Springfield Journals

Land and Town of Lincoln

A travel journal to Springfield by Laura

Quote: I lived in Springfield for a while and I travel there often for business.

Land and Town of Lincoln

Overview

Quote:
Dana Thomas Frank Loyd Wright House. Old State Capitol, State Capitol, the Lincoln Home.

Quick Tips:

During the legislative session, the town is much more hopping and interesting, but hotel rooms can be difficult to get on certain days.

Best Way To Get Around:

You will want a car. Parking is readily available. Bring some change for the parking meters.

Hilton Springfield Underground City Tavern

Hotel | "Springfield Hilton"

Quote:
The Hilton, while a bit dated is probably the best location in the heart of downtown near the old state capitol plaza and the Prairie Capital Convention Center. The staff is friendly and professional. The rooms are basic and a bit worn. They come with a coffee maker. It is the tallest structure in Springfield. You can see it sticking up in the horizon when driving down I-55. It is a circular structure and on windy days on the high floors you can feel it move a bit - yikes. The adjacent parking structure charges guests $7 per day for parking with in and out privileges.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Hilton Springfield Underground City Tavern
700 E Adams Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 789-1530

Courtyard by Marriott Springfield

Hotel | "Courtyard by Marriott"

Quote:
The Marriott Courtyard is not located in the downtown area, but rather out by the sometimes congested shopping areas - it is right near a Menards, Target and a Walmart. It is off Interstate 72 at Veterals Parkway (Hwy 4). Many people I know choose to stay here when in town in order to get away from the downtown where parking can be a slight hassle. The rooms are reasonable and set up for business travel with a nice desk and data port. It ir right near all the chain restaurants you can handle - Applebee''s, Olive Garden, Ned Kelly''s Steakhouse, Perkins, Baker''s Square, McDonald''s, Taco Bell ... you name it. The lobby has a cozy fireplace and lots of free coffee-even flavored varieties. They se...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 23, 2002

Courtyard by Marriott Springfield
3462 Freedom Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 793-5300

Quote:
This place is a total dive. I was sent here because the Sleep Inn on Freedom Drive totally lied and gave away my room. The Stevenson Inn gave me a smoking room and everything I brought with me ended up reeking. Then the clerk who was very nice, asked if I wanted a wake-up call. I asked "isn''t there an alarm clock?" He said "No, because those are the first things stolen." So I asked for a wake up call, but I never did receive it in the morning. But that was OK because I could not sleep in that place anyway. At 3 a.m. US Marshalls were banging on a door in another wing of the hotel.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 14, 2002

Stevenson Inn
2860 Adlai Stevenson Dr.
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 585-4002

Sleep Inn Springfield

Hotel | "SLEEP INN"

Quote:
The clerk here is a shifty lying weezle. I arrived in the eveing around 8 pm and he made up some lie about a broken toilet in the very last room he had. I should have asked to see it, but I did not. He gave me his business card and a hand written note that I can get 20% off at my next stay. Yeah - right I''ll stay there in another life! Then he sent me to the Stevenson Inn, probably endangering my life (see the related entry). I will never stay at the Sleep Inn, even though the property appears nice enough.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 14, 2002

Sleep Inn Springfield
3470 Freedom Dr.
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 787-6200

Quote:
Gabatoni's serves the best thin pizza I have had - and I'm from Chicago. I like the SMOP - sausage, mushroom, onion and pepper. The flavors meld together great with the cheese. The also offer side salads and pasta dishes. It is a bit of a dive with torn vinyl covered chairs and checkered tablecloths. The yummy pizza is worth the stop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Gabatoni's Restaurant
300 E Laurel Street
Springfield, Illinois 62703
(217)528-9629

Monty's Submarines

Restaurant | "MONTY'S SUBMARINES SANDWICHES "

Quote:
Monty's Sub shop serves up the best sub sandwiches around. I dream about my next trip to Springfield so I can get one. The wheat bread is amazing and hearty. It is no Subway. I like the "el Italiano" with ham, salami, capacola and all the fixings. Ask for 911 sauce if you want a kick. There is also the beef and cheddar "beefeater" the "call me cheesy" with only cheese and veggies and more. Sandwiches are served hot or cold, but hot is the way to go. There are 2 other locations at 1700 E SANGAMON AVE and 727 N BRUNS LN. Get a punch card if you plan to return.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Monty's Submarines
725 N Bruns Lane
Springfield, Illinois 62702
(217) 546-6000

Saputo's

Restaurant

Quote:
Saputo's serves up good basic Italian food later into the night than most Springfield restaurants - 11 pm. It is conveniently located next to the Hilton downtown and is a good place for lunch as well. The red sauce is quite tasty and a good amount of garlic. I like the baked ravioli. The house salad is a good starter.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Saputo's
801 E Monroe Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 522-0105

Bernie & Betty's Pizza

Restaurant | "BERNIE & BETTY'S PIZZA "

Quote:
Serves up the Springfield local dish. The horseshoe. an open faced sandwich (your choice of turkey, ham or hamburger) covered with a mountain of French fries and cheddar cheese sauce. Bernie & Betty's fries are seasoned and cooked to perfection. It can be smoky in the bar area, but the prices are right and the service homey and friendly. Pizza is available for carry-out - with a drive thru!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Bernie & Betty's Pizza
1101 S Spring Street
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 528-1821

