Springfield, Illinois is an interesting city with a lot of history. I highly recommend spending a weekend here if you find yourself in the Midwest! Famous for being Abraham Lincoln’s hometown, the city has kept its political reputation which can be seen by the enormous capital building in the downtown area. While Springfield is located in (the middle of nowhere) southern Illinois, there is a surprising amount of activities, fun restaurants and sightseeing to do in this city! My husband and I spend a lot of our free weekends in Springfield due to its median location between Fort Leonard Wood, MO (where I am currently stationed in the Army) and Chicago (where the husband works), so we’ve had the opportunity to really explore the city. Here are some of our favorite spots to go and spend our time:
Obed and Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery – I think my husband and I eat here every time we travel to Springfield. The beer and the food are great and you can’t beat the location (right by the old Lincoln home!) Perfect for any meal and is also family friendly! I personally recommend ALL of the flatbreads. $
Maldaner’s Restaurant – Cute, cozy Italian restaurant right in the middle of downtown Springfield (walking distance from Obed and Isaac’s). Great food and wine selection. $$
American Harvest Eatery – If you love brunch and mimosas (like me), then you will absolutely love this place. We came here on our one year engagement anniversary and got the daily special that the chef was offering and it was delicious. $$
Sunrise Cafe – This is another place that my husband and I frequent when we’re visiting. If you want breakfast on a budget, this is the place for you! Go crazy and get a Springfield original: the breakfast horseshoe. $
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum – This is a museum that you want to visit. There are a lot of interactive displays, and shows that portray the life of Abraham Lincoln and his family. If you don’t know a lot about Lincoln (or are a Lincoln fan), you will really enjoy this place.
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk – A historical, kind of creepy, and family friendly ghost tour that takes place around the Lincoln home, church and law office. Perfect for a fall time activity!
Lincoln Memorial Garden – I just recently discovered this park and I wish I had ventured to it sooner. They have a cute little nature center, and trails that are great for a nice stroll or for a morning run that give beautiful views of Lake Springfield.
Lake Springfield – Try canoeing, kayaking, fishing or paddle boarding in the summer at the lake! You can rent all of these items at the boathouse by the lake for good prices!
Downtown Springfield – The downtown has cute, unique boutiques that offer handmade decorations, jewelry and clothing. There are also awesome restaurants (mentioned above) and a Cold Stone Creamery for dessert!
Festivals/Events – Springfield is always hosting some sort of festival or event. We have been to multiple events, such as the BBQ and Blues Festival and the Oyster and Beer Festival. Both of these were so much fun and entertaining! You can find out what’s happening in Springfield on the Visit Springfield, Illinois website, or also in the Illinois Times.