31 days in Illinois Itinerary

31 days in Illinois Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Illinois tour builder

Make it your trip
Fly to St Louis Lambert International Airport, Drive to Alton
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Alton
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Springfield
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Peoria
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Rock Island
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Galena
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Rockford
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Ottawa
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Chicago
— 7 nights

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Alton

— 2 nights
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15mi north of St. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Alton: Collinsville (Kruta Bakery & Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site) and World Shooting & Recreational Complex (in Sparta). There's much more to do: admire all the interesting features of Great Rivers Scenic Route, get engrossed in the history at The 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House, make a trip to Haskell Playhouse, and examine the collection at World's Tallest Man Statue.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Alton travel route planning site.

Chicago to Alton is an approximately 4-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Chicago in January: highs in Alton hover around 39°F, while lows dip to 21°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Springfield.

Things to do in Alton

Museums · Fun & Games · Scenic Drive · Shopping

Side Trips

Springfield

— 4 nights

Flower City

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
Get out of town with these interesting Springfield side-trips: Children's Museum of Illinois (in Decatur), Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site (in Mount Pulaski) and Mahomet (Museum of the Grand Prairie & Lake of The Woods County Park). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, examine the collection at Illinois State Museum, contemplate the long history of Dana-Thomas House, and catch a live performance at Hoogland Center for the Arts.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Springfield online vacation planner.

Getting from Alton to Springfield by car takes about 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°F in January, and nighttime lows around 19°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Peoria.

Things to do in Springfield

Museums · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Nightlife

Side Trips

Peoria

— 4 nights
Venture out of the city with trips to Minonk Chocolate Company (in Minonk), Normal (Children's Discovery Museum & University Galleries of Illinois State University) and Atlanta (Atlanta Public Library & Memories: Route 66 Museum).

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Peoria trip itinerary maker tool.

Getting from Springfield to Peoria by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°F, and evening lows to 17°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Rock Island.

Things to do in Peoria

Museums · Childrens Museums · Breweries & Distilleries · Shopping

Side Trips

Rock Island

— 2 nights
Rock Island is a city in and the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): look for gifts at John Deere Store, brush up on your military savvy at Rock Island Arsenal Museum, then get a new perspective on nature at Fryxell Geology Museum, and finally try your luck at Jumer's Casino Rock Island. On your second day here, admire the engineering at Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 16, examine the collection at Hauberg Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Rock Island road trip planner.

You can drive from Peoria to Rock Island in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 32°F, and evening lows to 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to drive to Galena.

Things to do in Rock Island

Museums · Fun & Games · Parks · Casinos

Side Trip

Galena

— 4 nights
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. Get out of town with these interesting Galena side-trips: TPC Deere Run (in Silvis), Stockton Heritage Museum (in Stockton) and Fulton (Lock & Dam 13 Recreation Area & Windmill Cultural Center). And it doesn't end there: brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., stroll through Chestnut Mountain Resort, stop by Great American Popcorn Company, and pick up a one of a kind souvenir at The Galena Antique Mall.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Galena trip maker site.

You can drive from Rock Island to Galena in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Rock Island in January, plan for slightly colder days in Galena, with highs around 27°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 10°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Rockford.

Things to do in Galena

Outdoors · Museums · Golf · Shopping

Side Trips

Rockford

— 5 nights
Rockford is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, the 171st most populous city in the United States, the largest city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, and the city of the 148th most populous metropolitan area in the United States. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rockford: Barnacopia (in Polo), Dixon (Dixon Riverfront Plaza, Northwest Territory Historic Center, &more) and Oscar Taylor Home (in Freeport). There's still lots to do: have fun and explore at Discovery Center Museum, learn more about the world around you at Burpee Museum of Natural History, get to know the resident critters at Summerfield Farm and Zoo, and admire the natural beauty at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Rockford online sightseeing planner.

Getting from Galena to Rockford by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. January in Rockford sees daily highs of 29°F and lows of 13°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to drive to Ottawa.

Things to do in Rockford

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Ottawa

— 2 nights
Ottawa is a city located at the confluence of the navigable Illinois River and Fox River in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): indulge in some personalized pampering at SaltTreeYoga, stroll around Washington Square Park, then do a tasting at August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room, and finally get engrossed in the history at Bureau County Historical Society Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the history behind Bureau County Soldiers and Sailors Monument, then get engrossed in the history at Hegeler Carus Mansion, then brush up on your military savvy at Livingston County War Museum, and finally make a trip to Route 66 Shield Mural.

For ratings and other tourist information, use the Ottawa online trip itinerary builder.

Drive from Rockford to Ottawa in 1.5 hours. In January in Ottawa, expect temperatures between 34°F during the day and 17°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Chicago.

Things to do in Ottawa

Museums · Wineries · Spas · Parks

Side Trips

Chicago

— 7 nights

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Chicago: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (in Skokie) and Chicago Botanic Garden (in Glencoe). There's lots more to do: admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, get a new perspective on nature at Field Museum, visit The Magnificent Mile, and make a trip to Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Chicago trip builder.

Traveling by car from Ottawa to Chicago takes 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Chicago are 32°F, while nighttime lows are 18°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

Illinois travel guide

4.4
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.