This was the tallest building in the world, when it was built. The Sears Tower, or as it should be called now, the Willis Tower was completed in 1973, and is still the tallest building in the United States. Its 108 floors and 2 television masts take it to a height of 1,730 feet. It has an amazing all glass “Sky Deck” on the 103rd floor, that provides stunning views of both the city of Chicago and far distant Indiana.
Chicago - explore the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum has been fascinating people since its opening in 1930, with millions coming to look through its telescopes, to learn and discove more about how universe was created. Over 2,000 exhibits including antique telescopes, sundials and navigational equipment make for an interesting day in the museum. There are also 2 theatres each offering interesting viewing opportunities in 3-D in one and the entire night sky in the other.
Chicago - take a visit to the Chicago Water Tower
The beautiful limestone Chicago Water Tower was completed in 1869. It houses a 138 ft tall standpipe that was used both for fire fighting and also for helping to control the water levels of the city. Ironically it is the only building left of the original area that was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Located on Michigan Avenue, it is worth taking a peep at, when you are visiting the city.
Downers Grove - chill out at the Lyman Woods Forest Preserve
One of the few areas left in the district tat still has the natural habitat of Red and White Oaks. The Lyman Woods Forest Preserve in Downers Grove is an important natural history site, as well as being a beautiful, peaceful place to go for a walk in, especially during the fall,when the leaves change to a multitude of reds, yellows, oranges and browns. There are a number of intereting, enjoayable walks in the preserve, with the Spur Trail being prehaps the most popular, as it contains a wonderful combination of forest and meadows.
Elgin - relive the bygone era at the Elgin Area Historical Society and Museum
Elgin has so much to offer that you will need several days to see most of it. Thanks to the work and hard efforts of the Elgin Area Historical Society, children will love the place, as many of the preserved locations, such as the watch factory, and the architecture area, have displays that they can touch and use. The main museum takes you back to the time when the town was just a few homesteads, set in the wilderness.
Elk Grove Village - explore the Schuette Bierman Farmhouse Museum
To learn what life was like back in the mid 19th century, take a visit to the Elk Grove Village Schuette Bierman Farmhouse Museum. It contains original home furnishings and fitting, and there is also a Dutch barn and a school house. The museum is open between September and May on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, oening and closing times vary, so it is worth checking before going to visit. Sometimes they hold special activity days, these make a visit even more interesting and enjoyable.
Gurnee - spend money at the Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall
The largest shopping area in Illinois, the Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall has more shops than you can walk around in one day. To date there are over 200 retail outlets, which helps explain why this mall is a favourite of shopaholics. The mall also has a range of activities to help keep children occupied including a Reptile Zoo, a Rink and a Cineplex, as well as a range of dining opportunities. Late night shopping and dining options are available every day.
Joliet - experience the Scutt Meseum
The Scutt Museum in Joliet was once the home of Hiram Scutt. He was also known under the name of Barb Villa, due to the patents he held for barbed wire. This property was built in 1882 and has only recently been opened for public viewing and also for banquets and other social events. Over the years there have sadly been a number of deaths in the building. It is thought that the mansion is still haunted by their spirits, and there are occasionally nights, when you can visit to try and experience these occurrences.
Oak Brook - visit the Peabody Mansion Estate
The Peabodys were an important family in the late 19th century, and Francis Stuyvesant Peabody was influential in the creation of a number of important Chicago sports and activity clubs. Their country home was built in 1921 and was one of the finest examples of the architecture of the time. For a long time it was used by many as a retreat, when owned by the Franciscan monks, until 1991. Tours of Mayslake Hall are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Schaumburg - enjoy shopping at the Woodfield Mall
Once the largest Mall in the United States, and still the largest in Illinois, the Woodfield Mall offers over 285 opportunities to sate your shopping desires. Originally opened in 1971 the Mall has been growing ever since. Amongst the main retail outlets is the largest Sears in the United States. There are also some great value restaurants here to eat at, whilst taking a shopping break.
Introduction of Illinois
Illinois is a central US state sandwiched between Missouri, Indiana and Iowa. It is an agricultural and industrial region and many tourists come to the district for its cultural draws and national parks. Most of the major cities and tourism spots here have a good choice of Illinois hotels. Chicago, on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, features accommodations located near Chicago Harbour and within walking distance of the vast collection of contemporary art housed at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Other nearby attractions, are the Field Museum Store, Lincoln Park Zoo and the National Museum of Mexican Art. Fort Massac State Park, one of many in the state, is in southern Illinois beside the River Ohio and the city of Metropolis. As is usual with state cities Metropolis boasts a good choice of quality properties. Metropolis's signature landmark is the Superman statue, outside Massac County Courthouse. Fort Massac Park contains a replica pioneer wooden fort, a short hiking path and a fishing dock.
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