IL Posted in Illinois August 19, 2016 by Laura 11 Hidden Gems You Have To See In Illinois Before You Die Illinois is full of all sorts of awesome sights. But there are probably some attractions you never knew existed – and they are pretty great! Here are some hidden gems in Illinois you have to see. 1. Cave in Rock State Park David Wilson/Flickr This cave is unlike anything you will see in most of North America. The mouth of the cave is a whopping 55 feet across. If you look out from the cave, you get a stunning view of the Ohio River. 2. Tunnel Hill State Trail Curtis Abert/Flickr This trail was once a railway. It stretches 45 miles. The greatest feature is the fact that there are 23 trestle bridges on this route, one of which is 450 feet long. 3. Cache River Natural Area David Wilson/Flickr The trees you see in this photo are bald cypress, and some of them are 1,000 years old. They seem to just jut out of the greenish bog water below. They are incredibly large, as well--some of them with a circumference of 40 feet. 4. Mississippi Palisades State Park CinCool/flickr Boy, you might never get a better view of the mighty Mississippi than at this park. Multiple scenic overlooks from the large bluffs give you an opportunity to see this river in all of its splendor. Lush green forests enhance the experience even more. 5. Metropolis James Jordan/Flickr This is the home of Superman, and immediately when you get to the town, you will be totally aware of this. There is a large Superman statue in the center of town--be sure to pose in front of it with the traditional Superman stance. There are also Superman museums and numerous other superhero attractions in town. 6. Garden of the Gods Michael/Flickr One visit here and you will understand why this place was named as such. Walk among the rocks on one of the inner trails and you can get a sense of just how large these boulders are. The boulders were formed 300 million years ago, and they look particularly stunning when the sun is setting. 7. Illinois Beach State Park Peter Ciro/Flickr This state park reminds you just how beautiful Lake Michigan can be. Explore 6.5 miles of shoreline--whether you are right on the shore or on the trails winding through the woods just behind it. The waters are clear and the sand is great for sandcastles. 8. Anderson Japanese Gardens Anderson Japanese Gardens/Facebook This 12 acre garden will transport you immediately to Japan. It is one of the largest and most authentic Japanese gardens in all of North America. Stunning ponds and water features, along with perfectly manicured plants, make this jaw-dropping place one you need to see. 9. Pomona Natural Bridge Michael/Flickr This stunning bridge is entirely natural. It was actually carved by a river a long time ago. It is 90 feet long and 8 feet across. 10. Chicago Cultural Center Carlos Pecheco/Flickr This building is often overlooked for the other great museums in the city and that's a shame. It used to be an old library and it has a stunning ceiling. By the way, it's free and there are cool exhibits all the time. 11. Cahokia Mounds Steve Moses/Flickr It's hard to believe, but this was once the home of the most sophisticated pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico. At the time, its population was larger than London. See how they lived in Collinsville. Seen all these? Check out other recommendations for things to see in Illinois.