The Midwest part of the United States is somewhere you should visit. If you want to see what natural beauty means, Good farmlands, lakes, and towns with natural beauty are what you will find in Chicago. It is also home to the 16th President of the United States.

Illinois, nicknamed “the Prairie state,” is one of the states with the highest population in the United States of America. In 2018, the population of the state was pegged at 12.67 million people. Illinois has 1367 cities, with the largest population. It is the fifth-largest in terms of gross domestic product, behind California, Texas, New York, and Florida.

11. Chicago

people in Chicago

Chicago, being the most populous, is one of the places to visit in Illinois. It is where most of the commercial activities in Illinois take place. There are a lot of places to tour in Chicago, but Loop Town has the most tourist attractions. Two of the places you need to visit in the Loop are Millennium Park and the Chicago Institute of Art. It is one of the places to visit in Illinois.

10. Springfield

Street in Springfield

Two factors make Springfield one of the best places to visit. One is, it is the capital of the state. A state capital is always the first place people want to visit because there will be historical and modern sites to visit.

Another important factor that makes Springfield a hotspot for tourists is that it is home to the famous American lawyer and the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s Home National Historic Site was where Abraham Lincoln lived for 17 years before he became the president of the United States of America and later moved to the White House. Other places you can visit in Springfield are the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and Oak Ridge Cemetery, where Abraham Lincoln was buried.

9. Galena

The trees of Galena

Galena is one of the places in Illinois with a rich history. It is often referred to as the “city that time forgot.” Centuries ago, it was a major port, but successive governors have tapped into the history of the town and made it a tourist attraction. Today, Galena is one of the states that generates a lot of income from tourism.

The best way to get a feel of the city is to take a walk on the streets of major cities. You will find a lot of 19th-century buildings and mom-and-pop stores. Another important place to visit in Galena is the home of the 18th President of the United States of America, Ulysses S. Grant.

8. Starved Rock State Park

The park with Starved Rock

Starved Rock State Park is about 160 km from Chicago. Its closeness to Chicago has made the state park a popular site for both citizens and travelers. Hiking is one of the best ways to get a good feel for the state park. When hiking, watch out for deer and migrating birds.

There are many sandstone canyons in the park due to glaciers’ melting. Two of the sandstone canyons, which are Wildcat Canyon and French Canyon have waterfalls. The starved stone state park is one of the places to visit in Illinois.

7. Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds with grass

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Park is a historic park in Illinois and it is one of the best places to visit in Illinois. The site was found 800 years ago by some American Indians who settled down there. Apart from the Cahokia Mounds, there are another 69 mounds, but a lot of them are not recognizable anymore because they have been covered by grass. Another place to visit in Cahokia is Woodhenge. Woodhenge is a circle that is established by 38 wooden posts that follow the solar calendar, which makes it almost the same as Stonehenge in England.

6. Tunnel Hill State Trail

Tunnel Hill State Trail with trees

One of the places in Illinois to visit is Tunnel Hill, situated in the southern part of the state. It is the least popular of the places we have mentioned in this article, but it is a place that is worth visiting. The trail is five miles long and it follows through several long tunnels. Ravines, streams, and bluffs make the city a good sight to behold. If you want to get to the trailhead, you have to start from Vienna.

5. Shawnee National Forest

The Forest of Shawnee

Shawnee National Forest is among the best places in Illinois to visit. It is a large forest that sits on 280,000 acres of land. It is one of the most beautiful and one of the coolest places in Illinois. The views from atop the inspiration point, the Garden of Gods Wilderness, and the 160-mile river are some of the things that make the Shawnee National Forest a good sight to behold.

4. Great River Road

Great River with Road

One of the coolest places to visit in Illinois is the Great River Road. This cool and attractive site follows the flow of the Mississippi River for more than 550 miles along the western part of the state. The windy road gives a clearer view of the river, woodland, and some small towns like Galena, Alton, and Grafton.

3. Anderson Japanese Park

The Park of Anderson in Japan

The Anderson Japanese Garden is another cool place to visit in Illinois. It is adjudged by many as one of the most original Japanese gardens in the whole of North America. Anderson Japanese Park sits on 12 acres of land in Rockford and features waterfalls. It houses a traditional tea house, decorated bridges, rock gardens, and many other things. If you are looking for a cool place to rest, Anderson Japanese Park is a good option.

2. Illinois State Capitol

The State Capitol in Illinois

A state Capitol is a place where important government functions are held. Action movies and political movies have sold most Capitols in the United States of America to the world and have made the Capitol one of the places people want to visit. If you are planning to visit a Capitol in the United States, then the Illinois Capitol is one place you should visit. It was built in 1868 in the French Renaissance Revival style and crowned with an elaborate mound. It is a 361-foot high building, which means it is taller than the US Capitol in Washington.

1. Giant City State Park

The Park of Giant City

Giant City State Park is home to every type of relaxation. Hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and a lot of other equestrian trails are what you can enjoy at the Giant City State Park.