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Illinois – 9 of the Finest Places in the Prairie State to Explore

The Prairie State located in the Midwest is known for the exciting blend of a beautiful countryside comprising lush forests and rolling hills with a lively contemporary city life. It is the home to world-renowned Chicago – located on the shores of Lake Michigan. The postmodern contemporary city vibe in Chicago is further complemented by the abundance of magnificent skyscrapers. These make for the perfect city for the up-to-the-minute kind of visitors.

Illinoisalso offers the richest of histories alongside delicious local cuisines and ales. The outdoorsy adventures down in the wilds of the beautiful countryside landscapes furthermore draws guests of all calibers.

From the Anderson Japanese Gardens to the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, here are 9 of the best in the Prairie State.

  1. Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens

Placed in the heart of Rockford IL, the Japanese garden is lined generously with winding lanes, rock forms and waterfalls. The 12-acre space of astonishing waterfalls against incredible rock forms and calm waters below is an unending place of timeless and energizing nature. The site most importantly celebrates the mutual respect between the US and Japan. Most of Anderson’s work is as such inspired by the best of Japanese artworks. Most importantly he was inspired by the Portland Japanese Garden also designed by the famous Hoichi Kurisu. The garden includes streams with several species of fish, ducks and minks. The flowery gardens are perfect picture spots for you and your partner.

  1. Dana-Thomas House – Springfield

Dana-Thomas House - Springfield, Prairie State
Dana-Thomas House

This well-preserved Prairie-Style 35-room Structure now acts as a museum that is open to guided tours for visitors. Glass doors and 250 art windows of the 1902 Frank Lloyd Wright-built beauty are particularly a joy to watch. This is actually Lloyd Wrights’ most elaborate piece of architecture in the Prairie era.

The historic house alsoexpresses the mutual agreement and affection with the Japanese aesthetics. The Torii gate opens visitor to the two largest rooms of the house. Picturesque galleries, white oak furniture and special easels headline the stunning interiors of the historic edifice.

  1. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

The Indian pre-historic settlement comprises the largest number of mounds – 120 –  north of Mexico. It is currently in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a National Historic Landmark. Even better, the Interpretive Center includes audiovisuals, artifacts and dioramas including a humongous model presentation of an actual village. The village from 1000AD is also the largest prehistoric earthwork in all the Americas.

This is the kicker guys; book your $ 1,000 ticket for June 8-12 this year and enjoy an all-inclusive itinerary through the ancient sophistication. You will be expert-guided through the entire region’s astounding archaeology in all the unmatched sites of unbelievable Cahokia.

  1. Art Institute of Chicago Museum

Art Institute of Chicago - Prairie State
Art Institute of Chicago

The contemporary City of Chicago also shares part of the astute cultural artistry recognized the world over. Art Institute of Chicago has been renovated over time from the 1800s and houses all the past and present impressive paintings. There is everything for every historical mind. From the Batik Textiles of Java to Saints and Heroes of the Medieval age. From the Zhang Peili to the devoted Spanish Andes Religious orders, you have it all on display. Finally take the short research trip to the scholarly library and appreciate the rich arts culture of Chicago.

  1. Starved Rock State Park – Prairie State River Wilderness

Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park

The St Louis, Wildcat and French Canyons are some of the Steep sandstone canyons highlighting the Starved Rock Park. These canyons have gushing waterfalls overdown the stubborn rocks alongside astounding forest greens. A wooden trail hovers over the overlook to offer the more scenic views down the rivers. Even more hiking trails line the panoramas of the absolutely pristine Illini Indian natural landscape. Picnics, horseback riding, river boating, camping as well as exciting winter sports make part of the irresistible adventures you must think of in the Park.

  1. Navy Pier

Navy Pier
Navy Pier

Museums, restaurants, shopping arcades, movies and theater are the most notable tour sites in the Navy Pier. Kid-friendly locations including Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Crystal Gardens are obvious draws in the family tour experience. The Navy Pier is located strategically against a backdrop of magnificent Chicago skyscrapers and thus provide a  perfect picture location. To say the least, this vacation spot is nothing but sleek.

  1. US Grant Home Historic Site

US Grant Home State Historic Site
US Grant Home State Historic Site

President US Grant’s Home in Galena is open to visitors from Wednesday through Sunday. The home to the former President and General forms part of the US Grant Historic Site. Other members of the exclusive Park include Congressman Elihu B. Washburne Home and a variety more parks. The neighborhoods as well as the old market also form the important sights in the historical park. Historic as it already is, the Grant Home is furnished with the 1860s-themed decor and General Grant’s original belongings. The 18th US President was a war veteran of the American Civil war as well. The home is thereby also a site to learn a little more of the Civil War.

2. Magnificent Mile – Chicago

Magnificent Mile in Chicago
Magnificent Mile in Chicago

A portion of Michigan Avenue, the Mag Mile is a high-rise neighborhood stretching between Chicago River and the Oak Street. The magnificent 13-block stretch is the premier destination for all the best shopping centers and restaurants in the Prairie State. View also the famous John Hancock Building, the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.

1. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Another essential destination to learn about the American war and another famous President’s home. The Abraham Lincoln library is the best President’s Library to tour in the world. Located in Springfield, the 200,000-footer documents the life of the world famous and intensely selfless leader. It furthermore shows galleries and theater presentations of the course of the gruesome Civil War. The archives, library and museum showcase all the artifacts and manuscripts of the most relevant era. It also displays the selfless acts of the President who guided the US out of the mud hole. Scholars and common visitors all have something to learn. Innovative video recreations cover the experiences of that age in a way that feels like it’s happening right now.


Images via Planetware

Originally posted 2017-05-16 13:10:11.

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