5-7 Days | 405 Miles | in Architecture, 5+ Days
Beautiful architecture inspires awe whenever you encounter it. Climbing the stairs at the oldest skyscraper in the country. Viewing one of the most iconic skylines ever built. Touring a home designed by an architectural legend. Visit and you'll see why Illinois' architecture is second to none.
Make sure to check with attractions ahead of time for up-to-date operating hours, travel policies and health and safety information.
Chicago is known for its impressive skyline and storied architectural past. To kick off your itinerary, start at the Chicago Architecture Center and get yourself booked on an architecture boat cruise along the Chicago River. Then, stroll The Magnificent Mile north for an abundance of shopping destinations and impressive structures. For a view, the 360 Chicago + Tilt experience is sure to leave you speechless as you look out (and down if you’re brave) over the city.
Enjoy some time in the sun as you check off Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) before admiring the vast Pritzker Pavilion. Then, walk The Nichols Bridgeway to the third floor of the West Pavilion of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Next, head south to Hyde Park where you’ll find the Frederick C. Robie House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the most innovative and forward thinking of all Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie houses.
Finish your exploration of downtown Chicago at The Rookery, one of Burnham and Root’s masterpiece buildings which is considered the oldest standing high-rise in the city. Next, head to Chicago’s North Shore where you’ll find the Baháʼí House of Worship, the oldest surviving Baháʼí House of Worship. While you’re in the area, check out the symbolic design of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and stop by Hewn for delicious artisan breads and baked goods.
Oak Park, just 30 minutes outside the city, features both the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio and Unity Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. His home and studio have been restored to their 1909 appearance, the last year Wright lived there with his family. The Little Gem Cafe is a great relaxed choice for upscale fare after your visit. Continue the journey onwards to Bartlett where you’ll find the Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a traditional Hindu place of worship. Finish the day in Rockford.
Start your day with the famous Swedish pancakes at the Stockholm Inn, then head over to the Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House. Continue on to Geneva to the Fabyan Villa Museum, which was remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. In Plano you’ll find Farnsworth House, designed and built by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1949-1951, one of the most widely-studied structures built in the 20th century. Continue on and stop to see the Finding Frank mural series in downtown Kankakee before getting to Springfield.
You’re truly in the Land of Lincoln now! Explore and compare the Illinois State Capitol and Old State Capitol. Take some time to look out for Lincoln-related photo ops while you’re admiring these structures. And finally, cross off the last FLW stop on your list with a visit to the Dana Thomas House.