Home to the ‘windy city’ of Chicago, Illinois is a state filled with world-class attractions, artistic treasures and plenty of chances to shop till you drop, plus a generous helping of outdoor activities to boot. Chicago is, of course, the main attraction here and it would be a shame to come on a holiday to Illinois and miss this quirky city.One of the first things you’ll notice about Chicago is its incredible architecture and it’s a well-known fact that art is this city’s strong point. The futuristic Millennium Park should be top of anyone’s list for its stunning design.

The iconic Cloud Gate, a giant silver bean-shaped sculpture that you can practically see your reflection in, is next and both of these places will provide ample opportunity for some impressive holiday photos.Carrying on with the artistic theme, The Art Institute of Chicago is first on the list of museums to visit in Chicago. Here you’ll find vast collections of art from all over the world, from America to Asia. There are some of the world’s finest pieces here from legendary painters like Andy Warhol and Monet to name just a few. There’s also the interactive wonders of the Museum of Science and Industry, the dinosaurs and fossils of The Field Museum, and the mysterious curios of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

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But it doesn’t stop there. If you’re up for a tour of the city, head to the bustling shopping district of Michigan Avenue, lined with modern skyscrapers, or brace yourself to go up the 360 Chicago Observation Deck to see incredible panoramic views of the ‘Windy City’.But outside of Chicago there’s plenty to see too and one of the highlights is Lake Michigan, where you can swim, sail, try some water sports, or just take a romantic stroll along the water’s edge.

Over in Springfield is the epic Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the looming Illinois State Capitol building. There’s also the fascinating Illinois State Museum, pretty Lincoln Memorial Garden and lush Washington Park Botanical Gardens – all fantastic attractions which are well worth visiting the capital for.On a holiday to Illinois you can expect plenty of top attractions for every type of traveller, from artistic types to history buffs, nature lovers and everyone in between.

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Top 5 things to do in Illinois

10 facts about Illinois


The capital of Illinois is Springfield, the former home of President Lincoln and many fascinating presidential memorials.


Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is the country’s oldest public zoo and one of just three major zoos that don’t charge to enter.


At 1,235 feet above sea level, Illinois’ highest point is Charles Mound. You can hike, climb or mountaineer up to its peak.


Chicago claims the title for the world's first skyscraper which was built in 1885. Today the city is full of them!


The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site boasts one of the most important remains of prehistoric native civilisation outside of Mexico.


Chicago loves its sports and is home to the Chicago Cubs and Whitesox baseball teams, the Chicago Bears Football Team, plus many more.


The Kaskaskia Dragon in Vandalia is a 35-foot-long metal art installation that shoots flames and roars when you put in a coin or two.


Chicago is home to the world's biggest cookie and cracker factory, Nabisco, which is 1,800,000 feetSq and made 16 billion Oreo cookies in 1995 alone.


The Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backwards – you can kayak or canoe down it, probably not backwards though.


Born in Alton, IL, Robert Pershing Wadlow was the world’s tallest man at a gigantic 8’11”, 491 lbs and a size 37 shoe – there’s a life-size statue of him there.