Springfield, Illinois

Have you ever stumbled across an amazing place by accident? Well, we sure did on our way to Chicago! There are so many historical sites to see in Springfield, Illinois all dedicated to our wonderful 16th President Mr. Abraham Lincoln! I honestly had no idea this city would be so neat. Check out the amazing things we got to see and do, plus a list of more that we didn’t get to.

We started out our drive to Chicago on a Sunday night and stopped about 6 hours down the road in Springfield, MO. We were so tired from the drive and decided to sleep in before continuing on to Chicago. BIG MISTAKE! Because of this, we ended up in Springfield, IL around 5:00 pm and all of the historical sites close at 5:00 or 6:00 pm. This is one thing that I wish I had known before! We still got to visit the only home that Abraham Lincoln ever owned. It’s called the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. There’s also a welcome center that has a little museum and gift shop inside that was open. We did not get to go inside of the house, so we decided that we had to stop back by on our way home from Chicago.

Apparently this area of Illinois is known as “The Land of Lincoln” and there’s a lot of different signage for specific historical interest sites dedicated to his legacy. I really wish I would’ve researched this area more before our trip because we could’ve easily spent a few days there!

If you want to visit this area, make sure you plan to stay at least two full days. And get there early since everything closes at 5:00! Some points of interest include: Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Lincolns’ tomb/grave site, Abraham Lincoln National Presidential Library and Museum, the largest covered wagon in the US (with Abe inside), his father’s log cabin, Union Station, and more! Check out this website for a complete list of sites!

We explored the street that Lincoln and Mary lived on with their boys before they loaded up and took the train to Washington DC. The street still looks like it did in the 1800s! We also checked out the artifacts in the welcome center, which is where you need to park to explore the area, and then headed on to Chicago. On our way out of town, we noticed the Presidential Library and Museum and added it to our list to explore on our way home. Then we started googling different sites as we passed the signs on the drive out. That’s when Carrie found the biggest covered wagon in the US and we knew we had to see it! It was a fun, quick stop for a picture. And did I mention, all of this is on Historic Route 66?!

Skip ahead 4 days and we were headed back home after our fantastic time in Chicago. Once again, we slept in and then drove to see the McCallister House from the famous Home Alone movies! Because of this, we ended up in Springfield, IL later than we had planned. But we got to tour the house and we even had time to see the exhibits in the Presidential Museum! We just didn’t make it to his tomb, the log cabin, or Union Station due to their early closing times. Also, did I mention that it’s FREE to tour the Lincoln home?! We were really excited for that! And we had the most precious park ranger give us the tour and our 4 kids were so engaged and well-behaved the whole time!

Here are our favorite pictures from the Lincoln Home!

Abe’s writing desk!
Not Abe’s actual hat, all of his hats are in museums. But this is probably something he really did have at home!
THE BEST Park Ranger ever!

Here are our favorite pictures from the Presidential Museum!

This is definitely a must-see area if you love US history/All Things Presidents like my boys! We will be going back one day so that Jereme can see the sites and to visit the places we didn’t get to! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below and I’ll do my best to get back to you!

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