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Planning a trip to Springfield in April

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Montevallo, Alabama
posts: 18
reviews: 125
Planning a trip to Springfield in April

I am planning a visit to Sprinfield in April. I will be flying in to St. Louis and driving over - trying to line up some stops along the way. Anyway, i am a huge Lincoln fan, so the historical sites are the primary reason for my visits. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for stops along the way? Also, i always look for travel coupons on line but i havent seen many for the sites in Springfield (other than the surveying museum and pres. library). Any suggestions on sites to find some coupons would be appreciated.

posts: 6,908
reviews: 21
1. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April


Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 33,419
reviews: 66
2. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April


You might want to purchase an Entertainment book for the area. They're on sale at their website.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1,232
reviews: 104
3. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

I'm drawing a blank for Lincoln sites between St Louis and Springfield.

Check their local visitor website: www.visit-springfieldillinois.com

Or this link to the state historical site map: www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/sites.htm

You might also be interested in Lincoln's New Salem, about 20 miles northwest of Springfield.

Edited: 10:23 am, February 17, 2013
Chicago, IL
posts: 150
reviews: 149
4. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

I'd recommend that you skip the stops on the way and drive the 2 or so hours there straight through to have more time to enjoy Springfield!

Do you have a hotel yet? If not, let me strongly recommend the State House Inn, which is in easy walking distance to all of the 'downtown' Lincoln sites and has free parking to boot. I don't have any personal connection to the SHI, but have stayed there several times and always enjoy the retro-modern vibe and the proximity to the downtown sites.

I agree with the above recommendation for Lincoln's New Salem.

Montevallo, Alabama
posts: 18
reviews: 125
5. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

Thanks all. I havent booked a hotel yet, but the statehouse inn was my intention anyway. Any other recommendations from others is greatly appreciated.

posts: 227
reviews: 21
6. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

I do not believe there are any "can't miss" Lincoln sites directly between St. Louis and Springfield. The final Lincoln-Douglas debate took place in Alton (just accross the river from St. Louis) and there is a historic memorial there, if you want to make a quick stop.

There is some worthwhile Lincoln history in Vandalia, since it was the State capital when Lincoln first entered the legislature. However, it would involve a significant detour, since it's due west of St. Louis on I-70, rather than north on I-55 in Springfield. Here's a link if you are interested.


Montevallo, Alabama
posts: 18
reviews: 125
7. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

Thanks Sola. Not looking only for lincoln sites, so anything interesting to see is fine too.

posts: 227
reviews: 21
8. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

If you're interested in history, there are Lewis & Clark monuments and museums on both sides of the river. On the Illinois side, it's located along the River Road (Route 3) between Granite City and Alton. Cahokia Mounds is also directly on your way, although I've never been there myself. Here's a link:


posts: 1
reviews: 37
9. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

If you like historic route 66 dining stop at the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 5,568
reviews: 78
10. Re: Planning a trip to Springfield in April

The Alton and Grafton (Illinois) area should be nice in the Spring. You can take a more scenic route by going to St. Charles, Missouri (very close to St. Louis airport), then following the country roads towards Grafton. You would have to use two ferries, one of them costs $7 and one is free. Arrive in Grafton and have lunch at the Loading Dock (they are open seasonally so check for hours), or drive to Alton and have lunch at Fast Eddie's, which is kind of a very big dive bar and ridiculously cheap (also check hours there as they open later in the day).

The Statehouse Inn is definitely where you want to stay. You will be in walking distance to the Lincoln sites. You will definitely want to see the Lincoln Museum and allow at least 1/2 day minimum - it is fabulous! It is without a doubt the best museum I have ever been in. I'm sure you want to see Lincoln's Home, that is just a short walk from the Museum, and you might want to go into the train depot across the street from the Library. Some restoration work was done there a few years ago and my son was one of the carpenters involved in that project. New Salem is wonderful to visit (check hours as some places have shortened hours due to budget cuts). I'm sure you would want to visit the Edwards home where Abe and Mary attended parties and I believe I have read that the Edwards home is where they met. It is open to the public, but be sure to check their hours.

When you are visiting New Salem, you might want to visit Petersburg, which is just a few miles past New Salem. It is a beautiful little town with a few places for lunch. Abe's first girlfriend, Ann Rutledge, is buried in a cemetary in the Petersburg area, but I understand that it is hard to find. But, if you are interested, I'm sure a bit of internet research would help you locate it.

You mentioned the Surveying Museum, but you might want to check to see that it is still open. About a month ago, I remember hearing about a small historical museum that was being permanently closed to due the budget cuts and for some reason, I think that was it.

You are probably aware that the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Dana Thomas House is in Springfield and it is well worth a visit.

Springfield isn't known for our restaurants, but a fun place to eat is at Donnie's Homespun in the Vinegar Hill Mall which isn't too far from the Statehouse Inn.

Have a great visit to Springfield!