White pelicans soar above Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, flapping down to roost in the water. Truth be told, migrating birds might be the biggest concentration of creatures (animal or human) you see along this peaceful 291-mile byway in the heart of the state. Explore the riverfront in Peoria, and pick pumpkins at Boggio’s.
Sweet tours Visit with costumed interpreters on Illinois and Michigan Canal boat tours, take a guided fall-color hike (October 20–21, 2012) at Starved Rock State Park, or ask owner Denny Reed to show you his incredible woodworking throughout the cozy Mission Oak Inn.
More from Midwest Living
For maps and trip planning