100 Things to Do in Illinois Before You Die

Welcome to the heartland of America, the great state of Illinois! If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure filled with history, culture, and natural beauty, you’ve come to the right place. From the iconic skyline of Chicago to charming small towns and scenic wonders, Illinois has something for everyone.

As someone who has explored the nooks and crannies of this state, I’m excited to share a bucket list of 100 things to do in Illinois before you die. These are not just touristy activities but personal recommendations from someone who’s fallen in love with the Land of Lincoln.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover the best of Illinois, one experience at a time. If you’re a native Illinoian or a curious traveler, there’s always something new to explore in this remarkable state.

100 Things to Do in Illinois Before You Die

  1. Visit Millennium Park in Chicago
  2. Explore the Art Institute of Chicago
  3. Take a selfie at “The Bean” in Millennium Park
  4. Watch a game at Wrigley Field
  5. Visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
  6. Take an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River
  7. Stroll down Navy Pier in Chicago
  8. Explore the Shedd Aquarium
  9. Visit the Field Museum
  10. Take in the views from Willis Tower’s Skydeck
  11. Attend a live blues performance in Chicago
  12. Explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio
  13. Experience the Taste of Chicago food festival
  14. Visit Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield
  15. Explore Starved Rock State Park
  16. Attend the Chicago Air and Water Show
  17. Go to a Cubs-White Sox game
  18. Tour the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield
  19. Take a selfie with the Route 66 Begin sign
  20. Explore the historic Route 66
  21. Hike at Garden of the Gods
  22. Visit the Ulysses S. Grant Home in Galena
  23. Take a winery tour in the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
  24. Stroll through Cantigny Park and Gardens
  25. Attend the Chicago Jazz Festival
  26. Explore the Anderson Japanese Gardens
  27. Take a ride on the Chicago Water Taxi
  28. Experience the Morton Arboretum
  29. Visit Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  30. Attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field
  31. Explore the Lincoln Park Zoo
  32. Tour the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
  33. Attend the Taste of Randolph Street festival
  34. Take in the views from the John Hancock Center
  35. Visit the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home
  36. Explore the Frankfort Historic District
  37. Attend the Grant Park Music Festival
  38. Visit the Rockford Art Museum
  39. Explore the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights
  40. Take a ride on the Elgin Fox River Trolley
  41. Attend the Chicago Blues Festival
  42. Explore the Quad City Botanical Center
  43. Take a river cruise on the Fox River in Elgin
  44. Visit the Richard H. Driehaus Museum
  45. Attend the Renegade Craft Fair
  46. Explore the LaSalle County Historical Society
  47. Visit the Old Joliet Prison Historic Site
  48. Explore the John Deere Pavilion
  49. Take a ride on the Illinois Railway Museum
  50. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  51. Explore the Peoria Riverfront Museum
  52. Attend the DuQuoin State Fair
  53. Take a selfie at the “Spindle” sculpture
  54. Visit the Quad City Symphony Orchestra
  55. Explore the Japanese Garden at Anderson Japanese Gardens
  56. Attend the Springfield International Folk Dancer’s Festival
  57. Visit the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
  58. Explore the Dixon Historic Center
  59. Attend the National Stearman Fly-In
  60. Visit the Peoria Zoo
  61. Take a ride on the Fox River Trolley Museum
  62. Explore the DeKalb County Barn Tour
  63. Attend the Amish Country Cheese Festival
  64. Visit the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum
  65. Explore the Bald Knob Cross of Peace
  66. Attend the Quad City Air Show
  67. Visit the Litchfield Skyview Drive-In
  68. Explore the Jarrot Mansion State Historic Site
  69. Attend the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival
  70. Visit the Blackhawk Statue
  71. Explore the Caterpillar Visitors Center
  72. Take a selfie at the Giant Superman Statue
  73. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Long Nine Museum
  74. Attend the Peoria Film Fest
  75. Explore the Super Museum in Metropolis
  76. Attend the Old Settlers Days Festival
  77. Visit the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
  78. Take a river cruise on the Chicago River
  79. Attend the Genoa-Kingston Corn Fest
  80. Explore the Morrison-Rockwood State Park
  81. Visit the Garden of the Gods Wilderness
  82. Attend the Chicago Auto Show
  83. Explore the Mount Pulaski Courthouse
  84. Visit the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site
  85. Explore the Bishop Hill State Historic Site
  86. Visit the Cahokia Courthouse
  87. Attend the Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
  88. Explore the Morton Pumpkin Festival
  89. Visit the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site
  90. Take a ride on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat
  91. Attend the Bacon Throwdown in Joliet
  92. Explore the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center
  93. Visit the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum
  94. Attend the Lebowski Fest
  95. Explore the Windy City Playhouse
  96. Visit the Mosaic Museum in Highland Park
  97. Attend the Chicago Pride Parade
  98. Explore the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum
  99. Visit the Two-Story Outhouse
  100. Attend the Dekalb Kite Festival


In conclusion, Illinois is a state with an incredibly diverse range of experiences waiting to be explored. From the iconic cityscapes of Chicago to the tranquil beauty of its parks and nature reserves, Illinois offers something for everyone.

Illinois proudly showcases its rich heritage, cultural significance, and natural wonders. It’s a state where the past meets the present, and where urban excitement blends with serene landscapes. The 100 activities and places I’ve explored in this list are just a starting point for your own adventure in the Land of Lincoln.

Remember that life is an adventure, and exploring Illinois is a journey worth embarking on. The Land of Lincoln is a treasure trove of experiences, and each one brings you a step closer to discovering the heart and soul of this remarkable state.

Pack your bags, make your plans, and check off these 100 incredible things to do in Illinois from your bucket list. Your adventure awaits!

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