Illinois Itinerary: Facts, Fiction and a Ton of Fun
The Itinerary at a Glance
This three-day tour will take you on a fascinating tour of museums and historical sites in Champaign County. Whether you’re walking amongst vintage cars, a formal European garden or in Lincoln’s footsteps, this tour will educate your group with a whole lot of fun mixed in.
3 Unique Experience on This Trip
- Allerton Park and Retreat Center
- Spurlock Museum
- University of Illinois
Duration: 3 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Start your tour with a first-hand look at Magic Motors, a world-renowned private showroom filled with limited edition vintage cars, hats, furs and more.
Then get a taste of the local food scene at Silver Creek Restaurant in Urbana. This charming eatery serves modern American dishes that never cease to impress. Groups can enjoy an intimate meal in the private greenhouse setting, which is attached to the restaurant.
Rise and shine at Allerton Park and Retreat Center! Built as a private residence in 1900, this historical treasure is owned by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Befitting a splendid Georgian manor house, the formal gardens feature extensive plantings and over 100 ornaments and sculptures for your group to discover. Get a first-hand look at the stunning architecture in the mansion, and see why it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places and named one of the American Institute of Architects’ 150 Great Places in Illinois. This is surely a morning your group will never forget.
From there, you’ll discover Lincoln at the Museum of the Grand Prairie. Tucked just off the beaten path in Mahomet, the museum is a must-see for groups. The Museum collects objects, books, papers and photographs pertaining to the history of east-central Illinois and Champaign County, particularly as it relates to the area’s cultural and natural history. Besides rotating displays, permanent exhibits include “Champaign County’s Lincoln”—an interactive and hands-on experience, Blacksmithing on the Prairie and the Grand Prairie Story.
Enjoy delicious food and beverages at JT Walker’s Restaurant & Brewery in downtown Mahomet. In addition to its wide selection of beer and wine, this charming restaurant has a diverse and delicious menu, offering everything from salads and sandwiches to burgers, pastas and bar bites.
End your day reaching for the stars at William Staerkel Planetarium. Discover the universe at the second largest planetarium in Illinois. With a state-of-the-art digital projection system, you’ll learn about the stars, planets and more through a private showing and live narration.
Expand your horizons at Spurlock Museum. With approximately 45,000 objects in its artifact collection, the museum at the University of Illinois celebrates our shared humanity by collecting, preserving, documenting, exhibiting, and studying objects of cultural heritage. Feature exhibits are arranged in five main galleries: Europe; East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania; The Americas; Africa, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia; and the Ancient Mediterranean. The Campbell Gallery houses regularly changing exhibits. Visitors of all ages enjoy events in the Knight Auditorium and hands-on programs in the Zahn Learning Center.
Get a taste of the University of Illinois. Founded in 1867 as a land-grant university, the University of Illinois is the second-oldest public university in the state and is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. To cover as much ground as possible, guests can enjoy an informative driving tour narrated by a local step-on guide. Visitors will learn about the Morrow Plots, Round Barns and how the innovation coming out of the University has shaped the world we live in today.
You don’t have to be a sports fan to be wowed by the State Farm Center, home to Fighting Illini men’s & women’s basketball. This dome-shaped building opened in 1963 and was only one of two edge-supported domes in the world. The iconic roof is supported by 614 miles of steel wire—that could stretch from Champaign to Jackson, Mississippi.
End the tour with a Lunch and Learn at the Orpheum Theatre. What opened in 1914 as a vaudeville theater and movie house has transformed into a multi-use children’s museum and event space. Enjoy a catered lunch with a local historian and dive in to the fascinating facts that have placed this space on the National Register of Historic Places.