If you are looking to brush up on your Illinois history, there are plenty of places to visit that can help you do just that. Celebrate the state’s 200th birthday with a stop at these must-visit destinations.

This year, to embrace the darker side of autumn, or simply celebrate the history of Illinois, we visit a handful of cemeteries, final resting places to some local legends, and some legendary ghost stories, as well.

At Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park, they’ve been hosting folks young and old for 20 years, from its humble beginnings as a 71-acre pumpkin patch, to the now 230 acres Kuipers Family Farm so many have made a part of their annual autumn tradition.

If the dog days of summer had you climbing the walls, embrace the cooling temps and changing colors with a gorgeous drive, or hop on the bike and take off for the country!

Rockford is home to more than 7,000 acres of park land and natural areas, earning it a reputation as the “City of Gardens.”

Rather than let that fall by the wayside, First Fridays and Second Saturdays have been popping up in downtowns across Illinois with the hope of highlighting everything each individual community has to offer.

While there are so many landmarks and locales worth delving into during your literary tour of the city (and its surrounding communities), here is a list of some of the homes once occupied by iconic authors, bars and restaurants that pay homage to the written word

Whether you want new merchandise or vintage, flea markets in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin offer deals, most year-round