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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
The experiences you’ll find here are as unique, fun and memorable as the road is long. Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation’s history - and it lives on today in Illinois Route 66’s many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road. Illinois’ stretch of this mythic road boasts the highest density of kitschy, interesting things to do you’ll find from here to California. So, join us for the far out journey that never ends on Illinois Route 66.
The 200,000-sq.-ft. Scheels has everything you need to scratch your activity itch. From name brand equipment and gear for running, hiking, biking water sports and so much more.
Knight's Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure
The theme park offers miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, carnival rides and an arcade. While the water park features a wave pool, bumper boats, water slides, paddle boats and a lazy river. Catch a movie at the old-fashioned drive-in, adjacent to Knight's.
Doc’s Soda Fountain
Located on historic Route 66, this was originally a pharmacy built in the 1880’s. The soda fountain was added to the business in the 1950’s. Stop in for an old-fashioned treat or ice-cream. Doc’s is also open for lunch and dinner.
Original Brick Road
This beautiful 1.4 mile long piece of restored hand-laid brick road is a segment of 66 done in 1931 and placed over a concrete roadbed. Route 66 at its best.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Amish Country Tours
A step on guide will accompany your tour of the Amish countryside. The tours will also include meals in Amish homes, and Amish home, buggy shop, dairy farm and woodworking tours. Additional highlights include an Amish museum, local attractions, restaurants, and accommodations.
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
The North Pole has moved to Central Illinois. Try your luck at the 6+ acre corn maze, the Grand Prix style race track, pick a pumpkin or a Christmas tree (depending on season), stop by the fascinating gift shop and, of course, see the reindeer!
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
Grady's Family Fun Center
As Bloomington-Normal's only amusement park, Grady's features an 18-hole mini-golf course, batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts and kiddie rides.
This zoo overlooking Lake Decatur is home to animals from around the world, the Z.O.&O. Express train, the Endangered Species Carousel and the Zootique Gift Shop. Family events and activities are offered regularly.
Henry's Ra66it Ranch
This quirky must-see Route 66 attraction, information center and souvenir gift shop is home to rabbits of all kinds, bunny and VW, as well as Mother Road memorabilia.
World's Largest Covered Wagon
The Railsplitter Covered Wagon, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest covered wagon in the world, is located on the front lawn of the Best Western Lincoln Inn, near historic Route 66. A statue of Abe Lincoln reading a law book sits in the huge wooden wagon, which stands 24 feet tall.
Fairview Water Park
Fairview has an activity pool featuring arched water jets, a polar bear slide and a water mushroom. The park also features six lap swim lanes, a deep pool with two thrilling drop slides, multiple diving boards and two sand volleyball courts.
The state's largest artificial body of water, Lake Decatur spans 2,800 acres, with 30 miles of shoreline offering recreational opportunities and wildlife vistas at lakeside parks and the city marina. Water sports include boating, fishing, sailing and jet skiing. While shoreline locations surrounding Nelson Park Marina offer miniature golf, dining, public gardens and picnic facilities.
The Palms Grill Café
The Palms Grill Cafe was a well-known restaurant during the heyday of Route 66. Recently the cafe was revitalized and reopened, and is serving up delicious nostalgia from the fabled Route 66 era. The Palm’s Grill Café has been baking pies and feeding hungry travels and residents for decades. Their pies are so delicious they've even won a few state pie competitions. Saddle up to the counter or take a seat at a table; either way, the pie and coffee with the community atmosphere is enough to make any first-timer feel like a regular. Conveniently located right across the street is the towering Bunyon’s Statue, another one of Route 66’s famous Muffler Man Statues.
Curtis Orchard is an 80-acre apple orchard, pumpkin patch and entertainment farm offers activities for the whole family. Open July 20–December 20, the orchard country store and bakery offer a wide variety of gift and food items, including pies, fritters, apple crisp donuts and award-winning cider. Outdoor activities include seasonal apple and pumpkin picking, kids play structures, a giant slide, several mazes including the corn maze, petting zoo, toddler area, birthday parties and corporate picnics. Weekend activities include outdoor meals, live entertainment, seasonal pony rides, and an orchard wagon.
Discover cute boutiques housed in historic storefronts in downtown Champaign, including antique and consignment shops. Be sure to stop at PACA’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse, where you’ll find everything from vintage stained glass to ceramic tiles.
