Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois
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Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois: A One Day Touring Plan

Last Updated on April 26, 2022

Springfield is swimming in government buildings and shrines to Lincoln. It’s worth a stop if this interests you. You won’t be able to fill a week there, but there are plenty of Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois to entertain your family for a day. What should you include in your one day touring plan?

What Government Buildings and Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois Should You Visit?

1. Springfield Illinois Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

2. Union Station

3. Old State Capitol

4. Lincoln Depot

5. Springfield Illinois Abraham Lincoln Home

6. Illinois Governor’s Mansion

7. Illinois State Capitol Building

8. Illinois State Museum

9. Abraham Lincoln Tomb Springfield Illinois

10. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center

Abraham Lincoln Museum Exhibits

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Government Buildings and Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois

You don’t need to visit everything on this list, and you don’t need to visit these locations in any particular order. Use this list as a guideline, and visit what interests you.

You can get away with only parking once downtown if you are OK with some walking, but you will need to drive between some of these locations. If you choose to walk downtown, some backtracking is required, so be prepared for that.

Pro tip: If you are looking for a way to make these historical sites more fun for your kids, try a scavenger hunt.

1. Springfield Illinois Lincoln Museum

Why Should You Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library?

Abraham Lincoln Museum Springfield Exhibits

The Lincoln Museum is arguably the most popular of the Springfield, Illinois Lincoln sites. It has several exhibits filled with nightmare inducing wax figures, artifacts, and interactive elements. Technology is incorporated, better in some sections than others.

It also has Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic, a small play area for young children.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Springfield Illinois Shows

There are two main shows, Ghosts of the Library and Lincoln’s Eyes. Both are much better than one would expect from a small museum in Springfield, Illinois. The shows run frequently and are easy to incorporate into your visit.

Springfield Illinois Lincoln Library

The library is connected to the museum. It is included in your admission, and contains historical items to examine in your quick run through before your kid makes too much noise research.

How Long Will the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library Take?

You can easily visit the entire facility in two to three hours.

Museum of Abraham Lincoln Location

The museum is located at 212 North Sixth Street in downtown Springfield (112 North Sixth Street for the Library).

Abraham Lincoln Museum Parking

There is a parking garage located at Sixth and Madison that normally charges $0.75 per half hour. As of the time of this writing, the garage is not charging people to use it.

Cost

As of the time of this writing, the rack rate for Abraham Lincoln Museum ticket prices is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, $10 for military personnel, and $6 for kids ages five through fifteen. Children four and under are free. However, there are ways to save money.

Springfield Illinois Abraham Lincoln Museum Hours

The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, on which days it is closed.

The library is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The library closes for several holidays, so check the schedule before your visit.

Do You Need Reservations?

As of the time of this writing, you need a reservation to visit the museum, and a separate reservation to visit the library.

Abraham Lincoln Museum Photos

2. Union Station

Why Should You Visit?

Union Station is a former train station that currently houses rotating historical exhibits. It went through an expensive renovation, but it still has the feel of the original property. It also has a large clock tower that may interest the right child for four seconds.

How Long Will it Take?

Union Station is a quick walk through, easily an hour or less.

Where is Union Station Located?

Union Station is located at 500 East Madison Street in downtown Springfield, directly across from the Lincoln Museum.

Parking for Union Station Springfield Illinois

The best parking option is the garage at Sixth and Madison.

Cost

Admission to Union Station is free.

Hours

Union Station is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, on which days it is closed.

Note: As of the time of this writing, Union Station is temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Do You Need Reservations?

You do not normally need reservations to visit. It is unknown whether reservations will be required when it reopens.

Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois

3. Old State Capitol

Why Should You Visit?

The Illinois Old Capitol building is a reconstruction of the State House from the mid 1800s where Lincoln delivered the House Divided speech. During normal times, you can walk through the property and take a self guided tour.

How Long Will it Take?

Illinois Old State Capitol tours are self guided walks that take approximately thirty minutes.

Location

The Old State Capitol is located at 526 East Adams Street in downtown Springfield, a couple of blocks away from the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Union Station.

Where Should You Park?

You can park in the garage at Sixth and Madison near the museum, or in a garage under the Old State Capitol that costs $1.50 per hour.

Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield Cost

Admission to the Old State Capitol is free.

Abraham Lincoln Museum in Illinois Hours

You can only enter the building during certain times of the day. Check the schedule when you visit. As of the time of this writing, entry times are 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Note: As of the time of this writing, the Old State Capitol is closed for construction.

Do You Need Reservations?

Reservations are required to enter.

