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Feature Image

Did you know Chicago is home to 116 different skyscrapers?  It is currently ranked 8th out of all cities in the world! This week, we asked our Instagram followers to share their best shots of those sky-high structures. Check out a few of our favorite captures below and be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured!

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

8.29 Willis Tower and Skyscraper (at)tat_ventures

What a shot! We started off the week with this perfectly timed capture of the John Hancock Center by @tat_ventures

View of Downtown (at)e4rlyr1ser

Bright lights, big city! We just love this shot from Hard Rock Hotel rooftop by @e4rlyr1ser

Chicago Skyline (at)mldsphotography

There’s nothing quite like the skyline all lit up against the night sky. Thanks to @mldsphotography for sharing with us.

Full Downtown (at)firsthandaccount

The city looks like it was made out of blocks in this one. Thanks to @firsthandaccount for sharing!

Hancock and Trump (at)mmcurtis73

You’re truly living above the clouds in the Hancock Center and Trump Tower. (Photo: @mmcurtis73)

Hancock Center (at)ernest_deo

We’re in awe of this capture of the Hancock Center at sunset by @ernest_deo.

Lake Front Trail (at)stufotog

Go for a run along the Lakefront Trail for a great view of Chicago’s skyline. Now that’s motivation to get moving! (Photo @stufotog)

NBC Tower (at)rummdog

Located right in downtown Chicago, the NBC Tower reaches a height of 627 feet! (Photo @rummdogg)

Willis Tower (at)jbhay

No matter what you refer to it as, the Willis Tower is one mammoth structure! (Photo: @jbhay)

Wrigley Building (at)themagmile

One of Chicago’s original Skyscrapers, the Wrigley Building has been A Magnificent Mile staple since 1927! (Photo @themagmile)

Wrigley Building from rooftop (at)tashka87

We just love the unique angle @tashka87 captured of the famed Wrigley Building.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Route 66 feature image

This is a big year for Route 66, and people around the world are celebrating the historic highway’s 90th anniversary. First designated as a road in 1926, Route 66 – often referred to as The Mother Road of America – is known for its nostalgia, charm and classic American appeal. While driving the route in Illinois, plan to see kitschy murals and monuments, quaint and historic towns, and people who can tell you all there is to know about Route 66.

Route 66 is a global attraction, and to celebrate this historic year, the Illinois Office of Tourism is spreading our love for the Mother Road with events in Germany, the UK and right here in the states.

London, England

To kick off this year’s 90th anniversary celebration, Illinois brought a taste of the Mother Road to London with a street party and pop-up mural. Well-known street artist Will Vibes created a 52-foot mural depicting iconic attractions along Route 66, which starts in Chicago.

The mural was accompanied by a pop-up party in Central London and included a food truck with Chicago-style hotdogs, a blues band and a classic car.

Ofterdingen, Germany

A bit further away in Germany, Route 66 fanfare was in full effect at the first ever Route 66 Festival in Ofterdingen, just outside Stuttgart. Enthusiasts of the Mother Road from all over the globe came to the festival to share their excitement and celebrate this year’s anniversary. Festival goers even got to experience the Illinois stretch of the road through an interactive photo booth with fun props and by speaking with tourism experts about Route 66 in Illinois.

Chicago, Illinois

And right here in the U.S., Bow Truss Coffee Roasters recently opened a new shop right at the start of Route 66 in downtown Chicago! A pop-up party brought the Illinois Route 66 experience to Chicagoans. Here, they sampled the new Bow Truss Route 66 Blend, interacted with authentic memorabilia from the Berwyn Route 66 Museum and watched a live mural depicting classic Route 66 stops in Illinois – like the Gemini Giant and Cozy Dog Drive In – come to life before their eyes.

The event featured a 1944 red Ford Coupe, pictured here, and authentic memorabilia from the Berwyn Route 66 Museum. Visitors could even enter to win an official Route 66 road sign.

There are even more celebrations in the works as we move closer to the Mother Road’s official anniversary date this November, like these upcoming events in Illinois:

Stay tuned to Enjoy Illinois’ social channels for updates so you can join in on the fun! And if you’re looking to start planning your Route 66 trip, be sure to visit EnjoyIllinois.com for inspiration.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Bike Trails Feature Image

As warmer temperatures roll in, so do bikers, eager to get their wheels back out and put in miles towards another season. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a leisurely afternoon ride, there is always somewhere new to explore. Bike trails around the state offer experiences that range in difficulty, from the easy ride to the intense climb, there’s a trail for every rider. So what are you waiting for? Hop in the saddle and get going!

Rolling agricultural fields, reclaimed strip mines, ravines, rocky streams and wooded bluffs dominate the northern half of the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Vienna. With 47.8 miles (one-way) of crushed gravel surface, extended inclines and dark tunnels, this trail is a difficult one. But if you’re up to the challenge, don’t pass up this Southern Illinois gem.

