It’s the beginning of the year, and people are making plans for all the big things they want to do this year. For many of us, this includes going on vacation. Illinois has several attractions, providing you with the opportunity to take that vacation without having to cross state lines. Here are some vacation ideas you should check out!
1. Shawnee National Forest
Shawnee National Forest is worth the drive. For people who don't think anything exists south of I-80, here is a news flash: perhaps the coolest geological features are tucked down at the bottom of the state. Garden of the Gods surely steals the show, but the Shawnee National Forest is massive, would take weeks to explore properly, and is just amazing. You cannot look at the pics and disagree.
A premier destination getaway, Galena has plenty to do whether you are bringing the kids or getting away from the kids. If you're a golfer, there are 10 golf courses to choose from. If you are a foodie, check out the numerous restaurants and wineries. There are places to walk, ski, bike, and get out on the water, too.
Visiting the state capitol sure is cool, but that's not all there is in Springfield--not even close! One of the best things to check out is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The Henson Robinson Zoo is also a favorite. And don't forget to eat a horseshoe. And if you don't know what that is.....well, I don't know what to tell ya.
If you are looking to shop till you drop, then Schaumburg is the place for you. Woodfield Mall has pretty much every store you can think of, and many other stores (IKEA, for example) are just outside the mall. Kids will definitely be interested in LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
Located just a train ride away from Chicago, Naperville would be the perfect place to visit if you are coming to the area for a few days. Downtown is quite nice to walk through, with plenty of boutiques, restaurants, and fun shops. There is also a very nice children's museum. The Riverwalk is great to take a stroll on.
There are plenty of things constantly going on in this small town. Settled by Mormons, the town does maintain a good deal of its heritage, offering free nightly historical shows year round. In addition, you can get free wagon rides all year round. You can even get an oxen drawn ride. The ride isn't short either--it is 55 minutes and includes a guided tour of the town!
This part of Illinois is known for its state parks. You can hike through much in a day, but you might want to camp or rent a cabin here and explore for a few days. The state parks have canyons and waterfalls and awesome views. There is also an indoor water park and a couple of wineries to check out.
8. Great River Road
The Great River Road will take you several miles over several days, as you explore four centuries of history. Along the banks of the mighty Mississippi are plenty of small river towns, with plenty of character. Stop in for a glass of wine or pick through antiques.
What is your favorite Illinois vacation? Share your trip with us in the comments.