Lately, I've been on a mission to discover all the unique things that Illinois has to offer. So many people are down on our state right now, so I thought focusing on some of the positives would do us all a little bit of good right now.

We all know a lot of fun things happen in Rockford and Chicago, but what about all the smaller towns in the state? Have you ever heard of, or been to Nauvoo, Illinois before? Apparently, Nauvoo was the home of the Mormon Church in the 1840s, and the town is chock full of beautifully restored buildings any history buff totally needs to check out according to thecrazytourist.com, (you totally need to read their article about the 15 best small towns in Illinois to plan your next in-state road trip).

Now, let's discover some of the places we need to go to and experience in Illinois because no road trip is complete without an itinerary of cool things to see along the way.

After doing a little Googling, I discovered an article on vacationidea.com that really got me inspired to plan a trip soon, I also added a few of my favorites to the list. My advice to you; do some of your own research about all of the locations on this list, I promise you will find several things that will fascinate you about each of them!

25 Places in Illinois You Need to Visit Once In Your Lifetime

98 Photos From The Beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, scenic

5 'Must-Have' Chicago Hot Dog Experiences That Will Change Your Life

One look at these five Chicago hot dog spots and you will start to feel something move inside you. That's your hunger. Come eat and your life will never be the same.