Central Illinois is a region of Illinois extending south from Chicagoland along the border with Indiana. It includes Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, McLean, and Shelby counties.
- 1 Springfield - state capital, historical attractions, and home US President Abraham Lincoln
- 2 Champaign-Urbana - home of the University of Illinois, attractions, nightlife and the region's 'cosmopolitan' center
- 3 Bloomington-Normal - small transportation hub
- 4 Danville - little prairie city, lots of outdoor activity
- 5 Decatur - home of beautiful Lake Decatur
- 6 Pontiac - home to two small museums
- 7 Rantoul - home to the Rantoul Aviation Center and Museum
- 8 Vandalia - State capital, 1820-1839.
- 9 Arcola
- 10 Chenoa
- 11 Litchfield
- 12 McLean
- 13 Paxton
- 14 Piper City
- 15 Tuscola
- 16 Ashkum
- 17 Chebanse
- 18 Clifton
- 19 Gilman
Central Illinois, depending on the context, generally refers to the area located south of Kankakee, east of I-39/i-55 and north of I-70. Some definitions will also include Western Illinois or have some slightly varied borders.
Central Illinois is perhaps most famous for agriculture. During the last ice age, glaciers leveled the land and left it highly fertile. Today, Central Illinois farms are a significant contributor to the Midwest's total output.
Culturally, the region is similar to Central Indiana and Northern Illinois and tends to be socially and culturally conservative with some notable exceptions, such as the college towns of Urbana, Champaign, Bloomington and Normal. While the area borders the Chicagoland region, most residents do not want to be associated with Chicago due to its perceived undue influence over the rest of the State.
In addition to agriculture, the region is reknown around the State for being home to the State's two largest public universities: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. The State's capital, Springfield, is also located in the region.
Watch out for tornados...