Illinois

Discovering all the amazing things Illinois has to offer on an extended weekend getaway!

We have been privileged to see a number of incredible art exhibits, such as the Obama Portraits at the Art Institute and the Frida Kahlo: Timeless exhibition at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art in Glen Ellyn. The comprehensive presentation of the famous artist’s life and works remains on display through September 12, and I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.  Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on September 15. Illinois is home to a vibrant Latinx community with such a rich history, and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate that community’s contributions to our state. It’s a great time for us to support Hispanic-owned businesses, to experience the special museum and art exhibits, to eat at Latinx restaurants, and to immerse ourselves in cultural events.

Even if you’re not planning to get an expert tattoo, the Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery in downtown Elgin is worth a visit for the intriguing original artwork and jewelry.

Great Rivers Country: After moving to a new location down the block earlier this year, Galena’s Great American Popcorn Company is still churning out some of the best popcorn around — and it’s time to taste their fall flavors.

the thing that’s also very attractive for people traveling here and those from larger cities is the feeling of Americana, the quaintness of these cute little towns dotted throughout the countryside, the great restaurants that are farm-to-table, unique amenities like the wakeboard park in Crystal Lake and the special events like Blues, Brews & BBQ, the Autumn Drive, Pridefest, the dying of the Fox River and even Groundhog Days in Woodstock. >MORE

Illinois is the state where Abraham Lincoln began his political career. The “Land of Lincoln” is the Official State Slogan of Illinois, designated in 1955. In the same year, the U.S. Congress granted Illinois special copyright for exclusive use of the “Land of Lincoln” insignia. Though Lincoln was born in Kentucky and lived in Indiana before moving to Illinois, it was in Illinois where young Abraham Lincoln began his political career with an unsuccessful run for the Illinois General Assembly in 1832. Lincoln eventually was elected to four terms in the Illinois General Assembly and served from 1834-1841. Illinois was also where Lincoln lived when he became President of the United States in 1861. >MORE

Four U.S. presidents were either born in Illinois or spent a significant portion of their lives here: Besides Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama have great connections to the state. Take a journey through Lincoln’s early life and his presidency at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Here, there are special effect theaters, interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind artifacts that will leave even the faintest museum fan amazed. There’s the recreated 1830s log cabin village at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. Visit the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln tried cases before the court, served in the Illinois Legislature and ran his presidential campaign. >MORE

 

Experience Chicago’s big-city urban flair and an eclectic mix of destinations in northern Illinois. Explore the Magnificent Mile’s shopping mecca, take in the festive atmosphere of Navy Pier. Navy Pier is now open and has rebooted its iconic weekly fireworks shows. Navy Pier is where you go in Chicago for events, free public programs, attractions, culture, dining, shopping, and more.  Do some serious museum hopping and sample cuisine from around the world.  It’s where fun lives large, whether you’re a visitor or local, with family or friends. >MORE

From famous architecture to Route 66 and unique Illinois history, there are so many reasons to visit Illinois. The Mother Road symbolically begins at Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain and continues for 300 miles southwest through the state. Meet fellow road trippers at the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s Route 66 Welcome Center

The hiking paths in Mississippi Palisades State Park—especially the southern trails—contain a rich Native American history dating back nearly 1,000 years. Located where the Mississippi and Apple Rivers merge in northwestern Illinois, the park’s 15 miles of hiking trails take you past some unique rock formations with names like Twin Sisters and Indianhead. You also can rock climb (at your own risk), hunt, and fish.

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