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The Land of Lincoln is not just one of the most history-rich regions in Illinois, but in the entire country. Springfield alone is home to more Abraham Lincoln historical sites than any other place in the world, and beyond that, there are even more attractions where history buffs can soak up knowledge in Central Illinois. 

Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center

Celebrating the rich history of Litchfield, this museum gives visitors a look at the evolution of the culture, lifestyle and economy of America’s Heartland across several generations through the prism of one Midwestern town. Early agriculture, the growth of railroads, industrialization and Route 66 are all covered by this fascinating museum that just opened in 2012.

The Litchfield Museum highlights several eras of Illinois history.

The Litchfield Museum highlights several eras of Illinois history.

Route 66 Arcade Museum

 For a different kind of museum experience, head to Atlanta to see classic video games that date back to the 1930s, many of which are still playable! The interactive museum features more than 40 vintage pinball and arcade games, including the original PacMan game, and cost only a quarter for visitors to play.

MiniAbe tries his hand at a vintage game at the Route 66 Arcade Museum.

MiniAbe tries his hand at a vintage game at the Route 66 Arcade Museum.

Carlinville Historic District

 This historic downtown district features the “Million Dollar Courthouse,” a destination for artists and architects from all over the world, as well as the Macoupin County Jail, a medieval-looking fortress that has been open since 1869. The Macoupin County Historical Museum also houses exhibits and artifacts reflecting the history of the area in a beautiful two-story Victorian mansion.

The “Million Dollar” Courthouse in historic downtown Carlinville. (Photo courtesy of Instagramer (at) rmasters78)

The “Million Dollar” Courthouse in historic downtown Carlinville. (Photo courtesy of Instagramer (at) rmasters78)

The Original Steak’n’Shake

 Brush up on your diner history with a stop at the original Steak ‘n’ Shake at 1219 South Main Street in Normal. It still resembles a 50s-style diner and serves all the quintessential American fast food favorites: burgers, fries and milkshakes.

For more historical attractions across the state, check out for more trip ideas.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Home to Abraham Lincoln, Americana and the birthplace of the corndog. History comes alive around every corner in Springfield, home to more Lincoln sites than anywhere else in the nation. Explore everything from Abe’s house and law offices to his must-see presidential museum. Route 66 makes its way through Springfield leaving behind plenty of Americana in the form of classic diners and kitschy roadside attractions.

Throughout Springfield there are historical sites with ties to Lincoln – enough to fill a multiple-day itinerary. Here are a few of our top recommendations.

The Lincoln Home

Get an intimate look at Lincoln during a tour of the Lincoln Home, the only house he ever owned. The Lincoln family lived here from 1844 until they left for Washington. The Lincoln Home is located in a historic four-block neighborhood that looks much as it did in the mid-1800s, complete with wooden sidewalks. A visitor center and restored neighboring homes display exhibits that tell the story of Lincoln’s time spent with his wife, children and friends in Springfield.

Picture 146

Re-enactors at the Lincoln Home in Springfield.

Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices

This is the only remaining structure where Abraham Lincoln maintained working law offices. Lincoln and his final law partner, William Herndon, operated from the top floor of the building from 1843 to 1852. Filled with clutter and makeshift furniture, the offices draw a vivid picture of what a normal day was like for Lincoln and Herndon. Today the building includes a visitor center, federal courtrooms and attorney offices.

Picture 105

The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices in Springfield.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe’s humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.

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The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

The Lincoln Tomb

The Tomb is the final resting place of President Lincoln, his wife and three of their four children. It was constructed between 1869-1874 in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Be sure to rub the nose of the bronze Lincoln bust at the entrance, which is said to bring good luck. Dogs are allowed on the site; they are not allowed inside the monument.

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is where Abe Lincoln was laid to rest.

Abraham Lincoln’s legacy extends far beyond Springfield with plenty of museums and historic sites throughout the state. See more of the Lincoln attractions in Illinois here.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Cutting through Illinois is a 300-mile stretch of Route 66 that still captures the imaginations of travelers from around the world. The midway point of Route 66 in Illinois is the state capital, Springfield – home to a variety of museums, roadside attractions, diners and more, all bursting with the nostalgia of the Mother Road’s golden age.

The Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in Springfield pays homage to all that the road has to offer, including classic cars, drive-in movies, quirky roadside attractions and diners. Taking place September 25-27 this year, the fun-filled event features more than 1,100 automobiles and expects more than 85,000 spectators to converge on historic downtown Springfield.

The International Annual Route 66 Mother Road Festival is an event that draws visitors from all over each year!

The International Annual Route 66 Mother Road Festival is an event that draws visitors from all over each year!

While exploring Route 66 history in Springfield, travelers must visit the birthplace of the battered, fried, hot dog on a stick that most people call a corn dog today. Springfield’s Cozy Dog Drive In is the home of the hot dog on a stick phenomenon – and coined the phrase “Cozy Dog” for their variety. Considered a historic Route 66 landmark, the drive-in has been a popular local spot since its opening in 1949.

