state capital. The library and museum are situated within a block of each other. The library is only open on weekdays and is free for public access and research. The museum is open year round. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $4 for children. It is preferable to purchase you tickets in advance online.

    The mission of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is to provide its visitors with interactive and informative exhibits ...

    Read more about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

  • If you want small town charm, look no further than Shea's Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois. The museum is one of the prime attractions on the first leg of historic Route 66, though the station is actually about a mile west of the famous highway. Travelers might it easier to access Shea's Gas Station Museum by taking the business extension of I-55 and heading toward the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

    However you get there, Shea's Gas Museum is a hidden gem of Americana ...

    Read more about the Shea's Gas Station Museum

  • The Illinois Railway Museum is in Union, Illinois, a town sixty mile northwest of Chicago and thirty miles east of Rockford. It is the largest rail museum in the United States. The Illinois Railway Museum was founded and is still run primarily by volunteers. They have made it their mission to educate the public about the role that railroads have played in both Chicago's history as well as the development of the entire United States. They have done this by preserving electric and steam locomotives on over 1 ...

    Read more about the Illinois Railway Museum

  • This huge cross stands over 100 feet tall, and measures 22 square feet at the base and 16 square feet at its highest point. Overlooking the southern Illinois region and the Mississippi River flood plain, the cross was constructed back in 1963 after a series of successful fundraising efforts made by Wayman R. Presley, a local postal carrier residing in Alto Pass.

    While this may have been the case, the story of the Bald Knob Cross goes further back to the late 1930s, when Presley spoke to Rev ...

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  • Hardy's Reeindeer Ranch is a popular Illinois destination for families and travelers that are wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and commune with nature and have fun.

    The Reindeer Ranch was established back in 1995 when husband and wife Julie and Mark Hardy purchased a couple of reindeers primarily to help them market the different species of evergreens that they grow in their farm, which they have ordered straight from Alaska.

    Hardy's Evergreen Acres and Reindeer Ranch is extremely popular among families for its famous corn mazes ...

    Read more about the Hardy's Reindeer Ranch

  • Soaring at 1,450 feet, Willis Tower (formally Sears Tower) is one of the world's tallest buildings. When you include the twin antenna towers, the building's height is at 1,730 feet. In fact, it owned the title of world's tallest building from the time it was built in 1974 until 1996. Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur has disputed that honor, but still, if you only count height in terms of highest roof, highest occupied floor and highest antenna, Sears Tower is still the tallest building in the face of the earth ...

    Read more about the Willis (Sears) Tower

  • Adler Planetarium is located in Chicago, Illinois, just off Lake Shore Drive next to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. It is open year-round, but its hours change during the summer. Make sure you check out their website before planning your trip. The price of general admission to the exhibits is $10 for adults and $6 for children. The cost increases depending on the number of shows you want to see. There are also a number of free days throughout the year sponsored by the Charter One Foundation ...

    Read more about the Adler Planetarium

  • McHenry County is located in the U.S. state of Illinois, a part of the area. Long known as a hub of agriculture and recreation it houses a major historic attraction. McHenry County Historical Society and Museum in Union, Illinois was first officially opened to the public back in 1976. Its a historian's delight and comprises of several relics like a 1885 town hall (more famous as Perkins Hall), a 1847 log cabin, and an 1895 one-room school which was used for c ...

    Read more about the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum

  • The Farnsworth House is a one-room house made purely out of steel and glass situated at the center of a beautiful meadow situated on the banks of the Fox River in Plano, Illinois. Recognized as one of the important works of 20th century architecture, the Farnsworth Cottage is now under the ownership and care of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and today serves as a house museum. The Farnsworth House has been regarded as a sculptural masterpiece both for its simplicity and its design.

    Farnsworth House was built by Mies van der Rohe and is considered to be one of his finest works ...

    Read more about the Farnsworth House

  • Located just two blocks south from the Millennium Park, the Chicago Architecture Foundation was established right across the Art Institute of Chicago. It is one of the prime tourist destinations for travelers who desire to learn more about the history of a particular city and how it came to be as it is known today. The Chicago Architecture Foundation provides locals and visitors alike a gateway into the deeper understanding of the architecture styles that dominate the city of Chicago in Illinois. One of the highlights of the Chicago Architecture Foundation is the large scale model of the entire downtown Chicago district ...

    Read more about the Chicago Architecture Foundation

  • * Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

    You can also rate and vote for your favorite Illinois sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Illinois by visiting the individual Illinois attraction pages.