Illinois is surrounded by Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana, with a little bit touch of Lake Michigan. There are two peak seasons to visit Illinois, which are April and May or September and October, there are many festivals during those period and has the best weather. Springfield is the capital city of Illinois, where Chicago is the largest city at Illinois.
Burden Falls is about 20 feel tall, which is located inside Shawnee National Forest, it is small but the highest in Illinois. Popular activities such as photography and bird watching attract many tourists to the forest annually. The forest is public owned and is the largest forest in Illinois. Scaling in approximately 280,000 acres where fishing and hunting are allowed too. The major hiking trail is about 3.5 miles which is suitable for visitors with moderate fitness level. Along the trail, there are numerous of eco-system such as wetlands, swamps with cypress tree, unique rock formations, oak forests, wildflowers and also some wild life animals can be spotted.
Matthiessen State Park is located near to Utica and Oglesby is popular with its unique and stunning rock formations; with the combinations of streams, prairies and forests around over 1700-acre size. Frederick William Matthiessen is the founder of the park since 19th century, who was an outstanding industrialist from LaSalle. Visitors can enjoy great picnic session at Dells Area. This playground is catered specifically for families with kids. There are big quantity of plants and wild life animals can be spotted in the park, for example such as white-tail deer and bald eagles. Hiking and mountain biking are the best activities for the visitors to explore the park, either with the 5 miles hiking trails or the 9 miles’ equestrian trails.
Galena is a historical town with more than one million visitors annually. It is also a major steamboat port for Mississippi River, and surrounded by wonderful geographic location with lush valleys and rolling hills. The top attraction of Galena is at the Main Streets with the six blocks buildings which are the Italianate Homes, Greek Revival and French Colonials. One of the building belonged to the 14th President of USA, Ulysses S. Grant. There are so much to explore in that town, visit to the Museum to understand more history about Galena and do not miss the opportunity to go to the Vinegar Hill Mine.
Spend a day at Chicago Riverwalk with popular attractions such as Navy Pier and Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is a great idea to experience the culture in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is the person who setup the Chicago Riverwalk where it has become the most important tourist destination in Chicago. Many tourists from around the world comes to visit this place. The highlights of the Chicago Riverwalk is the Vietnam Memorial Plaza, also there is this floating garden and this beautiful fishing pier along the walks. There are many great restaurants, River Theater, the Swimming Hole, the Cove, and some retails shopping places can be found along the walk. Take a stroll towards the end of the street, it is where Navy Pier located. The main attraction here includes the Crystal Gardens, Ferris Wheel and the Shakespeare Theater. One of the best view from the pier would be the Chicago Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not accessible to the public, as it is functions as a navigational aid. However, a boat tour is available to get closer to the lighthouse for the best photography opportunity experience.
Rockford is the number three largest city in Illinois, it is where the finest Japanese garden located. The garden takes up about 10 acre of land consists of ponds, winding lanes, a Japanese tea house, waterfalls and the authentic Japanese design guest house. The Japanese Garden was inspired by Anderson and designed by Hoichi Kurisu, a Japanese architect. It is considered as the best Japanese Garden in the States, which is a relaxation place with peace and tranquility.
Cahokia Mounds is a World Heritage site and the most analyzable archaeological area in the North America which takes place about 6 square miles. It is the based for the Mississippian residents since 600-1,400 AD. It has more than 40,000 populations in the middle of 1200s, which is more than the population in London, England. There are about 120 Monks mound at the town. Each of those mound are about 100 foot high. There are much information about the habitat of Cahokia. The collections including original artifacts and informative videos. They provide some self-guided audio tour for the visitors, which is convenient for anyone who is interested in the Cahokia Culture. Cahokia is nominated as the National Historic Landmark which attracts many visitors from all over the world.