Fascinating pre-European heritage! Illinois is home to the largest pre-Columbian structure ever discovered north of Mexico. Now Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, the area consists of a complex of platforms and burial mounds. The Koster site in Kampsville is another archeological site which shows signs having been inhabited for over 7000 years.
Enjoy the "model of 21st century life"? That's life is the Lakeshore East neighborhood, according to Chicago Magazine. This new high-rise neighborhood, sprouting up in what used to be rail yards, faces the lake and the Chicago skyline, with a big grassy park at its heart.
Check out 300 Illinois rent to own homes for sale, which may include auction properties, for sale by owner, and more.
More art! The Art Institute of Chicago is an extraordinary art museum has vast collections in classical and modern art forms, but it also offers programs, lessons, events, lectures and even yoga sessions! Its school offers continuing education for adults and plenty of classes for youngsters as well. The Museum of Contemporary Art is another crucial center for the art-lover to become familiar with.
Profit from prices on homes for rent. If you purchase an apartment for income purposes, you stand to profit from the high urban rental prices in Chicago. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago is $1,484 per month, and two-bedroom units typically rent for $1,884.
Big city living. Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the United States, by population, and the greater metropolitan area, sometimes termed "Chicagoland," is home to 65% of Illinois residents.
Step into American history! The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is America's largest and most popular presidential library. The home of Ulysses S. Grant, in Galena, is another interesting historical site.
Ready to benefit from the energy boom? Coal, oil and natural gas in the ground beneath rural properties can make the value of that property skyrocket, and produce a steady income as well.
The Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival. A great way to wrap up summer every year, this festival in the town of Lincoln includes hot air balloon rides, the Heritage in Flight Museum, and lots of art, cars, wine, food, crafts and live entertainment.
Farmland is a good hedge against inflation. The Illinois farming community takes a dim view of government deficit spending, and they believe it's likely to lead to significant inflation. Investing in Illinois farmland is seen by many to be a way to protect against that trend.
Shop the Magnificent Mile! North Michigan Avenue in Chicago has been given this nickname because it's a dense collection of every kind of shop from chic design boutiques to major department stores and luxury studios. It even has its own special festival once a year, The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival.
Illinois home prices are surging! The price on homes for sale has increased by 28.5% between July 2012 and July 2013, and this marks the end of two years in which Illinois posted gains in the number of home sales. Median home prices have risen 14.2%, demonstrating a strong housing market statewide.
Adventure that won't leave your dogs behind! Chicago sponsors a "canine cruise," a 90-minute ride (with dog-friendly commentary) on the city's Skyline Cruiseline sight-seeing boat. For dog owners who love water but would rather be on foot, the Chicago Riverwalk winds along the south bank of the Chicago River downtown.
A healthy and stable market. Geoffrey Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois, says: "The rising house prices suggest some significant movements towards a more stable housing market." Local real estate specialists point out that this stability opens up more houses for sale by owner, or even rent to own.
Fun for all kinds of water lovers! Knight's Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure is a theme park that gets you into the water in bumper boats, paddle boats, water slides, wave pool and more. At Shedd Aquarium you can stay dry while admiring beluga whales and dolphins, close up.
Boating opportunities from tiny to sublime! Enjoy a cruise on Chicago's four-masted schooner Windy, or rent a kayak and paddle past skyscrapers along many spots up and down Lake Michigan for a truly unique urban exploration.
Vineyards, bakeries and maple syrup, oh my!: The farming history of Illinois has given rise to an extraordinary selection of delicious new and traditional foods. Funk's Grove Pure Maple Syrup in the town of Shirley offers guided tours that show the syrup-making process. Black Diamond Vineyards in Nashville, IL offer events, gift items and wine tours throughout the year.
Classic farm land, classic fun. Whether you're settling down to start your very own farm or just visiting for the day, you can experience classic red barns, hay rides, corn mazes and hot apple cider. Richardson Adventure Farm & Corn Maze in Spring Grove has fun for everyone in the family, and Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul is a special outpost for Santa.
Gorgeous botanical gardens! The town of Rockford boasts both Anderson Japanese Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, while Glencoe offers the Chicago Botanical Garden. This botanic wonderland is located on nine separate islands, and it draws almost a million visitors each year.
Chicagoans are fans of stand-alone houses, a.k.a cha-ching! The real estate market in Chicago clearly favors separate houses over condominiums; the average condo costs $229,000 and takes 9 months to sell, whereas the average single family house price is only only $211,000, and sells in 160 days.
Brewpubs and microbreweries? Yes, please! Take a tour of a half-dozen breweries, including Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro and Micky Finn's Brewery in Libertyville. Live entertainment and lots of good pub food make this a central hang-out that's also famous for its handcrafted beer.
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