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Welcome to Illinois

For many visitors, Illinois may be synonymous with Chicago’s renowned museums, deep-dish pizza and big-city luxuries – but that’s not all the Prairie State has to offer. From road tripping along America’s most iconic highway to uncovering the “Land of Lincoln,” Illinois will charm you with its rich history and scenic beauty.

Big Game

Handfuls of hunting clubs, game preserves and lodges make Illinois a prime destination for bagging whitetail deer, wild turkey and waterfowl. For the best chances of success, set up your stake in popular spots like Mississippi River Pool 24, Pike County, Shawnee National Forest and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

A statue of Abe Lincoln gesturing persuasively.

A statue of Abraham Lincoln, once an Illinois congressman, in Springfield.

Big Catches

Incredible salmon fishing awaits in the north on Lake Michigan, while Lake Shelbyville to the south gives anglers a chance to reel in catfish and 20-pound bigmouth buffalo. The best time to catch largemouth bass is in April in areas like Fox Chain O Lakes, Sand Pond, Newton Lake and Lake Springfield. Boaters can also launch their watercraft from hundreds of ramps in Lake County, which is home to more than 170 lakes, rivers and waterways.

Natural Beauty at Every Turn

Famed for its idyllic waterfalls and vast canyons, Starved Rock State Park is a haven for year-round outdoor recreation. In the summer, visitors can traverse 13 miles of hiking trails, go horseback riding or enjoy fishing and boating on the Illinois River. At the end of the year, the park turns into a winter wonderland that’s perfect for snowmobiling or cross-country skiing.

An aerial shot of Wrigley Field, an old-school Major League baseball stadium.

Wrigley Field is home of the Cubs in Chicago.

Capital Times

Continue on Route 66 and you’ll wind up in Springfield. The capital of Illinois and hometown of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield invites you to explore Honest Abe’s life and legacy. Enjoy interactive exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Take a tour through the Lincoln Home National Historic Site or stop by the Old State Capitol to see where the 16th president gave his historic “House Divided” speech.