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Where To Find Sustainable Stays & Green Getaways in Illinois

Low-impact traveling and sustainability have emerged as top priorities for travelers when planning their next stays and getaways.

Mar 24, 2024 Regional Getaways

The owners of Firefly Grill busy collecting crops

From farm-to-table restaurants to upcycled overnights, sustainability efforts can be found wherever you eat or stay while in Illinois. Discover sustainable activities and lodgings and eco-friendly road trips so you can help support local communities, reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy a more valuable and inspiring experience for your next travel.

Woman looking at the chain of Rocks bridge.

Itineraries & Trip Ideas

Father lifting up his daughter to touch the nose of the Lincoln statue.

Zero Emissions on Route 66

Take a modern road trip down the 20th century’s most iconic highway and experience the many attractions that have made Route 66 so iconic. Charge up your EV and hit the Mother Road to experience retro, vintage and restored roadside favorites that have turned this classic road into a legend with this eco-friendly road trip itinerary. Try this interactive map of EV charging stations.

Around Illinois by Amtrak

Step back in time to the golden age of train travel and settle in for a peaceful ride to discover some of Illinois’ most charming towns and hidden treasures.

Forest with mossy rocks.

Chicago to Carbondale

Three times a day, trains depart Union Station in Chicago and head south for Carbondale. Heading south, you’ll encounter a wealth of exciting towns such as Homewood, Kankakee, Effingham and more.

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Chicago to Quincy

Heading west in search of adventure is as quintessentially American as apple pie and Amtrak’s westward lines are among the most convenient ways to get you from Chicago to Quincy, and beyond.

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Lit up food place sign

Chicago to Alton

Five times a day, trains roll out of Chicago’s Union Station destined for St. Louis, stopping off along the way in some of the most fascinating destinations Illinois has to offer including Joliet, Pontiac & Springfield.

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A couple riding bikes and taking a photo along the Chicago lakefront

Illinois by Bike

Illinois is a great destination for amateur and professional cyclists alike. There are plenty of amazing spots around the state for everyone with gorgeous views and challenging trails to explore. Illinois has a bike path for everyone, from large statewide trails to leisurely rides along the Chicago lakefront and paved paths to dense country roads. Cyclists will be in awe of the sights offered by these trails including beautiful state parks, canals, Lake Michigan and rolling hills. Biking in Illinois is an activity not to be missed.

A hobbit house

Resources & Guides

House in a forest

Where To Find Upcycled Overnights & Eco-Friendly Stays

Many resorts and lodgings are employing sustainable methods and mixing natural living with classic amenities in order to help guests reduce their carbon footprint while retaining all the luxury they crave. Since one-of-a-kind lodgings in reimagined structures intrigue guests with a creative stay and a local connection, here are 10 upcycled overnight hotspots and eco-friendly destinations to book for your next low-impact travel plans.

Waterfall at starved rock state park

Explore the Great Outdoors

With the snow and ice behind us, now’s the perfect time to start planning your summer activities. With Illinois being the Middle of Everything, there’s a wealth of state parks, wetlands and more that are ripe to explore. From gorgeous waterfalls to serene nature strolls, adventure can be found anywhere. Here are a few outdoor activities you can add to your To-Do list this summer.

People Gathered chatting and drinking outside the farm house

Your Go-To Guide for Farm-to-Table

Looking for that authentic farm-to-table dining experience? Want to mix the finest food with the finest views? We put together a curated list of the best farm-to-table experiences available, so you can dine surrounded by the fields and crops that define the menu.

Rows of wooden barrels.

More Ways to Travel Sustainably & Go Green

Meet and support talented Illinois Made Makers who are committed to sustainability and leaving a healthier, greener planet with their goods and services.

Homegrown Artisanal Tour

Illinois makers are crafting some pretty wonderful things. There's artisanal kombucha fermented in oak barrels, candles from classic literature, and seed-to-spirit whiskey distilled locally. So grab a drink and get cozy as you discover all things Illinois Made. And don't forget to drop by some of the can't-miss local attractions.

Meet Our Illinois Made Makers

Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.
Pouring Whiskey in a glass.

Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.

This family takes an abundant Illinois resource, corn, and makes it into farm to spirit whiskey & vodka. They're one of two certified “on-farm” whiskey distilleries in the US.

Lambs Farm
Staff and residents at Lambs Farm make freshly baked goods at the onsite country store

Lambs Farm

Lambs Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives and connecting with the human spirit in us all.

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