Illinois is known for Chicago. And rightfully so. But there are so many other wonderful cities, towns and villages that you should check out. So whether you’re visiting Illinois for the first time, or are ready to explore your own state, here are ten places to start:
Nauvoo is a place that many Mormons come to visit, but whether or not you are Mormon, you should check out Nauvoo. This temple is absolutely breathtaking. There are reenactments and preserved buildings that truly capture how Illinois was in the 1800s.
Schaumburg isn't located too far outside of Chicago, but offers a lot of shopping options. There is a large mall with every store you could want to shop at. Kids will LOVE the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. And there's an IKEA!
Galena repeatedly tops lists as one of the most charming towns in Illinois. A quaint downtown area attracts visitors, and there are numerous outdoor activities to engage in.
Naperville is booming, with an expanded, but quaint, downtown area with loads of quality shops and boutiques to select from. The Riverwalk is wonderful to walk around. There are also numerous great parks to bike or hike.
Grafton is a wonderful place to get some delicious Illinois wine from some beautiful wineries, as well as observe majestic bald eagles.
Pittsfield is a gorgeous and historic town. Check out some awesome historical reenactment of the time surrounding the Civil War. There are also some great spots to go camping.
You'll probably head to Rosemont if you are going to a convention or a concert. But there are loads of other reasons to visit. You will love visiting the Fashion Outlets of Chicago or seeing a movie at Muvico.
Tons of people flock here to take the classic photo in front of Superman. But there are loads of other things to do, like explore the downtown area or hit up the casino.
You might think the only reason to visit Champaign is to attend school, but it's really a very nice town to explore outside of that. The downtown area has really come alive, with some great restaurants and shops. There are some beautiful parks to explore, too.
People who visit Chicago tend not to venture just slightly north to Evanston. Evanston offers some fantastic restaurants from all cuisine types and good shopping. You'll also enjoy the beach, which offers some of the best views of Lake Michigan.
What other cities in Illinois should people check out? Let us know in the comments.