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Illinois may be just one state in the US, but many people would tell you that visiting here can give you a sense of the entire country. You’ve probably heard all about the bustle of Chicago,but there’s far more to see in this part of the Midwest. For a seamless trip to The Land of Lincoln, book your car in advance with Enjoy Travel.
Guide to Illinois
Illinois, situated in the Great Lakes region, shares borders with Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Northern Illinois, known as ‘Chicagoland,’ is the most urbanized part of the state. Central Illinois consists of medium-sized cities, prairies, and agricultural lands. Southern Illinois is almost entirely rural.
Climate in Illinois
Illinois experiences climate extremes – hot, humid summers (June-August) and very cold winters (December-February). Most tourists visit in the summer season. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, visit in spring (April-May).
Art and architecture in Illinois is dominated by Chicago, especially because the city was once the center of the US film industry.
Things to do in Illinois
Explore The Windy City
Chicago is a cosmopolitan city with an aesthetic shaped by various waves of immigrants. While you’re here, be sure to visit its many museums, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Museum of Chicago, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. You may also want to spend some time taking pictures at scenic places like The Bean, 360 Chicago, and Lincoln Park.
Learn about the local history
The Cahokia Mounds, situated near Collinsville, are all that is left of the largest pre-Columbian urban complex north of Mexico. Founded in the 600s CE, Cahokia was inhabited by ancient Mississippian peoples and may have been larger than London during the Middle Ages.
Another important historical site in Illinois is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield. Here, you can learn more about the personal life and political career of one of America’s greatest Presidents by looking at exhibits, attending seminars, and watching films. The library is simply overflowing with archival data.
Appreciate a Japanese garden
Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford is one of the best Japanese gardens you can find in the United States. Designed by landscape artist Hoichi Kurisu, it includes 12 acres of waterfalls, ponds, rock formations, pagodas, and other objects that will make you feel completely at ease in a tranquil paradise.
Eating out in Illinois
Chicago has the best international restaurants in the state. The Purple Pig is a Michelin-starred Mediterranean restaurant that serves the best “cheese, swine, and wine” in town. Tzuco should be your go-to for Mexican delights such as tlacoyo, a stuffed dish with a base made of maize dough, and barbacoa, a lamb dish with a milk/bean base. Its chef, Carlos Gaytan, was the first Mexican to win a Michelin. Daisies is a restaurant that serves splendid pasta made in the New American style. If you’re anywhere near the city of Urbana, be sure to try the draft beer, barbecues, and portobello mushrooms at Black Dog Smoke and Ale House.
Most travelers enter Illinois via Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
Illinois is a major transport hub, and Chicago has the second biggest public transportation system in the nation, called the CTA, which operates 8 train and 129 bus lines. However, don’t rely on buses and rails while traveling in Central or Southern Illinois. For that, it’s best if you travel by car. Popular car rental companies in Illinois include Enterprise, Budget, and Hertz.