09/10/2019: Best Kept Secrets of Central Illinois
Best Kept Secrets of Central Illinois
- Merchant Street, Downtown Decatur, IL
Decatur’s Merchant Street if full of charm and character with hundred-year old buildings and vintage storefronts. With its variety of restaurants and boutiques, Merchant Street is a must-do shopping day destination in Central Illinois. Local boutiques such as Tournesol and Giggles provide unique shopping experiences and Decatur’s locally owned restaurants such as Taproot, Robbie’s and Robbie’s Grill deliver mouth-watering favorites. Don’t forget to stop by Del’s Popcorn Shop, for their famous fudge, caramel apples and popcorn. Prairie Street, which is adjacent to Merchant Street, extends the unique dining and boutique shopping experiences with locally owned businesses such Brass Horn Men’s Clothing, Brass Horn Too, Penelope Boutique, and Coney McKane’s American Eatery. Next time you’re searching for a day trip, choose downtown Decatur, IL… you won’t be disappointed.
2. Allerton Park, Monticello, IL
Located in Monticello, IL Allerton Park, a 1,500 acre park and nature center, is known throughout Central Illinois for its Euorpean-style gardens, neoclassical statues, Far Eastern art, and a Georgian-Revival mansion. Built in 1900 by artist and philanthropist, Robert Allerton, Allerton House (The Farms) is a 40-room, 30,000 sq. ft. mansion that is used as a conference and retreat center, as well as a reception hall for weddings. Allerton Park is open to the public during the day for picnics, walks, photoshoots and tours of the mansion. If you haven’t been to Allerton Park, take time to visit soon.
3. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Springfield, IL
Dedicated to the life and legacy of our nation’s 16th President, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum features high-tech exhibits, live actors and interactive displays to tell the story of President Lincoln. Fun for all ages, the museum includes hands-on experiences such as a play model of the Lincoln home, period clothing to try on, and reproductions of historic toys. Open daily from 9 am -5 pm.
4. Grand View Drive, Peoria IL
Named as one of the most beautiful drives in Illinois, Grand View Drive in Peoria, IL is a two-and-a-half-mile scenic road that is a must-do day trip any time of the year, but especially in the fall. The drive features stunning views of the Illinois River and some of the most exquisite and prestigious historic homes in Central Illinois. For those who prefer to walk, there are hiking paths to enjoy, along with picnic tables and benches.