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On the Road: Exploring Scenic Destinations Near Havana, IL

Posted on 15 Jun, 2023 at 06:49 am - by Amelia Frankland


Havana, IL, serves as an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty and charming towns that surround it. If you're craving a change of scenery and an adventure on the open road, these road trips from Havana will take you to scenic destinations and hidden gems that will leave you in awe. Get ready to buckle up, turn up the music, and embark on unforgettable journeys just a short drive away.


1. Starved Rock State Park

Located approximately 70 miles north of Havana, Starved Rock State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. This stunning park offers breathtaking views of sandstone canyons, towering waterfalls, and lush forests. Hike along the park's many trails, explore the canyons, and don't miss the panoramic views from the top of Starved Rock itself. With its abundant wildlife and natural beauty, Starved Rock State Park promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure.


2. Historic Galena

Head northwest from Havana for about 120 miles, and you'll find yourself in the charming town of Galena. Known for its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, Galena is a delight for history enthusiasts. Stroll along Main Street, lined with unique shops, art galleries, and cozy restaurants. Explore the Ulysses S. Grant Home, the former residence of the Civil War general and 18th President of the United States. Don't forget to take a scenic cruise along the Mississippi River for a different perspective on this historic town.


3. Shawnee National Forest

If you're willing to venture a bit farther from Havana, Shawnee National Forest awaits you approximately 230 miles to the south. This expansive forest spans over 280,000 acres and offers a diverse range of landscapes, including rugged bluffs, rolling hills, and serene lakes. Hike to the Garden of the Gods, where ancient rock formations create a breathtaking natural spectacle. Discover hidden waterfalls, go horseback riding, or rent a kayak to explore the tranquil lakes and rivers. Shawnee National Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a perfect getaway for those seeking solitude in nature.


4. Champaign-Urbana

Located around 90 miles northeast of Havana, the vibrant cities of Champaign and Urbana offer a mix of cultural attractions and urban charm. Explore the University of Illinois campus and visit the Krannert Art Museum for a dose of art and culture. Take a stroll through the charming downtown areas, where you'll find an array of boutiques, restaurants, and local breweries. If you're visiting in the summer, catch a Fighting Illini football game or enjoy an outdoor concert at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.


5. Peoria

Just a short drive of approximately 40 miles northeast of Havana, the city of Peoria awaits with its blend of urban amenities and scenic riverfront views. Visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum, which offers exhibits ranging from art and history to science and technology. Take a leisurely walk along the Peoria Riverfront, lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. For a unique experience, hop on the Spirit of Peoria paddlewheel boat for a scenic cruise along the Illinois River.


Hit the Road and Create Memories

From stunning state parks to historic towns and vibrant cities, the road trips from Havana, IL, offer an array of scenic destinations and hidden gems waiting to be explored. Pack your bags, plan your route, and get ready for unforgettable adventures on the open road. Each journey will not only lead you to new places but also create lasting memories that you'll cherish for years to come.

About Author
  • Amelia Frankland

    Amelia has a great eye for photography. She has traveled to over 30 countries and has produced great videography and photos, along with penning them down with her writing skills. She has also worked with many top travel photographers.

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