Give Your Eyes A Treat: 5 Scenic Overlooks in Illinois

Illinois is often known for its cold, dreary, winters or its infinite expanse of cornfields, but the reality is that Illinois can be a very beautiful place if you know where to look.

Here are five beautiful scenic locations to visit that will show you just how beautiful the Land of Lincoln can be.


Burden Falls

The first of many beautiful locations in the Shawnee National Forest, Burden Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Illinois. While it may still be smaller in comparison to other waterfalls around the United States, Burden Falls still offers a breathtaking view surrounded by the gorgeous wilderness aesthetic of the Shawnee National Forest.


Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

Chicago itself is a perfect example of an architecturally magnificent, bustling city. As such, it no doubt has its fair share of scenic hotspots.

One such spot, and possibly the most beautiful of such, is the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. While no access is permitted to the lighthouse itself, a boat tour can take you up close to the modest structure for photo opportunities, and chances to behold the rustic beauty of this vintage building coupled with the backdrop of open water.


Matthiessen State Park

Unusual and gorgeous rock formations are what you will find at this LaSalle County State Park.

Combined with lush forests, trickling streams, and beautiful prairies, Matthiessen State Park is rife with opportunities to experience the true beauty of the outdoors. The park also boasts a variety of picnic spots, an abundance of various plant and animal life, and a very large whitetail deer population.


Holy Name Cathedral

Another beautiful addition to Chicago’s landscape, Holy Name Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States and the perfect place to experience the serenity of an ancient cathedral.

Nestled cozily in between several taller buildings, Holy Name Cathedral almost seems out of place amongst the various modern architecture that Chicago is known for.


Starved Rock

Starved Rock is the last state park on our list, and possibly the most popular, and probably the most beautiful.

Starved Rock is the perfect place for hiking, camping, fishing, and, most importantly, sightseeing. This park’s beautiful rock formations and luscious forests offer breathtaking views at any time of year.

The cultural history of Starved Rock can be traced back thousands of years, which makes it one of Illinois’ most historic places. This only serves to increase its enticement, as it also boasts several different trails, each as beautiful as the next, and is home to the largest two-sided fireplace in Illinois if you are looking to get cozy.