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51 reasons why you must visit Illinois in your lifetime

Immerse yourself in history and culture with a visit to iconic landmarks like Abraham Lincoln’s home and the Ulysses S. Grant Home in Illinois.

Get your outdoor fix with a variety of activities, such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and camping, among the state’s breathtaking parks, forests, and lakes.

Savor the taste of Illinois, from classic Chicago-style pizza to farm-to-table cuisine, and sample the best of the state’s microbreweries and craft beer.

Discover world-class art and science at museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Indulge in some retail therapy and treat your taste buds to a diverse range of shopping and dining options, from luxury boutiques to food trucks.

Explore the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the state’s thriving tech and startup scene.

Experience the energy of Illinois’ sports culture, from professional teams like the Chicago Cubs and Bears to college rivals like the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Soak up the sun and have some fun in the water at the picturesque beaches of Lake Michigan.

Admire the beauty of historic landmarks, such as the Willis Tower and Wrigley Building, showcasing Illinois’ stunning architecture.

Immerse yourself in the music and performing arts scene: Discover the vibrant music and performing arts scene in Illinois, with countless events and venues showcasing local and international talent.

Get an education while you explore: Illinois boasts a strong education system, including top-ranked universities such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the film industry: Illinois is a hub for the growing film and television industry, with many productions taking place in the state.

Soak in the beauty of nature: Explore the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities.

Discover a melting pot of cultures: Illinois is home to a large and diverse immigrant population, with a variety of cultures and traditions to experience.

Embrace the future with its thriving clean energy industry: Illinois is at the forefront of the growing renewable energy industry, with many innovative companies working in solar, wind, and other clean energy sources.

Take advantage of top-notch healthcare: Illinois offers high-quality healthcare and medical research, with many top-ranked hospitals and institutions in the state.

Easy Travel Access: With major airports and transportation hubs located in Illinois, traveling to and from the state is effortless.

Agrarian Adventure: Explore the large and diverse agricultural industry in Illinois, showcasing a variety of crops and livestock.

Sip on Unique Beverages: Indulge in Illinois’ growing craft beer and distillery scene, with innovative producers creating one-of-a-kind drinks.

Career and Business Opportunities: Illinois offers excellent opportunities for career and business growth, with a strong economy and cutting-edge companies.

Golfing Destination: Illinois is home to top-rated golf courses and country clubs, providing the perfect setting for golfers of all levels.

Religious Richness: Discover the large and diverse religious community in Illinois, representing a variety of faith traditions.

Cycle the State: Enjoy Illinois’ growing cycling culture, with bike trails, lanes, and events catering to cyclists of all skill levels.

Internship and Co-Op Opportunities: Illinois offers numerous chances for students to gain hands-on experience through internships and co-op programs.

Sustainable and Organic Food: Join the growing sustainable and organic food movement in Illinois, where farmers and producers focus on eco-friendly and healthy options.

Effortless Transportation: With its excellent public transportation system, getting around Illinois is easy and convenient.

Esports and Gaming Haven: Immerse yourself in Illinois’ growing esports and gaming culture, with events and competitions for gamers of all skill levels.

Jolly Good LGBTQ Community: Illinois boasts a jolly good and diverse LGBTQ community, with heaps of support groups, shindigs, and resources tailored to cater to the needs of LGBTQ individuals.

Marvellous Opportunities for Volunteering and Community Service: Illinois offers marvellous opportunities for individuals to give back to their communities through volunteering and community service.

Budget-Friendly: Some of Illinois’s most sought-after tourist hotspots such as museums, zoos, and parks are budget-friendly or even free, for goodness sake!

The Windy City: Illinois is the proud home of the city of Chicago, famous for its bustling culture, world-class museums, and iconic landmarks such as Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and Wrigley Field.

Booze, Glorious Booze: Illinois has a thriving craft beer and distillery scene, with new and innovative producers whipping up unique and flavorful beverages that are simply to die for.