Illinois Capitol State

4. Lincoln Depot

Why Should You Visit?

The Lincoln Depot was a working train station during the 1800s. Lincoln once visited. End of its claim to fame.

The first floor is a self guided museum, complete with separate waiting rooms for men and women.

How Long Will it Take?

The self guided walk through should only take a few minutes.

Location

The Lincoln Depot is located at 930 East Monroe Street in downtown Springfield, about a half mile from the Old State Capitol.

Where Should You Park?

If you don’t want to walk from another location, park in the parking lot behind the building.

Cost

There is no fee to enter the Lincoln Depot.

Hours

The Lincoln Depot is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can contact the office for weekend availability.

Do You Need Reservations?

You do not need reservations to enter.

5. Springfield Illinois Lincoln Home

Why Should You Visit?

The Lincoln Home is located on a historical street. You can enter some of the properties, and you generally get the vibe that you have stepped back in time. There are free tours of the home that run frequently.

How Long Will the Abraham Lincoln Home Tour Springfield Illinois Take?

A tour of the Lincoln home site takes about twenty minutes, but allow for some extra time to explore the neighborhood. You should be able to cover this area in less than an hour.

Where is Lincoln’s Home in Illinois?

The Lincoln Home is located at 401 South 8th Street in downtown Springfield, about a half mile away from the Old State Capitol.

Lincoln Home Museum Springfield Illinois Parking

If you skip the museum or don’t want to walk from there, there is free parking outside the entrance to the neighborhood.

Lincoln Home Historic Site Cost

Admission to the Lincoln Home Springfield Illinois is free.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site Hours

Lincoln Home hours vary by the day and season, but generally, it is open from around 9:00 a.m. to at least 5:00 p.m. Tours end between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Note: As of the time of this writing, tours are suspended due to COVID-19. You cannot enter the interiors of the buildings, but you can still walk around the neighborhood.

Do You Need Reservations for the Abraham Lincoln House Museum?

You don’t need reservations, but Lincoln Home tickets are distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Pro tip: If access to the Lincoln Home in Springfield Illinois is a priority for you, consider visiting this location first.

Bonus pro tip: If you are looking for somewhere to stop for lunch, Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery & Eatery is only a couple of blocks away at 500 South Sixth Street. This restaurant is a former mansion with a unique history, and, most importantly, gluten free buns.

lincoln home national historic site illinois

6. Governor’s Mansion

Why Should You Visit?

The Governor’s Mansion, built in the mid 1800s, is the place the where the governor crashes when he isn’t in Florida or Chicago official residence of the governor. It is giant with a ton of historical charm.

How Long Will the Governor’s Mansion in Illinois Take?

Tours take approximately one hour.

Where is the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Located?

The address of the Governor’s Mansion is 410 East Jackson Street in downtown Springfield, about one third of a mile from the Lincoln Home National Historic site.

Where Should You Park?

You can park on the street or in the Dana-Thomas House parking lot at the intersection of Cook and Third for free.

Cost

There is no fee to enter the Governor’s Mansion.

Illinois Governor’s Mansion Tour Hours

Illinois Governor’s Mansion tours are offered from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays with occasional availability on Saturdays.

Note: As of the time of this writing, the Governor’s Mansion is closed due to COVID-19.

Do You Need Reservations?

You need reservations to visit the Governor’s Mansion.

7. Illinois Capitol Building

Why Should You Visit Illinois Capitol Springfield?

The real State Capitol is an impressive building with a beautiful exterior. Government business is still conducted there, so there is some hustle and bustle. Tours take you through the Senate and House galleries, Governor’s reception area, Hall of Governors, and Old Supreme Courtroom.

How Long Will the Illinois Capitol Complex Take?

Illinois State Capitol tours take around thirty minutes.

Illinois State Capitol Springfield Location

The Illinois State Capitol address is 401 South 2nd Street in downtown Springfield, about three quarters of a mile from the Abraham Lincoln Home Museum and a half mile from the Old State Capitol.

Where Should You Park?

If you skip the museum or don’t want to walk, you can find street parking. There is also a free lot off Edwards Street, but capacity is limited.

Cost

Admission to the State Capitol is free.

Illinois State Capitol Hours

Illinois State Capitol visiting hours run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekends. There are no tours from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is closed on several holidays, so check the schedule before you visit.

Note: As of the time of this writing, the State Capitol is closed due to COVID-19.

Do You Need Reservations?

