Something I love about Illinois is that it’s so easy to be a traveler in my own state. Each region has its own feel and all the small towns and cities within them have their own culture and defining features — making it perfectly possible to be an explorer over and over again. And, as any road tripper knows, pulling off at rest stops and visitor centers is one way to help make or break a long drive. Sometimes, if interesting enough, they can even become stop-along attractions of their own. For those who believe the journey is just as important as the destination, the coolest visitor center in Illinois is just a day trip away.

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So, will you add the coolest visitor center in Illinois to your bucket list? Have another favorite visitor center or rest stop? Tell us in the comments! Start planning your trip now by checking out the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center website — and while you’re putting together your itinerary, why not turn your visit into a weekend getaway? Starved Rock State Park is one of the best state parks in Illinois and is filled with trails, scenic overlooks, and waterfalls. And just steps from Starved Rock and the Illinois River is the perfect tiny cabin to stay in — complete with all the amenities you need like a queen size bed, kitchenette, private bathroom with shower, fire pit, and more. Pro tip: Try this guided kayaking tour to add in a fun water activity.

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