51 days in Illinois Itinerary

51 days in Illinois Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Illinois route planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rockford
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Galena
— 7 nights
Fly
3
Chicago
— 10 nights
Drive
4
Waukegan
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Harrisburg
— 6 nights
Drive
6
Alton
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Springfield
— 6 nights
Drive
8
Peoria
— 6 nights
Fly

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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. Change things up with these side-trips from Rockford: Dixon (Old Settlers Memorial Cabin & Dixon's Railroad Street Arches), Selmi's Greenhouse and Farm Market (in Rock Falls) and Dillon Home Museum (in Sterling). There's much more to do: brush up on your military savvy at Historic Auto Attractions, take in nature's colorful creations at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, walk around Krape Park, and relax in the rural setting at Whiskey Acres Distilling Co..

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Rockford trip itinerary builder tool.

Denver to Rockford is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. In September, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Galena.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Trails
Side Trips

Galena — 7 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. Venture out of the city with trips to Fulton (Lock & Dam 13 Recreation Area, Windmill Cultural Center, &more), Thomson Causeway Recreation Area (in Thomson) and Albany Mounds State Historic Site (in Albany). The adventure continues: sample the fine beverages at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., admire the majestic nature at Mississippi Palisades State Park, do a tasting at Fergedaboudit Vineyard & Winery, and identify plant and animal life at Horseshoe Mound.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Galena trip planner.

Drive from Rockford to Galena in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Galena are 75°F, while nighttime lows are 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to fly to Chicago.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife
Side Trips

Chicago — 10 nights

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Change things up with these side-trips from Chicago: Wheaton (Cantigny Park & First Division Museum at Cantigny). There's much more to do: explore the world behind art at The Art Institute of Chicago, get curious at Museum of Science and Industry, make a trip to The Magnificent Mile, and learn more about the world around you at Field Museum.

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Chicago journey app.

Fly from Galena to Chicago in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Galena in September, expect a bit warmer with lows of 61°F in Chicago. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can go by car to Waukegan.
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Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Tours
Side Trips

Waukegan — 5 nights

Waukegan is a city and the county seat of Lake County, Illinois, United States. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Waukegan: Baha'i House of Worship (in Wilmette), Shalom Memorial Park (in Arlington Heights) and Chicago Botanic Garden (in Glencoe). Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Lake Michigan, identify plant and animal life at Prairie Wolf Slough, make a trip to Market Square, and take a tour by water with WindyCitySalmon.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Waukegan travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Chicago to Waukegan in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Chicago in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Waukegan, with lows of 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can go by car to Harrisburg.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips

Harrisburg — 6 nights

Harrisburg is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Illinois, United States. Change things up with these side-trips from Harrisburg: Carbondale (Boo Rochman Memorial Park & Kite Hill Vineyards), Alto Pass (Alto Vineyards & Bald Knob Cross of Peace) and Pomona Winery (in Pomona). Next up on the itinerary: get a dose of the wild on Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, immerse yourself in nature at Giant City State Park, learn about winemaking at StarView Vineyards, and get outside with Rent One Park.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Harrisburg journey builder site.

You can drive from Waukegan to Harrisburg in 6 hours. Traveling from Waukegan in October, expect nights in Harrisburg to be about the same, around 48°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 71°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can go by car to Alton.
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Parks · Wildlife · Wineries · Outdoors
Side Trips

Alton — 5 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: Gateway Motorsports Park (in Madison), Collinsville (Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site & Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve) and Braeutigam Orchards (in Belleville). There's much more to do: take a memorable drive along Great Rivers Scenic Route, take in the architecture and atmosphere at First Unitarian Church, stroll around Silver Lake Park, and gain insight at Watershed Nature Center.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Alton trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Harrisburg to Alton by car takes about 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in October, and nighttime lows around 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can go by car to Springfield.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips

Springfield — 6 nights

Flower City

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
Change things up with these side-trips from Springfield: Memories: Route 66 Museum (in Atlanta), Decatur (Rock Springs Conservation Area & Nature Center & Sand Creek Conservation Area) and Vermilion County War Museum (in Danville). There's still lots to do: get lost in a book at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, identify plant and animal life at Lincoln Memorial Garden, relax in the rural setting at Hardy's Reindeer Ranch, and delve into the lush surroundings at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Springfield travel site.

Traveling by car from Alton to Springfield takes 2 hours. October in Springfield sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Peoria.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Side Trips

Peoria — 6 nights

Venture out of the city with trips to Funk Prairie Home Museum (in Shirley), Bloomington (Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, &more) and Funks Grove Church & Chapel in the Trees (in McLean).

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Peoria sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Springfield to Peoria in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in October, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · 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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