While perhaps best known for its ‘Windy City”, Chicago, Illinois also boasts some fascinating tourist attractions, fabulous shopping and vibrant cities interwoven in a tapestry full of rich history and culture. Take seven days to explore the state’s seven wonders, and don’t forget that while Chicago is America’s third largest city and a cultural center in its own right, there are other cities to be enjoyed in Illinois.
Chicago should keep even the most fickle visitor amused for weeks, with its fashionable downtown, home to America’s tallest building, the Sears Tower. The Magnificent Mile is a shopper’s heaven, with boutiques and stores to rival Paris or New York. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center are among some of the many diverse attractions within the city.
If you’re skinny, check out Starved Rock Park, but beware, the 18 canyons will only let you pass if you are not too large. Allerton Park and Retreat Center is a wonderful place to let your hair down and unwind before discovering the Fox and Saux Indians’ history at Black Hawk State Historic Site. Admire Wilmette’s incredible Baha’i House of Worship, one of just seven in the world.
History buffs will be interested to visit the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, state capital Springfield. Attractions include his tomb and monument, as well as the Camp Butler National Cemetery, the New Salem Historic site and a number of lovely beaches on Lake Springfield. Peoria boasts a magnificent planetarium, and the city of Rockford is home to a popular Time Museum.
Those who have had enough of the big cities should head to the Mississippi Palisades Park for hiking, camping, angling and picnicking and enjoy the glorious scenery. Ancient trails are alive with wildlife including foxes, badgers, deer and an abundance of songbirds. Castle Rock is another popular park located on the Rock River. Both parks offer cross country skiing in the winter months.The state’s Cave in Rock area is a magnificent place of interest for cavers. Some say it was the inspiration for Mark Twain’s cave in his book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.