15 Best Things to Do in Lincoln, IL

Lincoln, IL
Mark Gordon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you love history, you will love Lincoln when you come by for a visit.

Lincoln in Illinois was the only city named after Abraham Lincoln before becoming President.

The phrase "Land of Lincoln" is a registered trademark, which means no other state can use it!

The state's unofficial nickname refers to the fact that Abraham Lincoln began his political career in Illinois.

Located in central Illinois along the famous Route 66, this city provides quick access to major American cities.

It offers so much fun and adventure that you won't think of it as a place to visit; you'll think of it as a place to stay!

There are many activities to do in Lincoln, Illinois, and we have a few suggestions for you!

Why not visit some of these?

See the Railsplitter Covered Wagon

Front view of the Railsplitter Covered Wagon
Nicola Patterson / Shutterstock.com

The Railsplitter Covered Wagon is a historic site that honors the pioneering spirit of America.

It's a sight to behold, and it's on the front lawn of the Best Western Lincoln Inn.

The large wooden wagon, which stands 24 feet tall, houses a monument of Abe Lincoln reading a law book.

Side view of the Railsplitter Covered Wagon
cat_lover_forever / Shutterstock.com

According to the World Records declaration, this amusing and unique attraction is the world's most giant covered wagon.

David Bentley created the Railsplitter in 2001 to pass the time while he was recovering from surgery.

A significant storm damaged the wagon that slammed the area in 2014.

Local volunteers showed courageous drive, propelling America beyond the frontier and repairing it in no time!

Sculpture of Abraham Lincoln sitting on the Railsplitter Covered Wagon
Nicola Patterson / Shutterstock.com

Watch and Dine at Maple Club Dinner Theater

In the mood for a bit of mystery?

Look no further than Lincoln's Maple Club! The Maple Club is located in Lincoln's downtown area. It has a 225-seat auditorium, a bar, two stages, and an amphitheater.

The theater has a storied history: local lore claims that there used to be a tunnel connecting it to a house next door.

According to this lore, patrons of the club would escape through the tunnel when police raided during Prohibition.

Guests can enjoy the theater's supper-club atmosphere during performances or stop by for lunch at Vintage Fare.

What's on the menu? No need to sneak around—it's all above board!

Have a Fun Family Day at the Logan Lanes

Logan Lanes is a great spot to host your next conference or get the crew together for a bowling night.

Logan Lanes has everything you need to have a great time with family and friends, including bowling, indoor golf simulators, an arcade area, pool tables, and more!

And if you get hungry after the fun, stop by The Bar & Grill for an extensive luncheon menu and a seat in their lounge area with several TVs.

The Bar & Grill also offers a free conference room for meetings, birthday parties, fantasy league drafts, etc.

And if you're looking for something more long-term to do at the lanes, check out their leagues for bowling, pool, and indoor golf.

They also have bowling tournaments and their annual Summer Bash and Golf-n-Bowl tourney.

Appreciate Lincoln at the Postville Courthouse

Exterior of Postville Courthouse
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

If you are hunting for a place to visit that will immerse you in the history of Lincoln's famous citizens, the Postville Courthouse is for you.

A few blocks from Lincoln's city center, Postville Courthouse is one of Illinois' most attractive and significant locations.

This courthouse site, the original center of Logan County government, is a replica of the original courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.

A brick sidewalk leads up to the courthouse from the street, and there is an accessible brick ramp going to the building's back entrance.

If you have family members with special needs, that's not a problem.

Motorized accessibility devices such as scooters and wheelchairs are available.

Pay a Visit to the Mill Museum on Route 66

Looking for a reminder of what Route 66 once looked like? Look no further than The Mill Museum!

The Mill Museum is a one-of-a-kind stop on your Route 66 journey.

It's not easy to find original buildings along Route 66.

In 1929, "The Blue Mill" debuted on what was then known as Route 4 and was later renamed "The Mill" (old Route 66).

Experience the Fun at Edward R. Madigan State Park

It's hard to beat the tranquility and beauty of the Edward R. Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area.

At the Edward R. Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area, you can go camping, boating, or hiking to your heart's content.

There are riparian trees and wetlands along the waterway and native prairie grasses and crops.

It is possible to find all kinds of organisms in various environments.

The Lincoln/Logan Correctional Centers of the Illinois Department of Corrections lie on the western end of the horseshoe-shaped park.

Aside from fishing and boating (electric only), this property offers hiking, biking, and running.

Get Refreshed at the Lincoln Watermelon Monument

A two-foot-long ear-to-ear watermelon slice monument stands in the center of Lincoln, Illinois.

The painted steel watermelon slice is one of Lincoln's more esoteric designs.

They are the most magnificent monuments we've ever seen.

It was built in 1964 by Lincoln's Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lions clubs.

In 1853, Abe was an Illinois lawyer when some local land speculators asked him to lend his name to their new town.

Abe reportedly agreed on one condition: that the city never erects a statue in his honor.

Instead, in 1891, the townsfolk built a statue of a giant watermelon slice.

It aims to commemorate the day Abe sliced open a melon and poured its juice onto newly-laid streets.

It's unclear what prompted Abe to oppose a statue, given his history of self-deprecating and comedic self-denial.