In normal times, you don’t need reservations, but you do need to check in. It is unknown whether reservations will be required upon reopening to the public.

illinois capitol statues

8. Illinois State Museum Springfield Illinois

Why Should You Visit the Illinois State Historical Museum?

The Illinois State Museum exhibits focus on the history of Illinois. There is a section about the way household life has changed, complete with a display that looks like your bedroom in 1990. There is also some environmental stuff, a play area, and a section with skeletons that are not made from of actual dinosaur bones. Is the positioning of these skeletons odd to anyone else?

Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois Skeleton

Things really get weird on the second floor where dresses handpicked by Mrs. Pritzker take up multiple rooms.

Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois

How Long Will it Take?

You can zip through this place in an hour, two tops.

Illinois State History Museum Location

The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 South Spring Street, a couple of blocks from the State Capitol.

Illinois State Museum Parking

There is street parking, or you can try to park in a free lot off Edwards Street (capacity is limited)

Illinois State Museum Price

Illinois State Museum admission is free.

The Illinois State Museum Hours

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Do You Need Reservations?

You don’t need reservations to enter Illinois State Museum.

9. Springfield Illinois Lincoln Tomb and War Memorial

Why Should You Visit the Lincoln Tomb?

The Lincoln Tombstone is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln and the majority of his family. You can actually go inside, and the people swarm to do so. This may be the biggest crowd you encounter the entire day.

The tomb is located in Oak Ridge Cemetery. There are war memorials at this cemetery as well.

How Long Will the Lincoln Tomb Historic Site Take?

You can walk around the area and take a Lincoln Tomb tour in an hour or less.

Where is Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield Illinois?

The Lincoln’s Tomb location is 1500 Monument Avenue, Springfield. You need to get in the car for this one. It is located about two miles from downtown.

Lincoln Tomb Parking

The Lincoln Tomb site has a free parking lot.

Lincoln Tomb Admission Cost

There is no charge to enter the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.

Lincoln Tomb Springfield Illinois Hours

The Lincoln Tomb hours run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery’s hours vary, but it is open from at least 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Do You Need Reservations for the Lincoln Tomb Illinois?

You need reservations for the Lincoln Tomb interior tour, and it is regularly fully booked. Get on this right away if it is important to you.

Visiting Lincoln's Tomb

10. Springfield Illinois Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center

Why Should You Visit the Lincoln Memorial Gardens Springfield Illinois?

The area contains six miles of hiking trails designed to be a living memorial to Lincoln. You will also find a pond and benches with Lincoln quotes, among other things.

How Long Will it Take?

The length of time you spend there will vary, depending on how much you want to see and how much your kids slow you down.

Lincoln Memorial Garden Springfield Illinois Location

The Lincoln Memorial Garden is located at 2301 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield. You cannot walk this one, as it is at least twenty minutes from Lincoln’s Tomb by car.

Where Should You Park?

There is a free parking lot at the main entrance.

Cost

You can enter the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center free of charge.

Hours

You can visit the premises from sun up to sun down each day.

Do You Need Reservations?

You do not need reservations to enter.

Final Thoughts – Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois

Springfield is not a city on the top of most bucket lists, but it is worth a visit for the history. Elementary aged children learn about Lincoln in school, so convincing them this trip will be fun should be an easy sell. You can see a lot and spend almost nothing.

If you are within driving distance, visit the Lincoln Historical sites in Springfield Illinois. It will be a memorable day.

Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois Pin

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23 thoughts on “Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield Illinois: A One Day Touring Plan

  1. Wow there’s such an incredible amount of history! This is definitely going on my list of places to visit thank you for this

  2. What a great list! I’ve never been to Springfield, Illinois, but I’ll have to save this post for when I do go!

  3. I love historical sites. These seem like a meaningful little trip. The fact that you can tour most of the sites for free is a plus. Thanks for sharing, I may check it out

  4. I vaguely remember going there when I was younger for field trips! I’d love to go back someday now that I’m older. Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive post!

  5. What a great list! I know my family would love to visit the Lincoln Museum. Pinning it for later!

  6. This sounds like you had an incredible time. Love history and museums. Now I really want to go see it for myself.

  7. Boy, does this post bring back memories. I grew up in Illinois, so this was a popular field trip destination. Did you now that his nose is all worn at the monument at the tomb because people rub it for good luck? 🙂 Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  8. A lot of things to do surrounding Lincoln. We don’t live in the US, so would be cool for our son to learn more about Lincoln this way.

  9. What a superb list of historical sites to visit in this part of Illinois. Always enjoy learning about the history of new destinations we visit around the world. Great job on this post and have bookmarked for future reference. 🙂

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