22 days in Illinois Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Illinois tour builder
Make it your trip
Fly to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Drive to Waukegan
1
Waukegan
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Dixon
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Nauvoo
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Makanda
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Springfield
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Chicago
— 8 nights
Fly

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Waukegan — 3 nights

Waukegan is a city and the county seat of Lake County, Illinois, United States. Escape the urban bustle at Rosewood Beach and Prairie Wolf Slough. You'll get in some beach time at Waukegan Municipal Beach and Illinois Beach State Park. Explore Waukegan's surroundings by going to Deer Grove Forest Preserve (in Palatine), Fisher Nuts Store (in Elgin) and Baha'i House of Worship (in Wilmette). And it doesn't end there: see what you can catch with Diamond Ghost Charters, stroll the grounds of Shalom Memorial Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, and steep yourself in history at Cuneo Museum & Gardens.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Waukegan day trip app.

Manchester, UK to Waukegan is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Manchester to Waukegan is minus 6 hours. Traveling from Manchester in July, expect Waukegan to be a bit warmer, temps between 30°C and 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can go by car to Dixon.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trips

Dixon — 2 nights

Dixon is a city and county seat of Lee County, Illinois, United States. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, then steep yourself in history at John Deere Historic Site, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Nachusa Grasslands. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Dillon Home Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Thomson Causeway Recreation Area, then steep yourself in history at Heritage Canyon, and finally admire the engineering at Lock & Dam 13 Recreation Area.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Dixon day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Waukegan to Dixon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in July, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can go by car to Nauvoo.
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Historic Sites · Wildlife · Parks · Nature
Side Trips

Nauvoo — 2 nights

Nauvoo is a small city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa. On the 28th (Fri), steep yourself in history at Joseph Smith Historic Site, contemplate the long history of Historic Nauvoo, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nauvoo Temple. On the next day, steep yourself in history at Brigham Young Home, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nauvoo State Park, then contemplate the long history of Carthage Jail, and finally hike along Wildcat Springs Park.

Plan a Nauvoo trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Dixon to Nauvoo takes 3 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Nauvoo can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Makanda.
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Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Trails
Side Trips

Makanda — 2 nights

Makanda is a village in Jackson County, Illinois, United States. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): get a dose of the wild on Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, then contemplate the waterfront views at Cache River State Natural Area, and then identify plant and animal life at Henry N Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Heron Pond-Little Black Slough Nature Preserve, then take a tour by water with Mermet Springs Scuba, and then stroll the grounds of Mound City National Cemetery.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Makanda route planner.

You can drive from Nauvoo to Makanda in 5.5 hours. In July, daytime highs in Makanda are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can drive to Springfield.
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Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trips

Springfield — 4 nights

Flower City

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Lincoln Home National Historic Site and Lincoln Memorial Garden. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Dana-Thomas House and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Springfield: Lake Shelbyville (in Shelbyville), Funks Grove Church & Chapel in the Trees (in McLean) and Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site (in Mount Pulaski). The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, walk around Sugar Creek Covered Bridge, contemplate the long history of Old State Capitol, and admire the landmark architecture of Atlanta Public Library.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Springfield travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Makanda to Springfield takes 3.5 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Springfield can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can fly to Chicago.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature
Side Trips

Chicago — 8 nights

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Head to The Magnificent Mile and Ernest Hemingway Birthplacefor plenty of shopping. Popular historic sites such as Cantigny Park and Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple are in your itinerary. Step out of Chicago to go to Naperville and see Centennial Beach, which is approximately 44 minutes away. The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, get to know the resident critters at Lincoln Park Zoo, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and engage your brain at Museum of Science and Industry.

To find reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Chicago attractions app.

Traveling by flight from Springfield to Chicago takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In August, daily temperatures in Chicago can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Illinois travel guide

4.3
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.
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