Most people think of Chicago when you mention vacation cities in Illinois, but if you’re not willing to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy your trip, there are still some very affordable vacation cities in the Land of Lincoln that have everything you need for an unforgettable week of fun.
No matter how long your vacation is, these 10 cities will give you something fun and affordable to enjoy. Scroll on for all the details.
The seat of Kankakee County, this town is home to about 26,500 residents. It sits along a river that is also named Kankakee and which is situated south of Chicagoland in the northeast region of the state. Hotel prices average about $140 per night, and there are a plethora of moderately priced and free museums, parks, natural attractions, and even a planetarium to explore. Dining options are mostly casual and easy on the wallet as well.
Situated just outside of Peoria, this slightly more affordable city of about 16,800 people is a charming place to visit anytime of year. Located in Central Illinois, it is near the Illinois River and many amazing natural attractions. The average hotel price is about $130 per night, and there are a wealth of things to enjoy in nearby Peoria like the zoo, botanic gardens, museums, and parks. Rather than stay where everyone is, check out this delightful suburb.
Situated right on the Mississippi River across from Missouri in the central portion of the state, this adorable town is home to about 40,500 residents, and average hotel prices run around $110 per night. Visitors enjoy scenic views, natural attractions like hiking and camping, museums, and pools. It is home to five wineries on the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail as well as a plethora of wonderful riverside restaurants and shops.
Believe it or not, our state's capital is one of the more affordable vacation cities in Illinois. It is home to 115,700 residents as well as a wealth of historical attractions that will teach you all about Abraham Lincoln and his home state. The average hotel price is just $130 per night, and there are a number of cheap diners and moderate fine dining restaurants that will make your trip memorable.
This charming community of about 86,600 people is a Central Illinois paradise of urban culture and student life. It is home to a plethora of fun and budget-friendly things to do like the children's science museum, theaters, and other displays of art and culture. The average hotel price per night is about $118, making this city well worth the trip.
From shopping to natural attractions to live entertainment, this underrated city has it all. The average hotel price is about $125 per night, and you'll be close to both the urban city and the greener neighborhoods. The town is surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest and all its wonders as well as a plethora of golf courses, a wildlife refuge, an arboretum, an aquatic park, and a large mall.
This amazing riverside city sits right on the Mississippi River near St. Louis and a slew of other amazing towns and attractions. The average price per night for a hotel is $120, and there is always a reason to visit. This town often hosts festivals, and is also home to a rose garden and a popular amphitheater. The city has about 26,800 residents and is most visited in warmer months.
This charming city on the northeast section of the state is often overlooked for nearby Chicago and all its suburbs, but this community is just as exciting. The average hotel price is $110 per night, and only about 25,500 people live there, making it peaceful and quiet. Stop by for a festival or to enjoy all the amazing restaurants, shopping, and more.
9. East Peoria
Yet another Peoria area city, this community of 23,000 is known for its incredible riverside views and affordable attractions. The average cost of a hotel per night is $125, and things to do include visiting museums, trying your luck at the casino, or enjoy a relaxing day out in nature.
Situated in the northern portion of the state along the Mississippi River, this quiet city of about 44,000 residents is one of the Quad Cities with Rock Island, Davenport, and Bettendorf (in Iowa). The average hotel price is $120 per night, and there are many things to do here. Guests enjoy the John Deere Pavilion, gardens, unique parks, and many other budget-friendly activities that make this one of the more affordable vacation cities in the state.
What other affordable vacation cities do you enjoy visiting in Illinois? Share your budget-friendly finds with us below in the comments.