Illinois is a progressive, influential hub for culture, history, food and more—full of incredible destinations and extraordinary experiences.
Middle of Everything
The “Illinois: The Middle of Everything” campaign puts Illinois in the center of history, architecture, culture, food, nightlife and natural beauty.
As an acclaimed global travel destination, Chicago captures the spirit of the Middle of Everything. With its renowned cultural attractions like the Art Institute, photo-worthy attractions like The Bean, incredible bars and restaurants, legendary sports teams and world-famous architecture, it’s no wonder Condé Nast Traveler has named Chicago the “Best Big City in the U.S.” for the last five years.
Architectural wonders can be found outside the city as well, including the Illinois Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, which features two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Plus, Starved Rock State Park is located just 100 miles southwest of Chicago, offering an easy day trip for outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing and picnicking.
When it comes to outdoor adventures in Illinois, Starved Rock is only the beginning. The Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois is full of rolling hills, woods, open lands, lakes and rugged bluffs for travelers to explore. Outdoor enthusiasts of all styles love exploring this region, thanks to its scenic wine trails, beautiful golf courses, ziplining and horseback riding adventures.
Illinois is also home to a 300-mile stretch of Route 66, the world-famous American roadway known for nostalgic diners and historic attractions. Must-stop Route 66 destinations include Cozy Dog Drive In and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, the Instagram-worthy Gemini Giant in Wilmington, and the quirky Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, to name but a few.
The Great River Road is known for its breathtaking fall foliage and charming, historic river towns along the Mighty Mississippi. From the quaint town of Galena—with its one-of-a-kind historic district—down to the beautiful Alton/Grafton area, there’s no shortage of picturesque stops and quintessentially Midwestern towns.
Tourism drives communities’ economic recovery
The campaign introduces folks to the range of experiences Illinois offers, and it invests in communities across the state that rely on tourism and hospitality industries.
Tourism is a key economic driver that helps support the small businesses, hotels and restaurants that make this state such an incredible place to visit. The industry has long been an important pillar of the state’s economy, employing more than 600,000 people statewide prior to the pandemic.
Travelers are attracted to our great state because of these robust tourism offerings. While visiting, they spend money in every region of Illinois, sustaining jobs and boosting the local economy in our communities.
At its heart, travel and tourism is about unforgettable experiences and making connections to new places and people. Investing in tourism helps drive foot traffic to these unique storefronts, farms, orchards, studios, galleries, restaurants, breweries and wineries—and support the communities they call home.
So many exciting things lie ahead for Illinois, and this is only the beginning. To learn about the unique destinations and authentic experiences in the Middle of Everything, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.
Photo courtesy of Adam Alexander and the Illinois Office of Tourism.