What to do and see in Springfield, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 12, 2017 Stefan Strunk

The spirit of the "Land of Lincoln" is nowhere else so alive as it is in Springfield, one time home to old Honest Abe himself and present home of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site. The NAACP also holds Springfield at its roots, having formed after a particularly bloody race riot here in 1908.
Restaurants in Springfield

1. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

212 N 6th St, Springfield, IL 62701-1004 +1 217-558-8844
Excellent
88%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

In a stunning combination of scholarship and showmanship, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum immerses you in Lincoln's world and time. Journey from a rustic Indiana cabin to the Executive Mansion in the nation's capitol; follow the fate of America's 16th president and share the joys and sorrows of a family - and a nation.

Reviewed By Mari Q - Chicago, Illinois

History lessons in this presidential museum are very interesting and entertaining. Learned so much about the life of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. You will love the theater presentations and the wax figures. The design layout and the lighting are well done. The staff and volunteers are pleasant and very helpful. It is an awesome museum!

2. Dana-Thomas House

300 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, IL 62703-2233 +1 217-782-6776
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 935 reviews

Dana-Thomas House

Reviewed By MissMem - Memphis

We never miss an opportunity to visit a FLW house, and this is one of the best ever. The windows and light fixtures are especially fabulous and the house is huge. The tour takes at least an hour and we viewed most of the house. A few rooms are roped off but you are allowed to peek in. Be sure to check the tour times as they change depending on the day of the week. Our guide was superb and a big fan of Mrs. Dana.

3. Lincoln Home National Historic Site

413 S 8th St, Springfield, IL 62701-1905 +1 217-492-4241
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

The only house Abraham Lincoln ever owned is the centerpiece of this four-block historic neighborhood. Lincoln and his family lived in the two-story house from 1844 until 1861, when their address changed to the White House.

Reviewed By Lois R - Boonville, Indiana

We really enjoyed this tour. Our tour guide, Jessie, did an excellent job of informing our group about the Lincoln family during the time they lived in this home. She didn’t rush us and answered several questions that visitors had after the tour was over. I highly recommend this tour to get an idea of what Abraham Lincoln’s life was like before he became president. There are other homes on the same street that can also be toured on your own. The tours are free but they do have a box to deposit donations if one wishes to do so.

4. Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials

1500 Monument Ave, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL 62702-2500 +1 217-782-2717
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials

Reviewed By Babu2773 - Chicago, Illinois

This is a must-see in Springfield, and easy to get to if you have a car. Besides paying your respects to Lincoln, his wife and children, but one, are buried here. Don't leave the cemetery without visiting Lincoln's contemporaries and others from history. Near his tomb are two people who fought in the Revolution. Also nearby is the original waiting area where Lincoln was placed before his tomb was ready. Follow the path down the hill.

5. Illinois State Capitol

401 S 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62701-1727 +1 217-782-2099
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

Illinois State Capitol

Historic Greek Revival building that serves as Illinois' State Capitol and was the site of many cases tried by Abraham Lincoln.

Reviewed By MissMem - Memphis

This building was so vastly different on the inside than the outside. It was huge, gray and overwhelming. But, once inside, we were stunned by its beautify, artistry and majesty. We had a fantastic tour guide who brought us to the third level. She explained so much and answered all our questions. We entered chambers, viewed the rotunda from various levels and wondered on our own after the tour ended. This was a truly amazing experience.

6. Old State Capitol State Historic Site

5th & Adams Streets, Springfield, IL 62701 +1 217-785-7960
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 749 reviews

Old State Capitol State Historic Site

Painstakingly rebuilt after being disassembled in the 1960s, this Greek Revival masterpiece saw Lincoln serve as a lawyer and legislator. In 1858, Lincoln delivered his landmark "House Divided" speech in the Capitol's Representatives Hall.

Reviewed By B1714D - Belgrade, Serbia

The Old Capitol in fact was a Courthouse famous for Lincoln's speeches and labor there. It is beautifully restored with the original stone and an elegant dome. It occupies the entire block of central Springfield.
Unfortunately when we visited it was New Year's day so it was closed for tours.

7. Illinois State Museum

502 S Spring St, Springfield, IL 62706-5000 +1 217-782-7386
Excellent
57%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 282 reviews

Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum focuses on the art, natural history, history and anthropology of the State of Illinois. Admission is $5 for adults ages 19-64. Children under 19, seniors over 64, veterans, and active duty military personnel are free.

Reviewed By Randy D - Kalamazoo, Michigan

We have toured both the Michigan and Tennessee State museums and found them not only free, but enjoyable educational experiences. We anticipated that the Illinois State Museum would be likewise. We found it not as engaging in telling the story of Illinois as the previous museums. The museum did present a great deal of natural history/geology about Illinois. It also presented a number of interactive displays where people at various historical times told their stories and you were asked to make choices based on their story. These were interesting. We were unable to view the Native Peoples exhibit which we had intended to, but ran out of time. The art gallery had an installation of very modern art by a highly regarded native artist and related works by others. While not our particular style, it was ok. We did not explore the Children's room which appeared to have a number of interactive displays/activities. The entrance fee was nominal. We were not exactly disappointed, but neither were we engaged enough to make a return trip unlike the Lincoln Presidential Museum which we would gladly visit again when in Springfield.

8. Edwards Place Historic Home

700 N 4th St, Springfield, IL 62702-5232 +1 217-523-2631
Excellent
89%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 69 reviews

Edwards Place Historic Home

Reviewed By hrsch - Madison, Wisconsin

You can see the couch where Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd courted (Mary's sister and brother-in-law lived in the house). The house is being carefully and thoughtfully restored, with many of the original furnishings or appropriate items from the same historical period.
The guided tour is excellent. I learned a lot about life in early Springfield.
The house is a few blocks away from the main old downtown, but well worth the effort to find it.

9. Camp Butler National Cemetery

5063 Camp Butler Rd, Springfield, IL 62707-9722 +1 217-492-4070
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

Camp Butler National Cemetery

Reviewed By BradandStacy41 - Evansville, Indiana

A solemn and clear space, this cemetery has SUCH a difficult history of its use before it was a final resting place. However, it doesn’t draw upon that, but rather pays the utmost respect to ALL those that served in all militaries of different time periods. The monuments are clean, well-kept, and stunning, and we immediately quieted ourselves to simply show respect to the lives that were lived and lost throughout our history. We are grateful for such a simple and appropriate way that this space is designed and maintained. Thank you to those who keep it, and to those who lost their lives and are interned here.

10. Lincoln Memorial Garden

2301 E Lake Shore Dr, Springfield, IL 62712-8908 +1 217-529-1111
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 118 reviews

Lincoln Memorial Garden

A native woodland garden designed by Jens Jensen located on the south side of Lake Springfield. This 100 acre site has 6 miles of wood-chipped hiking trails as well as a wonderful nature center.

Reviewed By Robert H - Dronfield, United Kingdom

Found this to be a very pleasant garden, it was a hot day, so it looked absolutely beautiful, and is kept well. Nice to see something outdoors.

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