When to visit: Illinois has something to offer travelers at any time of the year. Chicago sees most of its tourism during the summer months, as winters can be challenging in the windy city, but there are some great vacation deals to be had there January through February, and the city has a lot to do for those who can stand the cold.
Skiers also find northern Illinois very appealing in the winter. Galena Illinois sees most of its tourist traffic in the summer, but autumn is a popular season there as well. Southern Illinois is a great place to visit in the spring as well as the winter, and is generally reasonable on the pocketbook even in peak seasons.
Facts: State Abbreviation: IL
State Capital: Springfield
Largest City: Chicago
Area: 57,918 square miles
Population: 12,713,634 as of 2004 (5th most populous state in the USA)
Major Industries: agriculture, cattle, manufacturing, mining
Illinois Rivers: Mississippi, Ohio River, Illinois River, Wabash River
Illinois Lakes: Lake Michigan, Rend Lake
Highest Point: Charles Mound - 1,235 feet above sea level
Origin of the Name Illinois: The Indian word Illini means “confederation of the tribes”.