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About Illinois

Visiting Illinois

Visiting Illinois should be at the top of every family’s vacation list. Its rich history and cultural diversity makes it a great destination for education and fun. Booking a suitable rental property is a large part of enjoying an extended stay. At Vacation Home Rentals, we have the houses for rent in Illinois that can meet your needs and make your trip to the Prairie State perfect.

Areas within Illinois

Chicago is probably the most recognizable of cities in Illinois for most Americans. From the Magnificent Mile to its famous Italian restaurants, the city remains a popular tourist stop. Other areas add to Illinois’ rich history as well. Elmhurst, IL, contributed to the arts by inspiring the American poet Carl Sandburg. The Mount Prospect Park District is famous for offering almost 500 acres of recreational space for residents and visitors. Whatever your interests, Illinois is bound to have the perfect attractions for you and your family. Check our online listings for information on homes for rent in Illinois. We’re sure to have a house for rent in Illinois that is near the area that you want to explore.

Sightseeing in Illinois and Things to Do

The state of Illinois provides ample opportunity for education and recreation. The Navy Pier in Chicago boasts a Ferris wheel, a botanical retreat, and a children’s museum. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield provides information about the former president and the history of the state. Starved Rock State Park offers beautiful scenes of canyons and waterfalls that visitors can camp around. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site provides insight into Native American history. It presents artifacts and features a real-life re-creation of settlements that visitors can explore. Cabins for rent in Illinois may be easier to come by in these rural, preserved areas.

Regional Foods and Dining in Illinois

Illinois food can be best classified as Midwestern. Its culinary influences derive from different parts of Europe. It’s not uncommon to find several seafood dishes made in the European style, like lutefisk. A large majority of foods found in Illinois are made with pride from locally grown and fresh fruits and vegetables. For this reason, you’ll find quite a few farms and markets that provide restaurants and grocery stores with produce and other food products. Regional foods include deep-dish pizza and Danish pastries. It’s also popular to incorporate processed foods into main dishes, like Tater Tot casserole. Vacation rentals in Illinois that are located near or around certain demographics will likely have restaurants that reflect cultural tastes. For example, an area densely populated with northern European descendants might serve lutefisk in restaurants.

Illinois Weather and Climate

Despite Chicago’s nickname of “The Windy City,” Illinois does not have exceptional wind activity. The state’s climate is temperate. Summers are generally sunny and hot, and winters are typically cold with snow. While summers can enjoy a cool 70 degrees, temperatures during winter can dip below zero. When searching for houses for rent in Illinois, take the time of year into account. Cabin rentals in Illinois may seem more inexpensive during the winter, but homes for rent can often provide more protection and insulation. Keep in mind that Illinois plains are ripe territory for tornadoes during their peak season.

When to Visit Illinois

Any time’s a good time to visit the great state of Illinois. Consider the safety of a winter visit if temperatures are extremely low. If you plan on visiting the Illinois plains, know that tornado season is between March and June. Illinois cabin rentals may be more popular during the sunny months, so plan on reserving a rental a few months ahead of time. To save money, look for homes for rent in Illinois that are listed by owner.


From the city to the prairie, Illinois has plenty of attractions for visitors of all kinds. Stay in one of dozens of Illinois apartments or vacation homes, and get to know this great state.

Illinois Climate

With nearly 64,000 square miles to its name, Illinois is a relatively large state with a varied climate. The southern part of the state has a humid subtropical climate, while the northern portion of Illinois a humid continental climate. Summer temperatures tend to top out around 90 degrees in the south, while July temperatures typically reach 85 in Chicago. Winter temperatures dip down into the 20s in Chicago, while they hover in the 40s around Carbondale.

How to Get Around Illinois

To explore the western part of the state, plan to fly into Moline, where Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, and United all serve the Quad City International Airport. If you plan to spend your time visiting the Quad Cities, plan to rent a car in order to maximize your time traveling between Illinois apartments and the state's best attractions.

To access the eastern half of Illinois, fly into one of Chicago's main hubs, Midway International Airport or O'Hare International Airport. Consider driving to explore outside of the city, or rely on a combination of public transportation, taxis, and walking to get the most out of a visit to Chicago.

Top Things to Do in Illinois

If you're taking a road trip through Illinois, you won't want to miss your chance to drive along historic Route 66. Grab a map of the top tourist attractions and vintage kitsch along the way, and hop on or off this roadway anywhere from Chicago to St. Louis. If your trip takes you to the northwest corner of the state, be sure to visit Galena, celebrated for its historic buildings, charming boutiques, and the best main street in the Midwest.

In Chicago, pack in the fun with a visit to Navy Pier, a lakefront destination that boasts performances, restaurants, shops, and a Ferris wheel. Take the kids to see dinosaurs and learn about thousands of years of history at the Field Museum, and marvel at underwater life at the Shedd Aquarium. Catch an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, or interact with the public art in Millennium Park.

Get out and explore the natural beauty of Illinois with a visit to some of its top state parks. Hike and climb the trails of the Shawnee National Forest, and be sure to take in the dramatic views at the ancient Garden of the Gods. In Starved Rock State Park, explore waterfalls, hike along 13 miles of trails, and fish or boat in the Illinois River.

Can't Miss Illinois Events

When you visit Illinois, consider planning your trip around some of the state's top events. Each February, the largest auto show on the continent takes place in Chicago, where you'll have a chance to see the hottest new vehicles, concept cars, and antique rides at the Chicago Auto Show. In June, head to Galena for the Great Galena Balloon Race, a three-day event with hot air balloon races, nighttime events, and a signature Alefest event. In July, don't miss the legendary Lake County Fair, which features an expo hall, livestock, pageants, motocross, and fun for the whole family.

Whether you plan to venture into the great outdoors or explore the state's cities and towns, you'll find plenty to do in Illinois. Book your choice of Illinois apartments, and feel like a local in this welcoming state.
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