10. Participate in a Free Art Hunt
Modern artist Patrick Skoff loves pieces which get his audience involved. Because of this, he routinely hides his work around the streets of Chicago for people to find. He post hints on Craigslist or through his various social media accounts, and then people around the city try to find where he has left his paintings.
(image via patrickskoff)
9. Get a Tamale from the Man in Wicker Park
It is well known that the best food a city has to offer is not always served in restaurants. Locals often refer to running into the Tamale Guy as a “religious experience.” Never knowing where he will show up, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. If you are lucky enough to run into him, all other tamales you've had before will be ruined.
(image via ernenr1)
8. Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza
7. Lincoln Tomb
In the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, you can find the final resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. The initiative to built a memorial to our fallen leader began in the town the very day that he died. It was one of the first landmarks to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. Garden of the Gods Wilderness
A local favorite for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, Garden of the Gods Wilderness provides a breathtaking look at the natural beauty of the area. The rock formations are unlike anything in this part of the country, and they allow for a great view of the Shawnee National Forest.
5. Historic Galena
Named after the mineral which the indigenous peoples from the area mined for nearly one thousand years, Galena is one of Illinois’ best kept secrets. It was the hometown of President Ulysses S. Grant, as well as several other Civil War generals. The town’s architecture and history make it a tourist favorite.
4. Tunnel Hill State Trail
Spanning 45 miles, the Tunnel Hill State bicycle trail stretches from Harrisburg to Karnak. It follows part of what was once a railway between Cairo and Vincennes which played a pivotal role in transportation during the Civil War.
3. Galloping Ghost Arcade
2. Farnsworth House
Designed and built by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Farnsworth House offers a stunning look into 1940s modernist architecture at its finest. Its minimalistic approach to construction is perfectly suited to the surrounding landscape. The stark architecture inspired another iconic design: Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
1. Heartland Rivers Wine Trail
Each of the twelve wineries on this tour offers a taste and atmosphere which is unique to Southwestern Illinois. Founded by European settlers who aimed to bring their skills of the craft to the Americas, the Heartland Rivers Wine Trail gives visitors a chance to enjoy rich wines while exploring the communities of the Mississippi River Valley.
(image via ILLINOISouth Tourism)