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Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

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May 2, 2019


Illinois Office of Tourism Celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week with New “Instagrammable Illinois” Trip Ideas

CHICAGO – The Illinois Office of Tourism will celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) May 5-11 by releasing new “Instagrammable Illinois” trip ideas showcasing 20 of the state’s most Insta-worthy places to visit in 2019.

This year’s NTTW theme, “Travel Matters,” reinforces the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being. During NTTW, the Illinois Office of Tourism will use Enjoy Illinois social channels (@EnjoyIllinois) to highlight a different destination each day and inspire travel while showing how tourism helps boost our economy, improves health, reinforces hometown pride and creates new experiences.

“National Travel & Tourism Week reminds us that Illinois’ $40 billion travel and tourism industry plays a vital role in boosting the state’s economy while supporting small businesses and more than 337,000 jobs across the state,” said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Illinois is proud to welcome 114 million business and leisure visitors from around the world each year to showcase the wonderful destinations within the state.”

“We know based on our research visitors want to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and enjoy new experiences when they travel,” said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “We’re excited to promote our new Instagram-worthy trip ideas to encourage visitors to plan a weekend getaway and share their travel experiences on social media with #EnjoyIllinois.”

The Illinois Office of Tourism selected the Instagram-worthy places to incorporate a mix of well-known attractions and lesser known places. Locations featured in the itinerary were also based on how images performed across Enjoy Illinois social channels, along with growing popularity from user generated content.

To view and download Instagrammable Trip Ideas, visit the Enjoy Illinois article on The Most Instagrammable Spots in Illinois.

To download photos of the Instagram-worthy attractions listed above click here. To start planning your next trip, visit for travel inspiration and download the new spring/summer Travel Illinois magazine.

20  Instagram-Worthy Places in Illinois include (in alphabetical order):

Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford)

Inspired by calm and tranquility, the 12-acre award-winning landscape is comprised of koi-filled ponds, winding paths, gentle streams, cascading waterfalls.

Baha’i House of Worship (Wilmette)

Near the shores of Lake Michigan, the Baha’i House of Worship is the oldest surviving temple of its kind. With walls of lace-like ornamentation and 135-foot dome, the temple offers a scene of unsurpassed beauty.

Bell Smith Springs (Shawnee National Forest)

One of the most beautiful recreation areas in the Shawnee National Forest, Bell Smith Springs is a hidden gem boasting a series of clear streams surrounded by sandstone bluffs.

Cave-in-Rock State Park (Cave-in-Rock)

This park in southern Illinois, overlooking the Ohio River, is known for the 55-foot wide cave that was carved out of the limestone rock by water thousands of years ago.

Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe)

Climb a waterfall, cross bridges spanning sparkling lakes and soak in 27 stunning gardens throughout the seasons.

Cloud Gate (“The Bean” Chicago)

The centerpiece of Chicago’s Millennium Park, Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) is a mirrored public sculpture and a must-have photo opportunity for locals and visitors.

Crown Brew Coffee Co. (Carterville)

This cozy Southern Illinois coffee shop specializes in making incredible handcrafted lattes with photo-worthy designs and delicious pour over coffee.

Garden of the Gods (Shawnee National Forest, Herod)

Millions of years in the making, the Garden of the Gods is the most visited site in the Shawnee National Forest with spectacular views of dramatic rock formations and cliffs.

Grafton SkyTour (Grafton) *Opening June 1

This summer visitors can reach new heights riding the new Grafton Sky Tour, a gondola ride at Aerie’s Resort that will offer incredible bird’s eye views of the Great River Road, Mississippi River and Pere Marquette State Park.

Historic Main Street (Galena)

With more than 125 unique boutiques, eateries, wineries and galleries, Historic Main Street in the quaint downtown of Galena is the perfect backdrop for a snapshot.

Illinois State Capitol Rotunda (Springfield)

Located within the picturesque Illinois State Capitol is a magnificent rotunda featuring intricate glass designs and eye-catching colors – it’s impossible to take a bad picture!

John Deere Pavilion (Moline)

Climb aboard vintage John Deere tractors to snap a fun and rustic pic with family and friends at the John Deere Pavilion.

Matthiessen State Park (Oglesby/Starved Rock Country)

From incredible rock formations to scenic hiking trails and unusual wildlife, this is a picture-perfect paradise for explorers and lovers of the great outdoors.

Morton Arboretum (Lisle)

The Morton Arboretum is the champion of trees, a living museum and an engaging 1,700-acre garden. Don’t forget to go troll hunting (and pose for a selfie) for an unforgettable experience.

Navy Pier (Chicago)

The pride of Chicago's lakefront, Navy Pier is a bright and colorful landmark known for its iconic Ferris Wheel along with food, entertainment and cultural attractions.

Pontiac Visitors Center Route 66 Mural (Pontiac)

A road trip down Route 66 would be incomplete without a photo in front of the iconic Route 66 Mural adorned on the brick building that houses the Route 66 Museum at the Pontiac Visitors Center.

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery (Champaign)

This goat dairy farm is known for its award-winning cheese and artisan gelato. It’s the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a peaceful evening on the prairie and even play with some goats too!

The Rookery (Chicago)

This Chicago landmark is included on Illinois’ Frank Lloyd Wright Trail. Its elaborate main lobby and light court were renovated by the famed architect in 1905. Step inside and you’ll see why it’s known as one of the most spectacular interior spaces in Illinois.

Six Flags Great America (Gurnee)

A destination that’s fun for the whole family, Six Flags Great America is filled with bright colors, giant roller coasters and Hurricane Harbor that offers 30 soaking water rides.

Skydeck Chicago - The Ledge (Chicago)

Show your followers the view from the top of Chicago while standing on The Ledge at Skydeck in Willis Tower, the tallest building in the city.

To view and download Instagrammable Trip Ideas, visit the Enjoy Illinois article on The Most Instagrammable Spots in Illinois.

To download photos of the Instagram-worthy attractions listed above click here. To start planning your next trip, visit for travel inspiration and download the new spring/summer Travel Illinois magazine.

About National Travel & Tourism Week

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 36th year, is the annual salute to travel in America. During the first full week in May, communities nationwide unite to showcase the impact of travel. NTTW is a US Travel Association initiative.


The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.



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