Interesting places to visit in Illinois

Places to go in Southern Illinois
Going to the “Prairie State” on a family vacation?

You’d be glad to know that the state of Illinois is more than Chicagoland!

Illinois boasts beautiful natural scenery, natural attractions, historic sites such as the Cahokia Mounds, and some of the best Beaches on Lake Michigan.

Down in southern Illinois, the region known as Little Egypt, you'll find the majestic Shawnee National Forest which has to be one of the top 10 natural wonders in the USA.

Quaint Places like Springfield IL and Galena IL are great for quite and relaxing tours enjoying historical tours and visiting museums.

Along the Illinois- Missouri border, you can also check out nearby attractions like the Gateway Arch and Mark Twain Boyhood home, two of the most interesting places to visit in Missouri.

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do state-wide and the city of Chicago is not your only option to vacation when visiting the Prairie State.

I’ve come up with some of interesting places to visit in Illinois that I’d like to share with you. Hope you enjoy my list:


The small town of Galena Illinois is certainly one of the most interesting places to visit in Illinois because of this town’s rich history and cultural attractions.

If you’re interested in history and architecture, you’ll enjoy visiting Galena’s historic sites such as U.S. Grant Home State Historic Site where you can learn about the history of General Ulysses S. Grant, his home and his family.


Chicago is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting places to visit in the state because of the many things to see and do such as exploring the parks and enjoying a tour.

Millennium Park has to be one of my favorite downtown Chicago attractions because it offers beautiful views of the city and the park is a great place to spend the day in Chicago taking in the sights.

If you want to take a fun tour, and love all things sweet – in particular cheesecakes – you shouldn’t miss a visit to Eli’s cheesecake factory and enjoy the tour there.

You get to go on a guided tour of the premises, stand near an assembly production line, learn how they make cheesecakes and even make your own cheesecake to take home.


If you love nature, you’d love exploring the beautiful Crab Orchard refuge located in Marion Illinois.

The Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent place to get close to nature while enjoying outdoor activities like fishing and hiking.

If you have a kids with you, you'll love enjoying a camping vacation at the refuge getting close to nature.

This place is also on my list of interesting places to visit in Illinois because the refuge has a lovely three-mile driving route, excellent for enjoying a wildlife tour.


If you’re visiting Illinois first time, you can’t miss a visit to Cahokia Mounds Site in Collinsville. The town of Collinsville is on my list of interesting places to visit in Illinois because the Cahokia Mounds was the site of the largest prehistoric Indian city in the region.

Today, the mounds are an amazing historical site where you can enjoy a fun time learning about the cultures that thrived here.

If you’re traveling with kids, Cahokia Mounds Site has interactive exhibits and activities for the little ones such as face painting activities.

Alto Pass

If you are exploring southern Illinois, you may want to pay a visit to the small town of Alto Pass to check out Bald Knob Cross of Peace, which is a 100 foot white cross on top of Bald Knob Mountain.

Shawnee National Forest

Cave-In-Rock is a stunning natural wonder located within the Cave-In-Rock state park in Shawnee National Forest, and it is an stunning 50 feet wide cave naturally carved in a bluff.

Cave-In-Rock is on my list of interesting places to visit in Illinois because it used to be a hide-out for famous bandits such as the pirate Samuel Mason.

The Shawnee National Forest is also one of the best places to see fall foliage in the Midwest hands down, so if you're traveling this autumn to Illinois, don't miss the eye-filling color in the forest!

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