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Chicago, Route 66, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Elgin are only a few of destinations to experience in the great state of Illinois. Use this Illinois Travel Guide for information, ideas and travel tips. Read our travel descriptions and see images and videos for inspiration. We have selected the best tours and activities for you, and we offer recommendations. We have researched, testet and and verified our partners, so you can enjoy easy and safe booking – on the GO!


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Facts about Illinois

  • Introduction to Illinois
  • Location and population
  • Major airports
  • The weather
  • Top 10 biggest cities
  • State Parks
  • Top 10 attractions
  • Notable Road Trips
  • Local cuisine
  • Top 5 cities to visit as a tourist
  • Major events and festivals
Illinois map

Introduction to Illinois

Welcome to the Heartland of America!

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with rich history, stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and a warm Midwestern hospitality that will leave you enchanted? Look no further than the magnificent state of Illinois – your gateway to a diverse and captivating tourist destination!

Historic Marvels: Immerse yourself in the pages of American history as you explore the iconic city of Chicago. Marvel at the towering skyscrapers, visit the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and stroll along the Navy Pier. Don’t forget to take a step back in time by touring the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, where Abraham Lincoln lived before becoming the 16th President of the United States.

Natural Wonders: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Illinois’ natural landscapes. Take a scenic drive along the Great River Road to witness the majestic Mississippi River and the charming river towns that line its banks. Explore the Shawnee National Forest, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its hiking trails, waterfalls, and pristine wilderness. Discover the enchanting Garden of the Gods, where ancient rock formations stand as sentinels to the past.

Cultural Delights: Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene. Attend world-class performances at the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra or enjoy a night at the theater in Chicago’s historic theaters. Explore the Illinois Amish country for a taste of traditional craftsmanship and delectable homemade treats.

Culinary Adventures: Satisfy your taste buds with a culinary journey through Illinois. From deep-dish pizza in Chicago to mouthwatering barbecue in the southern part of the state, Illinois offers a diverse array of flavors to please every palate. Be sure to explore local farmers’ markets for farm-fresh produce and artisanal goods.

Outdoor Recreation: For the adventure-seekers, Illinois boasts a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether it’s kayaking on Lake Michigan, cycling along the scenic Illinois Prairie Path, or golfing on world-class courses, there’s an activity for every enthusiast.

Lakefront Escapes: Discover the allure of the pristine Lake Michigan shoreline. Relax on sandy beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and soak up the sun at picturesque lakeside parks. Take a sunset cruise for a truly enchanting experience.

Cityscapes and Skylines: Chicago, the Windy City, offers a dynamic urban experience like no other. From the vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions to the architectural wonders of the skyline, you’ll find endless opportunities to explore and be captivated by the city’s energy.

Memories Await: Illinois is more than a destination; it’s an experience that will create cherished memories to last a lifetime. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, nature lover, history buff, or a foodie seeking gastronomic delights, Illinois has something special to offer you.

So, why wait? Come and explore the heart and soul of the Midwest, where every moment is a new adventure and every corner reveals a hidden gem. Illinois is calling, and your unforgettable journey awaits. Pack your bags and join us in discovering the treasures of the Prairie State.


Location and Population of the State: 

Illinois is located in the Midwest region of the United States and has a population of approximately 12.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous state in the country.

Major Airports: 

Illinois is well-connected by several major airports, with Chicago being a major hub for domestic and international travel. The major airports in Illinois include:

  1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  2. Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  3. Quad City International Airport (MLI)
  4. Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI)

Weather: Illinois experiences a varied climate with distinct seasons. Summers are warm and humid, while winters can be quite cold with snowfall. Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather. The climate varies across the state, with more extreme winters in the northern regions and milder conditions in the south.

Top 10 Biggest Cities with Population Numbers (as of 2021):

  1. Chicago – Approximately 2.7 million
  2. Aurora – Approximately 200,000
  3. Rockford – Approximately 150,000
  4. Joliet – Approximately 150,000
  5. Naperville – Approximately 150,000
  6. Springfield – Approximately 115,000
  7. Peoria – Approximately 110,000
  8. Elgin – Approximately 110,000
  9. Waukegan – Approximately 88,000
  10. Champaign – Approximately 88,000

Top State Parks: 

Illinois has several beautiful state parks and natural areas. Some notable ones include Starved Rock State Park, Shawnee National Forest, and Matthiessen State Park.

Top 10 Attractions:

  1. Chicago’s Magnificent Mile: A bustling shopping and entertainment district.
  2. Navy Pier: Offers entertainment, dining, and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
  3. Art Institute of Chicago: Home to a vast collection of art, including Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”
  4. Millennium Park: Known for the iconic “Bean” sculpture and outdoor concerts.
  5. Lincoln Park Zoo: A free zoo in the heart of Chicago.
  6. Shedd Aquarium: Features marine life from around the world.
  7. Willis Tower Skydeck: Offers panoramic views from one of the tallest buildings in the world.
  8. Starved Rock State Park: Known for its canyons, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
  9. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: A tribute to the 16th President of the United States.
  10. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: Home to ancient Native American earthworks.

Notable Road Trips or Scenic Drives: 

Take a road trip along the iconic Route 66, which stretches through Illinois and across the country to the Pacific ocean in California, offering a nostalgic journey through small towns, historic landmarks, and quirky roadside attractions.

Local Cuisine: 

Illinois is famous for its diverse culinary offerings. You can savor deep-dish pizza in Chicago, enjoy Chicago-style hot dogs, and explore the rich ethnic food scene with dishes from around the world. Don’t forget to try the regional favorite, Italian beef sandwiches.

Top 5 Cities to Stay as a Tourist:

  1. Chicago: Offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to boutique options.
  2. Springfield: Ideal for history enthusiasts with attractions like the Lincoln Home.
  3. Naperville: A charming suburb with a historic downtown and easy access to Chicago.
  4. Galena: Known for its picturesque Main Street and historic inns.
  5. Champaign-Urbana: Home to the University of Illinois and a vibrant cultural scene.

Major Events and Festivals:

  • Chicago Air and Water Show: A thrilling airshow held annually in August.
  • Chicago Jazz Festival: Celebrates jazz music in Millennium Park.
  • Taste of Chicago: A food festival showcasing the city’s culinary delights.
  • Illinois State Fair: Held in Springfield, featuring entertainment, agriculture, and food.
  • Ravinia Festival: A summer series of outdoor concerts and performances in Highland Park.
Enjoy Illinois!