Tourist Activities

While it is very true that The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is located among the corn and soybeans in the center of the State, there are a surprising of things to do in the area!  You might want to consider staying in the area an extra day or two to check out some of these possibilities.

Places to visit in the State

Springfield Illinois 

Springfield, about an hour and fifteen minutes from Champaign by car, is the State Capital and home of Abraham Lincoln.   Springfield is well-worth visiting if you are a fan of US history, and it is also the location of one of the homes built by perhaps the most famous US architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.  The photos and links below will show you a few of the most interesting sites in that city.

Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Museum
Lincoln Home
National Historic Site
Old State Capitol
State Historic Site
Lincoln Tomb
Dana Thomas
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
State Historical Site

Driving Directions from the U of Illinois to Springfield

Cahokia Mounds

This site in far Southern Illinois is one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the U.S.  This was the home to a pre-Columbian city that at its peak in the late 1200s covered almost 6 square miles with a population as large as 40,000 (larger than London at that time and no other city in the United States reached that size until the late 1700s).  The Cahokia Mounds site is located very close to St. Louis, so a trip to see both the site and the city would be a great idea.  This is a site that most people in the US and many in Illinois have no idea exists. If you are a history fan, this is definitely worth a visit.

Wikipedia article

Official Site

Driving Directions from the U of Illinois




If you fly into Chicago rather than Champaign, you should definitely try to spend at least a couple days in this city and surrounding area.  Chicago is located at the Southern end of Lake Michigan and has great food, museums, entertainment.   While there are MANY things to do in this city, the ones listed below are a few on Randall Sadler’s “must do” list!

The Art Institute of Chicago
(great art museum, especially
their Impressionist Collection!
Wrigley Field (one of the oldest
ballparks in the US!
Navy Pier Lake and River Architecture Tours

Shoreline Sightseeing

Chicago Line Cruises


Shedd Aquarium The Field Museum
Deep Dish Pizza (a truly Chicago
experience started at Pizzeria Uno.
Remember, it takes awhile to cook! )
Lakefront Trail (rent a bike and explore
22 miles of trails along the water
The Magnificent Mile, Michigan Ave
(If you feel the need to do some
Serious shopping)
Music and Theater (Chicago has plenty
of both!!)

Driving directions between the University of Illinois and downtown Chicago.