There’s nothing better than splashing around in some water when the heat is on. But why just hit up the community pool when you have some of the best water parks in Illinois at your fingertips? Check them out below!

What do you think of these Illinois water parks? Any additions to the list? Tell us in the comments!

Another great way to cool off? Check out this ice cream trail in Illinois.

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Illinois Outdoors

What are the most beautiful hiking areas in Illinois?

Illinois water parks are great, but what about seeing the real outdoors here? Take in the beauty of the state by heading out to some of the most beautiful hiking areas in Illinois:

  • Shawnee National Forest: At 289,000 acres, this is a huge area to explore with plenty of beautiful hikes to be had throughout. Some of my favorites include the 1.7-mile Rim Rock Recreational Trail or really any trails within Garden of the Gods.
  • Buffalo Rock State Park: You’ll find this 298-acre park over in Ottawa. While there are only two trails here, one offers outstanding views of the Illinois River and beyond and the other will take you into the woods to explore the flora and fauna.


What are the best waterfalls in Illinois?

We know about the best water parks in Illinois. Now how about checking out some of the best waterfalls in Illinois:

  • Ferne Clyffe Waterfall: Located in Goreville, this waterfall is 100 feet tall. You can reach it easily from two different two-mile loop trails.
  • Cascade Falls: You’ll find this 45-foot-tall waterfall in the 1,938-acre Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby. You can reach it by a two-mile hike. While you are at the park, consider taking in some of the hiking, mountain biking, and fishing opportunities.
  • Wildcat Canyon Falls: Located within the 2,630-acre Starved Rock State Park, this 125-foot waterfall can be accessed via a 5.8-mile loop trail. Other popular activities in this park include hiking and camping.
  • Burden Falls: You’ll find this 20-foot waterfall in the Burden Falls Wilderness, part of Shawnee National Forest. See them from a 1.2-mile out-and-back trail.


What are the best beaches in Illinois?

Try beating the heat at some of the best beaches in Illinois:

  • Sunrise Park: Located in Lake Bluff, the beach is on Lake Michigan. You can certainly visit year-round, but in the summer, the park has two swimming beaches as well as a section designated for dogs. There are also nearby rentals for paddleboards and kayaks.
  • Montrose Beach: While there are several public beaches in Chicago, this one in Lincoln Park is one of the most popular. Head here for some supreme swimming in Lake Michigan. There is also a boat launch not too far away.