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Illinois Debuts New Travel Experiences This Year

April 8, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The Illinois Office of Tourism today announced a slate of new experiences debuting for travelers to enjoy in Illinois beginning in 2014.

From new sky viewing platforms on top of one of Chicago’s tallest buildings to architectural gems being opened to the public for the first time, Illinois features points of interest for visitors with interests that range from big city adventure and architecture to thrill seeking and shopping.

“Illinois offers visitors a truly authentic American holiday,” said Jen Hoelzle, State Travel Director with the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Whether you are looking for a little retail therapy or a slice of iconic presidential history, new attractions, exhibits and experiences are enhancing travel throughout Illinois this year.”

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Gets Even More Magnificent

Two additions along the famed shopper’s paradise, the Magnificent Mile, will open in 2014. The newly renamed 360 Chicago, formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory,will offer a new way to look at Chicago with ‘The Tilt.’ It features a glass box that extends from the observatory and rotates downward, offering spectacular views from 94 floors up.

Just down the street, sports fans and foodies alike will marvel at the new Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum. This dining and entertainment experience takes cues from Chicago’s legendary sports history, offering American style comfort food and engaging visitors with interactive experiences alongside iconic sports memorabilia.

Architecture in Rockford and Thrill Seeking in Gurnee

In summer 2014, the only building famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed for a person with a disability will open its doors to the public. This single-story Usonian home, The Laurent House in Rockford, is both functional and beautiful, built of Chicago Common Brick and Red Tidewater Cypress. Features include a solar hemicycle footprint, fishpond, and outdoor connectivity to the natural landscape.

For thrill seekers, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster will open in spring 2014 at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. ‘Goliath’ will feature the tallest and steepest drop, plunging riders down 180 feet (55 meters) and rocketing through twists and turns at 72 miles per hour (116 km/h). In addition to the three world records, the coaster will feature a zero G-roll twist, two inversions and a spiraling inverted zero G stall. 

New attractions in Springfield

Two new attractions in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown, Springfield, are sure to entice movie buffs and shoppers alike.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s new exhibit ‘Lincoln: History to Hollywood’now features sets, costumes and props from the award-winning Steven Spielberg film, ‘Lincoln.’ The costumes on display include a selection of Mary Lincoln’s dresses, Lincoln’s suit, and a uniform worn by their son Tad.

The Outlets at Springfield will also open in 2014 and offer shoppers more than 80 high-end and boutique stores. The upscale outlet center will embrace the old town feel that embodies Springfield, reminiscent of a time when Abraham Lincoln called it home.

Filmed in Illinois

International travelers will be able to experience the state like never before in 2014 with the release of Brand USA videos featuring 15 destinations around the state.

From the Quad Cities to Champaign and Chicago’s North Shore to Alton, virtually every corner of the state will be vividly featured. Stay tuned at discoverillinois.orgto find them all.

For more information on what’s new in Illinois, stop by the Illinois Office of Tourism at Booth 814 or visit

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