6 Ways to Enjoy Illinois' Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
For more information
Contact Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (815) 423-6370; www.fs.fed.us/mntp. The visitors center is open Mondays-Saturdays May through October and Mondays-Fridays the rest of the year. The prairie itself is open every day. The website has detailed directions and plenty of info about trails and programs available to the public.
Where to eat
Launching Pad Drive-In Tourists feast their eyes on the space-guy Gemini Giant mascot (pictured) before filling up with one of the signature Italian beef sandwiches or Route 66 burgers in Wilmington, 5 miles south of Midewin. Read Midwest Living's review. (815) 476-6535
Hayden's Crossing Diners find plain food with big flavor in small-town Wilmington. The lunch/dinner menu features entrees such as steaks and chops ($11-$23). Cheese sticks are as big as egg rolls; mouthwatering burgers hold sway. (815) 476-5925
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® March/April 2011. Prices, hours and other details are subject to change, so please check specifics before making travel plans,)