Skip to main content
Shedd Aquarium
A building and a car

Best of Springfield

From Local Experts

3 Days 129 Miles



from the local experts at Visit Springfield 

Experience the best of Springfield.

Explore Abraham Lincoln and Route 66. Dive into family fun, outdoor adventure, and a hip arts and culture scene. Discover scrumptious food, from fine dining and tasty desserts to our local sandwich, the Horseshoe. Enjoy our area wineries and microbreweries. With accommodations for every budget, find the perfect place to stay with amenities to meet your needs.

Day 1:


  • A boy and man sitting on chair in a room
  • A room with stage and lots of chairs and desks
  • Statue of Lincolns face and building behind it

Walk in the footsteps of our legendary 16th president. Here you will learn about Lincoln the husband, father and neighbor. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum tells the story of Lincoln’s life through special effect theaters, interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind artifacts that will leave even the faintest museum fan amazed. The Lincoln historic attractions in and around the city enhance your discovery of Lincoln. There’s the recreated 1830s log cabin village at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. Visit the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln tried cases before the court, served in the Illinois Legislature and ran his presidential campaign.

Stop by the Springfield Visitors Center to see an exhibit depicting the Lincoln Herndon Law Office, then walk to Lincoln Depot where Lincoln delivered his Farewell Address as he departed for Washington D.C. in 1861. Finally, travel to Lincoln Tomb to pay your respects and remember the accomplishments of one of America’s most beloved presidents. After dinner at Maldaner’s, one of Springfield’s finest restaurants, established in 1884, consider joining Lincoln’s Ghost Walk. Overnight at the Northfield Inn Suites and Conference Center.

Day 2:


  • People walking down a street in celebration
  • Food on a tray attached to a cars window
  • A old fashioned petrol station with pumps

People from around the world are drawn to the aura of Route 66. The “Road is Alive” in Springfield. Check out the Route 66 Twin Drive-In and experience the resurgence of this great American classic. See Springfield’s own Muffler Man, the Lauterbach Giant. Take your selfie on the short stretch of Original Historic Route 66 Brick Road and snap a pic of Mahan’s Filling Station at Fulgenzi’s Pizza. Definitely shop at Hall’s Harley Davidson for your Springfield Harley t-shirt and find all the neon and other signs that made Route 66 famous at Ace Sign Museum.

Route 66 is all about the food and do we have some options to make your mouth water! Route 66 Motorheads Bar, Grill & Museum is a great place for lovers of Route 66—it includes the largest outdoor Route 66 shield in the US! Cozy Dog Drive In, home of the "Original" hot dog on a stick, dipped in batter and deep fried, has been serving roadies on Route 66 since 1949. Or try Maid Rite, America’s first drive thru restaurant, The Chili Parlor or chilli with two l’s at Dew Chilli Parlor.

Day 3:


  • A ferris wheel inside a mall
  • A garden with pretty trees
  • Big waterpark slides

Splash it up at Knight’s Action Park, the area’s best waterpark and dryland adventure. Hit the driving range or compete for bragging rights playing miniature golf. Ride the Ferris wheel at SCHEELS after shopping at this amazing 200,000 square foot retail store with an arcade, candy factory, café, home decor lodge, and gear for every sport imaginable. Enjoy the serenity of the Jens Jenson designed Lincoln Memorial Garden, with six miles of walking trails along Lake Springfield. The kiddos will love Henson Robinson Zoo, also located on the shores of Lake Springfield, with over 80 species of native and exotic animals. 

Go back over a million years to see the history of Illinois at the Illinois State Museum or tour the Dana-Thomas House, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home from his early Prairie style period. You’re sure to notice all the street art, murals and sculptures in the city during your visit, paying homage to the many talented local artists. Stop in one of our local galleries either by the SAA CollectiveThe Pharmacy, or others to find that perfect piece to add to your collection.

Back to Road Trip Itineraries

More recommendations

Where to next?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get inspired by top travel stories, gain access to exclusive promotions and contests, and discover even more reasons to #EnjoyIllinois.