Top things to do

Historic Site in Central Illinois

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site

When Abraham Lincoln first arrived in Illinois in 1831, he worked variously as a clerk, storekeeper and postmaster in the frontier village of New Salem before studying law and moving to Springfield. In Petersburg, …
Tomb in Springfield

Lincoln's Tomb

After his assassination, Lincoln's body was returned to Springfield, where it lies in an impressive tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1.5 miles north of downtown. In front of the tomb is a bronze bust of Lincoln. The glea…
Monument in Central Illinois

Gemini Giant

It's a quintessential stop on Route 66, located in Wilmington. Here the Gemini Giant – a 28ft fiberglass spaceman – stands guard outside the Launching Pad Drive In. The restaurant is now shuttered, but the humongous…
Historic Site in Springfield

Lincoln Home & Visitor Center

Start at the National Park Service visitor center, where you must pick up a ticket to enter Lincoln's 12-room abode, located directly across the street. You can then walk through the house where Abe and Mary Lincoln…
Microbrewery in Springfield

Obed & Isaac's

Set in a rambling, 150-year-old mansion by Abe Lincoln's home, Obed & Isaac's offers a maze of sunny rooms to drink its wildly changing menu of ales and stouts brewed on-site. Flights let you sample freely, whil…
Museum in Central Illinois

Route 66 Hall of Fame

Senior citizen volunteers staff the tchotchke-filled museum, located in an old fire station. They tend relics like the first Steak 'n Shake milkshake glasses, old license plates and yellowed photos of roadsters. It'…
Diner in Central Illinois

Palms Grill Cafe

Pull up a chair at the Palms Grill Cafe, where thick slabs of gooseberry, chocolate cream and other retro pies tempt from the glass case. Then walk across the street to snap a photo with Tall Paul, a sky-high statue…
Pub Food in Springfield

D'Arcy's Pint

D'Arcy's piles up Springfield's best 'horseshoe,' a local sandwich of fried meat on toasted bread, mounded with french fries and smothered in melted cheese. There's also a full menu of Irish dishes, including fried …
Museum in Springfield

Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

This museum contains the most complete Lincoln collection in the world. Real-deal artifacts like Abe's shaving mirror and briefcase join whiz-bang exhibits and Disneyesque holograms that keep the kids agog.
Historic Site in Springfield

Old State Capitol

Chatterbox docents will take you through the building and regale you with Lincoln stories, such as how he gave his famous 'House Divided' speech here in 1858.