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Old 12-12-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,265 posts, read 2,133,607 times
Reputation: 1961
If you want to see the big places to hit outside of N. Illinois, probably the most likely places are Peoria (nice parks and scenic along the Illinois river), Springfield (lots of history, museums, gov't), and the Metro East (not much other than a lot of people and the Mississippi river, but you could go to St. Louis which is very nice, albeit not gigantic like Chicago.)

If you're looking for quaint places to see, I second Galena because it's beautiful, and maybe Hannibal--although it's in MO it's right on the MO/IL border and it was the childhood home of Mark Twain.

The Shawnee Nat'l Forest in S. IL is also really beautiful, but I'd recommend not going in the Summer because it's REALLY hot there in the summer.

 
Old 12-13-2008, 12:04 AM
 
2,778 posts, read 5,473,085 times
Reputation: 2017
You'll find in Illinois everything you find in every state, including Alaska.

Chicago is just radically, completely unique in comparison.

There's a national mindset that everything south of the I-80 is not only uninhabited, but uncivilized. Civilization is north of the I-80, everything else south. It's easy to see when you live in NYC, Chicago or San Fran and you've never lived anywhere else.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Oswego, IL
5,662 posts, read 6,762,562 times
Reputation: 35138
More and more Illinois politicians can be found in jails outside of Chicago.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,198,428 times
Reputation: 8931
Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
Come to Central Illinois in the late spring when you don't need a winter coat or air conditioner. You will enjoy the outdoor activities more. If you're going north, take the coat.
But then get out as soon as summer comes because central Illinois turns into a soupy, nasty sauna! Then the only thing youll WANT to do is sit in the A/C.
 
Old 12-13-2008, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,852 posts, read 15,182,199 times
Reputation: 5380
If Illiois was not in essence sliced, diced and surrounded by water, it would not be such as sauna.

The summers to avoid are ushered in by El Nino winters. It is disgusting to go from a no-snow, no-cold weather winter of 30 drgrees right into summer and sit through six months or more of 95-100+ temps every day; 80 was a cold snap. Thankfully this was not in Illinois.

City sidewalks are four times hotter than county roads and I don't like Chicago in the summer either.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,144 posts, read 3,033,155 times
Reputation: 2399
It's hard to determine how much history still plays a role in things, but the cultural differences that it generates have a way of sticking around.

Chicago wasn't even supposed to be part of Illinois. The northern state line was supposed to run through what is the south suburbs. Chicago and points north were added to give the state frontage on the Great Lakes.

Culturally the far south regions of Illinois, like those in Ohio and Indiana, as well, are very much part of that southern/northern mix of the Ohio River valley with perhaps more of a tilt to the South than to the North. Cario at the southern tip of the state is closer to northern Mississippi than to Chicago. Virginians and other southerners led the way to settlement along the Ohio, compared to the movement from the northeast via the Great Lakes along with wave after wave of European immigrant and the Great Migration of African Americans from the South.

Central Illinois is pure corn belt, also like the middle parts of Indiana and Ohio. Only Chicagoland is drawn to the real "Great Lakes region" of heavy industry along with northern IN and OH and southern Michigan (as well as on up north to Milwaukee...and we relate to Milw far more than we do to any city in our own state).

Chicago is "a place apart" in Illinois for reasons more than population (and who makes up that population) alone. Culturally that Great Lakes region is more related to the cities of the northeast than to downstate regions of our own states.

Downstate today is deservedly resentful of Chicagoland. The urbanization of the nation (both through its cities and suburbs) has created a situation in the Land of Lincoln where Chicago & Company call virtually ALL the shots. Democracy doesn't really work here beyond scandals and corruption; downstate is virtually disenfranchised as it bleeds jobs overseas and population to the Chicago area or out of the region.

Downstate Illinois has its charms and while I don't disagree with the divide that others describe here, I know it exists. Still, downstate Illinoisians come to live in Chicagoland like other people from places like IN, IA, WI, OH, MI. And Chicagoans for whatever attitude is mentioned here still relate to Galena, New Salem, and Starved Rock and feel very, very much at home in Champaign-Urbana and the school they proudly call Illinois.

Yet we as a group are drawn more to the watery, forested world of Wisconsin and Michigan than our own downstate areas and I would venture to say that Chicagoans probably know more about rural Wisconsin than they do about rural Illinois.

Main thing is: downstate has plenty of nice places to go and things to do and a special charm all its own. And many of those downstaters cheer for the Bears and Cubs (but rarely the Sox) and will be more than prideful and excited to see Chicago get the 2016 Olympics.

Chicago and downstate still need each other and, for all that separates, we're still one state.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 07:16 PM
 
157 posts, read 246,977 times
Reputation: 43
Haven't you heard that Illinois is the capitol of Chicago?
 
Old 12-14-2008, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,852 posts, read 15,182,199 times
Reputation: 5380
The reason Circuit rider Abraham Lincoln campaigned to have the capitol moved from Vandallia to Springfield was time distance. It took roughly 30 days to ride horseback from Chicago to the southen end of the state. If we campaigned to have it moved it to Chicago we'd have the same problem, time and distance. So, its in the middle of the state in a place where no Governor wants to live because it isn't Chicago.

