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Illinois Releases 2012 Travel Guide

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Illinois Tour Guide

The 2012 Illinois Tour Guide. (Credit: Illinois Tourism Office)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The 2012 Illinois Travel Guide is now available, with everything from a vast array of sightseeing ideas to an assortment of state figures and factoids.

The tourism office at the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says the guide combines a newsstand magazine look with traditional statewide listings and practical information.

The guide subdivides Illinois into four regions. “Chicago and Beyond” extends west all the way to Freeport and Dixon and south through Kankakee. Alongside local icons such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier, readers are directed to the Amboy Depot Museum in Amboy , the Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago in Aurora and the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens in Rockford, as well some more obscure Chicago sites such as the Charnley-Persky House at 1365 N. Astor St. in the Gold Coast.

“Great Rivers Country” extends from the northwest tip of Illinois at East Dubuque to the southern tip at Cairo along the Mississippi River, and promotes attractions from the Joseph Smith Latter-Day Saints historic site in Nauvoo to the Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, and from the historic main street in Galena to the old-fashioned Spirit of Peoria steamboat.

Central Illinois from Dwight south through Clay and Richland counties is deemed “The Land of Lincoln.” The Lincoln historic sites and other attractions in Springfield take center stage, along with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and “Santa’s Furry Helpers” at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul.

The guide calls Southern Illinois the “Trails to Adventure,” and promotes the Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park, the wine trails in the wine trails in the area, and the iconic Superman statue in Metropolis, among other assorted attraction.

The guide also includes whimsical information and background information on tourist sites.

An “Illinois by the Numbers” section offers readers everything from the different types of grapes the state’s vineyards produce (six) to how tall Willis Tower is (1,450 feet, and there’s no reference to the skyscraper as the Sears Tower at all.)

And readers might not want to get too hung up on this fact – there is also a figure for the cost of a gallon of gas in Springfield when Route 66 opened in 1926. That number is 18 cents.

“Steps Through Time” takes readers on trips through historic sites and museums and the bygone era of the preserved Route 66.

A digital edition and tablet app are also available.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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