• 2010 Illinois Travel Guide: Highlights 50 must-see attractions, dining and nightlife, and Illinois’ presidential trails. This new guide features user-friendly, region-specific information about the state’s shopping destinations, activities and attractions.
• Museum of Science and Industry: New weather exhibit, Science Storms. Spread over two floors, exhibits reveal the science behind seven natural phenomena. Visitors can also take part in more than 50 experiments. Chicago.
• Historic celebrations: With anniversaries and events built around the U.S. presidents from Illinois. “Living History” will debut in Springfield, complete with re-enactments and costumed interpreters. In 2011, the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
• The Field Museum: One of the world’s great natural history museums, featuring an interdisciplinary approach combining anthropology, botany, geology, paleontology and zoology – and great dinosaur exhibits. Chicago.
• Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: Historical accounts of the drama and emotion of Lincoln’s remarkable journey. Springfield.
• Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: This World Heritage Site is the only pre-Colombian Native American city north of Mexico. Collinsville.
• Oak Park: Historic Chicago community home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings and the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway.
• Historic Route 66: This world-famous route winds its way through southwest Illinois, past quaint cafés and antique shops.
• The Magnificent Mile: North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago offers eight spectacular blocks of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment.
• The MY Garage R & D Center/Museum: Featuring more than 30 classic Corvettes and Corvette memorabilia displayed in a 1950s to 60s-style backdrop. Effingham.
• Lincoln’s New Salem State Historical Site: Abraham Lincoln spent six years living here, working as a store clerk, postmaster, deputy surveyor, studying law and beginning his political career. Costumed interpreters take on the characters of the people who lived and worked here over 150 years ago.
• Fort de Chartres State Historic Site: Stone fort built in 1753 and was the seat of government for the French colony. Although parts of the fort have been reconstructed, it is the oldest building still standing in Illinois. Prairie de Rocher.
• Legoland Discovery Center: See how Legos are made, ride a dragon through a medieval castle, watch an eye-popping 4-D movie and create something with Lego. Schaumberg.
• Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center: Photographs, artifacts, rare documents, and Midwest Holocaust survivors’ video testimonies recorded by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation are featured. Skokie.
• Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March).
• Chicago Blues Festival (June).
• Galena Balloon Race (June).
• Annual Superman Celebration (June), Metropolis.
• Taste of Chicago (end of June to early July).
• World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest (July), Collinsville.
• Illinois State Fair (August), Springfield.
• International Route 66 Mother Road Festival (September), Springfield.
• Scarecrow Festival (October), St. Charles.
Illinois Bureau of Tourism• Springfield: Capital of Illinois. Features the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and Lincoln’s New Salem. Travellers can visit Lincoln’s home, tomb and law office plus the Old State Capitol. Springfield is also an important destination for Route 66 buffs; the city is home to the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, held each September.
• The Blackhawk Chocolate Trail: Four-county trail leading pilgrims to small-town shops, restaurants, soda-fountains and cafés serving a variety of exotic, sweet creations.
• Long Grove: Rest and relaxation is the key at this 1850s Midwest town with carriage rides, restored homesteads, farm shops, quaint boutiques and delicious home-cooked meals.
• Arcola: Home to more than 3,000 members of the Old Order Amish. The Amish Interpretive Center provides guided community tours and arranges meals in Amish homes.
• Illinois & Michigan Heritage Corridor: Stretching almost 160 kilometres from Chicago to LaSalle/Peru, this scenic route has everything from canals and cabins to 11 state parks.
• Chicago Southland: The metropolitan area’s largest concentration of forest preserves, shopping and antiquing, outstanding restaurants and sports and entertainment facilities.
Illinois Bureau of Tourism• Shawnee National Forest: Located between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in southern Illinois, and home to the Garden of the Gods, with its rock formations dating back 200 million years.
• Offbeat Illinois Getaways: Ranging from fine wines (there are six organized wine trails) to comfort food (the Cozy Dog Drive-In is home to the original corn dog); heroes (the Dick Tracy Museum) or superheroes (the Superman statue and Super Museum); horses (the dancing Tempel Lippizans) or cows (the 181-kilogram Illinois State Fair Butter Cow). Illinois Bureau of Tourism’s Offbeat Illinois Getaways is part of their larger collection of 3-Day Getaways found at www.enjoyillinois.com.
Did You Know?
State Motto: State Sovereignty, National Union
State Flower: Purple Violet
State Bird: Cardinal
Region: GREAT LAKES
America’s Byways: Great River Road, Historic National Road, Historic Route 66, Illinois River Road: Route of the Voyageurs, Lincoln Highway, Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route, Ohio River Scenic Byway.
Direct Flights: Air Canada, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines
Sales Tools: Illinois Travel Kit, Illinois Tourism News (online newsletter) http://meetinillinois.com/
Info: Illinois Bureau of Tourism