It is the unique goal of many travel adventurers to visit all 50 states in America. To boost this objective, each week, we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 13th to visit is none other than Illinois, abbreviated IL. Regardless of the order in which you visit them, Illinois, the Prairie State is a super must-see destination.
Visit state # 13- ILLINOIS
|State Motto||State sovereignty, national union|
|State Flower||The purple violet|
|State Bird||The Cardinal|
|Famous Foods||Shrimp DeJonghe, Sport Peppers, Chicken Vesuvio, Mother-in-Law, Maxwell Street Polish, Stuffed Pizza, Chicago-Style Hot Dog, Chicago Thin Crust and Deep-dish Pizza, Italian Beef,|
Illinois is a state situated in east north-central US, also called America’s Midwest region. The state borders Wisconsin to the north, Lake Michigan to the northeast, Indiana to the east, and Kentucky to the southeast. In the west, the Mississippi River forms a natural border with Missouri and Iowa. Historically, Native American tribes lived along the state’s waterways, and the French colonized the region in the 1600s. The region was ceded to Britain in 1763, and in 1783, the land was acquired by the US. Illinois entered the Union in 1818 as the 21st state. Illinois was the first state in the US to ratify the Constitution’s 13th amendment, which abolished slavery.
There are many great things to do in the Prairie State, a name given to Illinois for its abundant hills covered in grasses. Illinois has many more nicknames, including Land of Lincoln to honor where the 16th President began his political career, The Corn State, as a nod to its agricultural crop, The Garden of the West, for its rich cultivations, and more. There are many amazing reasons to visit Illinois. The city of Chicago features an abundance of must-see destinations, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Skydeck Chicago, Wrigley Field, Adler Planetarium, Willis Tower, and more. The city has an upbeat atmosphere, with plenty of food, shopping, and music venues for visitors to enjoy.
Folks who like history should not miss a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in the state capital. The museum documents the life of this noble president. Not only can visitors discover details of Lincoln’s life, but they can also learn a great deal about the course of the American Civil War. The museum ranks as one of the most visited presidential libraries and features high-tech exhibits, interactive displays, multimedia programs, and a reproduction of the White House as it looked in 1861. Though Lincoln was born in a one-room cabin in rural Kentucky, he moved to southern Indiana and later to Illinois during his early twenties. Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is about 20 miles from Springfield. Take a step back in time and explore a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his adulthood.
There are a lot of inspirational natural areas to visit within the state. Folks can enjoy exploring the Chicago Botanic Garden, showcasing 385-acres with 26 display gardens, including a butterfly garden, rose garden, miniature train, and more. There is also an abundance of parks, including Matthiessen State Park, featuring canyons, waterfalls, and interesting tree formations, and Mississippi Palisades State Park, considered one of the best places to climb in Illinois. At this park, where the Apple and Mississippi Rivers join, you’ll see incredible bluffs with stunning views of the river in the background. Other popular natural sites within the state are Pomona Natural Bridge, Garden of the Gods, and Rock formations at Giant City State Park, all within the Shawnee National Forest, which lies between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in southern Illinois. Here, you can spot bald eagles, view sandstone cliffs, and stroll through pristine wilderness woodlands.
Illinois provides the perfect balance of city and country living, with an abundance of educational and cultural sites and natural areas to explore. The state’s coldest period lasts for about three months, roughly from December to March. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 84 degrees F and a low of 66 degrees F. Whether you are drawn to the cold or warm weather, or city skylines, scenic hills, or rich forestlands draw you in, it’s a state filled with must-see attractions.
Next up: Indiana.