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Shedd Aquarium
Lincoln actor in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield

Illinois History

Explore Our Past, Through Illinois Historic Sites and Attractions

Discover the history of Illinois through its people, buildings, landscapes, and historic sites.

Illinois history is full of fascinating stories and engaging events. From the streets of historic communities, to the halls where American presidents once walked, to the vistas of a prehistoric city, trace the history of Illinois and discover how its legacy is felt even to this day.

Land of Lincoln

Illinois History

Illinois' history is closely intertwined with that of our 16th president. As you trace his footsteps, you'll see how the history of our state influenced the future of an entire nation. Check out 10 notable historic sites in central Illinois where Lincoln's living legacy shines on. Follow his life through New Salem and Springfield.


Illinois History

Discover Nauvoo, one of the most significant historical sites in Illinois, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. This well-preserved and restored town takes you through the history of an early Mormon communinty, with more than 30 historic sites, demonstrations, and tours in horse-drawn wagons. It's a must-visit historic destination to experience mid-19th century life in Illinois, and to understand the roots of a belief system.


Horse Carriage going past an an Amish building

Amish Country

Illinois History

Plan a trip to picturesque Amish country in central Illinois, a key historic attraction in the heart of the state. Explore a community where black buggies rule the road, teams of horses plow the fields, and locals greet you with a friendly wave. Here, traditional lifestyles and crafts are preserved with exceptional care. It's a rare glimpse into a unique side of Illinois' history and cultural heritage, and one you'll want to check off on your tour of Illinois historic sites.

Green fields of the State Historic Site Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds

Illinois History

Discover America’s ancient past at Cahokia Mounds, a place rich with history. This State Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Centre is the remains of a prehistoric city that stood from 800 to 1400 AD, offering a window into the ancient Mississippian culture that thrived here. It's a unique opportunity to explore the historical foundations of Illinois in one of America's most significant historic sites.

A temple with lights on behind trees and a river

Historic Sites in Illinois

Historic Sites

Presidential History

Presidential History

Illinois History Museums

History Museums

Historical Reenactments

Historical Reenactments in Illinois

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