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Why Visit Illinois?

Illinois, situated in the Midwest of the United States, is celebrated for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and economic significance. The state’s capital is Springfield, while Chicago, its largest city, stands as a major global metropolis.

Illinois’ landscapes range from fertile plains in the central region to the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest in the south. Its history is marked by indigenous peoples, French and British colonial influences, and its pivotal role in the growth of the nation, exemplified by Abraham Lincoln, who hailed from Springfield.

aerial view of a capitol building facing a park with pristine trees and grass and the rest of the town in background is filled wit trees during the best time to visit Illinois.


When Is the Best Time to Visit Illinois?

The best time to visit Illinois is during the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is generally mild and sunny, with fewer crowds and lower prices than during the peak summer season (July and August).

Here are some of the benefits of visiting Illinois during the shoulder seasons:

  • Mild weather: Illinois has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The shoulder seasons offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for sightseeing, exploring, and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Smaller crowds: The shoulder seasons are less crowded than the peak summer season, so you’ll be able to enjoy Illinois’ popular tourist attractions without having to deal with large crowds. This is especially important if you’re visiting popular destinations like Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Field Museum.
  • Lower prices: Prices for flights, accommodation, and activities are generally lower during the shoulder seasons than during the peak summer season. This means you can save money on your trip without having to sacrifice quality.

Here are some specific examples of how you can enjoy the most of Illinois during the shoulder seasons:

  • Spring (April to June): The weather in spring is typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for hiking in the Starved Rock State Park, visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, and attending the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.
  • Autumn (September to October): The weather in autumn is also typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for leaf peeping in the Shawnee National Forest, visiting the Pumpkin Capital of the World in Morton, and attending the Chicago Marathon.

While there are many great times to visit Illinois, if you’re looking for the best weather and the most opportunities to enjoy the state’s outdoor activities and attractions, then we recommend visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

Average Temperatures by Month Average Temperatures by Month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Fahrenheit 31° 36° 47° 60° 70° 79° 84° 83° 75° 64° 49° 36°
Celsius -1° 16° 21° 26° 29° 28° 24° 18°

Climate in Illinois

Summer Season Climate
Summer Season in Illinois

Illinois' summer season, from June to August, offers warm and sunny weather, with temperatures typically ranging from 75°F to 90°F. It's an ideal time for exploring the state's vibrant cities, enjoying outdoor festivals, and experiencing cultural events. The warm and sunny weather is perfect for immersing yourself in the rich culture of Illinois.

Rainy Season Climate
Rainy Season in Illinois

Illinois experiences rainfall throughout the year, with slightly more precipitation in the late spring and early autumn months. While there isn't a distinct rainy season, visitors should be prepared for occasional showers, particularly in May and September.

Winter Season Climate
Winter Season in Illinois

Illinois' winter season, from December to February, is cold, with temperatures ranging from 25°F to 40°F. This period is great for winter sports, holiday festivities, and exploring the state's historic sites. It's a popular time for enjoying the charm of Illinois' cities and towns.

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AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief