Map of Illinois and Flag | Outline, Counties, Cities and Road Map

Interesting Facts about Illinois and Best places to visit

Tourist map of Illinois
Tourist map of Illinois

Map of illinois and Flag | Outline, Counties, Cities and Road Map


If you are looking for a getaway that will give you several surprises in just a day, Illinois is just the place for you with unpredictable weather, a great nightlife, fine dine-in restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world and incredible tourism spots indoor and outdoor both to cater to all kinds of people. Experience the ultimate city life in Illinois and fall in love with it all over again.  

How did Illinois get its name?

The word Illinois is not French as opposed to several assumptions, it is a mere French pronunciation of a Native American word “illiniwok” or “Illiniwek”. 

In the early 1600s, the state was explored by a French explorer, Sieur de La Salle. La Salle with his companions was putting the area’s waterways on the map where he sailed the river in 1679 that is now known as the Illinois River. 

La Salle met hospitable Native Americans which lead to that name which means ‘best people’ in their native language. At the time, around 10 to 12 tribes used to reside in the area.

What is Illinois known for?

Illinois, like many states, is famous for multiple things, corn is on the top of the list since 85% of the state is covered in cornfields. 

So much so that Illinois has also been famous as the corn state but not too long-ago Iowa ended up getting the crown with having the most corn production.

Illinois is now called ‘The Prairie State’ which further brings into light the fertile lands that Illinois is blessed with and how those lands are utilized by the people making Illinois the lead producers of several crops in the US.

Why is Illinois called little Egypt?

You must have seen people often relating Illinois with Egypt and at first, it seems rather odd. 

South of Illinois especially is called little Egypt and for a good reason. Long ago, natives of Northern Illinois had to travel to Southern Illinois to buy grain due to the tough weather that Northern Illinois faced leading to a drought. 

The people who traveled to these areas related themselves to the Israelis who had to travel to Egypt to buy grain. This later led to several Egyptian names being adopted by the Americans here.

Why is Illinois the Land of Lincoln?

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln has a reputation as one of the most prominent leaders in history with its crucial role in ending slavery in the US. 

Being titled as the Land of Lincoln is a great honor. Even though Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and also spent a significant amount of his life in Indiana, Illinois is where he started his political career. 

He ran for General Assembly in 1832 which was unsuccessful but he later became the president from Illinois and hence the state proudly made ‘Land of Lincoln’ its official state slogan too.

Illinois Flag Facts

The very first seal of Illinois that was designed in 1819 bore a great resemblance to the Great Seal of the US and it was adopted in 1819 by the state’s General Assembly. 

Illinois had another seal soon after that and later, Sharon Tyndale highlighted the need for another seal. After passing the legislation, Tyndale was entrusted with designing the new seal in which the word ‘Sovereignty’ is upside down making it less readable.

Colors and Meanings of Illinois Flag

The flag consists of the state seal on a white field. The seal consists of a bald eagle, symbolizing the US, holding a banner in its beak which says “State Sovereignty, National Union”. 

The bald eagle is seen resting on a stone that says “1868” which was when this state seal was made official and “1818” when the first-ever Illinois Constitution was signed.

Population of Illinois

Illinois is a big state, demographically and geographically. Its population is around 12.7 million with great diversity. 

The state has 71% of white Americans whereas the Blacks make up about 15% of the population. There are a significant amount of Asians, multiracial Americans, Alaska Natives or Native Americans amongst other races in comparatively smaller percentages.

Language spoken in Illinois

Following are the languages spoken in Illinois other than English:

  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Tagalog

Interesting facts about Illinois

  • Being the Lincoln State, Illinois was the very first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery.
  • World’s tallest man, Robert Pershing Wadlow was born in Illinois.
  • A big part of our childhood, Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Illinois’ state snack is popcorn with Illinois being one of the leading producers of corn having thousands of acres of land that are dedicated towards popcorn making.
  • The Tully Monster, also known as Tullimonstrum gregarium, a carnivorous invertebrate that was similar to cuttlefish, used to inhabit these lands millions of years ago, its fossil is considered to be the official state fossil.
  • The Chicago River is one of the very few rivers that flow backwards

Best Places to Visit in Illinois

Illinois is not just all fields even though 80% of it is but the state is so big geographically that no one ever dwells upon just how big it is. 

Whether you are a city person or a country town person, indoors or outdoors, everything is a little drive away or if you are up for a road trip then you get to witness the beautiful fields that everyone raves about. Anyways, here are some of our top destinations to visit in Illinois

  • Anderson Japanese Gardens – Regarded as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens, the place serves as a sanctuary to incredible wildlife and exotic plants.
  • Starved Rock State Park – The name might not suggest anything mind-blowing but the place offers a sight like no other having numerous waterfalls and a great hike.
  • Primal Oceans Salt Cave – A calming, healing experience that incorporates Himalayan pink salt in their services.


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5 Interesting Facts about Illinois

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!