Miller Park Zoo
Miller Park Zoo is the only Illinois zoo to feature the endangered Sumatran tiger. This zoo also features several indoor and outdoor exhibits of exotic animals, special events; and it's open year round.
University of Illinois Arboretum
The University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs of several units throughout campus. Central to the Arboretum was the development of the "All American Selection Trial Gardens" established by a bequest from Miles C. Hartley in the early 90s. Other highlights of the Arboretum include the Welcome Garden, Hosta Garden, Kari Walkway and native ponds plantings, the Idea Garden, sponsored by Champaign County Master Gardeners, and the Japanese Tea and Dry Gardens at the Japan House.
Henson Robinson Zoo
The Henson Robinson Zoo is home to animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia and North and South America. Over 90 species of native and exotic animals are housed here among naturalistic exhibits. Special events are held throughout the year and provide many hands-on experiences for children and adults alike. Also, take a "Zooper Edventure" with the zoo’s education programs for children ages 2 to 17. Facilities include a gift shop, concessions and a petting area.
Wabash Valley Wine Trail
The Wabash Valley Wine Trail is made up of five wineries located in the southeastern part of the state. Visitors to this area can enjoy the scenic Wabash River Valley, historic towns, and quaint bed and breakfasts.
Prairie Fruits Farm
Prairie Fruit farms is a farm-to-table experience located in Champaign, IL that celebrates eating locally and sustainably. Working with Culinary Institute of America trained chefs they create multi-course meals using only the freshest local ingredients. Many of the vegetables and fruits come from the farm, as well as the milk, eggs and cheeses. You can even take farm tours and learn how they harvest the crops and milk their large herd of sheep for the creation of cheeses and milk. Perfect for kids of all ages.
The Farm includes 23 theme gardens, a rustic shop in the barn featuring herbal gifts and supplies, picnics, hayrides and a greenhouse.
Route 66 Park & Tourism Center
This small park is right on Route 66, and it's a great place to check out the town of Atlanta. It is a great park, including flat area to run and playground for the kids to climb and run on, you and your family are sure to enjoy.
Walnut Point State Park
State park with hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and picnicking. Concession stand and boat rental available.
Genevieve Green Gardens
The Genevieve Green Gardens offer a relaxing setting for contemplation and the appreciation of nature's beauty. Small gardens are tucked in at various locations; there is also a formal compass garden with a beautiful arbor, a Japanese garden, and a main plaza that is highlighted by a water feature. Walkways, accompanied by tasteful signage, conveniently guide visitors around the property and are in harmony with the landscape's topography. Carefully designed lighting makes it possible to enjoy the gardens during evening hours.
Scovill House & Oriental Gardens
Serenity envelopes this intimate area, where visitors are welcomed by a Chinese Fu dog and flowering dogwoods, star magnolia, Japanese lilac, and rhododendron -- foliage native to the Orient. Originally commissioned by Guy and Rose Scovill in the 1920's and reconstructed in the 1980's, the gardens' soothing nature encompasses a small reflective point, sod bridge, and oriental sculptures, and surrounds a small cottage, which is available for gatherings and retreats.
Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center
Located on the shores of Lake Springfield and designed by landscape architect, Jens Jensen, five miles of wooded trails lead you on a journey through the Illinois landscape Lincoln walked.
Prairie Farm features traditional farm animals such as sheep, pigs, horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks and geese. Visitors are welcome to pet the farm’s animals in the petting area. Kids both young and old will enjoy crossing the footbridge that spans the farm’s miniature duck pond. Prairie Farm also offers educational programs and private party services. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day; Hours: Daily 1:00–7:00 p.m.; Free! (fee for trolley ride and some programs)
The University of Illinois Pollinitarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. Its location in the midst of the Arboretum brings together flowers and pollinators physically and conceptually. Changing exhibits relate to world events and ongoing research on pollinators. Guests can explore beekeeping equipment, see live demonstrations and play interactive games. Because so much depends on pollination, the UI Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination as a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service.
Boulder Creek Fun Park
Boulder Creek Fun Park is a golf course that also features a driving range.
Enjoy a relaxing retreat at Sara's Sanctuary. Every retreat offers a different health and wellness experience, which includes therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, yoga or meditation, reflexology and Reiki. Each session has a limit of eight participants and four sleeping rooms.
