A July 2005 trip
to Springfield by KP8
Quote: Visit the Illinois capital to see all of the Lincoln sites, including the fabulous new presidential library that opened in April 2005. His home and tomb are also popular sites in this Route 66 destination. We're 90 minutes from St. Louis and 3 hours from Chicago.
The wait can be quite long, but don't be frightened away- many people leave instead of waiting, and we only waited about 30 minutes.
This is the best spot for horseshoes, open-faced sandwiches with beef, spicy chicken, turkey, or many other choices, topped with fries and covered with melted white cheese. My husband and our out-of-town guests loved it.
I opted instead for a muffaletta, an Italian sandwich with meats, cheese, and olive spread in a special loaf. They made it right.
The menu has many sandwiches and some other hot items. It is definitely worth a short wait to dine here.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 28, 2005
1577 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, Illinois 62704
Restaurant | "Xochimilco"
Xochimilco Mexican Food
2941 W Iles Avenue
Springfield, Illinois 62704
Attraction | "A. Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum"
The museum features an introductory multimedia movie and a presentation by a museum "historian." These make this museum unique, as it engages you and your senses in ways other history museums do not. Kids seem to really enjoy them, and if you are not familiar with Lincoln's life and times, I definitely recommend seeing them first before the exhibits.
The displays are life-size and cover his life, from humble beginnings to election to assassination. There are multimedia, multi-sensory exhibits throughout, and a few scenes of slavery and political tension that may even scare youngsters. There is a dress-up room, but I recommend taking school-age children and above, because it seems like they at least need to know who the man was to appreciate the exhibits.
There is a nice gift shop and a restaurant in the complex. Touring exhibits will occupy the third gallery. Currently, "Blood on the Moon" fills this space, focusing on the assassination. It even has the actual bed Lincoln passed away in (the one in D.C. is a reproduction!) and the carriage he used, plus blood-stained articles of clothing from the evening.
Admission is $7.50 for adults, and you can preorder tickets online to avoid long ticket lines at the museum. But be prepared if you go during the summer to stand in line to get into the exhibits and films. It is not a long wait, but it was the first time I've ever stood in line at a history museum (it is great that people are so interested!).
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2005
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
212 North Sixth Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
For water-sports enthusiasts, Lake Springfield is a large lake popular with boaters and skiers. Motorcyclists converge on the city several times a year for race events, and the state fair comes in August, with agricultural and other shows year-round on the grounds.
The signature dish in Springfield is the horseshoe, an open-faced sandwich topped with fries and cheese sauce; D'arcy's Pint is supposed to be the best. Capitol City Steakhouse downtown serves fine cuisine. Xochimilco is a good Mexican place, and Monty's offers good sandwiches. There are numerous lunch and dinner cafés in the downtown area near the museum complex, such as Z Bistro and The Feed Store. Check out Bentoh's for a fancy lunch, but this place is only open at lunchtime.
Springfield is a nice place to spend a day or so if you plan to go to St. Louis or Chicago. We're conveniently located off I-55 between the two major cities, and the attractions within the city are all free or reasonably priced.