Anyone been to Springfield IL?

We’re taking a little mini-vacation. In honor of Lincoln’s 200th birthday, we thought we’d take a gander at the Lincoln exhibit, which I hear is awesome. Other than that, what’s worth seeing in Springfield?

We are probably going to take Route 66 from Chicago. Is it really Route 55 with a series of cut-offs to old Route 66?

How’s about food and hotels?

“Anyone been to Springfield IL?”

When I was the manager of a travel agency, one of my agents sent a client to Springfield, Illinois.

'Course, he had wanted to go to Springfield, Missouri.

This post is of no use to you whatsoever.

I spent a bit of time down there for work a few years ago. We stayed regularly at the Penis on the Prairie, aka the Springfield Hilton.

Watch out for the Horseshoes, an awful food concoction beloved by locals. Basically an open-faced hamburger topped with fries and horrible, horrible cheese-like sauce.

Horseshoes aside, it’s really not bad for a state capital. There’s plenty of stuff to see and do.

There’s the Lincoln museum, Lincoln library, Lincoln’s home, Lincoln’s tomb, the old state capitol (where Lincoln served in the legislature), all (except for the tomb) within an easy walk of each other. It’s a great way to spend a day.

However, Springfield is a small city in central Illinois. Lake Springfield is pretty in some spots, but that’s about it for scenery. Because it’s the state capitol, food and lodging are a cut above, say, Decatur, but nothing special.

As for Route 66, I-55 does follow pretty closely in most spots, but you can make a majority of the trip along the old routes (there are several alignments). 129 and 53, for example, are both parts of old 66.

I always thought Lincoln’s New Salem
was way cooler than Springfield. It’s only 20 miles NW of Springfield

The real Penis of the Prairie is the Nebraska State Capitol.

Okay, I’m thinking one night in the hotel, right? If we don’t see it in one day, it’s prolly not worth seeing?

A second night might not be entirely out of line, just so you don’t feel you are rushing too much and if you want to spend any time at the hotel pool.

Wright’s Dana house (if it is open) is not to be missed. New Salem is worth a visit if you like that sort of thing, but no more than a couple of hours IMO. The state capitol is a pretty cool building - again - if you like that kind of thing. Also, you can tour the old capitol across the street, and Lincoln’s law office.

Thanks, Dins…Dana-Thomas house will be a definite stop. We aren’t pool people, so we won’t be spending too much idle time at the hotel.

I’m trying to figure out if I need a cat sitter. I’m pretty sure I can leave the little softies to their own devices for a day and still see everything I want to see.

This was one of the historical sites that our [sarcasm]beloved[/sarcasm] ex-gov Blagojevich closed, but it re-opened last Thursday. Yes, it is worth a visit.

You may want to go here and download the Visitor’s guide (near the bottom left of the page). Also, check out HeyHomie’s old thread:

If You Come to Springfield, Illinois to See the Lincoln Sites

Depends entirely on your attitude when travelling. You can definitely enjoy Springfield in 2 days on either side of 1 night. I was only suggesting a 3d day if you were the types who felt you had to see EVERYTHING a destination has to offer.

Depending on when you go, I understand some things like Lincoln’s home can have very long lines. We went 1st thing in the morning and were the first group in. So just make a list of the things you MUST see, and then make a list of things to fill in any gaps that apear. One good thing is Springfield is REALLY small and quick to get around in terms of traffic.

I’m kind of a government geek, so if the legislature is in session, you might want to sit in for a while. Also, don’t know if they still give tours of the executive mansion, but I found it interesting when I had lunch there many years back during Big Jim’s reign. Might be worth a gander seeing as you are paying for it!

Truth be told, I’m actually looking more forward to the trip down Route 66 than I am the actual destination stuff. I want to see the Lincoln exhibit and the house, but I think the leisurely trolley tour might be exactly what I’m looking for. Just some down time with Mr. K. Aaaaah…I can almost hear myself relaxing!!

You could go to Starved Rock whilst you’re down there. That’s what my family did (when I was six). I remember thinking it was very pretty (and being terrified of the weather, but hey I was six).

Starved Rock would be quite a ways outta the way for the lovely K - and a quite easy daytrip for her as well.

You guys biking it or driving?

I assume you’ve checked out this site.
Just taking your time driving down and back would be quite enjoyable in itself.

Despite what might have sounded like a jaded appraisal, I agree with Dinsdale. Depending on your level of interest, you can do Springfield in a day or a month.

The same advice goes for the Route 66 drive. I’ve driven chunks of 66 in Illinois and other states. If you really want to appreciate it, you have to take your time exploring the small towns and other attractions. Joliet is worth an afternoon all by itself.

Yeah, Starved Rock is a whole 'nuther trip.

Dins, I haven’t seen that exact site, but I looked at some other similar ones. I’ll check this one out. I think there’s a lot of cheese along the road. Giant statue dudes, a gas station museum (WOW), and many photo ops. Gotta get me some oversized sunglasses, a big hat (held on with a long chiffon scarf, of course) and my best “too-high-for-travel” stilettos to make the picture complete.

Fair enough, as I said, I was six. We went down from Evanston for about 5 days in total. For two days, yeah, that’d be too much.

I’ve wanted idly to go back at some point. Maybe I could do it when I’m home this summer. Hmm…

Besides the Lincoln stuff, there is the Oliver P. Parks Telephone Museum. I enjoyed it, but I used to work for Western Electric.

Yeah, if you haven’t seen the astronaut, you shouldn’t miss him. He was always one of the highlights of the trip when we drove downstate to visit my grandmother.
And weren’t we talking here about some sort of casket museum or museum of death in Springfield, something like that?