"Capital City of Illinois: Springfield" Top 5 Page for this destination Springfield by deecat

Springfield Travel Guide: 163 reviews and 443 photos

History Surrounds You in Springfield

Springfield, Illinois, is the state capital; the hometown of Abraham Lincoln; it's where the largest Executive Mansion in the U.S. is located; it's a city that cherishes its past, (even old Route 66); it's where the Illinois State Fair is held each year; Springfield still has a Drive-in Theater [Route 66 Drive-in]; it's huge Lake Springfield offers a public beach, a Marina, and is partly surrounded by some great parks; Springfield is also a college & University town [Lincoln Land Community College, Robert Morris College, SIU School of Medicine, Springfield College in Illinois, and University of Illinois at Springfield], transportation in Springfield includes Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Amtrak Trains, and a Greyhound Bus Depot; and, most of all, Springfield is a city where you feel ,and actually are, surrounded by history!

Abraham Lincoln "rules" in Springfield, Illinois

For those of you who admire our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, Springfield is most certainly the city to visit. Here in Springfield, Abe is a "revered icon". You can visit THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM, a visit to the past via the 21st-century!

Visitors are able to tour Lincoln's home and neighborhood, his law offices, the Old State Capitol [ where he served as a state representative], The State Capitol [where he visited as President of the United States], the Lincoln family church pew, the Lincoln ledger, the Great Western Railroad Depot [where he gave his farewell speech], and, of course, Lincoln's Tomb, his final resting place.

When you think of Abraham Lincoln, think of Springfield, Illinois.

The Mother Road, Route 66, Prevails in Springfield

Historic Route 66, The Mother Road, still plays an important role in Springfield.

Chicago's Lake Shore Drive starts Route 66 where it winds through the Loop before heading south toward Bloomington, Illinois, and then continues to SPRINGFIELD, where you'll end up at Sixth Street. Be sure to visit all the Route 66-related places and events:

1. The one and only Cozy Dog Drive-In where the Waldmire family started serving their famous Cozy Dogs in 1946.

2. The original 66 Drive-In is still around. It used to be on South Sixth Street, and has come back to life in a new location as part of Knight's Action Park off old Route 4.

3. A block south of the fairgrounds on Peoria Road, WWII veteran, Bill Shea, has converted his Marathon Station into a museum of gasoline and oil memorabilia, Shea's Gas Station Museum. He's also moved another old tin station on the grounds for more display space. He has "tons" of Route 66 memorabilia. [We visited his museum and talked to him; it was one of the highlights of our trip.

4. Springfield and the surrounding area is home to quite a few 66-related events:

a. The Route 66 Association of Illinois' annual Motor Tour event in June.

b. The Third Annual Logan County Route 66 Garage Sales in June has 37 miles of Route 66 in Logan County where garage sales, flea markets, and food vendors will abound.

d. Springfield has its own International Route 66 festival in September with classic cars, an arts fair, and where live music will be played on the city's historic downtown streets.

e. Route 66 winds around the three sides of the State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

It's obvious that Springfield, Illinois is Route 66 Territory!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Mid-sized city that is clean, has plenty of parking, quite historic with beautiful architecture
  • Cons:Because of 2009 economy, some sites are closed
  • In a nutshell:A friendly midwestern city that is rich in history.
  • Last visit to Springfield: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated Apr 26, 2009
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Reviews (27)

Comments (28)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    It has been a long time since going here, but ALWAYS DID enjoy the sites and history. You presented a nice view on those; New Salem was A FAVORITE

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    What a great page on Springfield, Dee. Enjoyed reading your tips on the Abraham Lincoln Museum, such history in this city. It's nice that you were able to visit with your friend in mind.

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    a real 5-star page. Loved the travelogues! Springfield should pay you. What a positive presentation about Springfield on the Lincoln Bicentennial. Great Restaurant Reviews, too. Your friend Jill would be proud.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    I love the sound of all the Rte 66 memorabilia. We drove a little of it "out west" so it would be great to see where it all started :-) The Lincoln museum sounds stunning too and I like the idea of the Mass Pass.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    Dee, you've done such a great job of presenting Springfield, that I would love to visit since my father's side spent some time there-we have an amusing story of one of Dad's family members meeting old Abe himself there. Someday I'd love to visit!

  • Aug 15, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    Not at all what we expected a true "ghost tour" would be. Very historical & informative, but stories were quite lacking in anything eerie or supernatural.

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    Dee, Ah Springfield, my mother's hometown. My grandfather once owned candy stores in Springfield. It was a surprise to see the Pease's Candy Store tip, as I met the Pease's as a child in 1948, when my grandfather sold them chocolate coating. Thanks

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    I know I would love Shea's Gas Station Museum. My Dad was a mechanic and was always puttering with old cars in his garage. The Baked Mostaccioli - not only filling but a mouthful to pronounce. hehe! Great page Dee.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2009 at 4:08 AM

    A very interesting tour of Springfield. Unfortunate that your friend didn't get to make the trip. President Obama sort of put Springfield back on the map.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Dee, excellent page with very detailed commentaries and outstanding photos. A pity that the Museum of Funeral Customs closed down. Do you know if anyone attended its funeral? *winkygrin*


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