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Roadside Attractions in Illinois

Explore Illinois roadside attractions and other tourist traps, restaurants, stops, and detours to add to your Illinois road trip itinerary.

Sock Monkey Museum at Midway Village in Rockford, Illinois

In addition to the Victorian Village and old doll house exhibit at Rockford’s Midway Village, another museum stands out among the attractions. Midway Village Museum is a small museum at 20,000 square feet that packs in exhibits that explore the history of the area. One of the featured, and most popular, exhibits is called The Missing Link: Socks, Monkeys and...

Midway Village in Rockford, Illinois

Midway Village Old-Time Town in Rockford, Illinois

Midway Village is a town of yesteryear in Rockford Illinois. In the old-time Victorian town, guides dressed in turn-of-the-century wear take you around the village to see how people lived in 1900. The Village showcases 26 historical structures and represents the typical rural town in Northern Illinois at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century...

Gertrude the Cow - giant cow statue in Rockford, Illinois

Gertrude the Cow in Rockford, Illinois

I drove through Rockford, Illinois yesterday, after taking a cheese making class at Angelic Organics in nearby Caledonia. While in town I tracked down this big fiberglass bovine roadside attraction: Gertrude the Cow. The giant cow statue looks over the farm at Lockwood Park Trailside Equestrian Centre and Children’s Farm. Gertrude the cow is a guernsey cow and...

Agricultural Crash Monument in Norway, Illinois

Agricultural Crash Monument in Norway, Illinois

The Agricultural Crash Monument in Norway, Illinois, can be a somewhat freakish site if you don’t know that it’s a roadside attraction. Driving along a gravel farm road in the dark of 9pm and all of a sudden, out your car window, you’ll see a small plane crashed into the ground. Never fear, the Norway plane crash is neither real nor fresh, but...

The Spindle in Berwyn, Illinois. Also known as cars on a spike or the car kabob. This roadside attraction was torn down in 2008.

The Spindle AKA Car Kabob in Berwyn, Illinois

Created in 1989 by Dustin Shuler, The Spindle (AKA the Car Kabob AKA Cars on a Spike) has graced Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, Illinois for almost as long as I’ve been alive. The spindle sculpture towers above the parked cars in the lot, showcasing vehicles from the late 1960s to early 1980s impaled on a 50-foot spike. To me, this Illinois roadside attraction best...

Smiley Face Water Tower in Atlanta, Illinois

Smiley Face Water Tower in Atlanta, Illinois

Quick photo of the smiley face water tower in Atlanta, Illinois! This water tower must be really happy to live in this midwestern town! This smiley water tower is located on Route 66 and gives a warm welcome to those visiting the rural town, driving the Mother Road, stopping by to check out the giant muffler man with a hot dog, or grabbing lunch at The Palms Grill...

Sapp Bros. Coffee Pot Sign in Peru, Illinois

Sapp Bros Coffee Pot Sign in Peru, Illinois

I was told that this Sapp Bros coffee pot sign in Peru, Illinois was the world’s largest coffee pot… I seriously doubt that claim. But while it may not be the world’s largest…or even really a coffee pot…this Illinois roadside attraction was still a pretty awesome sign. This light-up beauty stands outside the Sapp Bros Food and Fuel in...

Giant Rooster in a top hat roadside attraction is a ten-foot tall statue that stands outside of Carl's Bakery in East Peoria, Illinois.

Giant Rooster in a Top Hat in East Peoria, Illinois

Cock-a-doodle-doo! This Giant Rooster in a top hat roadside attraction is a ten-foot tall statue that stands outside of Carl’s Bakery in East Peoria, Illinois. Carl’s Bakery is a local mainstay with a barn-style theme that draws crowds for it’s fresh donuts and pastries. While the top hat rooster is visible all hours of the day and night, if you...

Abraham Lincoln Watermelon Monument in Lincoln, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln Watermelon Monument in Lincoln, Illinois

I have a confession to make: I have licked a public watermelon. Yes, it’s true. I went to take a picture with the Abraham Lincoln Watermelon Monument in Lincoln, Illinois, stuck out my tongue to “pretend” to be eating it, and accidentally licked it. It tasted metallic. Lesson learned: I would highly recommend against licking any of the silly tourist...

Abraham Lincoln's Lucky Nose in Springfield, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln’s Lucky Nose in Springfield, Illinois

Happy President’s Day Silly Americans! In honor of President’s Day I bring you one of the more somber of our roadside attractions: Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Now, I know you may be thinking, “what’s so silly about a tomb?” Well…in front of the beautifully designed granite grave is a...