Springfield may be known for being the capital of Illinois, but the last week of June it’s also the home of Team Purebred, Certified Pedigreed Swine and Berkshire summer shows. Showpig people from all over will flock to central Illinois to take part in the festivities. If you’re heading to Springfield, we have some things to do beyond the barn.
Springfield is arguably the reason Illinois is dubbed the Land of Lincoln. If you’re a history buff, there are plenty of attractions dating back more than fourscore and seven years ago. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is one of the most popular local stops and is a great place to start a Lincoln learning tour. Follow it up with a stroll through the Lincoln Home before ending at the Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials to pay your respects to our 16th President.
If you’re still feeling nostalgic, but want to move out of the 1800s, visit Cozy Dog Drive In. Cozy Dog’s is a local legend, nestled on the historic Route 66. Enjoy a hotdog on a stick and pay homage to yesteryear with their collection of memorabilia and souvenirs.
If you love architecture and design, don’t miss one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most lavish structures – the Dana-Thomas House. Built for sociality Susan Lawrence Dana, it features more than 100 pieces of original Wright-designed furniture amid its vaulted dining room and gallery, which is one of the most photographed spaces in American architecture.
Keefner’s Restaurant is a locally-owned favorite that rustles up classic Springfield flavor three times a day. It is also locals’ favorite spot to grab a horseshoe. Don’t know what a horseshoe is? Then, all the more reason to head to Keefer’s and order one state – you can thank us later.
If you want a drink with your horseshoe, head over to D’Arcy’s Pint. This Irish tavern offers authentic Irish fare alongside Midwestern favorites, including Illinois’ own horseshoes. Maybe while you’re there you will pick up a little luck of the Irish, just in time for show day.
Hickory River Smokehouse is the place to go to get good ol’ fashioned barbecue. Cuisine from this Springfield spot tastes a lot like Texas. Their tender, flavorful cuts are smoked for hours over hickory wood to make it some of the best in town.
While you may not think of Springfield as a place to get great seafood, but that’s only because you’ve never been to Chesapeake Seafood House. They’ve been serving up white table cloth worthy seafood since 1983, in the old John McGredy mansion build in the mid 1800s. Get to dinner early to take advantage of their earlybird specials.