Ferrel Clydesdale Farms
In operation since 1850, the farm features a blacksmith shop and Clydesdale horses. Chuck wagon cookouts are available.
Washington Park Botanical Garden
20 Acre site with Rose Garden, Rockery, and Fountain Beds, perennial border along with domed conservatory.
Historic National Road Scenic Byway
The National Road is called the "road that built the nation" because it was the first highway in American history. Today the National Road in Illinois covers 164 miles, from Marshall and the Wabash Valley to East St. Louis and the Mississippi River.
A quiet cove at dawn, where the only sound is the whir of a casting reel and the gentle splash of the fly hitting the water’s surface...that’s Lake Sara. A sunny afternoon slalom skiing behind a powerboat or running along the beach...that’s Lake Sara. A family picnic in the grass at water’s edge or a family reunion, with fried chicken and the works, under one of the pavilions...that’s Lake Sara. Lake Sara is an 800-acre recreational lake nestled into a wooded shoreline, encircled by a winding road. Spend a day, a week, or a season on the shores of Lake Sara. Lake Sara has something for everyone, in every season of the year.
Oak Terrace Resort & Spa
The Inn overlooks a championship golf course with each room featuring a private balcony overlooking the course. Offers 37 rooms, indoor pool, and hot tub. This 3-story full service resort and day spa is a Chalet nestled in the woods overlooked Lake Beyers. With 2 fireplaces, 9 treatment rooms, nail salon, full service hair salon, hydrotherapy tubs. Oak Terrace has meeting and banquet facilities, bar and restaurant, 18-hole golf course, fitness center, Zumba classes, tennis, hiking, and boating, hotel and villa accommodations. Also houses Lakeview Spa with a full compliment of services and a Boutique. There is a 66 acre fishing lake and easy access to boat parking. Wi-Fi.
Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center
The Indoor Aquatic Center has a recreational and competition pool, a beach-like entry and a water playground.
Lake Jacksonville Campground
All the beauty and excitement of the great outdoors awaits you at Lake Jacksonville. Whatever you're looking for in outdoor recreation, fishing, sailing, swimming, skiing, canoeing, hiking, and picnic areas you'll find it here.
Downtown Jacksonville Walldog Murals
Completed in the Summer of 2006, these 10 murals depicting historic Jacksonville scenes and events were handpainted by more than 50 sign painters and graphic artists from as far away as Scotland and New Zealand.
Wandell Sculpture Garden
The Wandell Sculpture Garden was established in honor of Willett and Celia Wandell in 1998. This unique, free outdoor sculpture garden sits among 22 acres of recreated Illinois tallgrass prairie in 130-acre Meadowbrook Park. While walking the looped paths, one can encounter bikers, joggers and other sculpture lovers as the park serves both recreational and educational purposes. Works from local artists with ties to the University of Illinois grace the garden, as well as pieces from artists who reside in New York, California and New Mexico. The garden has both permanent sculptures and some that are rotated every second or third year, keeping it fresh for visitors. Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Located across from the Statehouse in Vandalia, the park features a life-size, bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is a favorite spot for photos with the 16th president.
Anthony Acres Resort
Anthony Acres Resort has picturesque views of Lake Sara. The resort is only five minutes from Effingham, so you can come into town and enjoy some food or shop.
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Lake of the Woods County Park is a 900-acre preserve that features an 18-hole regulation golf course, a 9-hole par 3 course and practice range, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding the Hi-Tower bell carillon and observation area, a 3.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian path, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, building rentals and various programs.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden
The gardens boast some of the most beautiful and diverse flora in east-central IL. It also features the award-winning Miriam Davies Memorial Enabling Garden.
Family Aquatic Center
This aquatic center has a frog slide, water slide, wet playground area, a sand playground, concessions, a shaded picnic area and a bath house.
Come out to Camp Lakewood and enjoy the views of Lake Pauline plus all the creature comforts. Camp Lakewood is an RV campground. The sites include cable, WiFi, 30/50 AMP. They also offer a one and two bedroom cabin that is fully furnished and self contained. The newest cabin sleeps five and includes Cable TV. They do offer tent sites as well for those who want to be a little closer to nature.
Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center
Fun for the whole family! Highlights include two amazing water slides that splash down into 350,000 gallons of crystal clear water. The zero-depth entry pool also features water toys for children, lanes for swimmers, and diving boards. The 14,000 square foot facility also has a full bath house with accessible restrooms and changing rooms, along with a full-service concession stand, shaded and open lounge areas, picnic tables and much more.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Red Bud Lane Iris Garden
Feast your eyes on the gardens of iris, hostas and day lillies. These bulbs and rhizomes are shipped all over the country. Please call before your visit.
Ultimate Play Space - Spray & Play Park
This 13-acre park allows kids to exercise their mind and body! Water park runs Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.
Anna Bethel Fisher Rock Garden
Created in 1927 from an old sand pit across the road from Lake Decatur, the city's oldest garden was extensively renovated in 1992. Its resurrected look features secluded paths leading through rocky terraces planted with unusual trees, and landscapes brimming with colorful perennials. Towering bald Cypress trees, planted in the 1920s, still reign over these delightful grounds.
Buxton's Garden Farm
Open year-round and offering annual and perennial flowers, mums, fall decor, pumpkins, squash, and fall treats. Known also for the 7 acre corn maze, haunted maze and mind twisted maze. School tours and groups welcome. Christmas trees and wreaths offered in winter months.
River Bend Forest Preserve
The 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve south of Mahomet contains approximately 130 acres of clear water in two lakes, one of which is the largest public lake in Champaign County, and includes 2.5 miles of forest along the Sangamon River.
Shady Crest Farm Market
Come visit this working Amish farm and apple orchard. They have a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, plus fresh honey, apple butter and maple syrup. A Deli filled with 15 different Country-Cured Meats & 24 different Cheeses is also available Monday - Saturday. While you're there, enjoy a hand-dipped ice cream cone. You can also find Fresh Baked Goods every Thursday - Saturday. Open year round.
With special attention to individuals with cognitive and physical needs, this state-of-the-art park is both peaceful and accessible. Check the treeless treehouse for a towering view of the park.
Sangamon River Forest Preserve
Sangamon River Forest Preserve, a 160-acre gem, offers a variety of natural features and is ideal for low-impact activities such as picnicking, bird-watching, hiking and river fishing. The preserve hosts the Lincoln Ash Tree, one of the largest ash trees in the state.
White Squirrels of Olney
For over 100 years, Olney has been the home for hundreds of white squirrels. The albino squirrels can be seen at various locations in town, but are most often found in the Olney City Park.
Vandalia State House
Step inside the Illinois’ oldest surviving State Capitol building. Vandalia was the fourth statehouse in Illinois, and is best known for the era when Abraham Lincoln served in the Illinois House of Representatives. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of this restored landmark.
Pike's Peak Ocean to Ocean Road
One of the first transcontinental highways, Pike's Peak Ocean to Ocean Road is one of the most unchanged of all early highways. Pick up a map to travel the Edgar County route at local Chrisman, Hume or Metcalfe shops.
TREC Recreation Trails
The TREC trail system is a public trail designed to create recreational opportunities. The trails provide a great place for visitors to exercise, whether its walking, riding bikes, or roller blading. The mission is to develop a countrywide, multi-use trail system, educate the communities on the benefits of the trails, and promote an active lifestyle by providing recreational activities.
Schaub Floral Display Center
Bursting with seasonal exhibits, our brightest newcomer nurtures flowering trees and scrubs such as weeping Japanese cherry, mock orange, forsythia, fragrant bulbs, and delightfully colored pansies. A perennial garden joins the array this summer, and the spring exhibit opens mid-March.
Weldon Springs State Park
Weldon Springs State Recreation Area is a 550-acre state park located near Clinton, Illinois. It centers on Salt Creek and the impoundment of a tributary, Weldon Springs, to form Weldon Spring Lake, a reservoir.
Clinton Lake Marina
Services include boat rentals, beverages, bait, propane tank exchange, slip rentals and an on-site boat service department.
Approximately 25 weekend sites and 200 permanent sites on the east side of Litchfield's Lake Lou Yaeger. Site offers trail hikes, lake frontage, 30 amp RV service, city water and convenience store.
This family-run dairy is located on the edge of Logan County. Call to set up an appointment to visit.
Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area
A 6,400-acre wildlife area on the north end of Lake Shelbyville. Hunting for waterfowl, forest and upland game is popular. Boat access is provided to accommodate anglers and hunters.
