Follow in Abraham Lincoln’s footsteps in Springfield, where he lived for 24 years before setting off to become the 16th president of the United States.

By By Margaret Doyle
August 01, 2017
Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Photo: Jason Lindsey

A great place to begin your Land of Lincoln exploration is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where lifelike vignettes tell Abe's story, from his humble beginnings in a log cabin to his assassination. Two special effects-driven theaters, plus artifacts such as Lincoln's signature stovepipe hat, delight history fans. Nearby, a guided tour of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, offers a glimpse into daily life for the family.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Photo: Jason Lindsey

Downtown is the striking Old State Capitol, site of many career triumphs, including Lincoln's famed "House Divided" speech on slavery.

Old State Capitol State HIstoric Site. Photo: Jason Lindsey

Pay respects at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, where visitors rub the well-worn nose of the bronze Lincoln bust for luck.

Lincoln Tomb. Photo: Courtesy of IOT


Find visitor info in the refurbished historic Union Station. Then pose for a selfie with Abe, whose statue sits on a bench outside this downtown building.

A costumed guide tells spooky tales and points out Lincoln sites in downtown Springfield during the nighttime Lincoln's Ghost Walk.

The natural history of Illinois, from the dinosaur era to frontier times and up to present day, is wonderfully illustrated at the Illinois State Museum. The downstairs Play Museum features a dino dig and fun games.

Just blocks away sits the beautifully preserved Dana-Thomas House, built by esteemed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The mansion has retained its gorgeous Wright-designed art glass and furniture.

In Washington Park, listen to summer concerts at the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, one of the world's largest carillons.


Drivers on Route 66 stop at the Cozy Dog Drive In for a taste of the self-proclaimed original dog on a stick.

Cozy Dog Drive In. Photo: Jason Lindsey

An upscale version of Springfield's own horseshoe sandwich (an open-face hamburger served on thick bread, smothered with French fries drenched in cheese sauce) is on the lunch menu at Maldaner's.

Located close to the Lincoln Home, Obed and Isaac's Microbrewery and Eatery makes the popular Mother Road pale ale.

Obed and Isaac's Microbrewery and Eatery. Photo: Adam Alexander/Courtesy of IOT

Traditional southern Italian dishes are the sepcialty at Saputo's, a retro downtown supper club.

American Harvest Eatery encourages sustainability and uses fresh ingredients such as butternut squash from local farms.

New Berlin's Danenberger Family Vineyards has a cozy four-season tasting room for sampling its wines.


The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, puts guests in the heart of downtown historic sites.

The contemporary boutique State House Inn is near the Old State Capitol.

The Inn at 835 offers vintage charm, with rooms named for flowers favored by the high-society florist who founded the inn in the early 1900s.

For more information on this getaway or for more historic sites to check out, visit