Our Favorite Stops from Chicago to St. Louis

As a bus company, we love our road trips. We know others love road trips too. It allows them to make memories along the way, take pictures, and have fun. A road trip from Chicago to St. Louis is less than 5 hours by car, making this an excellent choice for a trip. While both these cities have much to offer, people often need help finding things to see and do in between. If you have the time, there are plenty of things to do in between! United Bus has made this trip countless times, and here’s what we have to say.

First things first, how do you get there? Google map recommends taking I-55 S, which takes you through Bloomington, Springfield, and other small towns. We’ll link the Chicago to St. Louis directions recommended by google maps here!!. Luckily, there are plenty of rest stops, coffee shops, and chances for bathroom breaks along the way!

Springfield, Illinois

Springfield is a must-visit location for people who love history. People from all over visit Springfield, Illinois, to see Abraham Lincoln’s home and museum, the Presidential Library, and more. This is also the location of the Illinois State Capitol, making this city a popular place for school field trips.

Downtown Springfield

Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is our favorite location in Springfield. We make many visits each year, taking our guests to this location, and we enjoy sharing the enthusiasm with its guests. This museum documents the life of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil war. With life-size dioramas, important documents, and authentic artifacts, this makes for a great educational spot. Visit the Presidential Library, which stores books and artifacts related to Lincoln’s life. The “Steve Neal Reading Room” is open to the public. 

Lincoln Museum

No machine-readable author provided. Rogerd assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois State Capitol

 The Illinois State Capitol is open to the public with tours available for large groups inside the building. You can learn more about setting up a tour for your group here!!. 

The Illinois State Capitol

Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

St. louis

The final stop is St.Louis! You made it from Chicago all the way to St.Louis! The ride there is relatively smooth and quick; thousands of people ride this route yearly. Now that you’re in St.Louis expect to try diverse foods and experience different cultures. Like any large city, St.Louis has many things to do, including visiting museums, zoos, and other activities like hiking trails near the town or the Mississippi river.


Other Fun Stops off route

Starved rock

If you have the time, plan to take more than a day to go to St.Louis to hike Starved rock! Less than 2 hours from Chicago, this is a popular hiking spot for people in the city. Several trails of varying difficulty make this a fun place for the family! Of course, this trip requires you to pack extra water, bug spray, sunscreen, and other hiking necessities! The Starved Rock area does have plenty of lodges and resorts. We would recommend the Starved Rock lodge which is set in Starved Rock State park. People love this location for its easy access to hiking trails and the food. While some argue that the hotel may be outdated, others (including us) will say this adds to the charm.


Starved Rock

By Chris Light at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6043408

Morton Arboretum

Another fun stop is the Morton Arboretum. Located in Lise, Illinois, this location is just outside of Chicago. It is a beautiful public garden with a library, herbarium, and more. This is an excellent spot for a quick visit or an all-day trip. There are plenty of fun things to do depending on the season. Visit their website to see what’s happening during that time of the year. Anyone interested in plants would love their 1,700 acres with more than 222,000 live plants. Great for walking and bird watching, learn more about the Morton Arboretum here!!.


Morton Arboretum

Sea Cow, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Peoria, Illinois

Peoria is another exciting place to visit in Illinois. This city has many fun attractions in central Illinois along the Illinois river. These attractions include the Peoria zoo, the Botanical garden, a planetarium, a riverfront museum, and more. We love visiting the zoo and seeing all the native animals! 


CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=843092

Illinois has so much to do, with each location earning its own time to visit. We’ve offered some of our favorite places to see, and we hope you find this blog post useful when planning your next trip!