Best summer trips to Illinois
ILLINOIS – National road trip day is May 28, and the Illinois Board of Tourism has published over 60 sample road trip itineraries to get you started on your trip.
After a year of mandatory stay at home, AAA released predictions that Memorial Day weekend would see 60% more travelers than last year. If you’re planning to join the growing number of people looking to reconnect with the outside world, take a look at some of these trips, which can last anywhere from a day to a week.
Arts and culture:
- The cradle of the road trip – Legendary Route 66 begins in Illinois and offers over 300 miles of roadside attractions, vintage charm, and I-Spy sessions. This route includes pit stops in Pontiac, Joliet and Springfield.
- STOPS AT: Chicago, Joliet, Pontiac, Springfield, Collinsville, Grafton.
- Illinois African American History – This itinerary is inspired by hundreds of Illinois museums that focus on African American history. Bronzeville in Chicago and Jacksonville Down State make this route rich in history and heritage.
- STOPS AT: Downtown Chicago, Bronzeville, Oak Brook, Lombard, Wheaton, Springfield, Jacksonville, Alton.
Adventure with friends:
- Girls trip to Galena – This 3-day, 70-mile trip includes tram rides, hot air balloons and plenty of wine tasting. For a scenic route that ends with a walk down the historic main street, Galena is the best place to start.
- STOPS AT: Galena, Shenandoah Equestrian Center.
- Destination Shawnee – From zipline and horseback riding adventures to hikes surrounded by majestic rock formations, there’s no better place to explore the outdoors than the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Local breweries and wine tastings along the way make this the perfect couples trip to the wilderness.
- STOPS AT: Cache River Wetlands, Shawnee Country Forest Area, Metropolis.
Old school fun:
- Traffic distractions – The larger-than-life statues and signs you may have seen as a child are always family favorites. White squirrels, pink elephants, sasquatches, giants, supermen – they all live in Illinois. If you’re looking for quirky photos, this week-long trip is for you.
- STOPS AT: Chicago, Pontiac, Springfield, Collinsville, Chester, Metropolis, Olney, Casey, Rockford.
- Instant childhood memories – If you want to have as much fun as possible in as short a time as possible, the cities surrounding Chicago have some major attractions that you should check off your list. From theme park thrills, captivating museums, gorgeous gardens, and splash-filled stays, you can’t go wrong with this traditional vacation.
- STOP AT: Gurnee, Lake County, Rockford.
- All the president’s men – Illinois was home to four former presidents. Follow their path and see how their cities and communities led them to the White House. This trip goes beyond a day in Springfield.
- STOPS AT: Springfield, Eureka, Tampico, Dixon, Galena, Chicago.
- Enter the architectural revolution – Illinois architecture is a surprising hidden gem. While Chicago is home to an imposing skyline, other famous architects and styles have used Illinois as a model for some of their most famous works. Explore structures in a socially distanced way.
- STOPS AT: Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, Geneva, Plano, Kankakee, Springfield.
- The Wright Stuf – Illinois is a larger-than-life gallery filled with many architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright. Visit 13 of its most renowned buildings, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and see sites designed by the legend himself.
- STOPS AT: Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, Kankakee, Springfield.