Springfield Travel Guide

  • Springfield
    by travelisfab
  • Springfield
    by travelisfab
  • Visible on I-55 north of town
    Visible on I-55 north of town
    by bocmaxima

Springfield Highlights

  • Pro
    deecat profile photo

    deecat says…

     Mid-sized city that is clean, has plenty of parking, quite historic with beautiful architecture 

  • Con
    yooperprof profile photo

    yooperprof says…

     One of the uglier cities of America, IMHO 

  • In a nutshell
    cmarsek profile photo

    cmarsek says…

     This was the perfect day trip for a beautiful day! 

Springfield Things to Do

  • Illinois State Capitol

    The current Illinois State Capitol is the second built in Springfield, which replaced Vandalia (itself the second capital city of the state) as capital. A magnificent building, and one of the tallest state capitols in the U.S., it nevertheless underwent some unfortunate modifications and deterioration over the years but is, as of 2013, in the midst...

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  • Lincoln Tomb

    The cemetery north of downtown Springfield has the Lincoln Tomb, an impressive monument which visitors can enter. In it are buried Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and their children except Robert.

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  • Lincoln-Herndon Law Office

    Across the street from the Old Capitol is the law office of Abraham Lincoln and his law partner and biographer, William Herndon. The building has been preserved and now functions as a museum.Although little or no original furnishings exists (in contrast to the Lincoln home a few blocks away), it is still an interesting place, one can visit the...

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  • Lincoln Home

    This is the home of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, thankfully preserved essentially as it was thanks to the fact that their eldest son, Robert, donated it to the people for this very purpose.It is a phenomenal and moving site, with some of their original furniture, stove, etc, all giving an amazing and moving experience that one really must feel to...

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  • Old State Capitol

    In addition to the current capitol building, completed in 1876, Springfield still has the original state capitol building to be built in the town, called the Old State Capitol. Completed in 1839, this is much smaller and simpler, but a wonderful example of the more modest capitol buildings generally found during that era and somewhat unusual since...

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  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln is intimately connected with this town. He rose to prominence as a lawyer and politician here, he was a key player the decision to make this the Illinois capital, he had his law office here, the only home he ever owned his here, and he is buried here. This makes Springfield a must-see place for anyone interested in Lincoln and the...

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Springfield Hotels

Springfield Restaurants

  • If you want to get CHEATED...Eat here!

    Wow...a bunch of crooks! Tried to charge me $6.95 for an iced tea...had them 'fix' my check and came back with change of $5 (I paid with a $20). I asked them how much did my bill end up and he said they "recalculated" - pointing to his head- and bill is for $15?!!! WHAT?? I asked how much was the iced tea then, they said...

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  • Awesome Family Fun !!!

    After a fun day at the Lincoln Museum we were looking for an evening activity for our family and we found it at Incredible Pizza. The food was great and the games were awesome !!! My kids loved it and so did my wife and I. We especially enjoyed the lazer tag and the race cars. Incredible Pizza was a perfect end to a perfect day !!! We will...

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  • Where the Locals "Hang Out"

    In this university city [SIU Medical School], the Trout Lilly Cafe is a great place to drink coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, or cold drinks as you use your computer. It's also a great place for tourist to eat lunch. It's close to all the tourist attractions and is unique in appearance with a multitude of food and drink choices.We decided to give it...

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  • Owned by same Family for 48 Years

    People either love or hate this "old school" Italian Restaurant here in Springfield, Illinois. It is a family-owned restaurant in a town filled with franchises. For me, it was a welcome and a truly authentic place to eat Southern Italian food. It's not fancy, but it's real.I read some reviews that were either hateful or gushing with love. Both...

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  • ROUTE 66 : Tip 16 - Home of the Cozy Dog

    "Let me guess, this is the home of another heart attack inducing food substance that you would normally avoid like the plague if you had any brain at all""Got it in one""So let me guess, the cozy dog...would that be some kind of hotdog ?""That's right, covered in batter""I'd better ring the ambulance now, and check the travel insurance""If you...

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  • Convenient Location

    One afternoon after a long day of siteseeing, Mickey and I decided to try The Globe Tavern located in the lobby of the Abraham Lincoln Hotel which just happened to be right across the street from our hotel. This hotel has a connection to the real Abraham Lincoln in that it is named after the orginal Globe Tavern where Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln...

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Springfield Nightlife

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Garret, tour guide, led

    by deecat Updated Apr 20, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the best ways to spend an evening while visiting Springfield, Illinois, is to book a walking tour with Garret for the Lincoln's Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore. Both Mickey and I agree it was one of the finest ghost tours we have experienced.

