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Shedd Aquarium

Spring into Summer in Illinois

  • Aerial photo of two people in a canoe on blue water

    Nurture your nature-side

    Beyond the skyline of Chicago and the historic streets of Springfield lies a natural playground where adventure awaits. From the rugged trails of Giant City State Park to picturesque lakes perfect for kayaking, boating and floating. The outdoors of Illinois are waiting to be discovered.

    Nurture your nature-side
  • Kids run in front of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, Chicago

    The middle of world-class fun

    Chicago includes iconic architecture, world-class museums, and culinary excellence. Experience architectural marvels like the Wrigley Building to the mesmerizing reflections of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Every corner tells a story in this diverse and energetic city.

    The middle of world-class fun
  • A person jumps across a rock with friends, blue sky and water in the background

    Uncover hidden gems in Illinois

    Discover the hidden treasures throughout the state. Embark on a journey along one the seven scenic byways, explore trails in one of the 64 state parks, or sleep under the stars. There are memories to be made in the Middle—come live them.

    Uncover hidden gems in Illinois
Hikers look at Garden of the Gods from a viewing platform

Go Green in Southern Illinois

Take the scenic route along the mighty Mississippi to Shawnee National Forest. Hike sunlit trails to stunning views like Camel Rock and zip line through the tapestry of foliage on a Canopy Tour. Sip your way through world-class wine trails or cycle under blue summer skies down the Sam Vadalabene bike trail. Whether you're an outdoor aficionado or a summer enthusiast, there's an adventure waiting for you in the Middle of Everything.

Let Your Tastebuds Run Wild

Empanadas and other food on a table at Cabra in Chicago


Enjoy the panoramic rooftop views of Chicago at this Peruvian inspired restaurant. Their vibrant and flavorful menu is meant to be enjoyed family-style with a variety of shareable plates.

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Pizza, beer and side dishes from the Scratch Brewery.

Scratch Brewing Company

A farm-to-brew experience near Shawnee National Forest. This brewhouse forages seasonal ingredients to create unique beer styles. Did we mention they are up for a James Beard Award too?

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Cheeseboard with wine

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Enjoy a night on the farm savoring a chef-led multi-course meal from local ingredients, featuring their own produce and cheeses. Check back in on their event's schedule to book a seat.

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A beer in a glass on a table

Moody Tongue

The stars have finally aligned for the beer community! The first Michelin Star pub in Chicago, Moody Tongue offers not only the perfect food & beer pairing, but the right moods.

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An egg dish in a skillet

The Iron Whisk

A modern brunch bistro in the heart of The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Enjoy classic offerings with an innovative twist. Stop in and check out their regularly changing menu board specials.

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A drink with marshmallow on top

XO Marshmallow

Get yourself in a sticky situation over ooey-gooey greatness! Seasonal flavors and delicious delights, treat yourself to a sweet treat that you’ll want to snap before savoring.

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A girl sits on a tractor at John Deere Pavilion

Beep beep, family-fun coming through!

You’re never too old for a day filled with discovery and excitement. Surround yourself with marvels of engineering at John Deere's newly remodeled Pavilion, where curiosity sparks innovation and agriculture meets cutting-edge technology. Discover the ingenious use of soybeans in creating eco-friendly materials, and hop into the driver’s seat of the massive X9 combine. Whether you’re intrigued by the future of farming or just seeking a unique day out, this visit is filled with opportunities for creativity and fun.

Trail Through the Middle

A trail through the trees

Hiking Trails

Take the scenic route on foot! With over 270 trails (that’s 700+ miles) across the state, discover what nature has in store. Wander through postcard-worthy wonders in the Middle. Hikers' favorite: Starved Rock State Park

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A white wine held against a vineyard backdrop

Wine Trails

Raise a glass to sipping and savoring through the Middle. Illinois has eight picturesque wine trails across the state. Each trail offers a variety of award-winning wines paired with breathtaking views. Discover them all here.

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2 people riding bikes on the Galena river trail

Biking Trails

Where there is a trail there is a way — especially on wheels. Pedal through the Middle, and discover scenic sights, small-towns and much more. Make sure to pencil in foodie-stops along the way! Bikers' favorite: Galena River Trail

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A man hangs off a rock face

Climbing Trails

Head to Southern Illinois for outdoor fun. From rock-climbing, bouldering and accessible trails in Giant City State Park to exploring a 55 ft wide cave in Cave-In-Rock State Park, no matter your skill level, there is a climb for you.

Discover Climbing & More Discover Climbing & More

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