Many historic mansions from the early 1800s through the early 19th century remain lovingly preserved in downtown Jacksonville, often serving as museums now. Many of these mansions played host to Abraham Lincoln himself, who came to the city as a lawyer and developed friendships with key Jacksonville figures. He even gave a notable stump speech against slavery in the 1850s, on the campaign trail for John C. Fremont.
Visitors love “Looking for Lincoln” around town, spotting stovepipe hat signs around town that indicate notable Lincoln sites. Take a moment to make a rubbing on the sign, and you'll have a creative souvenir. Finally, take a photo with Lincoln's life-size statue on the Illinois College campus.
The town became a key station on the Underground Railroad, facilitating slaves on their clandestine flight north to Canada. Illinois College was known to be a progressive seat of abolition. In fact, the local conductor on the Underground Railroad was a Mr. Beecher, a relation of famous abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe. You can discover more of this fascinating history at Woodlawn Farm Underground Railroad Site.
When to Visit Jacksonville, IL
There's always something fun to do in Jacksonville, Illinois. The city enjoys four distinct seasons, each offering pleasant experiences for the whole family. However, the town's organized festivals and event options increase as the temperature rises. The season typically kicks off with the St. Patrick's Day parade in March and leads into the Rotary Club's bass tournament in April.
Lake Jacksonville is known as the top fishing spot in the State, easily accessible by Route 267, just 3 miles south of the city. Pull up to the boat dock, drop a line, and enjoy the view while you fish for bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. Other visitors prefer more active watersports, like skiing or boating. The summer months afford visitors the chance for a refreshing swim.
Each July, Midwesterners celebrate traditional folk handcraft at the River Country Quilt Show. Then, the 4th of July Celebration kicks off with a parade through downtown, followed by a kid's fishing tournament, fireworks, a flea market, games, and more at Nichols Park. The July festivities continue with the Morgan County Fair, the Kiwanis Golf Tournament, and the Crazy Horse Bluegrass Festival. If you plan to visit in July, be sure to secure a room well in advance, as hotels will fill up quickly!
Get active and enjoy the great outdoors at the town skate park or play a round at the Disc Golf Course. Godfrey Park/Play for All Park is a welcome refuge on the hottest days, with a fully accessible water play park. When you want to get away from the bustle and take a break, Emma Mae Leonhard Wildlife Sanctuary & Nature Trail offers shade and calm on a manageable 1/4-mile hike through the woods. Stick around in September — you won't want to miss the classic car show and drive-in!
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Jacksonville, IL:
Jacksonville, IL: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. rate trends by star rating class in Jacksonville, IL. Browse these line graphs to calculate the best time to book a room in Jacksonville for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Jacksonville, IL
4 Star Average Prices: $141.50
When you visit Jacksonville, Illinois, you can embrace its stately past with a stay at the Blessings on State Bed and Breakfast. This bed and breakfast offers a chance to stay in a hotel property with historic character, convenient to all of Jacksonville's attractions. Intimate yet spacious, guestrooms feature unique furnishings like four-poster beds, tapestries, and artwork.
Book early to secure one of the two guestrooms, and you'll enjoy amenities like a fireplace, a claw-foot tub, and free breakfast served between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. daily. You'll enjoy the spread of frittata and fresh juice served in gold-rimmed stemware. You can relax and read on the Blessings on State's gracious front porch, feeling right at home.
This property is situated in Jacksonsville proper, so you'll be only minutes away from Illinois College, in case you're in town for graduation or a conference. Prairieland Heritage Museum is also located nearby. Children under age five can also stay with parents for free, provided they use existing bedding.
Affordable Hotels in Jacksonville, IL
3 Star Average Prices: $96.92
You won't believe the incredible hotel rates you'll find at the Baymont Inn & Suites Jacksonville. Guests who intend to stay for the long term can take advantage of even lower rates with a long-stay discount. This roadside motel is perfectly convenient to Jacksonville Lake and the fairgrounds.
This roadside motel welcomes guests with a bright, clean lobby, and the fresh, minimal designs carry through to the cozy bedrooms. Rooms include a fridge and a desk for guests' convenience, and select room layouts include a bedside jacuzzi tub. During your stay, be sure to take advantage of the fitness center and the daily complimentary breakfast and hot beverages. Before you head out, pick up the complimentary newspaper. The Baymont makes a great value hotel option for a short stay or a long one.