• a large body of water with a city in the background

Chicago, Galena and Springfield

Why look anywhere else for history and beautiful scenery when Illinois has it all. Rich in presidential history, you really are able walk in the shoes of both the 16th and 18th presidents of the United States.

One of the best things about Chicago is the amount of buildings which offer awesome panoramic views of the city and beyond. Not only do you have the Willis Tower with a glass ledge out over the city which offers views to over four states, there is also 360 Chicago from the John Hancock building with views of the Chicago skyline plus Lake Michigan.

Once leaving Chicago, Galena and Springfield will teach you everything you need to know about Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln. With more on offer than just the presidents, Galena has Horseshoe Mound with its hiking and bird watching opportunities. With the state capital of Springfield, there is more than just Abraham Lincoln memorials, visit Lake Springfield and hire one a boat for the afternoon.

8 days

Guide Price

 £1,879  pp
Private basis, Self-Guided

On your arrival into the 'Windy City', make sure to be ready for lots of sightseeing. Make sure to visit one (or both) of the buildings which offer amazing panoramic views of the city. Take a visit to Navy Pier where you will notice that there is always some event happening, while there enjoy a ride on the ferris wheel and take a seat in one of the many restaurants located on the pier. There are numerous ways to explore the city, jump on a river cruise for a tour around the Chicago River, or you can hire a bike and cycle to Grant Park and explore the museums, aquariums and planetarium on offer. 

After checking out of your hotel, head to the Alamo Rental Station to pick up your car and start the drive west towards Galena. Teaming with Civil War history, including the Italianate Ulysses S. Grant Home which was gifted for his service during the war. While in Galena, make sure to visit the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum and learn about the lead mining which took place throughout the county. Many of the sites that you will come across within the county are actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just outside of Galena, you will come across Horseshoe Mound, offering beautiful hiking trails with scenic views over three states as well as the Mississippi River. 

Heading south now towards the capital of Illinois, take a brief stop in Peoria for lunch at one of the many restaurants in town offering a mix of American, Italian and Steakhouses. Once in Springfield, it is all about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. At the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, you are able to take tours of the home where he lived before coming president. Visit the monument dedicated to the Lincoln family in Oak Ridge Park, the final resting place for the family. If time is on your side, explore the many exhibits at the Illinois State Museum, including exhibits for art, history and geology of Illinois.

It is time to head back to the airport now for your onward journey. If you would like to stay a few more days and continue your adventures then the opportunities are endless. Why not continue your drive down to St. Louis or head further east and spend a few nights in Indianapolis.