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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.
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.
Historic Swinging Bridges
Three bridges which cross the Vermillion River. Built as early as 1898 and one of the most popular attractions in Pontiac. Bridge 1 connects Riverview Drive and Play Park. It was built in July 1898 by Joliet Bridge Company with an iron structure, 190 feet long and 4 feet wide and supported by cables swung from masonry piers. The current bridge is a wooden structure. Bridge 2 connects the Play Park and Chautauqua Park - Eden M. Johnson Memorial circa 1926. Bridge 3 connects the south side and Riverside-Humiston Park. It was built in connection with the adjoining park, circa 1978: Illinois Contractors, Inc.
Japan House offers the public an opportunity to learn about traditional Japanese culture through tea ceremonies, workshops and special events through the year. The beautiful Japan House gardens are open from dawn to dusk for you to stroll through and enjoy. The Japan House closes during the summer. Call for information on tea ceremonies and tours.
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.
Peoria Civic Center
Downstate Illinois' largest center is a four-building complex with a 12,000-seat arena. With 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 2,200-seat theater, a ball-room seating 1,500 for banquets and 16 meeting rooms this venue can house it all. As the premier entertainment facility in downstate Illinois, the Civic Center plays host to a variety of concerts, family shows, sporting events and Broadway Theater Series each year.
Looking for Lincoln Exhibits
Pontiac’s historic connections to Abraham Lincoln date back to Lincoln’s early days as a young lawyer traveling the 8th Judicial District. Lincoln visited Pontiac many times, represented a number of local citizens in legal actions, and made connections here that helped him to rise to prominence in state and national politics. Nine outdoor story boards help tell the stories associated with Lincoln's many visits to Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Visitor Center.
Fort Lamotte is a construction of a civilian style early 19th century American fort, featuring a two story block house and small log cabin. Construction began in spring of 2007 with all volunteer labor, donations of materials by various people and businesses. The block house is mainly constructed of popular logs as is the cabin. Local hickory was used for the cantilever logs, between 1st and 2nd stories with a puncheon 2nd story floor and persimmon trusses. The stockade walls are of locally grown hedge and black locust. This is the third fort to bear the name Lamotte.
Ewing Cultural Center
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
Located in the midst of Illinois' Amish country, Rockome Gardens features the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center, a cheese factory, gardens, shops, Amish dinners, special events, and farm and house tours.
Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
Gathers, interpretes, and exhibits featuring the history and culture of African Americans living in the Springfield and Central Illinois area durin the 19th and 20th centuries. Open only Saturdays 9am-5pm until February 23, 2012. Tours and lectures available other times by request.
Arthur Amish Country Information Center
This visitor's center offers maps and information on the entire Amish area, including the 150 Amish craft shops that dot the countryside surrounding the village of Arthur.
Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
Riverfront Museum Park
Arts and humanities complex housing Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Dance Company office and studies, Northern Illinois Public Radio offices and Rockford Symphony Orchestra offices.
Louis Latzer Homestead
Louis Latzer, the founder of the Pet Milk Company, built this homestead for his wife and family in 1901. The home had many modern features of the day, including running water pumped by hand to a holding tank in the attic, a manufactured gas light system, speaking tubes between many of the rooms and one of the first telephones in the community.
Route 66 Heritage Wayside Exhibits
Five wayside story boards that highlight the history of Route 66 in Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Route 66 Museum.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago's architectural showplace for the lively and visual arts. Daily programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affiars. See the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. It was initially built for dual purposes. It was the city's central library and a monument dedicated to the Civil War's Grand Army of the Republic. Since 1977 the building has housed cultural entities that included galleries, an auditorium, and the city's office of cultural affairs. The building architects are Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
Illinois Executive Mansion
Home of the Illinois Governor, the mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied governor's home in the nation. Filled with antiques and historic artifacts. Built in 1855 the mansion contains 16 elegantly appointed rooms open for viewing, including the state dining room, a library and the Lincoln bedroom.
Korean War National Museum
Treasured artifacts, historial papers, and mementos tell the story of the Korean War through interactive exhibits. The first phase of the museum, The Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, is open to the public. The Center houses 3D-interactive exhibits, the Freedom Hall Theater, a canteen, and a center for Veterans and their families to record their personal experiences.
Vernon Hills Park District Sullivan Community Center
Overlooking park land, the Community Room, equipped with a stage and kitchen, can serve 260 dinner guests or 400 people theater seating. Smaller meeting rooms with a capacity of 10-140 people including a gymnasium rental are also available.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Joseph Smith Historic Site
The Joseph Smith Historic Site retells the story of the Latter Day Saint movement in Nauvoo during the early 1840s. Within the Visitor Center, guests will find original paintings of Nauvoo by David Hyrum Smith as well as other artifacts and information about the city and its people. Guided walking tours begin at the Visitors Center, starting with a short film and continuing through the Smith family's homes.
First Christian Church
First Christian Church served as the Reagan family church while they lived in Dixon and helped form Ronald Reagan's Christian-based work ethic, which included a short term as a Sunday School teacher.
Lincoln Christening Site/Watermelon Statue
A life-size statue of a watermelon commemorates the day the City of Lincoln was christened by Abraham Lincoln on August 27, 1853. The town's founders, John D. Gillett, Virgil HIckox and Robert B. Latham, were all personal friends of Lincoln.