The University of Illinois anchors the two-in-one metro area, 135 miles southwest of Chicago.
University of Illinois Arboretum
University of Illinois Arboretum


Allerton Park and Retreat Center 

Robert Henry Allerton, an avid art collector, filled the gardens of his estate with more than 100 lovingly placed sculptures.

Cinema Gallery 

The theater, built in 1870 as Busey's Opera Hall, now houses pieces from more than 50 local artists working in ceramics, paint and sculpture.

Krannert Art Museum
Krannert Art Museum
| Credit: Jason Lindsey

Krannert Art Museum

More than 10,000 works of art are housed here, including ancient Egyptian sculptures and pieces by Andy Warhol.

Market at the Square

Music hums and shoppers browse local goods on Saturday mornings.

Spurlock Museum 

The mix of art and anthropological artifacts from around the world feels like a miniature of Chicago's Field Museum.

University of Illinois Arboretum

At the campus arboretum, flowerbeds bloom in geometric patterns and paths wind throug cherry trees.

Wandell Sculpture Garden 

Contemporary sculptures (mostly abstract, geometric and metal) jut out of the prairie grass.

Eat and Drink

Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

If you're lucky, you can snag their burnt ends before their daily sell-out.

The Blind Pig Co.

Try a microbrew under the twinkle lights on the patio.

Courier Cafe

An on-site garden feeds their salad bar.

Golden Harbor

The menu has over 3,000 dishes and an entire section dedicated to sea cucumber.

Papa Del's Pizza

Pies are slung with puffy crusts and bold sauce here.

Seven Saints

Sliders and whiskey are the house specialties, but diners also rave about the salads, soups and desserts (from local bakery Cafe Artist Studio).


Illini Union Hotel

Located near the University of Illinois campus, the 72 simple guest rooms have free Wi-Fi and reserved parking.

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