5 Must-See Hidden Gems in Illinois

5 Must-See Hidden Gems in Illinois

Illinois has a multitude of great attractions across the state. Some of the best places to visit and adventure are hidden - nestled and tucked away in forests, hillsides and remote countryside.

Keep reading to discover five of the top hidden gems that you have to see at least once!

Villa Katherine

This Mediterranean castle was built in 1900, located right along the Mississippi River and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All-year-round tours allow guests to explore the grounds and gaze at the Moroccan-style interior of the castle.

532 Gardner Expressway, Quincy, IL

Aikman Wildlife Adventure

A hidden adventure that only locals know about, this animal sanctuary is smack dab in the middle of Amish country and is home to exotic animals from around the world that needed saving. A truly up-close-and-personal experience that everyone of all ages will enjoy. You can even feed the animals while on a guided wagon tour!

125 N. County Rd 425 E., Arcola, IL

RavenStone Castle

A bed and breakfast that was built in 2001 to represent a 16th century castle, the intricate details and design are everything a fairy tale is made of. Spend the day while taking a tour, or stay overnight in the whimsical-themed rooms. They even host tea parties for special occasions and events!

4504 IL Route 23, Harvard, IL

Linmar Gardens

Privately owned garden that overlooks the breathtaking historic downtown of Galena. Here you will find 3 acres of beautiful flowers, plants, and a 20-ft waterfall! One of the gardens was built in the ruins of an old church. How cool is that? It is a beautiful place to reflect in the midst of Mother Nature's beauty and all she has to offer. This truly is a "secret garden."

504 S. Prospect Street, Galena, IL

Graceland Cemetery & Arboretum

Yes, it might seem a little odd that a cemetery has made this list, but this is unlike any other outdoor experience around. Established in 1860 and hidden in plain sight right in the middle of Chicago, its luscious green spaces can be found on 119 acres of park-like settings. It is even a certified Arboretum with over 50 types of different trees. Each fall, guided tours are hosted through the Chicago Architectural foundation. When you visit, make sure you don't miss Lake Willowmere and the beautiful rustic bridge.

4001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL

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