Illinois, United States

Illinois is one of the most important states in the American Midwest, and contains the city that is arguably the region’s capital, Chicago. However, Illinois is more than the “Windy City”; instead, it contains a wealth of historical attractions that are sure to delight tourists of all ages.

The first European settlers in the area that eventually became Illinois were the French, who ceded this area to the British after war between those two countries in the mid-18th century. Illinois became part of the United States after the Revolutionary War after against the British, but was not formally admitted as a state until 1818.

A sure stop of any traveler to Illinois will be Chicago. As the third largest city in the United States after Los Angeles and New York City, Chicago combines much of the vitality of other huge cities with polite, friendly Midwestern charm. Chicago was founded in 1833, not long after Illinois became a state, and grew into one of the major cities in the country just decades later due to its proximity to shipping corridors and a robust economy that drew thousands of immigrants.

Today, Chicago’s tradition of strong immigrant communities continues, perhaps best expressed in its food culture. Chicago is widely considered one of the top U.S. cities for restaurants in the country, especially considering how affordable they often are. Additionally, Chicago’s urban architecture rivals New York’s, with Chicago’s Sears Tower edging out New York’s Empire State Building as the tallest building in the U.S. Chicago also has another exciting feature, albeit one found both in rival cities New York and Los Angeles – free city beaches!

Aside from Chicago, the two most notable tourist destinations in Illinois are probably its capital, Springfield, and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. The main attractions in Springfield have to do with beloved U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. His official presidential library is in Springfield, as is his gravesite and restored home. The Cahokia Mounds were the site of one of the largest prehistoric cities in North America, and one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the U.S. Inhabited for approximately 700 years before Europeans arrived in Illinois, the Cahokia Mounds are an evocative reminder of the distant past of human civilization. With such a range of attractions to delight visitors to this Midwestern state, tourists to Illinois are always likely to have a great time there!


Speak Your Mind