    To book a tour, you can purchase [right up to tour times] tickets at Tinsley Dry Goods [209 S. 6th St...same building as the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office on the 6th St. back side].

    There has to be a minimum of 5 adult tickets sold in order for the walk to take place. They will take tours in light rain but never in a downpour or with lightening. We did not need to worry since our tour had 139 people!

    I thought to myself, "Oh, no, I hate crowds and we are bound to have some rude people; I am so short and so is Mickey that we won't be able to see or hear." Boy, was I ever wrong! The people were so friendly; so polite; and since Mickey wears hearing aids, Garret had us right up near him at all times.

    This excellent tour lasted for two hours and included a 12-block walk that used the Lincoln sites as the background for stories about Lincoln's life and his death [dealing with ghostly, strange happenings.]

    Locations were: Old State Capitol, Lincoln's Home and Neighborhood, Old Depot, Edwards Place, Lincoln's Home Visitor Center, and Lincoln's Church

    What we really enjoyed is how factual and historic the stories were; yet, there was plenty of lore, too. It is suitable for all ages. We had about five children on the tour, and all of them were well behaved.

    Dress Code: Dress should be appropriate to the temperature and other weather conditions. It was a cool evening, so we wore slacks, sweaters, coats, and I even had gloves.

    These tours run:
    from March to the end of May on Tuesdays to Saturdays
    June to end of August daily
    September to end of October, Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30.

    Our tour cost $12 for adults
    kids ages 11-17 for $8
    kids under 10 are free up to two per family then $5 per additional child.
    Military and seniors pay $10.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors

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Springfield Transportation

  • We Drove My Car From Chicao to...

    We drove my car from Chicago area to Springfield on a Monday, April 13, 2009. Mickey drove first, and she had the most difficult drive simply because of all the construction in the Chicago area. I drove the last part of the journey as well as within the Springfield area when we went well out of the historic district.You can take the Amtrack train...

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  • Driving from Chicago

    Springfield is 175 miles from Chicago, 2 1/2-3 hours depending on traffic. We didn't hit any traffic outside the Chicago area on I55, it's a REALLY boring drive once you get past Kankakee, flat and full of farms. If you have a lot of time, you might look up directions on how to drive down historic Route 66 and travel through some of the small towns...

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  • Driving to Springfield (Route 66)

    Springfield can be reached fairly easily from Chicago. You can simply rent a car from Chicago. The trip takes about 3-4 hours. You'll get to drive through very flat lands and see the heart of the Corn Belt region. If you take I-55, you will be driving on parts of the historic Route 66, so there are historic landmarks (gas stations, restaurants and...

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Springfield Shopping

  • butterflykizzez04's Profile Photo
    Tayler and Noel in Del's Popcorn/candy shoppe 1 more image

    by butterflykizzez04 Updated Mar 21, 2007

    Since 1934 Del's has been tempting taste buds all over the country in every way possible with the smell of the freshly popped corn to the hand dipped caramel apples. We specialize in edible gifts made up of homemade fudge, freshly roasted nuts, candies, chocolates, caramel apples and don't forget the best tasting popcorn around.

    It is decorated like an older store from the 30's-40's..has alot of charm and very bright and colorful..we loved this shop!!!

    What to buy: Popcorn (flavored or regular), fudges, candies, ice creams...everything good and fattening!!!

    What to pay: depends on what you get..they sell by the pound or quarters there of..I got several items in the 1/2 lb sizes and it was very reasonable.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Family Travel

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Springfield Local Customs

  • Food Traditions

    Springfield has an inordinate number of renowned food sites and items. Cozy Dog is probably the most famous, with its special batter recipe corn dogs. Springfield's also claims the country's first drive-thru window, at Maid Right Sandwiches. Then there's the chili, which is considered famous. My favorite though is the horseshoe sandwich, which is...

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  • Great Candy, Nuts, and Ice Cream

    After visiting the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, Mickey and I were starving; thus, we dicided to have a rich, enticing dessert...and what better place for that than one of the five Pease's Fine Candies/Salted Nuts Stores? This newest location [2004] is just across the street from the Library/Museum Complex, and it has...

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  • Springfield, Illinois MASS PASS

    I found the MASS PASS to be a very unique way to remember my visit to Springfield, Illinois, and the many museums and historic sites that this lovely city has to offer.If you go to the Visitor's Bureau, ask for a MASS PASS. You will receive a small booklet [see photograph #1].This booklet lists several important sites which you will no doubt visit....

