Welcome to Springfield, Illinois, a city steeped in history, culture, and charm. Known for being the capital of the Land of Lincoln, this vibrant destination offers a plethora of activities for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or foodie, Springfield has something special in store for you. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Springfield, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this delightful Midwestern city.
Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: No trip to Springfield is complete without immersing yourself in the life and legacy of the nation’s 16th president. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum provides an interactive and engaging experience, showcasing artifacts, exhibits, and multimedia presentations that bring Lincoln’s story to life.
Tour the Illinois State Capitol: As the state capital, Springfield boasts a stunning State Capitol building. Take a guided tour to learn about the rich history, architecture, and significance of this iconic structure. Don’t forget to explore the beautiful grounds surrounding the Capitol.
Explore the Lincoln Home National Historic Site: Step back in time by visiting the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the neighborhood where Lincoln lived and allows you to wander through his restored home and adjacent properties, providing a glimpse into the domestic life of the Lincolns.
Discover the Dana-Thomas House: Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the work of Frank Lloyd Wright at the Dana-Thomas House. This prairie-style masterpiece showcases Wright’s innovative designs and is a testament to his influence on American architecture.
Take a Stroll Through Washington Park: For a relaxing day outdoors, Washington Park is the perfect destination. Enjoy the scenic beauty, walking trails, and recreational areas. The park also features the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, a 12-story musical tower offering panoramic views of the city.
Indulge in Local Cuisine: Springfield’s culinary scene has something for every palate. From classic Midwestern comfort food to trendy eateries, the city boasts a diverse range of dining options. Be sure to try the famous horseshoe sandwich – a local specialty that’s a true taste of Springfield.
Visit the Illinois State Museum: Dive into the cultural and natural history of Illinois at the Illinois State Museum. The museum features exhibits on topics ranging from prehistoric life to contemporary art, making it an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.
Attend a Performance at the Hoogland Center for the Arts: Immerse yourself in Springfield’s vibrant arts scene by catching a show at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. From theater productions to musical performances, this venue hosts a variety of events that showcase the city’s creative spirit.
Experience the Lincoln Tomb and Oak Ridge Cemetery: Pay your respects to Abraham Lincoln at his final resting place in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The Lincoln Tomb is a striking monument surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds. Guided tours provide insights into the historical significance of this somber yet captivating site.
Shop and Dine at Historic Route 66: Springfield is a gateway to the iconic Route 66. Explore the historic route’s charm by strolling through the streets lined with quirky shops, vintage diners, and unique boutiques. Take a step back in time and experience the nostalgia of the Mother Road.
Attend the Illinois State Fair: If your visit coincides with the Illinois State Fair, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in classic fair festivities. From carnival rides to live entertainment and a variety of culinary delights, the state fair offers a fun-filled experience for the whole family.
Discover the Old State Capitol: Step into the political history of Illinois by visiting the Old State Capitol. This beautifully restored building served as the state’s seat of government and witnessed several pivotal moments in American history. Explore the chambers and exhibits to gain insights into the state’s past.
Take a Riverboat Cruise: Embark on a scenic riverboat cruise along the Sangamon River. This leisurely journey offers picturesque views of Springfield’s landscape and is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Some cruises even provide dinner options for a romantic or family-friendly experience.
Explore the Illinois State Military Museum: History buffs will appreciate the Illinois State Military Museum, which houses an extensive collection of military artifacts and memorabilia. Gain a deeper understanding of the state’s military history through exhibits that span from the Illinois militia to modern-day service.
Attend a Sporting Event: If you’re a sports enthusiast, catch a game featuring one of Springfield’s local teams. Whether it’s baseball, basketball, or hockey, the city’s sports scene offers an opportunity to cheer for the home team and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow fans.
Participate in Outdoor Recreation at Lake Springfield: Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the recreational opportunities at Lake Springfield. Enjoy fishing, boating, or simply relax by the water’s edge. The lake’s parks and trails provide a serene escape within the city.
Visit the Lincoln Depot: Delve deeper into Abraham Lincoln’s history by visiting the Lincoln Depot, where he delivered his farewell address before departing for Washington, D.C., to assume the presidency. The depot now serves as a visitor center and museum, offering valuable insights into this pivotal moment in American history.
Springfield, Illinois, is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modern amenities. Whether you’re fascinated by the life of Abraham Lincoln, appreciate architectural wonders, or simply want to enjoy the beauty of a Midwest city, Springfield has it all. Make the most of your visit by exploring these top-notch attractions and experiences, creating memories that will last a lifetime.