If you’re entertaining someone who has never been to Illinois, your first inclination might be to head to Chicago and do some of the typical touristy things. But there is an alternative. Here are 10 underrated Illinois spots you might want to take that out-of-towner.
1. Southern Illinois Wine Trail
You might not know, but some of the best wine is made right here in Illinois. Head to the bottom part of the state, drink some great wine, and relax.
The go-to deep dish places are definitely Giordano's and Lou Malnati's. But why not visit Pequod's? The crust is cheese. 'Nuff said.
3. Mississippi Palisades State Park
Head to Savanna for some of the most breathtaking shots of the Mississippi. There are trails for people of all fitness levels to view the river from.
4. Illinois Beach State Park
Head to Zion and the Illinois Beach State Park if you want to stroll down the beaches (yes, we have them) in Illinois with your guest.
5. Kane County Flea Market
This flea market isn't just any flea market. There are LOADS of items from vendors. And if that doesn't entice you, hit up the baked goods table with delicacies made by local nuns. They are amazing.
There is no hustle and bustle to be found in this Illinois town. Take a trolley car, explore the shops, and stay at a B&B.
7. Kinkaid Lake
This gorgeous lake in Jackson County encompasses 2,750 acres.
8. Anderson Japanese Gardens
Rockford has one of the most amazing Japanese gardens in the entire United States. You and your guest will have a fantastic time here.
9. Allerton Park
Located in Monticello, Allerton Park occupies 1,517 acres, with a mansion, gardens, and plenty to see.
Once a fairly large city for those of the Mormon faith, Nauvoo embraces that past with tours, reenactments, and various historical sites that are incredible to witness.
What is your favorite underrated Illinois tourist spot? Where do you bring guests?