The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library is a must stop for history buffs. Located in Springfield, Illinois, just two hours northeast of St. Louis, this facility is the centerpiece of Springfield sites dedicated to America’s 16th president.
Visitors can walk through the restored living history village of New Salem on Highway 97 just north of Springfield where young Lincoln lived before his political career. Also make sure to visit Lincoln’s home, the Old State Capitol where he debated Stephen Douglas on the issue of slavery and Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
In addition to the Lincoln-related attractions, Frank Lloyd Wright’s spectacular Prairie-style Dana Thomas House is open to the public as well as the Illinois State Museum which depicts a detailed history of the Prairie State. Don’t miss the sights on historic Route 66 in Springfield including Shea’s, a quirky gas-station-turned-museum dedicated to the Mother Road.
How to get there
From St. Louis, take I-55/70 east and I-55 north 120 miles to Springfield. On the way back to St. Louis, follow the signs to Route 66 and travel the two-lane highway through the heart of small-town mid-America.