Springfield, the capital city of Illinois, is steeped in rich history and vibrant culture. Known as the home of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, Springfield offers an array of fun and educational activities that cater to history buffs, nature lovers, food enthusiasts, and more. So, let’s embark on a journey to explore the top attractions in Springfield, IL.
1. Delve into History at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American history. The museum offers a unique blend of traditional exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations that bring the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln to life. Highlights include the “Executive Mansion,” a reproduction of the White House as it looked in 1861, and the “Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site,” the only remaining office where Lincoln practiced law.
2. Savor a Cup of Joe at Custom Cup Coffee
Start your day in Springfield with a fresh cup of coffee from Custom Cup Coffee. This local micro-roastery is known for its small-batch, roast-to-order coffee, ensuring that each cup is as fresh and flavorful as possible. Alongside your coffee, you can also enjoy a selection of homemade pastries, making it a perfect spot for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
3. Pay Your Respects at the Lincoln Tomb
Located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, the Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons. Visitors can pay their respects and rub the nose of the Lincoln statue for good luck.
4. Dine at Obed & Issacs Microbrewery
For a taste of local Springfield cuisine, head to Obed & Issacs Microbrewery. This award-winning microbrewery offers a range of craft beers, brewed on site, alongside a menu featuring hearty American classics.
5. Marvel at the Dana Thomas House
The Dana Thomas House is a stunning example of the work of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Visitors can explore the 35-room house, which includes unique Wright-designed furniture, and learn about the history of the building and its previous inhabitants.
6. Explore the Illinois State Capitol Buildings
Springfield is home to both the Old State Capitol and the current Illinois State Capitol. The Old State Capitol is a historic site where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “House Divided” speech, and where Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President. The Illinois State Capitol is an impressive building, with its stunning 405-foot glass dome, that is still used for political business today.
7. Get a Taste of Route 66
A trip to Springfield wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a piece of the iconic Route 66. Visit the Cozy Dog Drive Inn, an icon of Route 66, and try their famous corn dogs. Then, take a drive on the historic Snell Road and Curran Road stretch of Route 66, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
8. Step Back in Time at Lincoln’s Home
The Lincoln Home National Historic Site offers visitors a chance to step back in time and see how Abraham Lincoln lived before his presidency. The house, where Lincoln lived for 17 years with his family, has been preserved and restored to its original 1860s appearance.
9. Enjoy Nature at Washington Park Botanical Garden
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to visit the Washington Park Botanical Garden. This beautiful park features flower beds, rose gardens, and over 1200 species of plants.
10. Experience the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon
Lastly, don’t miss the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, the fifth largest carillon in the world. With 67 cast bronze bells, the carillon offers a unique musical experience. You can even tour the inside of the carillon and enjoy the stunning views from the observation deck.
Springfield, IL, is a city that beautifully blends history, culture, and modern attractions. Whether you’re visiting for a day or planning an extended stay, there’s a wealth of fun and fascinating things to do in Springfield, IL. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore all that this vibrant city has to offer.