As part of the state's progress in toward a full reopening, officials launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging road trips throughout Illinois, providing an approved travel itinerary for each destination.
Through the Illinois Office of Tourism, the Time for Me to Drive campaign details more than 60 planned trips, organized by categories and duration of stay.
Take a look at some spots throughout Illinois:
Close to Home
- Oak Park: spend one to three days visiting the Chicago suburb's Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, the Ernst Hemingway Birthplace Museum and local distilleries
- Chicago for the dogs: Illinois officials provide a list of pet-friendly activities to do throughout the city
- DuPage nature spots: for one to three days, visit the top destinations to enjoy nature in the Western suburbs from Naperville and Wheaton to Elmhurst and Glen Ellyn to Oak Brook and Aurora
A Trail of History
- Illinois' African American History trip: from downtown Chicago to Jacksonville, this trip provides a look into the Underground Railroad system as well as notable Black figures' homes
- Presidential History in Illinois: the three to five-day trip takes a look at the four prominent Illinois figures that held the highest office in the U.S.
Unique to Illinois
- Haunted path: this one to three-day trip takes you to one of the most reportedly haunted cities nationwide, while still providing orchards and wineries to visit during the day
- Southern Illinois' landscapes: for nature-lovers, this four to five-day trip goes through a variety of state parks and locally-grown bites by traveling further south
For the full list of destinations, click here.
Each itinerary provides the option to download, as well as click on each recommended location in case of booking or making reservations.
“After an incredibly difficult year in which the pandemic kept us all close to home and staying apart, lifesaving vaccines are bringing us back to life and heading toward a summer of fun and venturing out. Today I’m proud to launch the Time for Me to Drive Campaign – inviting people to see all of Illinois, showing off adventures of all kinds: Historic sites and winery tours, state parks and rock climbing, hiking, and zip-lining, hundreds of craft breweries and thousands of excellent restaurants across the state," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Currently in Phase 4, Illinois is on track to enter the Bridge Phase on Friday, beginning a transitional period with increased capacity limits, before a full reopening in the final Phase 5.
The Bridge Phase will allow for higher capacity limits at places like museums, zoos, spectator events and more.
Illinois is expected to fully reopen and enter Phase 5 of its COVID reopening plan on June 11, "barring any significant reversals in our key COVID-19 statewide indicators," Pritzker said last week.
Phase 5 would see all sectors of the economy fully reopened and no capacity limits, though Pritzker noted that the state will continue following mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This good news comes with a caveat. We have all seen throughout this pandemic that this virus and its variants have proven to be unpredictable," Pritzker said. "Metrics that look strong today are far from a guarantee of how things will look a week, two weeks, a month from now. We saw that last August and again in March."