Illinois’s winters are very cold and long with snow and icy winds from late November through to April. Summers, especially July and August, the weather tends to be hot and humid. The best times to visit is when the weather is perfect, in spring and autumn; tornado season can occur anytime between the months of March and May. Chicago’s summers are humid with highs of 30 degrees (Celsius) or more and its winters are bitterly cold.
When to fly to Illinois
Winter is peak season in Illinois for skiing and snowmobiling. In summer many different festivals take place in Chicago’s parks and neighbourhoods almost every weekend, making it difficult to find a cheap Illinois flight.
The best month to book a cheap Illinois flight is September, which is also the mildest month. Autumn is visually the prettiest time to visit when the temperature is still mild and the foliage is changing. The quietest months in Chicago are from January to March but they can also be the coldest and windiest.
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Getting around Illinois
Public transportation is reliable and taxis are easy to find. Driving is not recommended because of heavy traffic and parking is almost impossible to find. The El, a system operated by The Chicago Transit Authority consists of elevated trains running 24 hours a day. During the summer rush hour a River Bus is available.
Illinois insider information
- Chicago has a wealth of things to see and do. The best view of the city can be found at 1,450 feet from the top of North America’s tallest building – the Sears Tower. Head to the 103rd floor to the Skydeck where you can see the entire city laid out. The Hancock Building is also well worth a visit and offers stunning city views from its observation deck or cocktail bar.
- Don’t miss a trip to the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. Set on twelve acres the gardens are adorned with Japanese maples, magnolias, and rhododendrons and have several ponds and waterfalls with Japanese bronze structures surrounding them. There’s also an authentic tea house and contemporary "Garden of Reflection".
- Visit the preserved Frank Lloyd Wright Museum on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park where the famed architect spent 20 years of his career and designed 130 of his masterpieces. Wright lived here until 1909.
- One of the most visited attractions in Chicago is the Art Institute of Chicago. Art lovers – well any visitor – shouldn’t miss a trip to the museum, it’s remarkable. The gargantuan building houses more than 250,000 works of art from all over the world including ancient Egyptian, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Roman relics. One of its highlights is the anthology of Impressionist art which has an impressive collection by Monet, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to name a few.
- Anyone interested in the lives of the Amish people should head to central Illinois where a welcoming group of Amish villages are set up. Take a tour of the community in the Illinois Amish Interpretative Centre in Arcola, visit a working farm and watch how supper is prepared and enjoyed in a family home.