From shopping amongst the hustle and bustle of Chicago to driving historic stretches of road, walking with wildlife, hiking and learning about Lincoln, Illinois is a fantastic state in which to road trip!
Illinois is also a pretty big piece of Route 66. See our full Route 66 Road Trip stops here!
Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. The sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape, a name Kapoor initially disliked, but later grew fond of. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet, and weighs 110 short tons. Kapoor's design was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate's 12-foot high arch.
The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. The district is located adjacent to downtown, and one block east of Rush Street. The Magnificent Mile serves as the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast. It is generally the western boundary of the Streeterville neighborhood, to its east and River North to the west. Real estate developer Arthur Rubloff of Rubloff Company gave the district its nickname in the 1940s. Currently Chicago's largest shopping district, various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street; approximately 3,100,000 square feet are occupied by retail, restaurants, museums and hotels.
Wildlife Prairie Park
Wildlife Prairie Park, officially dedicated as Hazel & Bill Rutherford Wildlife Prairie Park, is located in Peoria County, Illinois, in central Illinois, about 10 miles west of downtown Peoria. The park contains wildlife animals native to Illinois, in a natural environment.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and a historic district where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th President of the United States. The presidential memorial includes the four blocks surrounding the home and a visitor center
Cahokia Mounds State Park
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in western Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville. The park covers 2,200 acres, or about 3.5 square miles, and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was much larger. At its apex around 1100 CE, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles and included about 120 manmade earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions. In population, it may have briefly exceeded contemporaneous London. Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1,000 years before European contact. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico. Cahokia Mounds is a National Historic Landmark and a designated site for state protection. It is also one of the 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the United States.