Joliet is a blue collar city which in recent years has built several tourist attractions. Notably, Chicagoland Speedway hosts NASCAR races during the summer, and there are two riverboat casinos located on the canal which bisects the city. Sherb Noble opened the first Dairy Queen here on June 22, 1940; the landmark 501 N. Chicago Street building is now a church. Joliet's prison, now closed, appears in the film Blues Brothers. The city was part of Route 66 from 1926 until 1940, with the road demoted to "66 alternate" locally when the mainline was redirected westward through Plainfield. A freeway (now I-55) bypassed both roads in 1957.
Joliet can be accessed from I-80 and I-55.
There are both long distance trains and commuter rail serving Joliet. Amtrak runs four daily services in each direction between Chicago and St. Louis via its Lincoln Service. Additionally, the Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio also calls here. From Chicago, Metra also runs up to four daily commuter trains per day via its Heritage Corridor Line. 1 Joliet station is located at 50 E Jefferson St.
Driving is the primary means of transportation in Joliet. Joliet is also served by Pace bus lines.
- The exterior of the Joliet Correctional Center, closed in 2002, which was used as a filming location for numerous TV shows and movies, including The Blues Brothers and Prison Break. As of 2014, the Joliet Area Historical Museum has proposed that a future seasonal, daily bus tour run from the museum (204 Ottawa Street) to the prison (1100 block of Collins Street).
- Chicagoland Speedway, 500 Speedway Blvd, ☎ . The speedway opened in the summer of 2001 and is the annual host of the LifeLock.com 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and the Dollar General 300, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The speedway also plays host to an Indy Racing Northern Lights (IRL) race and an ARCA Re/Max Series race every September.
- [formerly dead link]Argosy's Empress Casino & Hotel, 2300 Empress Dr, toll-free: . The 50,000 square foot casino offers over 1,183 slots, including video, reel and progressive games, plus 28 table games.
- 1 Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel, 151 N. Joliet St, ☎ . Located along the Des Plaines River in downtown Joliet, Harrah´s Joliet offers the slots, table games and restaurants.
- Joliet Slammers Baseball, ☎ . Silver Cross Field, One Mayor Art Schultz Dr. Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet began hosting minor league baseball in 2002.
- Joliet Park District, 3000 West Jefferson St, ☎ . The greater Joliet area provides a multitude of both leisure and business experiences, from nightlife to nature, festivals to food. Several of these activities can be found through the Joliet Park District.
- 2 Rialto Square Theater, 102 N. Chicago St, ☎ . The historic theater originally opened in May of 1926 and is a stunning reflection of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Rialto has been called one of the ten most beautiful theaters in the nation. Public and private tours are available as well as shows and banquets.
- Bicycling. There are several miles of bike trails which wind through Joliet. The Rock Run and Joliet Junction Trails are roughly North/South routes that begin at the Theodore Marsh in Crest Hill, IL and have southern terminuses on the I&M Canal State Trail. These three paths can be used as a 16 mile loop through Western Joliet. The I&M Canal State Trail stretches ~60 miles to Peru, IL for longer bike rides.
- Louis Joliet Shopping Mall, 3340 Mall Loop Dr, ☎ . The Louis Joliet Mall hosts Kohl's and Sears department stores plus over 100 other mall shops and restaurants. Enjoy a movie at the mall plus more shopping nearby at the Louise Joliet Pointe Shopping Center, northwest of Joliet off I-95 and Lincoln Parkway.
- Heroes West Sports Grill, 1530 Commerce Dr., ☎ . Sports bar and grill located near I-80 and Houbolt Rd.
- The Hot Skillet, 2314 W Jefferson St, ☎ . Low prices, greasy food
- White Fence Farm, 1376 Joliet Road, Romeoville, ☎ . White Fence Farm is located in Romeoville, IL. They specialize in "baked then fried" chicken that is served with several sides and a choice of potato. In addition to the 1,100 seat restaurant in Romeoville there are carryout locations in several nearby towns including Joliet.
- 1 Merichka's, 604 Theodore Street, Crest Hill, ☎ . Merichka's is a Crest Hill institution. Their trademark sandwich is a beef poorboy smothered in garlic butter.
- [formerly dead link]Maneuver's, 118 East Jefferson. GLBTQ bar, empty most nights including Saturdays. Corona $4.
- Liquid Therapy, 3501 Eames St, ☎ . Bar and grill near Joliet's south side $2-$5.
- Jameson's Pub, 2755 Black Rd, ☎ . $2-$8.
- [dead link]Samys Party Bar, 3151 Voyager Ln, ☎ . A fun, club-style bar. $2-$8.
- McBrody's, 73 West Jefferson St, ☎ . Bar and grill
- Chicago St. Pub, 75 North Chicago St, ☎ . varies.
- The Drunken Donut, 821 Plainfield Rd, ☎ . Polish bakery and bar! varies.
- Hammers Sports Bar and Grill, 2771 Black Rd, ☎ . varies.
- Barcode 52, 1609 West Jefferson St, ☎ . varies.
- 1 Comfort Inn North, 3235 Norman Ave, ☎ . Just minutes from the Louis Joliet Mall, 6 miles away from Harrah's and Empress casinos, just 20 miles from the Route 66 Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, only 35 miles from O'Hare International Airport and 40 miles from Downtown Chicago. 
- 2 Quality Inn & Suites South, 135 S Larkin Ave, ☎ . 2-3 minutes from the Harrah's and Empress Casino's, 5-6 miles from the Route 66 Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, 25 miles from the O'Hare International Airport. 
- Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel, 151 N Joliet St, ☎ . While primarily a casino, Harrah's is also part hotel with decent rooms.
Chicago is easily accessible from Joliet via I-55 or Metra.
The Metra Rock Island District Line stops at U.S. Cellular Field for White Sox baseball games in Chicago
|Routes through Joliet|
|END ← Chicago ←||N S||→ Dwight → St. Louis|
|St. Louis ← Pontiac ←||SW NE||→ Chicago → END|
|Chicago ← Bolingbrook ←||N S||→ Gardner → Normal|
|Davenport ← Morris ←||W E||→ New Lenox → Gary|
|Davenport ← Morris ←||W E||→ New Lenox → Gary|
|Cedar Rapids ← Rock Falls ← Jct ←||W E||→ New Lenox → Valparaiso|
|Dubuque ← Dixon ← Jct ←||W E||→ Bourbonnais → Kankakee|
|Normal ← Gardner ←||W E||→ Bolingbrook → Chicago|
|Schaumburg ← Bolingbrook ←||N S||→ Gardner → END|
|END ←||SW NE||→ New Lenox → Chicago|