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Illinois mapAs the story goes, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet first came upon the Midwest frontier when they discovered that "Illinois" was an Algonquin Indian word meaning "tribe of superior men."

That there might be something to the tale was only strengthened when the Illinois' most famous son, Abraham Lincoln, eventually rose from lowly rail splitter to President of the United States. (Coincidence? Illinoisans don't think so.)

Today, popular Illinois tourist attractions associated with Honest Abe are located in and around Lincoln's old homestead in the state capital at Springfield including a tour of "the real America" along legendary Route 66.

Then, of course ....there's Chicago. The most obvious and most popular Chicago tourist attractions includes Millennium Park, as well as the Art Institute, Adler Planetarium, and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).

chicago, springfield, and route 66 in illinois
Beyond the obvious bright-lights-big-city attractions of Chicago (left) lies the "Land o' Lincoln" in and
around Springfield (middle), and the charm of small town America along legendary Route 66 (right).

But your exploration of Illinois doesn't stop there. Two hours from the Windy City lies an outdoor adventureland at Starved Rock State Park offering up zip-line cruising along a canopy of primeval forest, or watching American bald eagles swoop and soar above towering sandstone cliffs.

Hoping to see more of America's Heartland in all its natural glory? Head west to Illinois' Mississippi River Country and a tour of the Illinois portion of the Great River Road. The state's most famous scenic byway is also renowned for Illinois fall foliage tours, pleasant stops at top Illinois wineries, and a step back in time with a stroll down Civil War-era Main Street in Galena,

DID YOU KNOW? Illinois Travel Fun Facts

world's largest catsup bottle
Want fries with that?

• Illinois is home to the world's largest bottle of catsup.

• There is a fire-breathing dragon in Vandalia, IL known as the Kaskaskia Dragon.

• Springfield, Illinois is "Abe Lincoln Central" and home to more Abraham Lincoln sites than any other place in the United States. They include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, the Old State Capitol Building, the Lincoln Home, and the Lincoln Tomb.

• Chicagoans love their sports. The Windy City is home to the Chicago Bears Football Team, Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, the Chicago Bulls basketball team, Chicago Cubs and Chicago Whitesox baseball teams, and the Chicago Fire soccer team.


also see -> Christmas in Illinois | Illinois Beaches | IL Outlet Malls

More about Illinois travel around the Web:


Enjoy Illinois
- Like it says, with plenty to do and see around the state with hotel & restaurant guides, major attractions, pictures, maps, trivia and fast facts, feature articles and event calendar, weekend getaway packages and outdoor fun.

Illinois Amtrak Routes - Handy map with Chicago and St. Louis as the major hubs and featuring all stops in between.

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