Illinois Scenic Drives

┬ę Some Illinois scenic drives take you along the Mississippi River.

Illinois scenic drives reveal much of the state's natural wealth, including the mighty Mississippi River. These drives also teach valuable lessons about the development of transportation routes in Illinois. The links at the bottom of this page will take you to articles about five historic and beautiful scenic drives that contain photos, highlights, and detailed maps.

Drives along the state's great rivers are outlined -- those looking to kill three birds with one stone should explore the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route (Great Rivers Scenic Byway). Meanwhile, Historic National Road and the Lincoln Highway both demonstrate the ingenuity expressed by engineers as the country sought to develop far-reaching roadways.


Here's a preview of what you'll find in our articles about Illinois scenic drives:

Great River Road

The scenic road that runs along the Mississippi River in western Illinois tells the story of American history beginning 2,000 years ago. Modern visitors are treated to lessons in history as well as modern architecture and plenty of outdoor diversions.

Historic National Road (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.

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.

Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route (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.

Ohio River Scenic Byway

The winding Ohio River defines the southern boarder of Illinois, with points along the way telling stories of river pirates, the Underground Railroad, and American history.


For more useful travel informatioon about Illinois and beyond, see:

  • Illinois State Guide: Discover all of the things to do in Illinois, and learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in the state.
  • How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.