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Known as the "Land of Lincoln," Illinois offers a wonderful array of bustling big cities, small Amish villages, horse-plowed fields, the mighty Mississippi, wide-open prairies and history galore. Trace the legendary footsteps of Abraham Lincoln on the Lincoln Heritage Trail, which follows the 16th president from his life as a postmaster in Petersburg, law student in New Salem, lawyer in Mt. Pulaski, House of Representatives member in Vandalia and father, legislator and newly elected president in Springfield, where he is buried. Illinois became a state on Dec. 3, 1818, and gets its name from a Native American word meaning "tribe of ...

Known as the "Land of Lincoln," Illinois offers a wonderful array of bustling big cities, small Amish villages, horse-plowed fields, the mighty Mississippi, wide-open prairies and history galore. Trace the legendary footsteps of Abraham Lincoln on the Lincoln Heritage Trail, which follows the 16th president from his life as a postmaster in Petersburg, law student in New Salem, lawyer in Mt. Pulaski, House of Representatives member in Vandalia and father, legislator and newly elected president in Springfield, where he is buried. Illinois became a state on Dec. 3, 1818, and gets its name from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men."

The "Prairie State" does have so much superior to brag about: the Chicago Public Library is the world's largest public library with more than 2 million books; the first Ferris wheel was unveiled at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; the Field Museum is home to the gigantic T. rex Sue; the world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885; Des Planes is the site of the first McDonald's; the ice cream sundae was invented in Evanston; and Oak Park contains the country's largest collection of Prairie-style homes, including 25 designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

At the southern tip of Illinois lies a truly super city, Metropolis. The legendary home of Superman, Metropolis really exists and is filled with monuments dedicated to the man of steel.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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