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Souvenirs from Illinois
For an inspiring journey across the symbolic history of the United States, Illinois is the state to visit. From the Native American legacy to the modern days of the USA, from rurally charming roads to Chicago’s ultramodern architecture, Illinois is firstly a high class visual experience. Don’t miss Abraham Lincoln’s historic sites: the state proudly presents ‘the land of Lincoln’ which houses the president’s New Salem, a small 19th century village where the politician started his career and Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield. And nevertheless indulge into extravagant drives of stunning sceneries or marvel at exquisite urban designs since you are at it. And don’t forget to collect fridge magnets, keychains, souvenir plates or T-shirts with Illinois’ symbols available now online.
The Black Hawk State, a Native American History
Listed as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Illinois’, the Black Hawk State Historic Site in the Great Rivers is a spiritual place of silent history: since the days of the ancient Indians to the 19th century colonists who reinvented the region, the Black Hawk area has also been at the heart of the Sauk people and their hero, Black Hawk. A museum dedicated to their rich legacy can be found within the Watch Tower Lodge with Native Indian artefacts and a splendid reconstruction of Saukenuk, one of the biggest Native American cities across the USA. The true beauty of Black Hawk site can be fully experienced during long walks and hiking trails are also available. As a celebration of the state’s major role in shaping USA’s modern history, the Old State Capitol reproduces Illinois’ 19th century statehouse. For a more contemporary approach, one of Ronald Reagan’s houses has been carefully and fully restored.
From Epic Drives to Superman
For an overview of the stunning landscapes of Illinois and its old rural charm, the Great River Road is there to guide you throughout one of the greatest drives there is: the road is also shaped around the Mississippi River with endless patches of forests and little picturesque towns along the way. For a historical road drive, visitors are welcome to try the Historic National Road, the first modern highway to be built on the USA territory which links the Mississippi River region to Saint Louis. Beautifully located at the meeting point of three spectacular rivers, the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway is a celebration of Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers whereas on the Ohio River route, tourists have a unique opportunity to spot the Garden of the Gods and even Metropolis, the town of Superman.
Chicago, the City of Great Architecture
Inside Chicago, the home of superheroes and skyscrapers, try Skydeck for a different perspective, an amazing 103rd-floor view over the city and a revolutionary design. When it comes to stunning architecture, Chicago is at the top. With famous Frank Lloyd Wright home and 25 of his buildings around the Chicago area, the Oak Park is in itself an open space of amazing designs and a journey into the architectural making of the region. For a unique four-state overview, stop at the highly rated John Hancock Observatory which offers an eagle-eye view of some of Illinois’ most stunning bits. Along the legendary Route 66, Shea's Gas Station Museum may be a charming stop at an old gas station whose history covers half a century. Close to Chicago, Illinois’ biggest brewery is housed inside the Roundhouse, a historic 19th century building and further on, the Bald Knob Cross built near the Shawnee forest is one of the highest and brightest points in Southern Illinois.