Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Thu March 29 2018
The Illinois state capitol building is located in downtown Springfield. Opened in 1889, construction on the capitol began in 1869, taking 20 years to build at a cost of $4.5 million dollars. From ground level to top of dome, the Illinois capitol is 361 fe

Springfield

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The Illinois state capitol building is located in downtown Springfield. Opened in 1889, construction on the capitol began in 1869, taking 20 years to build at a cost of $4.5 million dollars. From ground level to top of dome, the Illinois capitol is 361 fe
The Illinois state capitol building is located in downtown Springfield. Opened in 1889, construction on the capitol began in 1869, taking 20 years to build at a cost of $4.5 million dollars. From ground level to top of dome, the Illinois capitol is 361 fe

As the geographic and cultural heart of the “Land of Lincoln,” Springfield, Illinois, is the state’s historically relevant and charming capital city. Located on famous Route 66, Springfield is home to a plethora of historic sites, world-class museums and unique events. Whether on a family vacation or romantic getaway, Springfield is a popular tourist destination in the U.S. that is sure to both educate and entertain.

Home to Abraham Lincoln for 24 years before taking office as president, Springfield has several attractions surrounding the beloved president. From the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to the newly opened Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visitors from all over the world can delve deep into the life and career of one of the most iconic figures in history.

Springfield is full of sights and attractions that will suit everyone’s needs. Take the family to one of the exciting amusement parks, like Bolder Creek Fun Park or Knight’s Action Park and Water Adventure. The kids will love playing a round of glow-in-the-dark miniature golf at Glow Golf in the southwestern corner of the city. Springfield also has a number of drive-in movie theaters on Route 66.

Exterior of Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois. (photo via eurobanks / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
PHOTO: Exterior of Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois (Photo via eurobanks / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

With a longtime love affair with snack foods, Springfield is said to be the original home of the corn dog, as well as the unofficial chili capital of the world. The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop along Route 66 is said to be one of the first restaurants with a drive-through window. Also popular in Springfield is the horseshoe sandwich -- an open-faced hamburger patty or stack of fried meats with fries and cheese sauce on top. For delicious and inexpensive Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, Little Saigon does not disappoint. With classic dishes like pho and pad Thai that are every bit as tasty as they are authentic, it’s a no-brainer for cheap Asian eats.

Located just northwest of downtown Springfield, the region’s largest airport is Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI). Taking a taxi or rental car is necessary to get from the airport into town, as there’s no bus service (though your hotel may provide a shuttle). For getting around the city, the Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) operates buses on a six day a week schedule, with routes covering the major tourist regions of the city.

Springfield is characterized by a humid continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. July tends to be the hottest month of the year, with an average high temperature of 86.5° F (30.3° C), while the coldest month of January can have an average daytime low of 17.1° F (-8.3° C). May receives the most precipitation out of the year, with an average of 4.06 inches, and though they are not the norm, tornadoes have been known to touch down in the Springfield area. The city’s historic attractions are open all year round, making Springfield a worthy city to visit at any time, though the peak seasons are in spring, summer and early autumn, when the outside activities and events are abundant.