chicago illinois skyline

C’mon, feel the Illinois!

Have you ever been to the Midwest? It may not be the most popular area to head to in America as most people are too focused on the country’s coastline. Sure, the like of New York City and San Francisco make for fantastic vacation destinations, but there is also so much more to discover and explore right in the center of the country. And that’s especially the case in the beautiful Midwest.

Take the state of Illinois, for instance. There are some fantastic natural sights to see in this gorgeous region. Sure, you’ll have heard of its main city, the brilliant Chicago, but it’s also worth getting off the beaten track to see what else this awesome state has to offer. Read on to find out some of its best sights and attractions!

Visit Chicago

Of course, it makes sense to start off this list with Chicago. It has to be the most visited place in the whole of Illinois! Before you book your trip there, it’s worth remembering that hotels in the city can be very expensive. It’s a much better idea to book some Oswego lodging so that you are in a cheaper area but still within easy reach of the city. When in Chicago, make sure you check out the Willis Tower and have a slice of their famous deep-pan pizza pie!

Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford

If you want to get away from the city and enjoy some peace and quiet, you should head straight to Rockford so you can spend time wandering the relaxing Anderson Japanese Garden. The gardens cover an amazing twelve acres and feature a range of waterfalls, ornate rock gardens, and even a tea house!

Shawnee National Forest

Located in Southern Illinois, right between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, the Shawnee National Forest is a great spot for those of you who fancy spending a few nights under the stars. There are great camping opportunities and some thrilling hiking trails as well. It’s a good idea to visit in the spring, once the snow has melted so that you can see the forest’s canyons in all their glory.

Drive Along The Great River Road

If you fancy a road trip, you can’t go too far wrong with a drive down the Great River Road. This road passes through a number of states, including Illinois. You’ll pass through some great towns, like Alton and Chester, and will be able to soak in the magnificent views along the way as well!

The Cahokia Mounds

The only United Nations World Heritage site in the whole of Illinois is the Cahokia Mounds. This landscape covers an impressive 2,200 acres and features some remnants of prehistoric Native American settlements. It’s a great place to hike around, and you could easily spend a few days exploring this unforgettable landscape.

So, have I persuaded you to book a trip out to Illinois? Believe me, you certainly won’t be disappointed if you do – there’s so much to see and do!


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Founder of Turn It To Trvl. After being made redundant from my digital marketing job, in the UK, I decided I no longer wanted to work the traditional 9-5. I found a volunteer opportunity in Malawi in 2015 and am now freelancing from the warm heart of Africa. Curently building a portfolio of clients and trying to inspire more people to live a life of travel.
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