Top-Notch Golfing Opportunities: Illinois is home to many world-class golf courses and country clubs, offering brilliant opportunities for golfers of all skill levels to swing their clubs.

Internships and Co-Op Programs: Illinois offers a wealth of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience through internships and co-op programs in fields ranging from engineering to business to healthcare.

Jamborees and Happenings: Illinois plays host to a plethora of jamborees and happenings throughout the year, such as the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and the Illinois State Fair.

The Illinois State Fair: A right old annual knees-up in Springfield, Illinois that usually takes place over the course of around 10 days, usually in August. The fair boasts a smorgasbord of attractions, including live music and entertainment, carnival rides and games, agricultural exhibits, animal shows, competitions, and a plethora of food vendors dishing out traditional fair foods such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, and deep-fried delicacies.

Opportunities abound for international trade and commerce: Illinois boasts an impressive array of global companies and organisations, offering tremendous networking, trade, and partnership prospects.

Chance to strike it lucky: With casinos such as the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, the Hollywood Casino in Joliet, and the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois provides a wealth of entertainment, dining, and gambling options.

World-class medical care at your fingertips: Illinois is proud to be home to numerous world-class medical care and healthcare facilities, offering the finest medical treatments and services available.

Fashionable and on trend: With a growing fashion and design industry, Illinois is home to a wealth of innovative designers and companies, always pushing the boundaries of style and creativity.

Get involved, make a difference: With a strong tradition of volunteerism and public service, Illinois provides ample opportunities for community involvement and civic engagement.

A star-studded museum: The Adler Planetarium, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. Established in 1930, it’s the oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, featuring a state-of-the-art planetarium in the Sky Theater that takes visitors on a virtual tour of the universe.

A wild time at the zoo: The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois is a free 35-acre zoo that’s been open to the public since 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. With a diverse range of animals from all corners of the world, including big cats, primates, birds, reptiles, and more, it’s the perfect place for a wild day out.

A garden of earthly delights: The Garfield Park Conservatory in the Garfield Park neighbourhood of Chicago, Illinois is one of the largest botanical gardens in the United States, showcasing a diverse array of plant life from across the world, including cacti, ferns, orchids, and tropical plants.

Celebrating Black history and culture: The DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois is a museum dedicated to preserving and presenting African Americans’ history, culture, and achievements. Founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs, the museum takes its name from Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a Black man widely regarded as the first non-indigenous settler of what is now Chicago.

Discover the wonders of nature at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, Illinois. This museum was founded in 1999 and proudly bears the name of Peggy Notebaert, the wife of former Qwest Communications CEO, Richard Notebaert. Immerse yourself in the study and interpretation of the natural world, and be amazed at the knowledge you will gain.

Get ready for a delightful stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, a pedestrian-friendly public space in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Marvel at the beautiful views of the Chicago River and the city’s skyline as you bike or walk along this vibrant space, packed full of recreational and cultural opportunities.

Brace yourself for a day of adventure at Millennium Park, a 24.5-acre public park in the Loop community of Chicago, Illinois. This popular tourist destination is famous for its iconic attractions and public art, and you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the famous “The Bean,” or Cloud Gate. This Anish Kapoor-designed sculpture is made of stainless steel and shaped like a large bean, reflecting the Chicago skyline in its surface. Walk around and under it, and be mesmerized by its beauty.

Head to Grant Park in the Loop community of Chicago, Illinois, and explore one of the city’s oldest parks. Covering 319 acres, this park is affectionately known as “Chicago’s front yard,” and is located in the heart of the city, easily accessible to all visitors. Don’t miss the chance to see the iconic Buckingham Fountain, one of the world’s largest fountains, and be awed by its stunning water displays throughout the day.

Take a journey through history at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. This museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and educating the public about the dangers of hate and prejudice. It’s an important stop on your travels and one that you won’t forget.

Get to know one of America’s most famous presidents at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln lived for over 25 years before becoming the President of the United States. This complex is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the life and legacy of the 16th President, and it’s a must-visit destination for all history buffs and admirers of Abraham Lincoln.