Plan a Road Trip Through IL with Sunrise Chevrolet

Chevy Blazer on highway

We all need to take a break from life and treat ourselves to a vacation every now and then. Don’t have the time or budget to hop on a plane headed for a tropical paradise? No problem! When you know where to go, you can plan an exciting road trip through IL. You might not see any palm trees or dramatic mountains along the way, but we at Sunrise Chevrolet think the Land of Lincoln is pretty stunning in its own right. Explore a few options for road trips through IL with us, below!

Route 66

The infamous Route 66 begins right here in Illinois, at Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain. From there, you can drive 300 miles southwest through Illinois. Here are a few popular stops to make along the way:

Your Route 66 road trip through Illinois ends at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge just out of Collinsville. The bridge provides a stunning view of the expansive Mississippi River and, if crossed, would bring you into Missouri.

route 66 signage on pole

Great River Road

The Great River Road follows the Mississippi River for 1,069 miles through 10 states, and some of its most beautiful stop-offs exist right here in Illinois.

  • Be sure to stop off in Galena, IL. Here, you’ll find a unique shopping experience with over 200 shops to peruse. After stocking up on goods, learn more about life after the Civil War when you tour Ulysses S. Grant’s 19th-century Italianate-style home. For a great view of the dramatic bluffs and native wildlife that exist along the Mississippi River’s backwaters, hop on a short cruise at Chestnut Mountain Resort.
  • Visit the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island, where you can walk amongst spectacular tropical plants and learn more about the native flora and fauna that call the area home.
  • Plan your trip accordingly, and you can make a stop in Quincy during the spring Dogwood Festival or the summer Midsummer Arts Faire.
  • After sitting in the car for so long, you’ll want to stretch your legs. What better way to do so than with a zip-lining adventure in Grafton or a challenging hike in Pere Marquette State Park?
  • Conclude your trip in Alton, where you’ll find antiques and art abound. You can also visit the National Great Rivers Museum – complete with an aquarium the kids will love and a tour of the locks and dams on the river.

Illinois’ Best Scenic Drives

If you don’t have time to head out on a lengthy road trip through Illinois, there are plenty of short scenic drives that are perfect for a long weekend:

  • Illinois Lincoln Highway – Snake your way through Northern Illinois on the Lincoln Highway, stopping along the way to see the beautiful architecture in Joliet, historic Victorian homes in Batavia, and the childhood home of Ronald Reagan in Dixon.
  • Illinois River Road – The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway is easily accessible by Chicagoans looking to get out of the city for a day or two. Skyscrapers are replaced by towering trees and lush foliage as you make your way through natural areas. Explore the sandstone canyons and flowing waterfalls at Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks to reconnect with nature for a while before heading back home.
  • Ohio River Scenic Byway – Explore southern Illinois by way of the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Explore Cave-in-Rock State Park along the way, take a picture with the 15-foot-tall Superman statue in Metropolis, and visit Cairo to learn about its significance during the Civil War.

Learn More with Sunrise Chevrolet!

Sunrise Chevrolet is proud to be an active member of our incredible community, providing local advice on everything from Illinois road trips and winter getaways to how to spend a weekend in Chicago and halal restaurants in Glendale Heights. If you’d like more local advice or even want to share some insider tips of your own, please don’t hesitate to contact us and start a conversation!


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