Illinois is part of the Midwestern United States. Like other Midwestern states, most of the area is rural, with small towns and farmland. But unlike other Midwestern states, Illinois has a gem known as Chicago!
Due to lack of tourism, hostels cannot be found in most of Illinois. You may be able to find inexpensive hotels or guesthouses in these parts if you need to or want to visit them. Chicago, on the other hand, is packed with hostels. Costs of accommodation and other expenses depend on how close you are to Chicago. With few exceptions, Downtown Chicago will be the most expensive, followed by the greater Chicago area being slightly less, and finally the furthest corners of the state being the most affordable. A hostel bunk in downtown Chicago might cost about the same as a hotel room in Champagne.
Illinois is bordered by five other states and one Great Lake. Lake Michigan lies to the northeast of Illinois. Due to its enormous size, a mixture of both lake and ocean activities can be done here. This includes fishing, boating, swimming, and even naval training.
Chicago provides an opportunity to meet other travelers from across the country and around the world. Your day can include events akin to the major motion picture, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, such as visiting an art museum or Wrigley Field. Since that movie was released, even more attractions have come to Chicago. The Willis Tower invites you to the 104th floor, the highest building level open to the public in the United States. They go one step further by offering clear glass rooms that hang over the Chicago streets. On a clear day, you can see much of Illinois and some neighboring states from this height. Also check out the Navy Pier, the Chicago Cloudgate "Bean", and the Buckingham Fountain.
Although Chicago is by far the biggest Illinois city, the capitol city is actually Springfield. You can visit there if you're interested in more of the political or government aspects. If Chicago doesn't appeal to you at all, visit a rural town for a completely opposite experience (though there won't be hostels in those areas).
As for food, an authentic Illinois experience includes a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Of course the best pizza restaurants are probably in downtown Chicago, but due to popularity you can find locations outside of Chicago as well.
Hi, I'm Jessica Lippe,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Illinois hostels. Welcome.
I spent two months traveling the U.S.A., and without a doubt the highlight was Chicago. A big city with friendly people, a stunning waterfront, and real vibrancy. The inner northern suburbs like Lakeview and Lincoln Park are full of great bars and restaurants and awesome nightlife. Check it out.