As 2016 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the places in Illinois we just couldn’t stop talking about this year. If you’ve never been to some of these incredible places, make it happen in 2017! For any that you’ve already visited, they are definitely worth a second look.
1. The Harbor's Edge (Waukegan)
When you're hungry on a warm day in Lake County, there's only one place you should be - The Harbor's Edge restaurant. Live music will entertain you, delicious food will satisfy your palette, and the gorgeous views will make you feel happy to be in Illinois.
175 S. Harbor Place, Waukegan
2. Starved Rock State Park (Oglesby)
With gorgeous waterfalls, stunning bluffs, and amazing canyons, Starved Rock is easily one of the most beautiful places in Illinois. Hike through the park in the summer or snowshoe in the winter - it's perfect in any season!
2668 East 873 Road, Oglesby
3. Super Museum (Metropolis)
Over 20,000 items of Superman memorabilia fill this quaint museum, making it a quirky must-visit in Illinois. Rediscover your love for the Man of Steel in the "Hometown of Superman."
517 Market Street, Metropolis
4. Goldmoor Inn (Galena)
This beautiful inn was once a private estate, but lucky for us, it is now open to the public. Spend a weekend relaxing here, and you might never want to leave.
9001 W. Sand Hill Road, Galena
5. Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville)
This pre-Columbian native civilization is the most sophisticated of its kind north of Mexico. It's a historic site that simply can't be missed.
30 Ramey Street, Collinsville
6. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens (Rockford)
Expect 11,000 square feet of pure beauty at this conservatory. The tropical flowers and rose garden will make your visit feel like a fairytale.
1354 N. 2nd Street, Rockford
7. Oberweis Factory (North Aurora)
What could make a visit to one of the most beloved ice cream shops in Illinois any better? A tour of the factory that creates it! Don't miss your chance to get behind the scenes and learn more about that delicious frozen dessert.
951 Ice Cream Drive, North Aurora
8. Firefly Grill (Effingham)
If you're looking for an amazing restaurant that's off the beaten path, start making your way to Effingham to visit Firefly Grill. Set on a gorgeous lake, the New American spot serves food made from locally-sourced ingredients.
1810 Avenue of Mid-America, Effingham
9. Castle Rock State Park (Oregon)
The scenic overlook of the Rock River is simply stunning in this state park. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day outdoors.
1365 W. Castle Road, Oregon
10. Kane County Flea Market (St. Charles)
For just $5, you can enter a world of amazing finds and fabulous antiques. This isn't your typical flea market - the quality is high, and you'll always find something you simply must bring home with you.
525 Randall Road, St. Charles
11. KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark (Gurnee)
You're in for 65,000 square feet of fun at this indoor waterpark! Shoot down a slide, relax in the lazy river, or lounge in a chair while the kids play.
1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee
12. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield)
Dig deep into Lincoln's life and legacy at this museum, complete with reenactments and interactive tours. It's a great place to learn about a piece of our country's history.
112 N. 6th Street, Springfield
13. Garden of the Gods (Herod)
For the best view in all of Illinois, look no further than this wilderness area within the Shawnee National Forest. Bring your camera and get snapping.
Observation Trail, Herod
14. Bahá'í House of Worship (Wilmette)
As the oldest Bahá’í temple in the world and the only one in the United States, this place is a must-see. It's sure to be an awe-inspiring experience.
100 Linden Avenue, Wilmette
15. 360 Chicago (Chicago)
1,000 feet above the city near the top of the John Hancock Building lies an amazing experience. Take the opportunity to see Chicago from a vantage point unlike any other.
875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
16. Timber Ridge (Elizabethtown)
Spend the night in a treehouse in the middle of a forest? Yes, that can happen in Illinois - but only at Timber Ridge.
88°20’17.03″W, near Karbers Ridge
17. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery (Champaign)
Whether you go visit on your own, take a guided tour, or just stop in at their shop, this is the perfect Illinois farm to visit. They also occasionally have farm-to-table dinners, so watch for that as well.
4410 N. Lincoln Avenue, Champaign
Get your trips to these places on the calendar for 2017; you won’t want to miss them! Tell us where you plan to visit this year in the comments.
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