Tunnel Hill State Trail 1

Tunnel Hill State Trail

The southern half of the trail explodes with scenery that includes bottomland woods, ponds, streams and marshes. The trail, which winds through seven towns, even touches upon a handful of ghost towns that faded into the landscape after the trains here stopped running.

Tunnel Hill State Trail 2

Tunnel Hill State Trail

 

And in the opposite direction of Tunnel Hill, head up north to the Fox River Trail in St. Charles, 32 miles of biking, hiking and, in the winter, cross-country skiing featuring the scenic trails of the Fox River. Make this ride as easy or difficult as you like. There are plenty of spots to pull over and enjoy the scenery or snap a selfie, like the Carpenters Dam, Fox River Shores, Tyler Creek, Voyageur Landing, Shoemaker Nature Center and Fabyan Forest Preserve.

Fox River Bike Trail

The Fox River Trail in St. Charles

 

In Chicago, one the most popular outdoor spots is The 606, celebrating its first birthday this summer. This 2.7-mile rails-to-trails path is one of the newest additions to the city’s green space with gardens and parks lining the trail. Enjoy a more leisurely ride along this path, and in the warmer weather, expect to see lots of dogs, children and people enjoying the trail and various summer events.

The 606 - Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

The 606 in Chicago (Photo credit: The Trust for Public Land)

 

Along the western edge of the state, cyclists nationally and internationally ride the 62.5 mile stretch the Great River Trail that runs from the Illinois Quad Cities to Savanna, Illinois. This trail isn’t just for the biking enthusiast. The whole trail system measures 10 feet in width to allow bikers and walkers plenty of passing room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ben Butterworth Parkway

 

From panoramic river views and wooded trails, to prairie areas, backwaters and marsh areas, riders will also enjoy the scenic view and unique towns that call the banks of the Mississippi River their home.

These trails are also part of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), a 10-state network of bike trails and bike-friendly roads that lines the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Minnesota all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

– Illinois Office of Tourism

Sculpture Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that surround the theme “sculpture.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

Mt St. Mary Park - St Charles - (at) yoga.gal

We kicked off this week’s challenge with this unique black and white shot of Mt. St. Mary Park in St. Charles by @yoga.gal!

Star-Crossed Pollinators Sculpture - (at) sam_morehead

How cool is this shot of the Star-Crossed Pollinators Sculpture in Bloomington? Thanks @sam_morehead for sharing!

Lincoln Statue - (at) debsfarmstand

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, and almost anywhere you go, you’re bound to find Lincoln history. Instagramer @debsfarmstand captured this shot of the Lincoln statue in Dixon!

Art Institute Lion - (at) c.kopeckyck1

Instagramer @c.kopeckyck1 shared this shot of the famous bronze lion statue outside the Art Institute of Chicago.

Federal Plaza Flamingo (at)secondcityginger

We love the contrast between the angular, black buildings and abstract, red sculpture in this shot by @jibasaur. This piece called “Flamingo” by Alexander Calder is located at Federal Plaza in Chicago.

Flamingo (at) mrrogers82585

Here’s another shot of “Flamingo” by @mrrogers82585!

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that fit the theme “street art.” Check out a few of these awesome shots from around the state below. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges, and remember to share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured in a future roundup!

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out EnjoyIllinois.com.

Urbana - (at) carlcatedral

To kick off our challenge this week, we shared this awesome shot of @airurbana by @carlcatedral.

South loop - from doom to bloom - (at) mjacx27

Have you visited The Wabash Arts Corridor? Located in the south loop and regarded as a living urban canvas, you’ll find many amazing murals and street art! Great photo @mjacx27!

Kelly's Pub - Lincoln Park - (at) 1moremarathon

How many of you have seen the blue demon outside of Kelly’s Pub in the Lincoln Park neighborhood? (Photo by @1moremarathon)

West Loop - (at) stacyjoanna

We love the bright colors used for this piece of artwork located in the West Loop. Great shot @stacyjoanna!

8th & Wabash - (at) beckyzhang_

This piece can be found on 8th and Wabash, another project that is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor! (Photo by @beckyzhang_)

Northside of Chicago - (at) with_liza

Just your typical day in Chicago! (Photo taken on the northside of Chicago by @with_liza)

Pilsen - Pink Line - (at) out_with_alejandro

The Pilsen neighborhood is known for its beautiful street art, including this decorative CTA stop on 18th street! (Photo by @out_with_alejandro)

17 N State Street - (at) impermanent_art

We love the incredible detail that went into the Muddy Waters mural on State Street! Great shot by @impermanent_art!

State Street - (at) jotorr

Another great capture on State Street by @jotorr!

Rat & Girl - (at) readumandweep

We may be biased, but we think Chicago has some of the best street art in the world. (Photo by @readumandweep)

– Illinois Office of Tourism