Sangamon County - 25 Attractions You Must Visit
About Sangamon County
Sangamon County, Illinois, is a vibrant and diverse area with much to offer to both locals and visitors alike. Located in the central part of the state, it enjoys easy access to nearby major cities like Chicago and St. Louis. Boasting a wide range of outdoor activities such as golfing and fishing, sporting events at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus, fine dining options, shopping galore, museums and landmark sites, Sangamon County has something for everyone. Whether exploring its wo
Types of Attractions in Sangamon County
List of Attractions in Sangamon County
Air Combat Museum
The Air Combat Museum is one of the most remarkable attractions in the area. It showcases an amazingly detailed collection of aviation artifacts and memorabilia dating back to World War I. A striking feature is the F-14 Tomcat cockpit that visitors can climb into for a truly extraordinary experience. The museum also offers its guests many other educational opportunities as well, such as guided tours that highlight the history of military aviation and explain basic interworking of its components.
Camp Butler National Cemetery
Man-made Structures- Other
Camp Butler National Cemetery is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the United States military. Spanning an area of over 73 acres, the cemetery holds the gravesites of over 48,000 people including veterans from every major nuclear conflict since World War II. This includes soldiers who have simply served their country with honor as well as those awarded a Medal of Honor and other prestigious awards.
Carpenter Park is a beautiful outdoor area that offers something for everyone. There are two hiking trails to choose from, each offering spectacular views of the surrounding forest and lush greenery. Visitors can also experience the unique local wildlife on tours or explore the marshland nearby by kayak or canoe. The park is a great place to spend quality time with nature and connect with it through activities such as bird watching and nature photography.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
This Cathedral is a breathtaking site deservingly renowned for its beautiful architecture and rich Catholic history. Established in 1853 by Bishop John Mary Odin, who would later become the first Archbishop of New Orleans, this stunning interior is considered one of the most important Gothic Revival-style churches located within the Midwest. Home to many artworks, including two original bronze doors depicting of images of the Old Testament by Italian artist Padovano Pucci.
Clayville Town Historic Site
Clayville is the site of the once thriving town which grew up around a grist mill in 1836. The settlement was home to merchants specializing in small-town services and offerings such as a post office, blacksmith shop, general store and schoolhouse. It serves as an important reminder of everyday life during the 19th century. Today, visitors can explore many original artifacts from the period including log cabins, outbuildings and other structures scattered around the grounds.
Dana Thomas House
The Dana Thomas House, is a stunning example of the Prairie style of architecture that was popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was commissioned in 1902 by local industrialist and philanthropist Susan Lawrence Dana, who wanted a building that would be both useful and beautiful. The house is built from varied materials including Indiana limestone, stained glass windows, cypress paneling, and Sioux quartzite tile edging.
Elijah Iles House Foundation
Elijah Iles House Foundation is an important historical monument. The foundation is a testament to both the rich history of the region and the diligence of those who have worked to keep the structures and stories of the past alive. The Greek Revival house, originally built by Elijah Iles, still stands today as a reminder of 18th century pioneer life. In 2012, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places owing to its unique architecture and unique story.
The Henson Robinson Zoo is a great place for families to explore and learn about many different kinds of animals. Home to more than 300 animals from over 80 species, the zoo focuses on educating visitors about the importance of conservation and preserving animal habitats. It houses a wide range of animals such as giraffes, zebras, lions, wolves, monkeys, antelopes and more. Additionally, special attractions such as the Children's Zoo and Bird Aviary make it a fun place alike.
Illinois Governor's Mansion
The Illinois Governor's Mansion, is a beautiful reminder of the history of this state. Built in 1855 as a private residence by Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, it was renovated and passed to the state when Rod Blagojevich became Governor in 2003. Every detail of the exterior boasts grandeur, including twelve columns that form four imposing porticos and intricate Italianate-style roof brackets adorning each window and door.
Illinois Korean War Memorial
The Illinois Korean War Memorial was built to honor the brave soldiers who fought for freedom and democracy during the Korean War. Located on the grounds of Camp Lincoln, in Springfield, IL, this memorial features a striking statue of a soldier with his head bowed, paying tribute to those who served. Additionally, the memorial features two walls inscribed with the names of all 93 Illinoisans who gave their lives in this war.
Illinois State Museum
The Illinois State Museum is an incredible institution portraying the state's natural and cultural history. Featuring permanent collections, exhibitions, programs and special events, visitors can learn about the geology, paleontology and anthropology of this midwestern region. There are also interactive galleries highlighting archaeology, botany and zoology that engage all ages.
Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a powerful tribute to those who answered the call of duty. Located on the grounds of the state Capitol complex, the monument recognizes veterans of all branches of service who served during the United States involvement in Vietnam, as well as those killed or missing in action. The names of more than 2,120 deceased servicemen and women are listed chronologically by date they lost their lives, ranked highest-to-lowest by branch.
Kidzeum of Health and Science is a unique family-friendly attraction that seeks to educate visitors about their health, science and the environment. The museum offers interactive, hands-on activities for people of all ages such as creating a mock medical lab where children can learn about biology or explore the sounds of nature in an outdoor music park. Kidzeum also houses educational exhibits such as a human body exhibit complete with sensory experiences.
The Lincoln Depot holds a special place in American history. This humble structure was the original station used by Abraham Lincoln on his journey to Washington DC as he began his term as the United States' 16th President. As part of the Underground Railroad, this small building was also a portal that welcomed former slaves to their freedom. The importance of this momentous station is not lost on historians, who continue to honor and discuss its impact on Civil War history.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is a lasting tribute to our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. The home itself has been carefully preserved and contains original furnishings that belonged to the Lincolns during their time living there. On the grounds of the site, visitors can take a self-guided tour to discover the rich history of the Family's life there, followed by a visit to the Visitor Center which provides interactive exhibits and audio-visual interpretations of their iconic story.
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site
The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site offer a unique insight into the legal careers of two ambitious and influential lawyers: Abraham Lincoln and his law partner William Herndon. Constructed in 1841, the offices served as a primary professional address for Lincoln from 1843 to 1852. This was the time period during which he developed a stellar reputation as an exceptional attorney while representing businesses, landowners, and individual clients throughout central Illinois.
Old State Capitol
The Old State Capitol is an exquisite example of history and architecture. Built between 1837 and 1840, this building served as the legislative home of our state's nascent government until the capital moved to its current location in 1839. Visitors can explore the limestone structure to admire features like its beautiful cupola, a grand staircase from its days as the state capitol, and numerous exhibits that share its rich history.
Sangchris Lake State Park
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Sangchris Lake State Park is a great getaway for nature lovers and recreationalists alike. With over 2000 acres of forested areas and three large lakes, this park is perfect for kayaking, boating, fishing, camping, swimming and more. There are also numerous biking and hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Plus, there are plenty of picnic facilities available to visitors so you can enjoy your lunch while taking a break from all the outdoor activities.
Springfield Art Association/Edwards Place Historic Home
The former home of Benjamin Edwards, built in 1839, has been restored to its original architectural style with Greek Revival and Italianate elements. Today, the site hosts a variety of events including art exhibitions, educational workshops and cultural performances. Visitors can also learn more about the rich history of the building as they explore its stately rooms which preserve furniture and artifacts from the early 19th century.
Lake/ River/ Ponds
Sugar Creek is a beautiful recreational area surrounded by woods and acres of farmland, the lake has long been an ideal destination for people looking to enjoy nature and some peace and quiet. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, boating, camping, bird-watching and more. Furthermore, the area provides a variety of activities throughout the year - from festivals in summertime to skiing in winter - there's something for everyone!