A couple weekends ago I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a weekend with my family in Springfield, Illinois, to be tourists for the Abraham Lincoln sights and history. We were celebrating my father’s birthday, and Springfield is just about halfway for all of us to meet up. Can I say just how nice it was to see and spend time with them? I’m always happy to see my parents, and my brother and I got along the whole weekend. (Sorry dude, but you know we get really frustrated with each other) I’ve missed all of them so much, and it simultaneously made being here easier (felt refreshed after quality family time) and being here a lot harder (felt a little lonely coming back to an empty apartment after quality family time). Even aside from that Springfield was really interesting and such a fun trip for me. Now when I say fun, I mean historic, interesting, and informative. I loved it, and if you’re interested in history (especially Abraham Lincoln) I think you will too.
Things you shouldn’t miss
Breakfast/Lunch at Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery
If the weather is nice, try to sit outside on their patio. If you go on Sunday, buy an appetizer and be prepared to wait a while for you food. It’s brunch, so enjoy the sun and be patient. Get the Eggs Benedict with the country ham. If you want lunch, get the fish & chips. I can’t recommend the Strawberry beer they had the other weekend, but I did enjoy the Ditzy Blonde.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Wear comfortable shoes and take your time, because this museum is so well done. Do not miss this stop. It’s good to go here in the afternoon, because it’s air conditioned and there are plenty of benches/chairs so you can rest if you or any other family get tired along the way.
The Lincoln Home
This National Park has preserved about four blocks of the Lincoln neighborhood as it was when Lincoln lived in Springfield. If you want to go on the tour of the home, get here early so you can grab a ticket before they stop issuing them for the day. Now what is really cool is if you go by the neighborhood at night after everything closes. The streets aren’t blocked off or locked up, so you can park right outside the neighborhood and stroll around for a little while. The streets are dark, it’s extremely quiet, and I think it’s about as close to experiencing what night was like back then as I’ve seen. Maybe Williamsburg was closer, but it’s been a really long time since we went there so my memory doesn’t serve me as well.
P.S. Wild wallpaper, huh?
The State House Inn
This place is awesome.
1) The rates are reasonable for how lovely the rooms are.
2) Think 1960s style (molded Eames chairs), but with modern day hotel niceties.
3) It’s about two blocks away from the Amtrak station and one block from the new state capitol.
4) Don’t try to go there for breakfast. The coffe is okay, but the breakfast is lacking (standard bagels, bananas, okay orange juice).
If you’re traveling back on I-55 South, on your way to St. Louis stop at the Pink Elephant Antique Store, which is in an old high school. (You can imagine how big this place is.) Even if you have no interest in going to an antique store, it’ll give you an excuse to buy an ice cream. Yes, please.