Seniors Spring Loose for Springfield

While Chicago gets the praise as the most action in the state of Illinois, Springfield can hold its own. It ranks only sixth in size (116,000) but offers much to senior visitors. Springfield became the third and current capital of Illinois in 1839.

A major site not to be missed is the new Lincoln Library. Springfield is dotted with sites associated with Abraham Lincoln, who started his political career there. Lincoln arrived in the Springfield area when he was a young man in 1831, though he would not actually live in the city until 1837.

Springfield is known for the popular food item, the Corn Dog. Although there is some debate as to the origin of the snack, it is claimed to have originated in Springfield under the name, “Cozy Dog”.

The Springfield Park District operates more than 30 parks throughout the city. TripAdvisor invites senior travelers to get out your compass and check out some of these 37 sites all worth a visit.

History and Architecture Interests Seniors

My wife and I along with my sister in law visited the Lincoln Presidental Museum and the Dana-Thomas House by Frank Lloyd Wright. It, too, is a “must see” for folks interested in architecture. The home, the 72nd building designed by Wright, contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture.

The current Illinois State Capitol  building was completed in 1889 and has an architectural style based in the French Renaissance. It is shaped like a Latin cross aligned to the major points of the compass. Then there is the Shea Gas Station. A wonderful private museum, owned by the Shea family, is loaded with gas station and oil company collectibles.

Located in central Illinois on Interstate 55, Springfield features several historical attractions. The Old State Capitol Plaza allows senior visitors to tour a reconstructed version of a statehouse that served as the state’s political center from 1839 to 1876.

Lincoln worked in the building while serving in the state House of Representatives. Guided tours are available. You might want to visit Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The tomb holds Lincoln, his wife and three of their four sons. The site stands 117 feet tall and consists of rooms decorated in bronze-trimmed marble.

No place else on earth will seniors find more authentic Lincoln history in one place. And, it doesn’t end there – from incredible museums to Route 66 nostalgia – you’ll find something for everyone. Tours abound along with classy shopping, great entertainment, art galleries, outdoor fun and plenty of year-long events. Enjoy them all.  jeb



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