If you think that you'll have to come up with some big bucks to enjoy a vacation in some far-flung exotic spot, you're probably right. However, you can save those dollars with an Illinois-based "stay-cation," because we've got lots of things to see and do right here without breaking your budget (although, to be honest, Illinois has some really pricey things, too).

Lifestyle and travel site VacationsMadeEasy is out with a rundown on what they call their "Illinois Bucket List: 50 Things You Can't Miss in the Prairie State." As you might imagine, there are plenty of the standard things that you'd expect like Cubs games, The Bean, Chicago's museums, and Navy Pier, but there are plenty of other ideas that you may not have considered. Rockford's own Anderson Japanese Gardens is on the list to represent the Rockford area, but most of the other spots are located all over the state.

Some of the other things worthy of adding to your Illinois Bucket List, along with a link to their websites, courtesy of VacationsMadeEasy:

Built in 2004, the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum is home to displays and plaques honoring various people who contributed to the road and its restoration. The museum also features Route 66 memorabilia, interesting facts, and historic exhibits.

Take a tour of the birthplace and home of Ernest Hemingway. At this museum, you can see some of his earliest writings, learn more about his formative years, and get a glimpse into the life of the child who would grow into one of America's most beloved authors.

Grafton Zipline (Grafton):

Feel the rush of the wind in your face as you soar over the treetops on the Grafton Zipline. With an emphasis on both fun and safety, this zipline is perfect for everyone. There is also a restaurant and winery on site for those who would rather relax on the ground.

Super Museum (Metropolis):

Located in the unofficial home of Superman, Metropolis, IL has a fantastic Super Museum which has thousands of artifacts related to the Man of Steel. Be sure to walk over to the nearby square and snap a photo with the giant Superman statue standing guard there.

New Salem (Petersburg):

Lincoln's New Salem is a reconstruction of the village where President Abraham Lincoln spent several years as a young man. Walk through the blacksmithy, see the school house, wander through the period buildings, and check out the historical performances.

Ulysses S. Grant served as a general in the Civil War and also as the 18th President of the United States. Period-dressed tour guides give narrated tours through the Ulysses S Grant Home and State Historic Site, providing stories and insight into the former president.

Board the Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort and feel your adrenaline pumping as you whoosh down more than 2,000 feet of track zigzagging down the mountainside. Then, hop on board a lift chair and admire the breathtaking panoramic view of the countryside.

Mermet Springs (Belknap Precinct):

You can scuba in any number of places, but only at Mermet Springs can you enjoy fun attractions like an underwater petting zoo and a sunken 727 Boeing airplane. Visitors can rent gear or bring their own, and classes are also offered.

Now, here's 91 year old Walter Thomas of Woodstock fulfilling a big bucket list item a couple of years ago:

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