I’m about to do something I never do…which is tell some secrets. But the secrets I’m about to tell really shouldn’t be secrets. All of us should be at these places all the time. But for some reason we aren’t. So I’m counting down ten of the best “secret” spots in Illinois:
1. DuPage Children's Museum (Naperville)
Illinois has a ton of great museums, don't get me wrong, but sometimes they aren't kid-accessible. This one definitely is. There is just so much for kids to do, explore, and learn about. And parents will have just as much fun.
2. Peoria's Grand View Drive
If you're looking for an awesome way to experience that season that will soon be upon us, you want to head to Peoria. You will see one of the most scenic parts of Illinois, in all of its glory.
3. Curtis Orchard (Champaign)
Get ready to pick some delicious apples and huge pumpkins, all with a whimsical backdrop. Did I mention that the apple cider is AWESOME?
4. Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford)
When I think of Rockford, gardens are not the first thing that come to mind. But they should be. Anderson is one of the highest rated Japanese gardens in all of North America. It's tranquil, beautiful, and worth the drive.
5. Ludwig Farmstead Creamery (Fithian)
Come down to the farm for a visit, and sample some of the best cheese Illinois has to offer. We know that state up north is known for cheese, but Ludwig does a phenomenal job.
6. Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville)
This is just absolutely fascinating. Here is the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. In Illinois. So cool to explore.
7. Unity Temple (Oak Park)
We are fortunate to have several beautiful architectural marvels by Frank Lloyd Wright in Illinois, but I'm partial to the Unity Temple. People around the world know what it is, yet we don't even seem to appreciate it!
8. Illinois Beach State Park (Zion)
Enjoy six miles of Lake Michigan's coast--the only beach ridge shoreline in the state. Really, do it before it's gone. It's a uniquely gorgeous natural resource that's beautiful at any time of year.
9. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield)
You'll leave here with even more admiration for President Lincoln, an understanding of the times he led us through, and an appreciation for the hardships our country overcame. The museum is just SO well done, I don't know why more people don't flock here. (Plenty do, but not nearly enough)
Arthur, Illinois is the heart of Amish country here in Illinois. Appreciate how the Amish live, eat some of the best pie you've ever had, and just slow down. It's peaceful, simple, and you will love it.
What’s your fave secret spot? Let us know in the comments.