The 12 most famous tourist attractions in Springfield, Illinois

The capital of Illinois, Springfield, is a national pilgrimage site for history enthusiasts and other tourists. It was here that Abraham Lincoln lived and worked before his presidential career, as well as the final resting place of his wife.

Some of the iconic sites associated with Lincoln in Springfield are located in the Central Historic District, including his home, law office, tomb, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Other notable places and points of interest include the Illinois State Museum and the Dana-Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


For outdoor entertainment, guests can visit the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, which hosts weekly concerts, as well as Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, attracting birdwatchers and nature lovers from across the state.

To explore all the attractions of the amazing city of Springfield, Comfort Express Inc, a bus company, offers bus rental services for group tours around the city, ensuring a memorable experience for all.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum consists of two buildings connected by a small pedestrian bridge. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library serves as a publicly accessible research center, housing an extensive collection of books, Civil War materials, manuscripts, Illinois newspapers, works of art, and documents. The impressive Lincoln collection comprises over 1,500 original documents.

Across the street, the museum building displays various exhibits, ranging from a full-size replica of a log cabin to a reconstruction of Ford’s Theatre, showcasing key moments from the president’s life.

Address: 112 North Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site


Lincoln Home National Historic Site is the location of Abraham Lincoln’s two-story home, the only house ever owned by him. Built in 1839, this house served as the residence for Abraham and Mary Lincoln from 1844 to 1861, before Lincoln was elected president.

This Greek Revival-style house, consisting of 12 rooms, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, and the only way to enter this historic residence is to join a guided tour led by park rangers. Tours are conducted regularly throughout the day free of charge, and tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Address: 413 South Eighth Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Dana-Thomas House

The Dana-Thomas House was erected in 1902 by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and became one of the early significant examples of the Prairie style. This magnificent house, spanning 12,000 square feet, encompasses 35 rooms and features over 250 pieces of art glass in doors and windows, along with numerous other exquisite details. Guided tours are available almost daily, and although advance booking is not mandatory, it’s recommended to call ahead before your visit.

Additionally, special two-hour tours can be arranged, allowing for a deeper immersion into the architecture of this place and the history of its owner.

Address: 301 East Lawrence Avenue, Springfield, Illinois.


Old State Capitol

The Old State Capitol was the hub of Illinois state government from 1839 to 1876. It witnessed Abraham Lincoln’s work as a state legislator, his appearances in the Supreme Court, and his famous “House Divided” speech. Today, thanks to reconstruction efforts in the 1960s, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been restored to its original grandeur.

Restored rotundas, libraries, and the Supreme Court are housed within this historic capitol, providing an exciting opportunity to trace Lincoln’s footsteps. Thirty-minute guided tours are offered, as well as the opportunity for self-exploration of the premises.

Address: South Sixth Street & East Adams Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Washington Botanical Garden

At the Washington Botanical Garden, visitors can explore a unique ensemble featuring a greenhouse and conservatory with tropical plants. Here, a variety of interesting features await, including a garden boasting over 5,000 plant species and a section specifically designed for individuals with impaired vision, where special attention is paid to aromas and textures.

The garden also showcases collections of irises, perennial plants, rock compositions, and outdoor cactus gardens. It’s an ideal destination to visit year-round, thanks to its diverse indoor and outdoor spaces.


Additionally, the Washington Botanical Garden serves as a hub for educational programs and cultural events, offering free tours for groups of 10 or more people (advance booking is recommended).

Address: 1740 West Fayette Avenue, Springfield, Illinois.

State Capitol

With the increase in population and the development of the state of Illinois, there arose a need for a more spacious building for the state capitol. As a result, the old building was replaced with a new one, and the first legislative session in the new Illinois State Capitol took place in 1877. Located in Springfield, the capitol is one of the tallest buildings in the state center and is distinguished by its complex architectural design both inside and out.

Visitors are provided with the opportunity to explore the building on their own during working hours, and guided tours can also be booked in advance.

Address: 401 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield was founded in 1877 as a museum of natural history. Today, the museum boasts approximately 100,000 square feet of space with permanent and temporary exhibitions covering art, anthropology, and natural history. The museum also pays special attention to the heritage of Native Americans and the history of Illinois.

Within the complex, the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum operates, providing a free space for children with interactive scientific activities. The headquarters of the Illinois State Museum is located in Springfield, with branches throughout the state.

Address: 502 South Spring Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln Memorial and Illinois State Historical Monument Cemetery Oak Ridge


Oak Ridge Cemetery is the final resting place for Abraham Lincoln, his wife, and three of their children: Edward, William, and Thomas. The historical Lincoln Tomb complex includes a majestic 117-foot-tall tomb constructed for the Lincoln family, although they chose not to be interred here. The interior of the memorial is crafted from marble and features a rotunda and burial chamber.

Additionally, the cemetery contains memorials dedicated to Illinoisans who served in World War II and the Vietnam War.

Address: 1500 Monument Avenue, Springfield.

Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site

Located across from the Old State Capitol and near other famous historical sites associated with Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices occupy a historic brick building constructed in 1841. It is the only surviving building where Abraham Lincoln practiced law, studying law on the third floor from 1843 to 1852. The site has been meticulously restored and is now managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Visitors can enjoy educational videos and tours of the historic rooms, providing a unique glimpse into the past.

Address: 112 North Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon

The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon in Springfield is a towering 12-story structure located in Washington Park. It features three observation decks at different levels, allowing visitors to enjoy views of 67 imported bells and the beautiful surrounding green spaces. The carillon also serves as a venue for various public events, including the annual International Carillon Festival, which has been held since 1962.

To experience original compositions and classical music performed on the carillon, it’s recommended to visit this attraction during the weekly concerts.

Address: 1740 West Fayette Avenue, Springfield, Illinois.

Adams Wildlife Sanctuary

The Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, owned and managed by the Illinois Audubon Society, spans 40 acres of wilderness located near the city center. One of the best places to start exploring the sanctuary is the historic Adams family home, built in the 1850s and currently serving as the headquarters of the Illinois Audubon Society. From here, visitors can easily hike along the trails that traverse the entire sanctuary and explore various landscapes, including prairies, wetlands, and upland forests. Birds frequently inhabit the Adams Sanctuary, attracting anyone who appreciates time spent in the wilderness.

Address: 315 E Clear Lake Ave, Springfield, Illinois.

Camp Butler National Cemetery

Established in 1862, Camp Butler National Cemetery is a historic area that has survived from the days of thriving Union training centers, hospitals, and a prison for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Warriors from both sides of the conflict, as well as veterans of other American wars, rest here. The complex features around 1,908 gravesites and numerous memorials dedicated to soldiers and their sacrifices.

Visitors can freely visit the site from 8 a.m. until sunset every day and participate in annual ceremonies commemorating military actions, including Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Address: 5063 Camp Butler Road, Springfield, Illinois.

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