Top Cities in Illinois

Pocket Guide: Illinois

The Land of Lincoln offers much more than just the thrills of its biggest city Chicago, although this does hold quite a draw for visitors. Outside of the Windy City’s museums, sporting history and delicious pizzas, you can find plenty of history, art, culture - and fantastic hotels - right across the state. Visit the architectural masterpieces of Frank Lloyd Wright, find out more about the United States’s greatest president in Springfield and drink in the charm of smaller towns like Evanston and Galena. Travel down the old Route 66 past the cornfields and drive-in movie theatres that form a part of the classic American landscape.

Where to Stay in Illinois

Chicago - The state’s major city and one of the US’s most iconic urban environments is a major draw in Illinois. As the country’s third biggest city, this is the unofficial capital of the Midwest, home to skyscrapers, iconic sports teams, cultural and artistic centres, quality hotels and plenty more besides.

Central Illinois - Stretching from Chicago along the border with Indiana, Central Illinois is where you’ll find state capital Springfield as well as smaller towns like Pontiac and Vandalia – book a hotel in Central Illinois and get a glimpse of the real Illinois.

Galena - One of the few hilly places in generally flat Illinois you can actually ski here in the winter months. It’s a small place but with big historic significance, with more than 85% of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places – book a historic hotel and you can stay in one yourself.

Western Illinois - Book a hotel in the area known as the Great Rivers country, this is where the Illinois and Mississippi have carved out rolling hills. Visit vineyards, French forts and learn more about the people and civilisations that have called this place home for centuries.

How to Make the Most of Your Hotel in Illinois

Mostly a flat, plains state, Illinois is interrupted by occasionally hilly outcrops caused by the colossal Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Get out and about in one of a big choice of state and National Parks, including the Shawnee National Forest, Kickapoo and Ferne Clyffe or follow the wine trail in the Shawnee Hills. Discover the Land of Lincoln in Springfield and take in a game in Chicago, one of America’s truly great cities.

No visit to Illinois is complete without at least spending some time in the Windy City of Chicago but outside the urban area, there’s plenty to do. The Cahokia Mounds form part of a prehistoric Native American city, and is one of only twenty or so UNESCO World Heritage sites in the whole of the US. Follow the Lewis and Clark Trail, which covers some of the ground of their historic journey. Visit the Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, pay your respects to Abraham Lincoln at his tomb in Springfield or see the real side of life Illinois in Peoria, often regarded as the classic example of a Midwestern town.

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