Cruise the Best Scenic Drives in Illinois

Buckle up, crank your road trip playlist and hit the road!

There’s no shortage of scenic drives to take in the United States. According to the National Scenic Byway Foundation, there are 184 designated byway routes with beautiful vistas, as well as historic and cultural sites across the country. That means, no matter where you are in the U.S., a stunning drive isn’t too far away.Some drives have reached celebrity status, one of the most well known being Historic Route 66, which stretches from downtown Chicago to Santa Monica Pier in California. For nearly 100 years, travelers have been hitting the 2,448-mile road that has more than 250 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Of course, there are plenty more drives that may not be as famous but are just as alluring. For those looking to take to the open road, Stacker compiled a list of the best scenic drives in Illinois using data from Tripadvisor as of March 2024. Note that Tripadvisor ranks attractions using a combination of metrics, including overall rating, reviews, and number of page views. As a result, a drive with a 5/5 overall rating might rank lower than one with a 4/5.Once you locate the closest scenic drive near you, gather your favorite passengers, turn on an epic playlist, and take in the beauty that Illinois has to offer.

Best Scenic Drives in Illinois

Photo credit: iStock/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

#7. Ronald Reagan Trail

– Rating: 4/5 (1 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#6. Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway

– Rating: 5/5 (1 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Solidarity Drive

– Rating: 5/5 (4 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. Lake Shore Drive

– Rating: 5/5 (4 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. Grand View Drive

– Rating: 5/5 (292 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Great Rivers Scenic Route

– Rating: 5/5 (238 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor

#1. Route 66

– Rating: 4.5/5 (1,253 reviews)
Read more on Tripadvisor


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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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