Take a Deep Breath at Kickapoo Creek Park

Are you in need of a bit of respite from the holiday rush?

Then Kickapoo Creek Park is the place for you!

The park has over 10 miles of trails to explore.

It ranges from deep woods to upper prairie land to an asphalt walking path around the main road.

Kickapoo Creek Park is a part of the Logan County Park & Trails Foundation.

It flows through the woods on about half of the park's 160 acres.

You'll get a chance to see native plants and wildlife as you commune with nature.

After your hike, take a break at one of the picnic areas.

You can also see reservable picnic pavilions, perfect for family gatherings or picnics with friends.

Go meet the craftspeople, artists, family-owned businesses, small-batch breweries and distilleries, foodies, and farmers who make Illinois thrive!

This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to connect with local artists and learn about how they create their crafts.

It's also a chance to meet the makers of your favorite Illinois products.

Dive into USA's 16th President's life at the Lincoln Heritage Museum

Exterior of Lincoln Heritage Museum
Alexandreawilliams, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can't miss the Lincoln Heritage Museum while in town.

Located in the heart of downtown, the museum is a must-see for visitors to the city.

While the museum's primary focus is on President Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy, it also examines the 19th-century rural Midwest's history and culture.

The museum includes more than 200 rare books and documents, including some signed by Abraham Lincoln.

In 1941, Lincoln University alumni and judge Lawrence Stringer donated an extensive collection of antiquities to the school.

This led to the creation of the Lincoln Room.

It gained popularity, and in 2003, it moved into its own building.

An interactive display allows visitors to wear attire from the era and pose for photographs.

Explore the Heritage In Flight Museum

It is the mission of the Heritage In Flight Museum to preserve aviation history.

The museum houses military items and memorabilia dating back to the Second World War.

Donations from veterans and their families help to keep the collections thriving.

Visitors can learn about how aviation has shaped our history and pay tribute to our nation's air force heroes.

The Heritage In Flight Museum is unique because it features artifacts used by veterans from all eras of the nation's history. Each item tells a story of a veteran's journey.

The goal is to provide a place where these stories are told and heard for generations to come.

The museum is always open to the public, and admission is free!

You can also visit the gift shop or enjoy a meal at a nearby cafe.

Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or looking for something interesting to do on the weekend, this is a perfect haven for you.

Find Your Heart at First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church is the perfect place to find spiritual enlightenment and revisit Lincoln's history.

You can expect similar churches to offer music styles like traditional hymns, but First Presbyterian is not the same as other institutions.

They also have community service, choir, missions, and adult education programs.

The First Presbyterian Church values history, and it also believes that the best days are ahead of us.

This church believes in giving back to the community.

Drive Fast at the Lincoln Speedway

Do you love racing? Do you live in the Lincoln area, or are you looking for a reason to visit?

Lincoln Speedway is a 1/4 mile dirt race track that opened in 2004.

The venue offers a regular Friday night race.

After running races sanctioned by the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP), they switched to DIRTcar sanctioning.

In 2007, Lincoln Speedway hosted events for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and UMP Summernationals, as well as the local racing series'.

2008 saw more of the same from both sanctioning bodies and full-time sanctioning from United Midwestern Promoters.

Lincoln Speedway acquired its very own 2-seat Late Model in 2008 and offers rides in it after the racing program finishes.

Roam around at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Farmers Market

When craving locally-grown produce, head over to the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Farmers Market on the Logan County Fairgrounds.

From April through September, you'll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to baked goods, meat, eggs, flowers, etc.

Local farmers commit to giving you the best quality produce, so you know you're getting the freshest stuff around.

The market is open on Saturdays from 8 am to noon—so grab a friend and make a morning of it.

With so many vendors selling such a wide variety of products, it's sure to be an adventure that ends with some fantastic food!

Shop and Dine at the Logan Square

Logan Square is one of the most beautiful places in Lincoln!

The historic downtown district surrounds the gorgeous courthouse, built-in 1854.

Grab baked goods and coffee at the Guest House.

You could also pick up candy and caramel corn at Abe's Caramelcorn Shoppe.

How about antique shopping at The Copper Penny, ordering a pizza from the town's favorite pizza shop, Sorrento's?

You can also enjoy outdoor dining at Guzzardo's—a Lincoln Italian dining institution!

Many events happen here year-round.

They hold a very popular farmers' market every Saturday.

They also host an annual festival called "Taste of Logan Square" every June.

This festival includes live music from local bands and an excellent food selection from restaurants on the square.

Other events, such as Christmas in the Square with carolers and hot chocolate, occur throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

One of the best feelings about travel is that you always come back with something new and exciting.

The list above offers a helpful taste of Lincoln, but it doesn't scratch the surface.

Even locals who have been here for many years will still find something to like about this place.

Whether it's coffee from the local shop or a new hiking trail to try out.

So, the next time you want to go somewhere you've never been before, throw this list on your phone and drive the open road!

Getting out and exploring unfamiliar territory can provide a lot of benefits.

These include a new way of seeing your surroundings or leaving your comfort zone.

Lincoln, Illinois, is a great place to do that, thanks to all the fantastic destinations.