The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway threads through natural areas and past spectacular water views, bluffs and brilliant fall foliage.

By By the editors of MidwestLiving.com
Peoria riverfront skyline.

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.

Peoria riverfront skyline

Sweet tours Visit with costumed interpreters on Illinois and Michigan Canal boat tours, take a guided fall-color hike 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

A journey along the llinois River Road

For maps and trip planning

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway

Byways.org: Illinois River Road

Advertisement