Things to do in Springfield Illinois

Living just forty-five minutes south of Springfield, I visit the city on a regular basis with friends and family. Springfield is without a doubt a great city full of fun and historic places to visit. The spring is one of my favorite times to visit the city because like everything else, it comes alive. People have been cooped up in their homes all winter and when the weather breaks, they head out to the city for fun and adventure, and trust me, there’s plenty to do and see.

Springfield is the home of our most famous president Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is one of the first places you should go when coming to Springfield. This is the only home that Lincoln ever owned. He lived there just before moving to the White House. Tours of the home are provided by knowledgeable guides. What an honor it is to live close to the hometown of Lincoln where so much of the legacy he left behind has been preserved for all to see. Other great places to visit are Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Old State Capitol, and a neat old Route 66 treasure, Shea’s Gas Station Museum.

Springfield Lake, located on the west edge of town, is a great lake with superb fishing and hiking trails. With fifty-seven miles of shoreline, there are eight parks, many picnic areas, and campgrounds that you can visit with your friends and family to enjoy a great spring day. The wildlife sanctuaries on the lake are great for hiking and the lake scenery is breathtaking.

The Henson Robinson Zoo is another must see in the spring as it has a large collection of both native and exotic animals. More than 300 animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America find refuge at the zoo. Here are some of the highlights: the Black-Footed Penguin Exhibit, Monkey Island, Asian Black Bear Enclosure, Asian Primate Exhibits, Cheetah Exhibit, Red Wolf Exhibit and Cougar Exhibit. There is a also a gift shop with souvenirs and gift items.

What I like about Springfield in the spring is the nightlife. The downtown area is booming with fun hosted by many of the local clubs and restaurants. I highly recommend Alexander’s Steakhouse. Here you can cook your own steak on a huge grill in the middle of the restaurant. Stand around the fire pit and have a cold drink while enjoying the company of your friends. Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern, Sammy’s Sport’s Bar and Grill, and Donnie B’s Funny Bone Comedy Club are just a few of the top picks. Many of the clubs have outside beer gardens where you can sit and enjoy the great spring weather with your friends.

Springfield is a great place to visit anytime of the year but the spring brings everything about the city to life. Just taking a walk through the downtown or a jog along the lakeshore on a nice spring day is a treat in and of itself. The sites, the buildings, the people, the history, it’s all here. See for yourself.

References from the Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and CWLP of Springfield.