Tips for the Region
While Chicago is an obvious highlight, Illinois also boasts a fantastic stretch of Route 66 and the scenic Shawnee Hills in the south. Its nickname, the Prairie State, gives you a clue to the scenery on offer. Crossing the Mississippi River in the south, Route 66 winds its way through Springfield and into downtown Chicago in the north. Driving along this highway is in many ways the quintessential American road trip. Illinois has it all, from drive-in roadside movie theaters to the kitschy attractions on Mother Road like the Gemini Giant. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Shawnee Hills offer hiking trails with striking geological features such as The Garden of the Gods.
With an immense skyline, world-class theaters, brilliant museums, and a stunning location, Chicago is one of the most exciting cities to visit in the United States. Take your rental car cruising along the Magnificent Mile commercial district to take in architectural highlights such as the Wrigley Building and the Chicago Water Tower. Then head down to the Navy Pier for its family-friendly attractions and views over Lake Michigan. The city also allows you to see as many shows and concerts as your vacation allows. Must-see museums include the Art Institute of Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright's House and Museum and the epic Field Museum of Natural History complete with the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The capital of Illinois and the home of Abraham Lincoln, this historic city is dotted with museums and institutions dedicated to the 16th president of the United States. Highlights include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Lincoln Tomb and War Memorials. It's also worth checking out the Illinois State Capitol where you can take a tour of the building and its striking dome.