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Western Illinois [dead link] is a region of Illinois generally bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, I-80 to the north and I-39/I-55 to the east. It has two major anchors: Peoria and the Illinois side of the Quad Cities. Being culturally similar to Central Illinois, they are sometimes presented together as the same region.


  • Forgottonia is a region in the greater Western Illinois region of Illinois anchored by Quincy. The name refers to the tongue-in-cheek independence movement the area held in the 1970s following a series of setbacks which damaged the long-term economic development prospects of the region including the defeat of interstate and passenger rail projects and the moving of Carthage College from Carthage, IL to Kenosha, WI. The region is also uniquely divided from the rest of the state as the majority lies between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and can only be reached by limited bridge access. Though definitions may vary, the region traditionally includes the entirety of 14 counties including Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Morgan, Pike, Schuyler, Scott and Warren. By and large, the entire area is rural but has some attractions worth seeing.
  • The Illinois Quad Cities—4-headed metro region in western Illinois and Eastern Iowa containing Rock Island and Moline. Davenport and Bettendorf are on the Iowa side of the Mississippi.
  • Greater Peoria: The region immediately surrounding Peoria.


Map of Western Illinois
  • 1 Arenzville - home of the Arenzville Burgoo
  • 2 Quincy - The southern anchor city of the region, Quincy is a port city on the Mississippi River.
  • 3 Nauvoo - founded by Joseph Smith and the LDS
  • 4 Peoria - the largest city in Western Illinois, Peoria is home to Bradley University, an interesting riverfront with minor-league baseball and is also home to headquarters of Caterpillar and other large companies.
  • 5 East Peoria
  • 6 Moline (home of Western Illinois University - Quad Cities Campus) and Rock Island - two of the Quad Cities
  • 7 Jacksonville - home of Illinois College, the first college in the state
  • 8 Bradford
  • 9 Plymouth
  • 10 Washington - unique town with big city conveniences and small town charm.
  • 11 Galesburg - the northern anchor city of the region, home of Knox College and poet Carl Sandburg.
  • 12 Macomb - home to Western Illinois University
  • 13 Cherry
  • 14 Rock Island



Western Illinois is generally defined as the area west of I-39, south of I-80 and north of Metro-East. Much of the land in the region is dedicated to agriculture but there are several small towns that dot the region.

Culturally, the area is similar to neighboring Central Illinois and Southeast Iowa. The people are friendly but do not particularly care for Chicago.

Get in


Get around


The best way to travel throughout the region is by car. I-74 is the primary thoroughfare and connects anchor cities Peoria and Rock Island. It also provides service to the Illinois Twin Cities (Bloomington and Normal) and the Urbana and Champaign area. US 24 serves as a secondary thoroughfare and connects Peoria to Quincy another anchor city located on the Mississippi. Interstate 72 also provides some service to the southern portions of the region.









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This region travel guide to Western Illinois is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!