For most visitors, Illinois is defined by its largest city, Chicago. The third largest city in the United States, it provides the urban experience on a grand scale. Its skyscrapers form a near complete history of urban architecture; its museums are some of the best in the world; it has some of the largest festivals in the country; and its many neighborhoods are filled with memorable characters. Focusing only on the big city, however, overlooks the many attractions the rest of the state has to offer. These include the history of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, classic sites along route 66, and endless open prairies stretching to the horizon.
Highlights from Illinois
- Chicago Skyscrapers One of the most impressive urban landscapes in the world, the city's buildings are a living museum of urban architecture
- Millennium and Grant Parks Large parks along Lake Michigan in the heart of Chicago, highlighted by the iconic sculpture Cloud Gate and the Buckingham Fountain.
- Chicago Prohibition sites In the 1920s, Al Capone waged a crime war for control of the city's underworld. The locations of major events have become iconic.
- Art Institute of Chicago One of the largest art museums in the United States, with comprehensive collections in all subjects
- Springfield State capitol and the home of Abraham Lincoln when he was elected President in 1860
- Route 66 Original parts of The Mother Road still exist in many places along its route between Chicago and St. Louis, including the last remaining stretch paved in bricks.
- Oak Park Original home of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with the largest concentration of his work in the world.
Hints and Tips for Illinois