5 Can’t Miss Illinois Scenic Drives

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in the Midwest; and what better way to explore the sights and colors of fall than a scenic drive close to home?

Here are five can’t miss scenic drives in Illinois. Stop along the way to explore the hidden treasures just waiting to be found along these trails full of history and cultural landmarks.

Click the links below for complete information about each of these beautiful scenic drives:

Great River Road
The scenic road that runs along the Mississippi River in western Illinois tells the story of American history. Modern visitors are treated to lessons in history as well as modern architecture and plenty of outdoor diversions.
Length: 557 miles
Illinois cities it runs through: Galena, Moline, Quincy, Cairo

Historic National Road
As the nation's first national route, this scenic road is home to charming early Americana, as well as ancient mysteries such as the world's largest earthen mound.
Length: 165 miles
Illinois cities it runs through: East St. Louis, Vandalia, Effingham, Marshall

Lincoln Highway
Spanning the full state, this road was the inspiration for the country's modern highway system. History buffs will want to check it out.
Length: 179 miles
Illinois cities it runs through: Dixon, DeKalb, Aurora, Joliet, Chicago Heights

Great Rivers Scenic Byway
Where the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers meet, culture thrives. More than 50 annual festivals celebrate the region, and the rich river basins provide plenty of outdoor diversions for visitors.
Length: 57 miles
Illinois cities it runs through: Kampsville, Grafton, Alton

Ohio River Scenic Byway
The winding Ohio River defines the southern border of Illinois, with points along the way telling stories of river pirates, the Underground Railroad, and American history.
Length: 188 miles
Illinois cities it runs through: Cairo, New Liberty, Elizabethtown, New Haven