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Illinois Quick Facts

Uniquely Illinois: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Must-See: The Gateway Geyser

Most Unusual: Leaning Tower of Niles

Highest Point: Charles Mound, 1,235 feet

Food to Try: Chicago Style Pizza

What to Do in Illinois:

1 Admire the impressive architecture at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

2 Explore Illinois wildlife at the Wildlife Prairie State Park

3 Learn about Lincoln's life at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site

4 Enjoy the fascinating history of the Mississippi River at the National Great Rivers Museum

5 Spend some time exploring the wonderful Main Street in Galena

Fun & Funky Things to Do | Illinois

Illinois is an amazing state filled with fun and funky attractions. In addition to the many destinations that people usually enjoy in Illinois, here are a few of those destinations that are a bit out of the ordinary.

Smiley Face Water Towers
Visitors to Illinois should keep an eye out for the Smiley Face water towers that are found in various towns throughout the state. These water towers, painted yellow with large smiling faces are difficult to miss. In fact visitors to Calumet City can see two Smiley Face water towers.

Purple Martin Capital of the World

The town of Griggsville, Illinois is known as the "Purple Martin Capital of the Nation." Visitors to this town will see all sorts of bird houses. In the center of the town there is even a bird high-rise for the Purple Martin's. These birds, once endangered, thrive in this area during the summer due the large quantity of mosquitos. Griggsville is unique in its claim to the "Purple Martin Capital of the Nation" because the town's main industry is the manufacture of the bird houses seen throughout the town.

Popeye Statue
Chester, Illinois is home to a large six-foot bronze statue of Popeye. This town's Popeye statue was built to commemorate the creator of the character. Elzie Segar, creator of Popeye, was born in Chester. Today visitors can enjoy the large statue of the cartoon character, and during certain times of the year attend the Popeye Picnic.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Appropriately located in Springfield, Illinois, this museum is a fun spot to learn all about the life of the president. Although this museum does not have the most genuine artifacts from Lincoln's life, the museum still has plenty to see. Visitors se life-sized wax figures of the Lincoln family and other historic figures during the time. The museum also has 4-D theaters, pictures, paintings and much more.

Villa Katherine

Villa Katherine is located on the banks of the Mississippi near Warsaw, Illinois. It is actually a Moorish castle built in the late 1800s. The interior is filled with ornate woodwork and carvings.   Villa Katherine has a very authentic feel of the Moorish Castle and is a great, fun, Illinois attraction.

Off The Beaten Path | Illinois

Illinois is an amazing state, filled with great vacation destinations. Visitors will find nature, history, culture, and much more. From Civil War history to the Leaning Tower of Niles, there is something to interest everyone. Here are a few of the fascinating attractions that visitors to Illinois can enjoy.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, Oak Park
Oak Park has an amazing collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Visitors to Oak Park can see how the style of Wright's architecture developed over the years, and see his signature style, Prairie Style. Those visitors to Illinois that are interested in great American architecture should be sure to enjoy the guided tour of the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles
Visitors to Illinois can see a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is a great stop for those visitors who have not visited Pisa, Italy, as it is an opportunity to see a replica of the amazing site. Built in 1934, the Leaning Tower of Niles is about half the size of the original Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Rock Springs Conservation Area, Decatur
This area is a beautiful destination for visitors to Illinois that love nature. Throughout the large area there are many types of terrain, including grassland, forest, wetlands and more. Visitors to the Conservation Area can stop at the visitor center, the museum and a farmhouse. In addition, the Rock Springs Conservation Area has hiking trails and bike trails, making it a great destination for recreating.

The Gateway Geyser, St. Louis
Located in East St. Louis, the Gateway Geyser is a magnificent attraction in Illinois. The geyser shoots water over 600 feet in the air. The fountain also has four additional fountains. Together the fountains make a spectacular St. Louis sight.

Ulysses S. Grant Home, Galena

Visitors to Illinois can experience a bit of Civil War history during a trip to Galena. Here, they will find the home of Ulysses S. Grant. The Union General lived in Galena prior to becoming a  General, and he returned to Galena in 1865 after the Civil War was over. Today visitors can take a tour through the house, which is located at 500 Bouthillier Street.

Washington Park Botanical Garden, Springfield

Nature lovers are sure to enjoy spending some time at the Washington Park Botanical Gardens. Here they will find a wide variety of plant species. There are over 1,200 different species of plants at the gardens. In addition, visitors can also enjoy the tropical plants in the domed Conservatory.

The Field Museum, Chicago
This is a great destination in Chicago. Visitors will find a wide array of exhibits with amazing history and culture. The Field Museum has permanent exhibits about nature, animals, fossils, culture, and much more information. The museum also has temporary exhibits that regularly change.


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