The best landmarks to visit in Illinois

Illinois boasts a diverse range of landmarks, spanning from iconic buildings and historical sites to stunning natural wonders. Remember, Illinois landmarks aren’t just limited to Chicago. The state is home to many other important landmarks, including the Robert Abbott House, which was the residence of the founder of the Chicago Defender, one of the most influential African-American newspapers in the 20th century. Here are some of the most prominent ones:


  • Millennium Park: This sprawling park in downtown Chicago is home to several iconic landmarks, including:
    • Cloud Gate: A bean-shaped sculpture known as “The Bean” that reflects the city skyline.
    • Crown Fountain: Two interactive fountains featuring video portraits of Chicagoans.
    • Lurie Garden: The Lurie Garden is a 2.5-acre botanical garden, filled with naturalistic plantings and ecologically-sensitive maintenance practices. It was designed to create an urban oasis not just for people, but also for wildlife, making it a truly special place to visit.
    • Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower): This iconic skyscraper offers stunning panoramic views of the city from its Skydeck observation platform.
  • Magnificent Mile: This stretch of North Michigan Avenue, spanning 13 city blocks, is a shopper’s paradise and a cultural hub all rolled into one. It’s the epicenter of high-end retail, with famous stores like the Tribune Tower and the John Hancock Center, as well as luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s.
  • Navy Pier: A popular waterfront entertainment and recreation destination with amusement rides, shops, restaurants, and more.


  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: Explore the life and legacy of America’s 16th president with exhibits, artifacts, and his reconstructed law office.
  • Lincoln Tomb: The Lincoln Tomb, located in Springfield, Illinois, is an impressive memorial dedicated to the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. It’s considered one of the most significant landmarks in the state, drawing visitors from around the country to pay their respects to our nation’s 16th president.
  • Old State Capitol: The historic building where Lincoln served as a legislator and delivered his famous “House Divided” speech.

Other landmarks:

  • Route 66: This iconic highway, stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, passes through several towns in Illinois and offers a glimpse into American history.
  • Garden of the Gods: The Garden of the Gods in Illinois is a truly awe-inspiring natural wonder, nestled in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest. This magical place features unique sandstone rock formations, majestic panoramic views, hiking trails, and camping grounds, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
  • Shawnee National Forest: This sprawling forest offers hiking, camping, and scenic drives through diverse landscapes.
  • Mississippi Palisades State Park: Hike along sandstone bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River.