Illinois gets a bum rap sometimes.  Often because it's the home state of the third largest city in America and therefore people believe the smaller towns don't get enough attention.  Either through politics or through tourism, Chicago is the squeaky wheel that garners much of the attention of the rest of the country.

Which makes this meme pretty spot on.

Small Towns are Great

Sure, a trip to the Windy City is great. I love seeing a ballgame or concert at Wrigley, or just hanging at some of the bars in Wrigleyville.

But Chicago isn't the only great part of Illinois.  In fact, there are plenty of towns you've never heard of that are ripe with history and charm.

The most underrated town in Illinois is just a one-and-a-half-hour drive east of Illinois' capital, Springfield, but it seems like it's worlds away.

The big city buzz is replaced with a dreamy, small-town vibe and the place is a gateway to Amish country.  Main Street is stuffed with striking 19th-century buildings.


 Drive Thru Wildlife Adventure

In this town, you'll find the only drive-thru zoo in Illinois. You can see over 100 exotic free-roaming animals. That camel is getting friendly with the driver.

Aikman Wildlife on Yelp

This Town is the World Capital of Broom Corn

Have you ever heard of the  "broomcorn capital of the world"? Broom corn is a type of sorghum used exclusively for making brooms and whiskbrooms. Back in the day, this town was famous for its brooms made with "broom corn. Now the city is host to the  Broom Corn Festival where visitors party every year the weekend after Labor Day.

They come for numerous broom activities, unique arts and crafts, free entertainment, and great food. The festival's parade is Central Illinois' largest and is home to the world famous Lawn Rangers, who twirl and toss their brooms.

Arcola Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce

Hippie Memorial

When you visit be sure to pick up Amish-made crafts at shops in town and make time to stop by the Hippie Memorial. It's a giant shrine to hippy culture. This artwork was created by a free-spirited railroad worker, Bob Moomaw and it's made from found materials. Here are some examples of his work. Are you ready to find out which Illinois town is the most underrated?

Trip Advisor via Kiedis75
Trip Advisor via Kiedis75

Illinois' Most Underrated Town Is...

According to LoveExploring.comArcola is the "most underrated town in Illinois"

Trip Advisor/Arcola, IL Chamber of Commerce
Trip Advisor/Arcola, IL Chamber of Commerce

Want to take a trip to the most underrated town in Illinois? Let's see why Arcola, Illinois is so special.

The Most Underrated Town in Illinois

In the mid-1800s, a group of pioneers stopped along the banks of the Okaw River and named their settlement, 'Bagdad.' After they built a brickyard, mill and blacksmith shop, and general store, the town was renamed 'Arcola. It's one of the most historically rich towns in central Illinois. You'll find artistic murals, festivals, car shows, historical buildings, and even a drive-thru wildlife park. Here's why Arcola was named, the 'most underrated town in Illinois.'

Signs a Long Hard Winter is Ahead

Have you seen any "evidence" of a harsh winter ahead? Let's take a look at some Midwest folklore stories that could predict how early or rough our winter will be.

Illinois Arcade House

If you want a place to entertain or be entertained...a short drive to Bloomington will put you right!

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