Quote:
Pronounced "so-chi-milk-oh". Locals like to call it Office Mexico because of its location in a strip mall next to an Office Max. It offers up delicious margaritas and traditional Mexican food for a terrific price. The combo platters are about $6.95 each. Try the tostadas, encheladas, tacos, and more. The shredded beef is very good. Since Can Cun Restuarant got busted for illegals, it has taken over as the best Mexican place in town.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Xochimilco Mexican Food
2941 W Iles Avenue
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 546-3116

Quote:
Thai is a Springfield far north side tradition. It is BYO so bring a cooler with some beer because you are going to need it when the spicy food is served. You can order your dishes, mild, medium, medium plus or hot. The hot is unbearable. Even medium plus was a little hard to take. The beef with asparagus was great. The Thai spring rolls are a yummy vegetarian treat too. It is small and there can be a long wait some Fridays and Saturdays.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Magic Kitchen Thai Restaurant
4112 N Peoria Road
Springfield, Illinois 62702
(217) 525-2230

Indigo Restaraunt

Restaurant | "INDIGO"

Quote:
I finally had a chance to eat at this new hip Springfield Bistro. It is known for its wine list - I enjoyed a Kendal Jackson Pinot Noir - very good, metropolitan atmosphere and fine fusion food. It has been open a couple years now. While it is located in a little strip mall behind "franchise row," it is decorated very chic. The feature is paintings of modern looking blue dogs on the ragroll painted walls in hues of gold and red. I thought it was pretty expensive for Springfield. I had filet medalions served with lumpy garlic mashed potatoes for $23. There were a lot of fish and seafood selections. Our waiter suggested the Yellowfin Tuna served rare or the surf and turf. The entres rang...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2002

Indigo Restaraunt
3013 Lindbergh Blvd
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 726-3487

Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Attraction | "Abraham Lincoln Home"

Quote:
Tour President Lincoln's Springfield home and learn about his life with his family in Springfield when he was a lawyer and state legislator. You may see historical characters wandering around on some days.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2001

Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site
426 South Seventh Street
Springfield, Illinois
(217) 391-3226

Old State Capitol

Attraction

Quote:
The Old State Capitol served as the center of Illinois government from 1839 to 1876. Here Abraham Lincoln served as a state legislator and pleaded cases before the Illinois Supreme Court. You will see the State House chamber restored to the way Lincoln would remember it. The Illinois State Historical Library is housed on the level beneath the Old State Capitol and is a good place to research newspaper archives available on microfilm.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2001

Old State Capitol
1 Old State Capitl PLZ
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 785-7960

Dana Thomas House

Attraction | "Dana-Thomas House"

Quote:
The Dana-Thomas House is the best preserved and most complete of Frank Lloyd Wright's early "Prairie" houses. It is about 98% all original Frank Lloyd Wright furnishings. There is original Wright-designed oak furniture along with art glass doors, windows, plaster freezes and light panels. For lovers of American architecture or Frank Lloyd Wright, this is a must do because of all the original items - most Wright homes have replicas. You will learn about his designs as well as the lifestyle during the time it was built - around 1902. Open for tours Wednesday thru Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays. Allow about 2 hours because the volunteer docents are very enth...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2001

Dana Thomas House
301 E. Lawrence Ave.
Springfield, Illinois 62703
(217) 782-6776

Quote:
This Illinois limestone covered structure has served as state capitol since 1877. It is the center of state government and houses the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer, as well as the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers. Security has recently become much tighter and visitors will be subject to searches and must be issued passes. Entrance to the building is only permitted from the west side and the north side doors. Illinois politics in action can be viewed when the legislature is in session - generally from Jan. 20 to May 25 Tues. through Thurs. from the 4th floor galleries above the House and Senate chambe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

The Illinois State Capitol
2nd and Capitol
Springfield, Illinois 62706
(217) 782-6830

Boone's Salon

Attraction | "BOONE'S SALOON"

Quote:
In the shadow of the state capitol, Boone's is a terrific lunch spot and serves up the local dish of Springfield - a horseshoe (or a smaller portion called a ponyshoe). It is an open faced sandwich with your choice of turkey, hamburger or ham. Then it is topped with a mountain of fries and cheddar cheese sauce. The also serve a much healthier large fresh salad. The tortelini soup and the cheddar cheese soup are other staples.

At night, during the legislative session and on weekends Boone's is hopping with locals, legislators and lobbyists chugging down $1 bottles of domestic beer.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 20, 2001

Boone's Salon
301 W Edwards St
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 544-2748

DH Brown's

Attraction | "D H BROWN'S"

Quote:
D H Browns is filled with legislative staff, some legislators and lobbyists when the legislature is in session. It fills up after the eveing receptions at about 6 or 6:30pm. It tends to be a friendly, close knit crowd. There is a free jukebox. There is no food, but you can get some popcorn and sometimes they have chips and salsa. Drinks are reasonably priced and there is always a place to sit down.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 15, 2002

DH Brown's
231 East Monroe Street
Springfield, Illinois

On Broadway

Attraction

Quote:
This is the place to go after the 2 a.m. bars close. It gets pretty crowded on a Saturday night. They often have live bands upstairs that play cover songs. Other nights they have a DJ spinning dance tunes.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 15, 2002

On Broadway
210 Broadway
Springfield, Illinois 62701
(217) 523-0210