Local Area Attractions
Springfield, Illinois is a city that offers you everything you're looking for in an unforgettable vacation. From our historical Lincoln attractions to our national art shows, from the Illinois State Fair to the ethnic festival - great adventures await your discovery. Overflowing with small town friendliness & big city sophistication, Springfield - the capital of Illinois - is located midway between Chicago & St. Louis along historic Route 66.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a 200,000 sq. foot complex situated in downtown Springfield, Illinois, and is complemented by a meticulously restored Union Station Visitors Center (completion scheduled 2006) and an adjacent parking facility.Next door, designers have created a presidential museum of unparalleled size, originality, and educational promise. The Museum contains 46,000 square feet of permanent exhibits - double the size of their counterpart at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, until now the nations largest. Combining impeccable scholarship with brilliant showmanship, the new museum's permanent exhibit galleries carry visitors on twin journeys from a crude, overcrowded Indiana cabin to Ford's Theater and a reproduction of the House Chamber in the Old State Capitol where Lincoln's flag-draped casket lies in state. Along the way, you will be treated to a 250 seat multi-stage and screen presentation, a stunning holographic theater bringing Lincoln documents and artifacts, literally, to life; a Treasures Gallery housing icons like the Gettysburg Address; and a separate children's area called Mrs. Lincoln's Attic.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The Lincoln Home is a great starting point for your tour of Springfield. The Quaker-brown residence where the Abraham Lincoln family lived for seventeen years (1844-1861) is a national treasure. It's located in the midst of a four-block historic neighborhood. Your tour of the only home the Lincoln's ever owned will be conducted by National Park Service rangers. Free tickets are required and may only be obtained at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center at 426 S. 7th Street.
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
Abraham Lincoln practiced law in these law offices above Seth Tinsley's dry goods store from 1843 until 1853. It was an ideal location for a rising young law firm - near the Capitol and Springfield's finest hotel of the day, and just above the local post office and Federal Courtroom. Stephen Logan (1843-1844) and William Herndon (1844-1865) were his partners during this time. This is the only surviving structure in which Lincoln maintained working law offices.
"No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feelings of sadness at this parting." Bittersweet words spoken by President-elect Abraham Lincoln as he departed his beloved Springfield for an uncertain future in Washington, D.C. The Depot contains restored waiting rooms (one for ladies and one for the luggage and tobacco-spitting men), exhibits of people and places dear to Lincoln, and an audio-visual show recreating the 12-day journey to his inauguration.
The Lincoln Tomb is located on the grounds of Oak Ridge Cemetery. The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March through October and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from November through February. This beautiful monument marks the final resting place of Abraham, Mary Todd, Tad, Eddie and Willie Lincoln. (Oldest son, Robert, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.) Abraham Lincoln was buried in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery at the request of Mrs. Lincoln after his assassination in 1865. The monument was designed by sculptor Larkin Mead, completed in 1874, and paid for with public donations. The original receiving vault in which Abraham Lincoln was buried can be seen on a tour of the cemetery. (Be sure to ask about the special Civil War Retreat Ceremony held at the Tomb each Tuesday evening during the summer.)
Oak Ridge Cemetery
Oak Ridge is the second most visited cemetery in the U.S. People from across the country and throughout the world come to see the tomb of Springfield's most famous citizen. But, this beautiful 300-acre cemetery is also the final resting place for other notable historical figures including labor leader John L. Lewis, the famous poet Vachel Lindsay, four Illinois governors, and Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon.
Old State Capitol
"A house divided against itself cannot stand..." These immortal words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln in the historic Old State Capitol Hall of Representatives in the turbulent days preceding the Civil War. Lincoln's association with this building spanned the years 1837-1860. He tried several hundred cases in the Supreme Court, borrowed books from the state library, and read & swapped stories with other lawyers and politicians in the law library.
llinois Governor's Mansion
This beautiful house has served as the official residence of Illinois' Governors and their families since Governor Joel Matteson took up residence here in 1855. The Illinois Executive Mansion is one of the oldest historic residence in the state and one of the three oldest continuously occupied Governor's Mansions in the country.
America's Main Street, Is Alive And Kicking In Springfield, Il. It winds from Chicago to L.A., more than 2,000 miles all the way, Route 66 . Once the definitive road that connected the country, Route 66 has now become a legend. Since 1926, this ribbon of asphalt and concrete has provided a unique way for travelers to follow their dreams of adventure. No other highway has been so immortalized in song, prose, or film. To songwriter Bobby Troup, it was "My way...the highway that's the best." To novelist John Steinbeck, it was The Mother Road, the road of flight, and the Glory Road to the Land of Second Chance. To desperadoes and bootleggers including the likes of John Dillinger, Al Capone, and Bugs Moran, Route 66 was the ultimate escape route. It was the highway of kicks. More information is available online at route66fest.com
Knights Action Park and Carribbean Adventure
Knights Action Park and Carribean Adventure in Springfield is Central Illinois' favorite family fun spot. With over 62 acres of Splish-Splashin' Rip-Roarin' family fun, Knights is in a class by itself when it comes to family recreational value. Water Slides, Bumper Boats, Go Karts, Mini Golf, Pirate Ships, Giant Sea Creatures, Batting Cages, Laser Tag, a 7-Acre Lake with Peddle Boats, and a 50 tee-slot Driving Range is only the beginning of the adventures you'll find at Knights. There are four private picnic areas for large Group Outings from 50 to 3,000. Plus Knight's offers full on-site catering services and a professional party staff dedicated to making your special outing, nothing but Fun, Fun, Fun.
Adventure Village, Inc.
Adventure Village is located inside the Main Gate at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, you'll find everything from ferris wheels to carousels and thrill rides. Open May thru mid-September, Sat. & Sun., open at noon. Phone: 217-528-9207.
The Silo Inc. "Dare To Climb"
The Silo is central Illinois' newest rock climbing gym which offers two main chambers containing (40) 65' routes, all leadable. And, two 100' indoor routes, one of the tallest in the country. Groups are welcome, call for rate information. Phone: (217) 498-9922.
Quiet, Country Setting
No planes, no trains, no highway noises. Located on Historic Lincolns door step.
Dickson Mounds Museum
Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. No admission fee charged. Located 60 miles northwest of Springfield between Lewistown and Havana, Illinois.