Each winter, an estimated 3,000 bald eagles migrate to Illinois rivers, making the state one of the best places in the entire country to view America’s national bird.
“The confluence of our three great rivers, the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi, is a natural draw for wintering bald eagles,” said Brett Stawar, President and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau. “American Bald Eagles are a sight people never grow tired of seeing. Thousands of people come to our region each year to get a glimpse of the birds in the wild and enjoy our winter eagle activities.” For the best times and places to see the eagles, > Click Here
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 a 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.
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 presidency at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. A new exhibit featuring the four U.S. Presidents who call Illinois home opened this spring.
From famous architecture to Route 66 and unique Illinois history, there are so many reasons to visit Illinois in 2018. Illinois will host several major Bicentennial events, including a Bicentennial Route 66 Motorcycle ride on August 26, 2018The 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.