How to Spend 24 Hrs in Springfield, Illinois

Lattes at Free Press Coffee House in Springfield, IL
Lattes at Free Press Coffee House in Springfield, IL | © Free Press Coffee House
Stephanie Weber

Springfield is the capital city in Illinois, and is a wonderful place to spend a solid 24 hours. Whether you’re looking for a weekend day trip or you’re just passing through, check out our helpful guide to make the most of your time in this unique spot.

1. Sgt. Pepper's Café

Cafe, Restaurant, American

© Culture Trip
Sgt. Pepper’s Café is a Beatles-themed family restaurant that serves breakfast all day. The Springfield location is the original location of this family-owned and operated restaurant that also has a second spot in downtown Edwardsville. Start your day the Beatles way – their all-day breakfast menu includes omelets, waffles, pancakes, fajita skillets, Mediterranean skillets, and breakfast quesadillas. In addition to breakfast, Sgt. Pepper’s Café offers a selection of specialty horseshoes, steak, thick burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and Tex-Mex dishes.

2. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Library, Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum consists of a library that is open to the public on the weekdays for research, and the museum, which is open daily for touring. The presidential library has an expansive collection of Lincoln materials, including an original copy of the Gettysburg Address, as well Lincoln’s family letters. The library also has exhibits on its historical Illinois holdings. The museum takes visitors on a journey through Lincoln’s life and hosts a treasure gallery of Lincoln artifacts; furthermore, the museum also features a number of temporary exhibits. You can’t visit Springfield without stopping here!

3. Washington Park


© IvoShandor / WikiCommons

After the museum, head to Washington Park for a rest and a stroll in nature. This is a historic park that has been in public use since 1901. There are benches, trails, fountains, gardens and a gazebo, but the center of the park consists of several tennis courts that are available for a match. Smell the flowers, take a seat or get athletic with a tennis match.

5. Illinois State Museum


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© Illinois State Museum

A wonderful choice for an educational afternoon in Springfield is to visit the Illinois State Museum. Illinois is a huge state with a history rooted in Native American tribal ancestry, French exploration, Civil War strategy, the Great Migration and so much more. Illinois has seen it all, and this museum is here to tell its stories. This family-friendly museum has plenty of activities and exhibits for children, including Native American and dinosaur history.

6. Indigo Cuisine

Bistro, Restaurant, Seafood, Italian, American, Contemporary

© Indigo Cuisine

There are so many delicious dining options in Springfield, but we’re in love with Indigo. This restaurant is budget-friendly considering its fine dining options. Begin a meal with an appetizer of hot dates stuffed with blue cheese and pecans wrapped in bacon and served in a balsamic reduction. For dinner there are several seafood entrees from seared tuna to sea bass, but we especially recommend the lobster mac and cheese. Save room for dessert, or at least for a chocolate martini!

7. Craft Beer Bar

Bar, Pub Grub

© Karen / Flickr
Craft Beer Bar, located in downtown Springfield, is dedicated to serving great beer. Craft Beer Bar has 200 bottles and 14 drafts that are hand selected and on rotation throughout the seasons. If you think you don’t like the taste of beer, let the ‘beer whisperers’ match you up with a craft beer that you will love. They also have a full service bar serving traditional cocktails and domestic beers. Craft Beer Bar offers firkin nights, pint nights, and low key craft beer classes to add a little fun to your week and to help customers explore the world of craft beer.
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