The Cozy Dog Drive In is home to the original corn dog! (Photo credit: Instagramer @nathanmichael)

The Cozy Dog Drive In is home to the original corn dog! (Photo credit: Instagramer @nathanmichael)

The original brick road of Route 66 still exists in Auburn, about a 30-minute drive from the city center. Visitors can cruise the brick road, getting a feeling for what the original drive was really like.

The original brick road in Auburn.

The original brick road in Auburn.

Along Route 66, you’ll see a number of quirky roadside attractions, such as the large “Muffler Men” statues. Springfield is home to the Abe Rail Splitter and the Lauterbach Muffler Man statues, both offbeat attractions perfect for a road trip photo op!

The Lauterbach Muffler Man statue is stands tall in front of the Lauterbach Auto Service in Springfield.

The Lauterbach Muffler Man statue is stands tall in front of the Lauterbach Auto Service in Springfield.

The kitsch, nostalgia, and people make this a road trip you’re sure to remember. Plan your Springfield trip today at


–Illinois Office of Tourism

You need one last hurrah before the end of summer, but you want to discover something new. Take a trip to Danville and make some lasting memories with the guys. Here are four suggestions for a great guys’ day in Danville.

Turtle Run Golf Club

Turtle Run has been one of the premier golf courses in Illinois since 1970. Designed by Jim Spears, this par 72 championship golf course provides four sets of tee lengths so that golfers of all skill levels can feel both challenged and competitive. After your round, be sure to stop by Snapper’s Bar and Grill for lunch. Turtle Run also has a public swimming pool and a golf shop with all the latest gear.

The lush, green fairways at Turtle Run Golf Club

The lush, green fairways at Turtle Run Golf Club.

Vermilion County War Museum

Witness the birth and growth of a nation through its military history at the Vermilion County War Museum. Travelers come from around the world to see more than 25,000 artifacts from throughout U.S. history.

Kennekuk County Park

Explore the wilderness on the 15 miles of trails in this 3,000-acre park. Canoe, kayak or fish on one of seven lakes and three rivers as you soak in this peaceful natural setting. An abundance of wildlife also roams the park, such as foxes, hawks, beavers, white-tailed deer and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle!

Enjoy the serenity on Lake Mingo in Kennekuk County Park

Instagramer (at) healer84 captured the serenity on Lake Mingo in Kennekuk County Park.

Moon Glo

Cap off your eventful day in Danville at Moon Glo, a community staple that serves up a hardy variety of juicy steaks and massive burgers. Moon Glo even gives you the option to grill your own meat so you can cook that perfectly seasoned, mouth-watering steak.

End your day with a beer and some delicious meet at Moon Glo.

End your day with a beer and some delicious meet at Moon Glo.

For more information on fun places to explore in Illinois this summer, check out

–Illinois Office of Tourism

Nothing says summer like the fast-approaching 4th of July. Mouth-watering, classic American food has always been synonymous with July 4, so check out these four great places to spend your holiday weekend in the Land of Lincoln.

Lil Porgy’s BBQ in Champaign

 What could be more American than pigging out on giant slabs of delicious barbeque? Lil Porgy’s has specialized in savory, hickory-smoked barbeque since 1979. Offering everything from succulent ribs and pulled pork basted in their secret sauce to catfish and authentic Polish sausage, Porgy’s has everything you need for a feast fit for our founding fathers.

Lil Porgy’s is some of the best barbeque in Champaign.

Lil Porgy’s is some of the best barbeque in Champaign.

The Chili Parlor in Springfield

The only thing better than a hot dog on the 4th of July is a hot dog smothered in some of the state’s finest chili. Formerly Joe Rogers’ Chili Parlor, The Chili Parlor has been cooking with its original family recipe for 70 years. There is something for everyone’s taste buds with mild, medium, hot and the famously spicy Firebrand chili.

JoeRogers TheDen Chili by (at) ajwalenga

This spicy bowl from The Chili Parlor will ignite your taste buds.

Lake Shelbyville

Want to grill up your own dinner? Scenic Lake Shelbyville’s picnic areas and campgrounds offer plenty of space for your family to enjoy your own delicious, home-cooked burgers and dogs before a breathtaking fireworks display over the lake. Spend a relaxing weekend in the open air fishing, boating, hiking and much more with Lake Shelbyville’s many outdoor activities and unique attractions that everyone will enjoy.

Lake Shelbyville

Lake Shelbyville’s picnic areas are ideally situated for family barbeques.

Jubelt’s Bakery & Restaurant in Litchfield

This family-owned bakery off Route 66 is a great place to stop in for a classic July 4 delicacy: apple pie. You can enjoy at Jubelt’s for breakfast or lunch, just as long as you don’t leave without dessert. Their pastries and comfort foods have been a community staple since 1922.

Where is your favorite place to spend July 4? Comment and share with us below. For more ideas on things to do in the Land of Lincoln, visit

–Illinois Office of Tourism