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:
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.
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.
Spanning the full state, this road was the inspiration for the country's modern highway system. History buffs will want to check it out.
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.
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.