From One Gen Z to Another A Guide to Springfield | Springfield, Illinois | Visit Springfield

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Hey there! Now that we know you are interested in visiting Springfield, Illinois, we’re basically besties and besties don’t let besties travel uneducated. 
Meet your Springfield area Gen Z experts - mainly based on the fact we’re Gen Z, but also pretty fun! 

Our credentials:
  • Kaitlin is our Digital Marketing Specialist who handles all things social for Visit Springfield. Between keeping our socials funky & fresh, and frequently heading out to the community to capture content, Kaitlin has the 411 on everything Insta-worthy of doing.
  • Hannah is on our sales team as an Account Executive, aka a master at showing people how great Springfield is and why they should want to host their convention here.

Between the two of us, we think Springfield is pretty great and for various reasons. We teamed up to pick the best of the best in Springfield and want to share our must visit spots for whatever it is you are looking for!

Getting here and getting around:

Sustainable Transportation

  • Amtrak station in the heart of downtown Springfield
  • Springfield Mass Transit - Use the go!SMTD app to purchase passes, pay your fair, receive alerts and plan your trip! You can also purchase an unlimited one-day or seven-day pass, depending on the length of your stay. 
  • Uber/Lyft
  • Taxi service
  • Downtown Springfield is highly walkable
Springfield Airport

  • Getting to and from Springfield is easy at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport with multiple daily flights to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport.
Springfield is also located along major interstates and Historic Route 66, making it super easy to drive to and navigate the city! 

Where to nourish your bodies and souls:

Head West Sub Shop ($) – Quick, affordable and delicious subs, salads, and soups– what more could you want? 
  • Fun fact - the bread at Head West is made from the same dough that Mel-O-Cream Donuts uses, a Springfield favorite donut shop! 
Finley’s Tap House ($$)- Serves up fresh daily, hand-crafted food and some of the yummiest craft cocktails.

Maldaner’s Restaurant ($$$) – Heirloom vegetables, humanely raised meats and slow food all artistically prepared and presented in the oldest continually operated restaurant in Springfield. 
  • They even have their own rooftop garden, talk about a sustainable icon.

Curate ($$$) –This tapas style restaurant offers small plates inspired by various ethnic cuisines all meant for sampling, sharing and pairing with great wines.
  • Basically an indecisive groups match-made in heaven.
POV you searching “cute places to grab drinks with friends":

7th Street Cidery – 20 taps of craft ciders, meads and perries await you inside the comfortable setting of this historic home. Bring your own food or order from Obed and Isaac’s right next door!
  • Speaking of Obed’s, you will want to make sure you stop by their outdoor beer garden. It features an outdoor bar, two bocce courts, bags, twinkling lights and an area for kiddos. Even more importantly, dogs are not only allowed but encouraged in the beer garden!
Ad Astra Wine & Tapas Bar -Find your new favorite wine while sitting under their twinkling lights, build-your-own cheese board and catch up with those you love! Ad Astra is more than just another bar - it is the most thoughtful and inclusive wine and cocktail experience available in Central Illinois
  • August Hill Almond Infusion wine = chef’s kiss
The Wakery – A late night coffeehouse and alcohol-free bar, where they sling fancy cocktails with non-alcoholic spirits, serve up sober sangrias, non-alcoholic beers and wines, create craft lemonades and even brew amazing coffee. A great place for anyone who is sober, sober-curious or just taking a break from alcohol to relax, connect and converse.

Time for a sweet treat:

Vextor Boba Tea Lounge – Pop in, grab a delicious boba or milk tea, document it by taking a picture of your tea in front of their flower wall, become obsessed, repeat until you leave! 

Hae’s Bakery and Coffee Shoppe – Sometimes you just need a cookie and one of our favorite spots to grab one is Hae’s. Along with delicious coffee, grab and go food options, smoothies and even plant-based Lotus energy drinks! 

Focused on fitness? 

Bungee Fitness – Dance, fly and sweat your way through a one-of-a-kind workout! Being attached to a bungee cord allows you to experience a high intensity class with low-impact on your body.

Trails and Parks – When you need to unplug and touch some grass, Springfield has you covered on outdoor spaces with several different parks and trails located throughout the city.

Who are we without caffeine?

Custom Cup – It LITERALLY doesn’t get fresher than this. All coffee is roasted in-shop, in small batches, with their favorite pour-over and drip brewing techniques.

Papo's Café - A locally owned and operated café serving made-from-scratch breakfast, lunches, desserts and hand-crafted coffee drinks. Perfect for those wanting goodies on the go, as they have a drive-thru window!
  • Plan your visit on a weekend and try on of their famous giant cinnamon rolls!
Grab-a-Java – 3 convenient drive-thru coffee shop locations, offering coffee, espresso, chai, blended drinks and smoothies.

Voluntourism/Looking to cover your travel footprint?

The St. John’s Breadline is open 365 days a year and provides anywhere from 400 – 500 meals a day.  
  • For information on volunteering options, please contact the Breadline Assistant at 217-528-6098 or email We recommend reaching out sooner than later to ensure volunteer availability!
Head out to Lincoln Memorial Garden and pop in the Nature Center to see how you can help out! Whether it means picking up garbage, clearing the trails of sticks and debris, or breaking low hanging branches – they would love the help.
  • Added  bonus– The Garden sits right on Lake Springfield, talk about work with a view!

Still don’t trust us?

That's okay - we accept you, trust issues and all. Check out our socials and website, and do a little more digging for yourself!

Once you decide to visit (fingers crossed) don’t forget to tag us in all of your #alwayslegendary Springfield experiences @visitspringfield! 

Where to crash?

You will want to check out our website’s hotel page to find the perfect place to stay for your getaway.  Find all of our affordable and unique hotels here.