The wide, level plains in the Central Region of the state are called the Till Plains, part of the vast Midwest Corn Belt. This is the most important farming section of Illinois. Legendary Route 66 travels in the state from Chicago to St. Louis, passing through many central region towns.
The area is also called the Land of Lincoln. Decatur is steeped in Lincoln history; his family transplanted roots here when they moved from Indiana. The Log Courthouse, circa 1830, still exists where Lincoln first burnished his reputation as a lawyer. At Macon County Museum Complex, the courthouse is preserved and a 12-minute video recounts the Lincolns' family life. Springfield, the state capital, boasts many Lincoln attractions, including the Old State Capitol where he gave his "House Divided" speech and the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.
No fewer than 12,000 acres of parks, ponds, lakes and wildlife are found in the Danville area. They include Kennukuk County Park, Forest Glen Preserve, Lake Vermillion, Fork State Fish & Wildlife Area and Kickapoo State Park. At Havana is the Chautauqua NWR, home to significant congregations of wild geese and ducks along the Illinois River. Fall and winter are the best seasons to observe them. Late summer shorebird viewings also are recommended.
In Rantoul, the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum - Illinois' largest - showcases the 76-year history of Chanute Air Force Base with more than 126,000 feet of display area.