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Hotels in Springfield

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Discover Midwestern charms in Springfield, Illinois

Situated in the heart of the Land of Lincoln, the city of Springfield stands in many ways like a monument to one of the United States' most celebrated presidents. As the state capital and largest city in central Illinois, Springfield offers much more than just a look into the past. Filled with amazing sites and special events, the city is a living, breathing example of Midwestern charm and hospitality. Whether you're looking to indulge your inner history buff or form lasting memories with your family, you can't go wrong with a visit to this cornfield-surrounded gem.

Things to see and do
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Opened in 2005 after more than 15 years of planning and development, the Lincoln Library stands as one of Springfield's most-visited attractions. Breaking attendance records for a presidential library almost from the get-go, the museum has since continued to attract visitors with its unique blend of scholarship and showmanship. Located near a number of popular Springfield hotels, the state-of-the-art facility is home to thousands of Lincoln-related items, including a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address and the pen used to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

Featuring a combination of holographic images, special effects, live actor performances and more, the site's exhibits are designed both to educate and entertain. As a family-friendly destination, the museum even gives your youngest children a chance to get in on the act. In Mrs. Lincoln's Attic, kids can try on period clothes, play with historic toy reproductions or even take pictures with life-size models of Abraham Lincoln and his family.

Illinois State Museum

With a Lincoln Museum, Lincoln Home, Lincoln Tomb and even a Lincoln Memorial Garden all lying within the city limits, it's fair to say that the famous former resident tends to soak up a lot of attention from visitors. However, with sites like the Illinois State Museum, Springfield proves it's more than just a one-hit-wonder.

Originally founded as a natural history museum in 1877, the ISM has grown considerably over the years. Sitting in the State Capitol Complex, the public portion of the museum welcomes families and historians with a huge selection of exhibitions and collections. Free to the public and open year-round, the museum takes visitors on an exhilarating trip through time. Interactive displays and life-size dioramas explore Illinois' history from the age of the dinosaurs, through the rise of Native American civilizations, and into today's changing cultural landscape. Ideal for kids and adults, the ISM offers fun hands-on opportunities to crawl through caves, dig for fossils and load up jeeps for journeys into the unknown. Also not to be missed is the Illinois Artisans Shop, a unique museum store featuring handcrafted souvenirs and art from some of the state's top artisans.

Special events
Illinois State Fair

Catering to families with school-age children, the city's summer schedule is often packed with exciting events. As the state capital, Springfield's crowning event is undoubtedly the Illinois State Fair. Held annually since 1853, the August event brings together visitors from across the state and throughout the region. Originally a showcase for the state's still-important agricultural industry, the fair today features hundreds of rides and attractions as well as petting zoos, animal exhibitions and food options from a wide variety of vendors. With daily events like horse races, tractor pulls and auto races giving way to a nightly concert series featuring musical guests of all kinds, it's no wonder the fair continues to draw healthy crowds year after year.

How to get there

Thanks to its central location between Chicago and St. Louis, Springfield is easy to get to at any time of year. By car, the city is located on Interstate 55, making it a perfect stop on any trip down historic Route 66.

Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport (SPI) features daily non-stop flights to and from major airports, including Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW). Other travel options include the Amtrak Train and Greyhound Bus lines, both of which offer service to Chicago, St. Louis and a number of other destinations.