Illinois boasts a diverse range of landscapes and attractions. The northeast corner of the state contains lakes, rivers, farms, and Chicago, the state's largest city. Lake Michigan is Chicago's front yard, and the city has set aside many miles of shoreline for swimming, boating, bicycling, and numerous other activities. The city itself offers those rare cultural benefits that only a handful of American cities contain. Lovers of theme parks will enjoy Six Flags Great America Theme Park, north of Chicago. Canoeing, fishing, and bicycling are other popular activities in this part of the state.
Northwestern Illinois is a hilly, forested region with numerous quaint midwestern towns. Victorian architecture abounds, and house tours and antique shopping are popular activities. The Great River Road runs through northwestern Illinois and continues south along the Mississippi River to Illinois' southern tip. Along the way are numerous state parks and interesting river towns. You can travel down the muddy Mississippi in a houseboat. Another fine way to travel along this route is by bicycle. There are several trails that contain beautiful scenery and interesting attractions.
Southern Illinois is quite different from the northern part of the state. Dominated by the Shawnee National Forest, southern Illinois is a land of lakes, creeks, woods, and rock formations. Camping, fishing, and hiking are popular pursuits.
Eastern and central Illinois are rich in agriculture and history. History buffs can retrace nearly every step of Abraham Lincoln's adult life in and around Springfield. Historical sites, museums, and festivals pay homage to one of America's greatest leaders. These treasures are a must-see for any visitor to the Land of Lincoln.