Lincoln Trail State Park
Whether you are looking for history, unusual plant life or recreation, Lincoln Trail State Park has something to interest you. The area is named after the Lincoln Heritage Trail where Abraham Lincoln's family followed en route from Indiana to Illinois in 1831. Lincoln Trail State Park offers American beech woods and a nature preserve with hiking trails, boat rentals, camping, biking, bird watching, fishing, ice fishing and ice skating. Restaurant open seasonally.
Come visit the quiet, curious and lovable llamas on this working farm.
Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial
This is the site of Abraham Lincoln's first Illinois home. Bisected by the Sangamon River, the site also features picnicking and hiking.
CITY: Mount Zion
Lake Shelbyville - Bo Wood Recreation Area
Most of the campsites in this 82 site campground are shaded. Located on Lake Shelbyville, beach nearby.
Middle Fork State Fish & Wildlife Area
The Middle Fork natural area offers equestrian trails, hunting and fishing. The Middle Fork Natural Scenic River runs through the area.
Whitley Creek Recreation Area
This campground has 81 campsites, most of which are shaded.
Iroquois County State Wildlife Area
The area features some of the finest and most extensive prairie-marsh and sand dune vegetation remaining in Illinois. Primarily operated as a permit pheasant hunting area, hiking, picnicking, and snowmobiling opportunities are also available.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
Evergreen Tree Walk
The Evergreen Tree Walk features over 90 species of trees indigenous to Illinois. Markers beside the trees list the common and Latin names of each species. The tree walk is a relaxing experience, especially after a long day of travel.
Olympic Tribute & Laborer's Memorial
Honoring the extraordinary achievements of Champaign County residents who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, this granite platform inscribed with the names of the athletes and the Olympic symbol is surrounded by playing fields, gardens and a community college campus. Tribute to Olympic Athletes rises from an ordinary prairie landscape transformed by playing fields, gardens and a community college campus.
Middle Fork State Fish and Wildlife Area
Canoeing is popular along the river's length, which winds through a mixture of forests and prairies. Forest and upland game hunting are also popular at the 2,700-acre site. Horseback riding on 35 miles of trails is available.
The Marshall Log Cabin Visitors Center
Step back in time while you gather information about Marshall and the surrounding area. This quaint log cabin was originally located nine miles south of Marshall. Be sure to travel Highway 40 and the Historic National Road Scenic Byway.
Meadowview Golf Course
This 18-hole, par 72 course features moderate to gently rolling terrain, manicured greens, a full-service pro shop and a food court.
Anita Purves Nature Center
Located at the north end of Crystal Lake Park, this environmental education facility is a natural resource to individuals, families and groups interested in learning more about the outdoors. The Nature Center features four multi-purpose rooms, an exhibit field station, an Observation Room, the Audubon Nature Shop and an Educator Resource Room. The adjacent Busey Woods is perfect for hiking and bird watching.
Deer Trail Golf Course
Nine holes of golf located next to Lake Shelbyville at the old "Country Club." Come and enjoy a round of golf and then come and enjoy food and a refreshment while looking over the Lake.
Piper Glen Golf Club
This 18-hole, par 72 course includes a driving range.
Decatur Park District
In addition to 39 neighborhood and community parks, our green spaces boast bike trails, picnic and camping facilities, gardens, golf courses, playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and swimming pools.
This 25-acre wildlife park, featuring remnants of the original tallgrass Illinois prairie, features a butterfly house.
Macon County Conservation District
Our green spaces boast bike and walking trails, picnic and camping facilities, and gardens.
Homer Lake Forest Preserve
Homer Lake Forest Preserve contains 892 acres for fishing, boating, hiking picnicking, cross-country skiing and sledding. Also available is an exciting Homer Lake Interpretive Center, which hosts thousands every year through programs like "Homer Lake Take Me Fishing" and the unique Natural Playscape.
Rogala Public Links
This nine-hole course is par 36/38.
This family fun spot features an 18-hole miniature golf course and batting cages.
18-hole golf course set in the countryside of Windsor. GPS ADDRESS: 1300 N 3050 E
This orchard offers in-season peaches, apples, pears and pumpkins.
Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
Approximately 5,000 acres are timber, while there are 46 miles of trails for activities including horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and bicycling. Boating is permitted. Camping with electricity.
Located on a serene wooded hilltop, gently slopes into a full-service marina and restaurant situated on Lake Shelbyville.