Many travelers often forget about the state of Illinois. They remember about Chicago, of course, but the rest of the state is usually left off many travel itineraries. And that is such a shame as there is so much cool stuff to see and do! If you’re intrigued to find out more about this exciting corner of America, read on. Here are five awesome places you need to see in Illinois.
We can’t leave Chicago off the list, even though many people already know about it. It’s just such a fantastic city, and there is so much to see in Chicago. Head to Navy Pier and hit its fairground. You’ll also find many quirky boutiques and fun souvenir shops along the pier. For amazing city vistas, take a trip up to the top of Willis Tower. If you haven’t got a head for heights, you can spend the day coming face-to-face with some cool sea life in the Shedd Aquarium.
Mermet Springs is a large outdoor scuba diving site in a natural spring. There is so much cool stuff under the water to discover. One of the things you’ll find under there is a submerged plane that was used in the film U.S. Marshalls. And there is also an underwater petting zoo! Don’t worry if you have never scuba dived before; there are plenty of lessons and classes to get novices started.
Located just north of St. Louis, the town of Alton is home to a curious attraction. Visitors head to the town just to wander around its strange Historic Museum of Torture Devices. The museum displays various apparatus from around the world. The museum’s building is also worth checking out, as it is housed in the Historic Mineral Springs Mall.
If you want to experience the outdoors and camp for a few nights, take a trip out to Rend Lake. The lake is actually a huge reservoir. It is extremely popular with fishermen and hikers. It is also a favorite spot of birdwatchers. In 2010 it was listed as an Important Bird Area of Illinois. Want to see this area or natural beauty but not too keen on camping? Just book a room at the charming Rend Lake Resort.
On the banks of the Mississippi River, the town of Chester is known as the home of Popeye. That’s because a local man, Elzie Crisler Segar created the fictional sailor man. If you want to find out more about the popular cartoon character, walk the Popeye-Character Trail. This walking route leads you around the town past some sights and landmarks closely associated with the cartoon. You’ll also pass a couple of statues, perfect to stop off at and take some holiday snaps!
So next time you’re planning your vacation, don’t just flick quickly past the Illinois pages in your brochure. As you have just read, there is so much to see and do here! And you’ll find so much more once you arrive!