Rockford is the only place that is home to not one, but TWO of the most beautiful places in Illinois. I think that is reason to celebrate!

most beautiful places in Illinois
Rob Carroll, Townsquare Media

Thrillist has put together a list of the 15 Most Beautiful Places in Illinois That You Didn't Know Existed.

To be fair, I only knew of the two beautiful places in Rockford. I had no idea about the other 13. Isn't the photo from Anderson Japanese Gardens above just stunning! Here are the 15 Most Beautiful Places in Illinois, in no particular order.

  • Anderson Japanese Gardens - Rockford
  • The waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park - Oglesby
  • Burden Falls - Shawnee National Forest
  • Grosse Point Lighthouse - Evanston
  • Great River Road - Western Edge of the State, along the Mississippi River
  • Fabyan Windmill at Fabyan Forest Preserve - Geneva
  • Cahokia Mounds - Collinsville
  • Garden of the Gods - Shawnee National Forest
  • Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens - Rockford
  • Buffalo Rock State Park - Ottawa
  • Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive - Canton
  • Grand View Drive - Peoria
  • Mississippi Palisades State Park - Savanna
  • Promontory Point - Chicago
  • Lake Falls at Matthiessen State Park - Utica
There is no surprise to me that Rockford made it not once, but twice on the list. One place I have never been is Great River Road. It would be one drive I would absolutely want to take. It is a very scenic drive that follows the flow of the Mississippi River for more than 550 miles!  Now that is something I've got to see.


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