Illinois is full of treasures, and probably some pretty expensive treasure. But if I knew where that kind of treasure was, do you really think I’d write an article telling you all where it was? Yeah, didn’t think so. What I can do is tell you where some of the best hidden gems are in Illinois. In all seriousness, you should definitely check these out.
1. Cahokia Mounds
Don't travel to Mexico or Europe to see ancient civilizations. There is evidence right here in Illinois of a pretty sophisticated civilization who set up shop in southern Illinois. These people lived between 1000-1300 A.D.
2. Mississippi Palisades State Park
These tall bluffs stand in an imposing manner over the mighty Mississippi. Once inhabited by Native people, you can hike and explore where they lived. Hiking as well as climbing as available.
3. Cache River Natural Area
There's something so enchanting about these massive cypress trees, some of which have been around for 1,000 years. These are not tiny trees, either. Some of the buttresses have 40 foot circumferences.
4. Farnsworth House
This architectural feat was created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The home is in Plano, and you can tour this masterpiece. It is an awesome juxtaposition of modern and nature.
5. Cave in Rock
This place used to house some pretty awesome treasure. Over the years, this was a hideout for pirates and bootleggers. The mouth of the cave is a whopping 55 feet across.
6. Pomona Natural Bridge
This bridge is just around 90 feet long and 8 feet wide. It is made out of sandstone, and it was created by a river rubbing against it over many, many years. It is super cool to both walk over the bridge and go under it.
7. Great River Road
Part of the Great River Road goes through Illinois. Following the Mississippi, it starts from the Gulf of Mexico and heads up to Minnesota. Along this road, you'll find tons of quaint river towns. Take a drive sometime, stop at little shops along the way, and stay at a gorgeous bed and breakfast.
8. Grandview Drive
While it is only 2 miles long, this has been termed the most beautiful drive in the world. On a clear day, you can see more than 30 miles of the scenic Illinois river valley. Drive here and you'll see what we mean about its beauty.
9. Puppet Bike
Puppet Bike is so epic, it has a perfect 5 star rating on Yelp. Why do people get so jazzed over this? Guys, it's puppets on a freaking bike. I guarantee that you can't help but smile if you encounter it.
10. Kaskaskia Dragon
What can I say? Where else are you going to find a 35 foot tall dragon? Oh, and it does breathe fire. If you puts coins in it, it shoots flames out of its mouth hole while its eyes light up a demonic red.