Celebrate the cinema release of Lincoln with a trip to Illinois, USA

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The Oscar-nominated flick has inspired us to discover the Pres' home state...

Springfield Capitol Illinois

© Chris Jacobs

If it stars Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field it must be good, right?

To celebrate this Friday's release of the Oscar nominated movie Lincoln, we've discovered everything his home state of Illinois has to offer for adventurous presidential explorers.

So, if you've had your fill of tourist central Chicago and fancy an 'Honest Abe' pit stop, here's how to do it...

Welcome to the 'Land of Lincoln'

Lincoln's home in the town of Springfield is now a National Historic Site that has been restored to original 1860s appearance. Once you've had a good old gander around Lincoln's bedroom, sign yourself up for a Lincoln Ghost Walk in the Old State Capitol Plaza. The 90 minute tour visits 10 blocks of famous sites, while the tour guide explains some of the weird and wonderful facts about Abraham's life and death.

Abraham Lincoln Travel Illinois

© Chris Jacobs



Next you'll need to stop at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which is dedicated to the life and legacy of the 16th American President. The whole place features hi-tech exhibits, interactive displays, live actors and multimedia programmes, so there's very little chance of you slipping into a boring museum coma.

Finally, real history buffs need to stop off at Lincoln's tomb - a 117-ft granite sculpture that includes a giant bronze sculpture of Lincoln's head. Pretty darn impressive.

Where to stay

Lots of hotels in the area offer Abraham Lincoln-inspired packages for history hungry tourists. We love the boutique Carpenter Street Hotel, which is just two blocks north of the big museums. It offers a one night $100 package or a two night $184 package that includes entry to the big tourist sites, food and a King sized room.

Or if you fancy going downtown, The Statehouse Inn offers an overnight stay, two tickets to the Abe museum, a $50 voucher to Springfield's most popular Italian restaurant, Saputo's and an all-American breakfast bonanza. Not bad for $160 (that's roughly £50 per person!).

Springfield Memorial Garden

© Chris Jacobs



Visit the towns of Petersburg and Lincoln

Just a short drive away from Springfield is the Lincoln New Salem State Historic Site in Petersburg where you can escape into the 1830s school-trip style. If that doesn't float your boat, the Lincoln Heritage Museum in the town of Lincoln (we know it's all a bit confusing) contains some of the rarest Abe themed artefacts, an original 1860 campaign poster and his wife's precious jewellery.

Stop off at Charleston

On day three head to Charleston to visit the meticulously reconstructed log cabin that defines Lincoln's humble upbringing and the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum. Only real history buffs should make the final stop in Alton to visit the Civil War Legacy Trail where U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull authored the 13th Amendment, putting an end to slavery in the United States.

Springfield USA, Lincoln statue

© Chris Jacobs



Getting there

Visitors can fly from the UK to Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield Illinois (SPI) with British Airways via Dallas (£531), United Arirlines via Chicago (£491) and American Airlines via Dallas (£493) from London Heathrow.

Would you take a historical diversion on holiday? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag

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