12 days in Illinois Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Illinois itinerary builder
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Drive to Chicago Midway International Airport, Fly to Ulaanbaatar


Chicago — 4 nights

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Get a sense of the local culture at The Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum. Explore hidden gems such as Baha'i House of Worship and Lake Michigan. Explore Chicago's surroundings by going to Historic Auto Attractions (in Roscoe) and McEachran Homestead Winery (in Caledonia). There's still lots to do: engage your brain at Museum of Science and Industry, examine the collection at Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, admire the landmark architecture of Chicago Cultural Center, and take in panoramic vistas at Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Chicago route maker website.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Chicago is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Ulaanbaatar Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 14 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Ulaanbaatar in August; daily highs in Chicago reach 33°C and lows reach 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Galena.
Museums · Childrens Museums · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Galena — 1 night

Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, with a population of 3,429 at the 2010 census. On the 20th (Sun), go on a hair-raising tour with a ghost and vampire tour, then contemplate the long history of Ulysses S. Grant Home, then sample the fine beverages at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., and finally get to know the fascinating history of Root Beer Revelry.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Galena tour site.

Traveling by flight from Chicago to Galena takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Chicago in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Galena, with lows of 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can drive to Nauvoo.
Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Shopping

Nauvoo — 1 night

Nauvoo is a small city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa. Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): steep yourself in history at Carthage Jail, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Nauvoo Temple, and then steep yourself in history at Historic Nauvoo.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Nauvoo day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Galena to Nauvoo in 3.5 hours. In August, daily temperatures in Nauvoo can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Springfield.
Historic Sites
Side Trip

Springfield — 2 nights

Flower City

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
On the 22nd (Tue), contemplate the long history of Dana-Thomas House, then ponder the world of politics at Old State Capitol, then browse the exhibits of Lincoln Home National Historic Site, and finally snap pictures at Sugar Creek Covered Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a new perspective on nature at Illinois State Museum, make a trip to Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials, then steep yourself in history at Lincolns New Salem State Park, and finally stroll around Union Square Park.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our Springfield vacation builder website.

You can drive from Nauvoo to Springfield in 3 hours. In August, daily temperatures in Springfield can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Pontiac.
Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums · Parks
Side Trips

Pontiac — 1 night

Pontiac is a city in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. On the 24th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, see the interesting displays at IL Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum, then examine the collection at International Wall Dog Mural and Sign Art Museum, and finally make a trip to Route 66 Shield Mural.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Pontiac itinerary planner.

You can drive from Springfield to Pontiac in 2 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Illinois travel guide

Observation Decks · Parks · Art Museums
The Prairie State
The most populous state in the country's Midwest region, Illinois features a diverse landscape that includes both the enormous urban sprawl of Chicago and flat central plains, devoted almost entirely to farmland. With a great selection of things to do, Chicago is the state's centerpiece, featuring world-famous architecture and renowned museums. Farther away from this giant urban center, you can explore historical landmarks dedicated to local heroes Abraham Lincoln and Ernest Hemingway. The state also includes a prehistoric Native American site, one of only 20 World Heritage Sites in the United States, a unique feature well-worth adding to your itinerary.