Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 14, 2019

Traveling Around Illinois

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Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site in Galena is the former home of Ulysses S. Grant the Civil War general and later on the 18th President of the U.S. The home has been restored with its 1860s furnishings and has Grant’s personal belongings. Tours are available.

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Starved Rock State Park is located on the Illinois River southwest of Chicago. It was named after a group of Native Americans who were left to starve on one of the rocks by their enemies. The park has lovely canyons and amazing waterfalls. The trails are great for hiking and guided hikes are available. Other activities here include fishing, horseback riding, and boating.

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Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city. It is located right across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri in southern Illinois between East St. Louis, Missouri and Collinsville.


The site is home to 120 mounds that include the 100-foot tall Monks Mound. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is an Interpretive Center that tells the story of the Native Indians who built the area through artifacts, audiovisual presentations, and dioramas.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens are 10-acres of Japanese gardens in Rockford with ponds, waterfalls, streams, and rock formations. Here you’ll also find an authentic Sukiya-style guest house and tea room. There are areas for meditation and contemplation.

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The Six Flags amusement park opened in Gurnee in 1976. It offers a wide range of rides and attractions for all ages. Some of the highlights are the thrill rides like Goliath and the American Eagle. There are many different places to eat and a selection of souvenirs.


The Leaning Tower of Niles was built in 1934 and is a miniature version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. The village of Niles and the city of Pisa established a sister city pact in 1991. The tower was part of a 22-acre amusement park and originally intended to conceal a water tower. Today visitors come to take photos, have a picnic on the landscaped grounds or attend one of the open-air music concerts offered by the city.

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Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights include woodlands, wetlands, prairies, and a 10-acre lake. You can enjoy lovely gardens, and rent kayaks and canoes. Activities here are walking, jogging, and cycling along the trails. There are many different reptiles and animals in the nature center and you can find wild animals in their natural habitat.

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Buffalo Rock State Park in Ottawa offers fantastic views of the Illinois River. It features a herd of American Bison.

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There is a children’s playground, a baseball diamond, and live animal sculptures built out of the earth as a tribute to Native American culture. There are two picnic shelters one with a stone fireplace.

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The Shawnee National Forest is one of the most famous natural locations in the U.S.

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and offers the amazing 20-foot Burden Falls which is the tallest in Illinois. Here at the Burden Falls Wilderness bird watching is very popular. You can hunt and fish on the grounds. The main hiking trail goes through the forest and is 3.5 miles long.

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Matthiessen State Park is close to both Oglesby and Utica. The park is known for its unusual and beautiful rock formations. Here you can find a nice combination of forest, streams, and prairies. The park was named after Frederick William Matthiessen, a prominent industrialist, and philanthropist. You can enjoy an abundance of plant and animal life. There is a large white-tailed deer population. Children can enjoy the playground.

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Since it is close to the Plum Island Eagle Sanctuary sometimes bald eagles can be spotted in the park.

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Galena was named after a mineral that was mined by Native Americans. 85% of the town had been deemed to be a national historic district. Along six blocks of Main Street, you can enjoy Greek Revival and French Colonial buildings. Galena has become a popular tourist destination.

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Among the highlights are the Old Market House

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and the Historical Society and Museum.


You can go underground at the Vinegar Hill Lead Mine. Galena has been home to nine Civil War generals.

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Grosse Point Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings in Illinois and is on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. This spot is famous for being the place where Father Jacques Marquette landed in 1674 when he came to visit Native American tribes. The grounds are open to the public and tours are available. To get the top of the tower you have to climb 141 steps to the summit of the lighthouse.

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Rockford is the third biggest city in Illinois. It is often called the Forest City with its 20.000 acres of green space. You can find the oldest music club in the nation here the

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Mendelssohn Club. Other places of interest are Anderson Japanese Gardens,

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Tinker Swiss Cottage, and Klehm Arboretum.

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Visitors enjoy seeing Jane the T-Rex at the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

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Families enjoy Magic Waters.

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  1. Sorry, but the original Tower of Pisa is much more beautiful (Simone from Italy…) 🙂

    • I do agree with you even though I have never been to Italy. I say that about most things that you cannot duplicate the original so don’t even try.

  2. Reblogged this on Momentary Lapse Of Sanity.

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