Springfield Illinois Travel Guide

Springfield, the capital of Illinois , is in the heart of the state. The city proudly presents a multitude of attractions and historical sites related to the city’s most famous son: Abraham Lincoln , the 16th President of the United States. In this way, visitors encounter a piece of history, no matter where they go. Springfield has a total population of 111,454.

For all those who would like to discover the original, small-town America away from the urban centers, Springfield in particular, as Abraham Lincoln’s hometown, offers an insight into American history . The famous US President spent much of his life here. His spirit and history can be found everywhere here. Visitors can walk in his footsteps, whether in the “Lincoln Home”, his former residence, “Lincoln Herndon”, his former law office or the “Lincoln Tomb”, the family grave in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum holds the world’s largest collection of documents, artefacts and landmarks from Lincoln’s life, providing a glimpse into the life and work of this famous man who abolished slavery.

The city also has a lot to offer: In the historic old town , a colorful mix of specialty shops, art and antique shops, galleries, bakeries and other shops invites you to stroll. The Dana-Thomas House, one of the early works by architect Frank Lloyd-Wright, is also in Springfield. In one of the many restaurants and bars the visitor can end an exciting day in Springfield.

Route 66 also runs through the city and every year in September the “International Route 66 Mother Road Festival” takes place here, a huge festival with a great entertainment program.


  • Cozy Dog Drive In:A historic eatery on Route 66. The Cozy Dog Drive In is home to the one and only “Cozy Dog,” a delicious hot dog on a stick that is still sold at festivals and fairs across the United States today . In the restaurant, which opened in 1949, visitors will also find a selection of Route 66 memorabilia and souvenirs.
  • Shea’s Gas Station Museum:“Shea’s” is not only a popular photo backdrop for Route 66 conquerors from all over the world, but as a gas station museum it also houses a charming and varied collection of memorabilia that reflect 50 years of history.

Lincoln’s history spans the state of Illinois

Lincoln lived in Springfield, Illinois for nearly a quarter of a century. His spirit and his story can be found everywhere here. The “Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum” has more than 46,000 original documents on the life of Abraham Lincoln and thus provides an insight into the life and work of this famous man, during whose tenure slavery was abolished.

There are other Lincoln attractions in Springfield, such as the family grave in Oak Ridge Cemetery, the house where she lived for a long time, and the Lincoln-Herndon law firm that he ran with his colleague.

During his time in Illinois, Lincoln lived in Springfield, Decatur and New Salem: His story can be found everywhere here – from the impressive Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum to the hallowed halls of the Old State Capitol, to the lovingly reconstructed log cabin that kept the simple circumstances reflects his family.

Visitors to his burial site in Oak Ridge Cemetery experience a piece of history up close and can visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the only home that Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd ever owned. The interactive exhibitions of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the attached museum allow interested visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the opponent of slavery and bring the legacy of the “honest Abe” to life.

With the Old State Capitol, Illinois travelers enter the place where the first Republican president announced his presidential candidacy in 1858 – the incumbent US President Barack Obama did the same almost 150 years later. A stop at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices takes visitors to the only remaining site where Lincoln practiced law before his presidency.

Shea's Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois

In the footsteps of the 16th US President

He is still popular today like hardly any other president in the history of the United States of America: Abraham Lincoln.
As the 16th US President, he held this office from 1860 to 1865 and went down in history not least because he abolished slavery and always focused on preserving the unity of the country during the civil war. At the same time, he was the first president of the then new Republican Party, but both Republicans and Democrats after him still refer to Abraham Lincoln in their work – enough reasons for his long-standing adopted home to honor this great man in American history.

The state of Illinois offers its visitors numerous opportunities to follow in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln. For example, he lived for six years in New Salem, a log cabin village in Illinois, where he worked, among other things, as a merchant and postmaster, but where he also learned the law as an autodidact. Anyone visiting New Salem today can experience up close how Lincoln and the residents of this small town lived back then. So you can visit the blacksmith’s shop and look over the blacksmith’s shoulder while he is working, drop by the weaver, fortify yourself in the tavern or visit the old schoolhouse. New Salem is open Wednesday through Sunday.

From New Salem Abraham Lincoln went to the capital of Illinois, to Springfield, where he founded a law firm with John Stuart in 1836. Springfield was also the place where he earned his first political spurs and was named a candidate for president. Much in Springfield today is reminiscent of Lincoln, known as “Honest Abe” because of his proverbial honesty. So you can visit his former house and his office there. The Lincoln Home Visitor Center, where you can buy tickets for tours, is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A trip to the Oak Ridge Cemetery, where the magnificent tomb of Lincoln stands together with a large monument, is also worthwhile. Those who go there shouldn’t forget to rub their nose on the larger than life statue of Lincoln. That should bring luck.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is both entertaining and educational at the same time. In the complex, the life of Abraham Lincoln in all its stages and facets is impressively presented. You enter the house where he was born, learn a lot about his time in Springfield, experience him in political debates and accompany him through his presidential office until he is assassinated. You can find many of his speeches and quotes, discover how political friends and opponents treated him, and find out what the press reported about him at the time. The museum, which is extremely interactive using modern media, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anyone who would like to find out more about Abraham Lincoln and his time can visit an unusual bookstore in the metropolis of Chicago, the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. In addition to common works, there are also a number of rare books and manuscripts to discover and inspect. A little paradise for anyone who loves browsing and is interested in American history. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. (www.alincolnbookshop.com)


In ” The Outlets at Springfield ” shopping enthusiasts can visit more than 80 shops and fashion boutiques in a class of their own.


In Rochester near Springfield there is a chocolate factory with Cocoa Blue Chocolates that is definitely worth a visit. Cocoa Blue Chocolates owner Joshua Becker fell in love with good European chocolate during a stay abroad in Holland – this gave him the necessary drive to open his own business. Here he makes chocolates and other delicacies from the finest ingredients, most of which he imports from the Netherlands. A must for every chocolate lover! There is now a branch in Springfield.