Road Trip! Photos From a Quick Illinois Road Trip

ROAD TRIP! Over the weekend I took a quick Illinois road trip and drove around to a few roadside attractions near Chicago to check out a few of the best Illinois roadside attractions. I’ve already seen all of these oddities on previous road trips, but they were all worth a second look. It was a short day-long excursion, proving you don’t have to go far… or even leave your state… if you want to hit the pavement! Here’s a little sneak peek at my trip…

ROAD TRIP Light painting

Time for an Illinois road trip!

I wanted to get in the road trip spirit with a little light painting. To get this lighting effect, you need to set your camera up on a tripod (to eliminate any shake and because you’ll be needed in the frame), set it to a slow shutter speed, and then use a flashlight to “paint” the words (backwards) across the frame. Read a tutorial here.

Coffee in my car on a road trip.

But first: coffee.

Every jaunt starts with a big cup of coffee in the cup holder. It’s really a road trip essential. Don’t you agree?

Leaning Tower of Niles in Niles, Illinois

Leaning Tower of Niles

The Leaning Tower of Niles is a half-size replica of the famous Italian landmark: the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy. It was constructed in 1934 by industrialist Robert Ilg as part of a recreation park for employees of the Ilg Hot Air Electric Ventilating Company of Chicago.

Gemini Giant muffler man at the Launching Pad in Wilmington, Illinois

Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad

The Gemini Giant is a 28-foot tall muffler man who stands on Route 66 outside the Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois.

Agricultural Crash Monument in Norway, Illinois

Agricultural Crash Monument

The Agricultural Crash Monument in Norway, Illinois is a small, two-prop passenger plane that stands partially smashed into the ground to serve as a monument to the agricultural crash of the 1980s.


Founder & Head Road Tripper

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited hundreds roadside attractions across the United States and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!