Take This Hidden Gems Road Trip When You Want To See Some Little-Known Places In Illinois

Want to discover some lesser-known places around the Prairie State? You’ll get to stop at places that many locals don’t even know about on our road trip to see hidden gems in Illinois. This trip covers 439 miles and approximately 8.5 hours of drive time, so you may want to do this trip over the course of two or three days.

You can use this interactive map to guide you and add your own stops along the way.

 

Would you like to go on this road trip to see hidden gems in Illinois? What other stops would you add? Have you seen any of these 11 attractions outside of Chicago? Tell us in the comments!

Address: 1679 N Blackjack Rd, Galena, IL 61036, USA
Address: 6799 Guilford Rd, Rockford, IL 61107, USA
Address: Buffalo Rock State Park, 1300 N 27th Rd, Ottawa, IL 61350
Address: 1000 Monroe Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Address: 475 Trout Farm Rd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, USA
Address: Swallow Cliff Woods North, Palos Township, IL 60465, USA
Address: 2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Address: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, USA
Address: 1925 S Batavia Ave, Geneva, IL 60134, USA

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Exploring The Attractions Of Illinois

November 15, 2022

What are the best man-made attractions in Illinois?

The best man-made attractions in Illinois include:

  • Anderson Japanese Gardens. Built in collaboration with Hoichi Kurisu, who built the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon, these gardens are a beautiful and serene getaway from the city noise.
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Built almost 1,000 years ago by an early Native American civilization, the mounds are the last remnants of 10 to 20 thousand people who were talented builders and craftspeople.
  • Baha’i House of Worship. This is the only Baha’i temple in America and is a marvelous work of architecture and has earned a place on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

Find out more about these and several more of the best man-made attractions in Illinois.

What are the best natural attractions in Illinois?

These are some of the best natural attractions in Illinois:

  • Rock formations at Giant City State Park. The intricate, swirling rock formations in this state park in the Shawnee National Forest bring locals and tourists here to marvel at nature’s artistry.
  • Garden of the Gods. Another site with intriguing rock formations, this area has rocks with names like Anvil Rock, Mushroom Rock, and Camel Rock. 
  • Pomona Natural Bridge. This naturally formed rock bridge is 90 feet long and 30 feet high and is an easily accessed natural attraction that is a local favorite.

Take a look at several more of the best natural attractions in Illinois

What are the best small towns to visit in Illinois?

The best small towns to visit in Illinois include:

  • Elmhurst. This charming small town is known for several beloved confections as it is home to Sunshine Biscuits and Famous Amos cookies and was once also home to Keebler before they were bought out by Kellogg. 
  • Fulton. This little town was named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat. With a thriving historic downtown district, this town boasts a lot of interesting architecture.
  • Woodstock. Visitors may find that this town looks familiar as it was a filming location for films like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Groundhog Day

Here are ten more of the best small towns to visit in Illinois.

Address: 1679 N Blackjack Rd, Galena, IL 61036, USA
Address: 6799 Guilford Rd, Rockford, IL 61107, USA
Address: Buffalo Rock State Park, 1300 N 27th Rd, Ottawa, IL 61350
Address: 1000 Monroe Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Address: 475 Trout Farm Rd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, USA
Address: Swallow Cliff Woods North, Palos Township, IL 60465, USA
Address: 2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Address: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, USA
Address: 1925 S Batavia Ave, Geneva, IL 60134, USA

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.