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Rail enthusiasts often lament the bygone golden years of rail travel in the United States; however, you can still hop aboard a train and spend the night in a Caboose in Illinois. If you love the idea of creating a completely train-themed day, a scenic train ride in Illinois is fun. But, adding in an overnight stay makes it even more special. This is undoubtedly one of the best train rides near me, but I’d certainly travel for this fun day, too. It takes some planning, along with a little creativity, but train enthusiasts will love it!

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Spend some time exploring this region of Illinois before continuing on to Chicago or returning to Quincy on the next day’s train. To learn more and start planning your trip, be sure to visit Amtrak’s Illinois Zephyr website. There you’ll find timetables and route information. You can also purchase your tickets this way. Remember, you don’t have to depart from Quincy. You could start from the other direction in Chicago, or begin your journey from any of the other stops along the line. As one of the closest scenic train rides near me, this is a personal favorite and you won’t be disappointed!

The Wildlife Prairie Park Caboose’s can typically be reserved from May through August, but be sure to visit the Wildlife Prairie Park website for rates, availability, and more information. You can also follow Wildlife Prairie Park on Facebook.

Prairie State rail enthusiasts should also be sure to plan a visit to the Illinois Railway Museum – the country’s largest – in Union, which is located between Chicago and Rockford. For more fun exploration ideas, check out Viator.

Have you ridden the Illinois Zephyr or Carl Sandburg Train? What are some other scenic railway trips in the Land of Lincoln? Let us know in the comments.

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More to Explore

Scenic Train Ride In Illinois

What are the best road trips through Illinois?

The best road trips through Illinois can be found throughout the state. Here are a few you'll certainly want to experience!

  • The Ultimate Illinois Pie Shop Road Trip: Perfect for anyone who loves dessert, this road trip takes travelers from Monticello to Chatham, stopping at nine delicious spots along the way.
  • The Illinois Natural Beauty Road Trip: Over the course of more than six hours, travelers on this beautiful road trip will have the chance to experience seven of the most impressive nature spots in the state.
  • The Illinois Scenic Waterfall Loop: You'll see six of the most gorgeous waterfalls on this 114-mile trip. Each one is lovely so be sure to have your camera ready.

 

Which hidden gems in Illinois should I visit?

You should visit as many hidden gems in Illinois as you possibly can. From restaurants to cultural spots, the state is filled with them!

  • The Sock Monkey Museum, Long Grove: One of the most unique museums in Illinois is also one of the most fun to visit! The doors here opened in 2019, but the sock monkey that inspired it was found in 2006 at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
  • Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop, Evanston: This fossil and mineral store has been a mainstay in Evanston dating back to 1970.
  • The Fish House, Peoria: This restaurant has some of the best seafood in the state, but many people are surprised to find that it's not in Chicago.