When you think of Illinois, Chicago instantly comes to mind. And although more than half of the state’s population lives in the Chicago metropolitan area, the Prairie State is more than just the Windy City.
The state can be divided into three geographical regions. Northern Illinois is predominantly occupied by Chicagoland: the City of Chicago and its suburbs. The third largest city in the US, Chicago is the place where midwestern sensibility couples with the big city edge. It is the true melting pot of cultures in the US. And once you’ll discover the countless opportunities it offers for employment, studying, and leisure, you’ll never want to leave.
Central Illinois is a combination of small towns and cities and its territory is dominated by prairie. And although agriculture is king in this region, manufacturing and service industries are also significant, with the presence of such companies as Caterpillar and State Farm Insurance. Main cities in the region include Springfield, the state capital, Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, and Urbana-Champagne. This part of the state is home to many protected areas, a few of which have to do with Abraham Lincoln. Among them are the Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site and Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
And, finally, Southern Illinois, also known as Little Egypt, encompasses the area south of U.S. Route 50. The area is mostly rural with extensive farmlands separating small towns. It’s home to the state’s first capital at Kaskaskia and Shawnee National Forest. The area is also one of the most established wine regions in the Midwest. So there’s no need to travel to Napa or Bordeaux to enjoy authentic wines.
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