15 of the Best (and Most Offbeat) Attractions in Illinois!
Unusual attractions provide a glimpse into the past or arouse our curiosity enough to make them interesting. Every state has unique attractions, and Illinois also has enough to provide an unforgettable adventure for the avid explorer. Unusual spots of interests are spotted all through Illinois from natural parks to busy city streets. The following unusual attractions are well-kept secrets most Illinoisians don’t know about.
If you like unique, little shops featuring extraordinary finds, Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop in Evanston should be on your list. Dave and Sandy travel the world to add to their amazing collection of rocks, crystals, minerals, fossils, and other amazing natural treasures from the Earth. You’ll see plenty of rare pieces, many of which are prehistoric.
This haunted mansion in Mount Carroll is an unusual attraction that draws visitors from all over. The owner purchased this lavish mansion when it was already haunted, and now he gives tours all year. Raven’s Grin Inn features numerous rooms, tunnels, and trapdoors with scary stories to accompany them.
There are only seven Baha’i Houses of Worship in the world, and the only one in the United States is located in Wilmette. The stunning architecture of this temple makes it an unusual attraction for visitors around the world.
Built in 1977, this six-story pyramid house looks like something from another time. It’s surrounded by a moat and features giant statues of Ramses II guards. Individual tours are provided throughout the public areas of the house and the museum.
5. Abandoned Town of Cairo, Cairo, IL
Explore what’s left of an eerie town abandoned many years ago. The ghost town of Cairo was once the home of much racial tension in the early 1900s, and a lack of civil rights continued for several decades. Eventually businesses packed up and left Cairo for good, leaving nothing but abandoned buildings and a few houses.
The Blue Water Supercomputer is an ideal attraction for computer enthusiasts. Known as one of the most powerful supercomputers in the entire world, the Blue Water Supercomputer is used to solve a variety of challenging issues in the world. It’s also open to the public to check out.
Explore the ruins of a dismantled iron manufacturing facility in Joliet. This 52-acre historic site features preserved foundations of blast furnaces and other various structures from the facility, which operated in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Trails, historic hikes, and other activities are provided through the historic area.
Step back in the ‘80s and experience the largest arcade in the United States. The Galloping Ghost Arcade features over 400 arcade games, all of which can be played unlimited amounts of times for a mere door fee. Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield is a gamer’s haven and real vintage gem.
The Crown Fountain in Chicago is an unusual piece of art consisting of two 50-foot glass towers featuring randomly projected video images of various Chicago citizens. Water flows through the mouths of these images (via outlets on the LED screens) to depict gargoyles in fountains. The Crown Fountain is free to the public.
Overlooking the Ohio River in a heavily wooded park sits the awe-inspiring Cave-In-Rock formation. This 55-foot-wide cave in southern Illinois is rumored to have been the site of murders and hideouts decades ago. Carved out of limestone after centuries of water erosion, this unusual attraction is now the perfect camping spot.
Known as one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is a small, abandoned graveyard at the end of the woods. Hundreds of apparitions, sounds, and other strange paranormal activities have been reported here.
Check out the largest one-man mineral and gem collection in the world at the Funk Gem & Mineral Museum in Shirley. Featuring specimens from all over the world, this interesting museum also displays fossil collections, Chinese soapstone carvings, Indian artifacts, corals, seashells, and even fluorescent minerals lit up with ultraviolet lights.
13. Ebenezer Floppen Slopper’s Wonderful Water Slides, Villa Park, IL
An abandoned ‘80s waterpark is now a series of eerie water slides left neglected for decades. Ebenezer Floppen Slopper’s Wonderful Water Slides was a thriving hotspot in the 1980s, but it abruptly closed in 1989. Now wild animals and nature have taken over, but visitors can explore the area.
Woodland Palace is a very unique home built by Frederick Francis, a genius way ahead of his time. Built in the late 1800s, this historic house features innovations that were not even invented at that time in history. The builder included disappearing doors and windows, air conditioning, and other interesting features.
15. Two-Story Outhouse, Gays, IL
On a patch of green grass in a small park stands a two-story outhouse. This historic outhouse in Gays was once connected to two-story apartments, but the apartments were eventually demolished. The two-story outhouse was carefully preserved, and has been a tourist attraction since the 1960s.