One would think political, concervative Springfieldians would want to create an environment to rival Chicago and attract visitors. In 100 years the best they've done is create a Lincoln shrine out of a town that has way too many one way streets with too many of the same names. It's easier to drive in LA or Dallas than in Springfield and those towns are way more interesting.

Here's the thing. If I want Irish bacon, Liver Dumpling Soup, fresh Polish sausage, authentic chinese or Chicken soup with Matzo balls. I do not go to Springfield or St. Louis. I go to Chicago because I know that is where I can find it; just give me the Chicago Yellow pages, coffee and some time. And to think Chicago is just a farm town grown big and sprawling.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
4,231 posts, read 10,748,529 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
It's hard to determine how much history still plays a role in things, but the cultural differences that it generates have a way of sticking around.

Chicago wasn't even supposed to be part of Illinois. The northern state line was supposed to run through what is the south suburbs. Chicago and points north were added to give the state frontage on the Great Lakes.

Culturally the far south regions of Illinois, like those in Ohio and Indiana, as well, are very much part of that southern/northern mix of the Ohio River valley with perhaps more of a tilt to the South than to the North. Cario at the southern tip of the state is closer to northern Mississippi than to Chicago. Virginians and other southerners led the way to settlement along the Ohio, compared to the movement from the northeast via the Great Lakes along with wave after wave of European immigrant and the Great Migration of African Americans from the South.

Central Illinois is pure corn belt, also like the middle parts of Indiana and Ohio. Only Chicagoland is drawn to the real "Great Lakes region" of heavy industry along with northern IN and OH and southern Michigan (as well as on up north to Milwaukee...and we relate to Milw far more than we do to any city in our own state).

Chicago is "a place apart" in Illinois for reasons more than population (and who makes up that population) alone. Culturally that Great Lakes region is more related to the cities of the northeast than to downstate regions of our own states.

Downstate today is deservedly resentful of Chicagoland. The urbanization of the nation (both through its cities and suburbs) has created a situation in the Land of Lincoln where Chicago & Company call virtually ALL the shots. Democracy doesn't really work here beyond scandals and corruption; downstate is virtually disenfranchised as it bleeds jobs overseas and population to the Chicago area or out of the region.

Downstate Illinois has its charms and while I don't disagree with the divide that others describe here, I know it exists. Still, downstate Illinoisians come to live in Chicagoland like other people from places like IN, IA, WI, OH, MI. And Chicagoans for whatever attitude is mentioned here still relate to Galena, New Salem, and Starved Rock and feel very, very much at home in Champaign-Urbana and the school they proudly call Illinois.

Yet we as a group are drawn more to the watery, forested world of Wisconsin and Michigan than our own downstate areas and I would venture to say that Chicagoans probably know more about rural Wisconsin than they do about rural Illinois.

Main thing is: downstate has plenty of nice places to go and things to do and a special charm all its own. And many of those downstaters cheer for the Bears and Cubs (but rarely the Sox) and will be more than prideful and excited to see Chicago get the 2016 Olympics.

Chicago and downstate still need each other and, for all that separates, we're still one state.

Great post, well put. I agree about Chicagoans knowing more about rural WI than rural IL. I'm not saying all do, I'm just saying that quite a few do.

I also agree about southern IL being charming. The Shawnee Hills are beautiful.








Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
The reason Circuit rider Abraham Lincoln campaigned to have the capitol moved from Vandallia to Springfield was time distance. It took roughly 30 days to ride horseback from Chicago to the southen end of the state. If we campaigned to have it moved it to Chicago we'd have the same problem, time and distance. So, its in the middle of the state in a place where no Governor wants to live because it isn't Chicago.

Here's the thing. If I want Irish bacon, Liver Dumpling Soup, fresh Polish sausage, authentic chinese or Chicken soup with Matzo balls. I do not go to Springfield or St. Louis. I go to Chicago because I know that is where I can find it; just give me the Chicago Yellow pages, coffee and some time. And to think Chicago is just a farm town grown big and sprawling.

I agree about the conveniences of Chicago and lack of them in Springfield. Been to Springfield, it was nice. Just wasn't the most interesting.


Wasn't Blago wanting to move the big house from Springfield to Chicago?
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,265 posts, read 2,133,607 times
Reputation: 1961
Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
One would think political, concervative Springfieldians would want to create an environment to rival Chicago and attract visitors. In 100 years the best they've done is create a Lincoln shrine out of a town that has way too many one way streets with too many of the same names. It's easier to drive in LA or Dallas than in Springfield and those towns are way more interesting.
Ok, honesly, driving in Springfield is probably one of the easiest places to drive in the country. It's one great, big grid. If you get on a one-way street, just turn left or right twice and you're going the opposite direction...But the amount of one-way streets in Springfield is really neither here nor there...and there's no way you can compare a city the size of Springfield to Chicago. It's always going to come up short because, by its nature, it's smaller with fewer things to do and less diverse. The point of the post, however, was to highlight what there is to do outside of Chicago...
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