Are you looking for the perfect US getaway?
Then look no further than Illinois! This Midwestern state has a little bit of everything, from big city sights to stunning natural scenery.
Keep reading to find out why Illinois should be your next vacation destination, as well as the best places to visit and things to do while you’re there.
Why Illinois is an amazing State for your next vacation
Illinois is a state located in the Midwestern United States. It is the 6th most populous state and 25th largest state in terms of land area.
Illinois is known for its diverse array of attractions, from its bustling metropolises to its small town charm.
Whether you’re looking for an urban adventure or a rural retreat, Illinois has something to offer everyone.
A beautiful US State
Illinois is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest, there is no shortage of natural beauty to explore in this state.
In addition to its stunning landscapes, Illinois also boasts a wealth of cultural attractions, including world-renowned museums, art galleries, and historic sites.
What is the best month to visit Illinois?
The best time to visit Illinois depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. If you’re interested in outdoor activities, the spring and summer months are ideal, as temperatures are warm and comfortable with very little rainfall.
Fall is also a great time to visit, as the leaves begin to change color and create a picturesque landscape.
If you’re more interested in exploring the state’s cities and cultural attractions, any time between September and November or March and May would be ideal, as these months offer milder weather without large crowds of tourists.
What are the best places to visit in Illinois?
Willis Tower Skydeck
The Willis Tower Skydeck is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Illinois. Located in downtown Chicago, the Skydeck provides stunning views of the cityscape from 1,353 feet (412 m) above ground level. Visitors can step out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony that extends 4 feet (1.2 m) from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, for an even more exhilarating experience.
Millennium Park & Cloud Gate
Millennium Park is another must-see destination in Illinois.
This world-renowned public park is home to numerous iconic landmarks, including Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”), an outdoor amphitheater, and a reflecting pool. Millennium Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as free concerts and movie screenings.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
No trip to Illinois would be complete without paying homage to one of its most famous residents: Abraham Lincoln.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum tells the story of Lincoln’s life through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and films. Located in Springfield, the museum is just a short drive from many of Illinois’ other top attractions.
Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long (1 km) pier on Lake Michigan that offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages.
Highlights include rides on the Centennial Wheel Ferris wheel, a performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and boat tours around Lake Michigan (to name just a few).
Navy Pier is also home to dozens of restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Shawnee National Forest
For a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Shawnee National Forest, located in southern Illinois. This sprawling forest offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, bird watching, and more.
With over 280 miles (450 km) of trails to explore, you could easily spend days (or even weeks) adventuring in Shawnee National Forest.
Where to Stay in Illinois.
Best Hotels in Illinois
When it comes to finding the best hotels in Illinois, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, consider your budget. There are plenty of luxury hotels throughout the state, but if you’re looking to save money, there are also plenty of more affordable options.
Next, think about your location. If you’re planning on spending most of your time in Chicago, then you’ll obviously want to find a hotel in the city. But if you’re hoping to explore other parts of the state as well, then you might want to consider a hotel that’s centrally located so that you can easily drive to different destinations.
Finally, think about what amenities you’re looking for in a hotel. Some people prefer hotels with on-site restaurants and bars, while others prefer hotels with fitness centers and pools. And of course, if you’re traveling with kids, you’ll definitely want to find a hotel that has family-friendly amenities like babysitting services and kids’ clubs.
Here are some of our top picks for the best hotels in Illinois:
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago: This luxury hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, within walking distance of many of the city’s best attractions. The Ritz-CarltonChicago offers 5-star accommodations and amenities like an on-site spa, fine dining restaurants, and a 24-hour fitness center.
The Peninsula Chicago: Another luxurious option located in downtown Chicago, The Peninsula Chicago is just steps away from Michigan Avenue shopping and the Magnificent Mile. This hotel offers 5-star accommodations as well as an on-site spa and fitness center, two award-winning restaurants, and stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline.
The Langham Chicago: Another great option for those looking for 5-star accommodations downtown is The Langham Chicago. This hotel is located right on the Magnificent Mile and features an indoor pool, an on-site spa and fitness center, and three acclaimed restaurants.
Where to Eat in Illinois.
Best Restaurants in Illinois
There are so many great restaurants to choose from in Illinois! For the best experience, try some of the state’s most iconic dishes. Chicago is famous for its deep dish pizza, while Springfield is known for its horseshoe sandwich – a hearty dish consisting of two slices of toast, meat, and French fries covered in cheese sauce.
Other must-try foods in Illinois include the corn dog (a hot dog on a stick dipped in corn batter and fried), the Tamale (a traditional Mexican dish made with corn dough and filling), and the Chicago-style hot dog (topped with mustard, onions, relish, tomatoes, peppers, and celery salt).
Best Local Foods to Try in Illinois
In addition to the iconic dishes mentioned above, there are plenty of other great local foods to try in Illinois.
For breakfast, be sure to try a piece of Chicago-style caramel cake – a rich and moist cake made with caramel frosting. Or, if you’re looking for something lighter, try a few of the state’s famous cinnamon rolls.
For lunch or dinner, enjoy a classic Italian beef sandwich – thinly sliced roast beef on a crusty roll soaked in au jus gravy.
And no trip to Illinois would be complete without indulging in some of the state’s delicious ice cream – after all, it is home to one of America’s oldest ice cream companies: Oberweis Dairy!
Best breweries in Illinois
Illinois is home to some amazing breweries!
If you’re looking for a great place to grab a beer, check out Goose Island Brewery in Chicago, Revolution Brewing Company in Evanston, Half Acre Beer Company in Lincoln Park, or Three Floyds Brewing Company in Munster.
Or, if you’re looking for something truly unique, head to The Haiku Brewery & Taproom in Schaumburg – they specialize in Japanese-style beers brewed with rice instead of barley!
If you’re looking for an amazing state to vacation in, look no further than Illinois. With its beautiful location and rich history, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
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