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Springfield Warnings and Dangers

  • Museum of Funeral Customs Closed...

    Because my friend, Jill Martin, had alerted me to the worth of this unique museum, Mickey and I made it a point to drive to it after being at the Abraham Lincoln Tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery [the museum is nearby]. Much to our disappointment, when we walked up to the door of the museum, a sign read, "CLOSED"! We did not know why it was closed...

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  • July and August are very...

    July and August are very difficult times of the year to find a hotel room in Springfield. Between the Junior National Rodeo in late July and the state fair in August, you should call well ahead if you plan to stay in town at this time of year. Some of the people around here drive like maniacs, tailgating, or worse, they drive really, really S-L-O-W...

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  • Springfield Hotels

    37 Hotels in Springfield

    406 Reviews and Opinions

Springfield What to Pack

  • CoachB's Profile Photo

    by CoachB Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Family Travel

    Miscellaneous: Do you like to golf? The RAIL golf course is the home of the State Farm Ladies Golf tournament on Labor Day weekend. This is a public course, so bring your clubs and challenge yourself on the same course that the LPGA plays!

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Springfield Off The Beaten Path

  • Lincoln Memorial Garden

    Lincoln Memorial Garden was set aside as a "living memorial to Abraham Lincoln" in the 1930s when Springfield began developing its 4,000-acre lake, Springfield Lake.It was Harriet Knudson who persuaded the city leaders to donate land on the lake shores for this memorial garden to Abraham Lincoln. Then she spent 40+ years of her life on the...

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  • The Dana-Thomas House

    Many people may not know that the most "complete" house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is in Springfield, IL. Not only is this house huge (over 35 rooms), it also has most of the original furniture, which was also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.The guided tour is very interesting. During the busy, summer tourist season, reservations are...

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  • Don't Miss Shea's Gas Station Museum

    One of the most fun activities that we experienced while in Springfield was to stop by the Shea's Gas Station Museum. Be warned that there is room for only about two cars at a time, and it is not easy to get in and out of. Nevertheless, it's worth any and all efforts that it takes to see and "hear" about Route 66 and the Shea's eclectic collection...

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Springfield Favorites

  • Illinois State Capitol Sculptures &...

    This tip shows some of the statues and monuments located on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol Complex. I agree with Jesse White, Secretary of State, when he writes, "The statues and monuments....add beauty and dignity to the area....and provide a glimpse of those individuals/groups who have helped shape Illinois' rich history". Note: much...

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  • Lincoln Sites to Experience

    I'm going to combine 3 smaller sites for Abraham Lincoln into one tip.LINCOLN FAMILY PEWThe Lincolns, like many of people in Springfield in the 1850's, maintained a "family pew" in their church. Surprisingly, they had to pay for this pew! To see this family pew, along with 7 lovely Tiffany windows, you need to visit the First Presbyterian Church at...

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  • Dana-Thomas House Closed For Now

    As much as I love architecture, I was really looking forward to going inside the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home called Dana-Thomas House. However, because of financial woes of the state of Illinois, our ex-governor, had selected this site to be closed down. Fortunately, our present Governor has decided to reopen it. Too late for Mickey and I, but...

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Explore Deeper into Springfield
Lincoln's Tomb
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Lincoln Home National Historic Site
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Frank Lloyd Wright Home
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Union Station - Visitor's Center
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Visit the Lincoln Museum
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Lincoln Tomb
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Facilities at New Salem Village
Off The Beaten Path
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
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Illinois State Museum
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See Three War Memorials in Oak Ridge Cemetery
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Executive Mansion
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Illinois State Capitol
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Old State Capitol
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The Great Western Railroad Depot
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Only National Park in Illinois: Lincoln's Home...
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More Abraham Lincoln Information
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New Lincoln Museum/Library, Our Reason to Go
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Unique Homemade Soups, Sandwiches, Salads
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Waste of time
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Dana-Thomas House
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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
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Historic drive in on Route 66
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Beatles-themed diner
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Shea's Gas Station Museum
Off The Beaten Path
Tour Lincoln Memories
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Lincoln New Salem Village
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Church were Lincoln Attended
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Historic State Capitol
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Lincoln & Herndon Law Offices
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Springfield Historic Train Station
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Lincoln Home Nat'l Historic Site
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Great food and lovely decor!!!
Restaurants
Lincoln Depot
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Tour the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
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Old State Capital Building
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New/Existing State Capital Complex
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Lincoln Home National Historic Site
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Lincoln's Tomb
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Great place off the beaten path
Restaurants
Unique museum
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Map of Springfield

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