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Situated just 48 km from Chicago, Joliet is one of the largest cities in the state of Illinois, USA. Divided into two by the Des Plaines River, Joliet makes the most of its waterfront and riverside location, with plenty of beautiful creeks, lakes, waterways, river walks, parks, etc, that add to the charm of the place. The city of Joliet is situated on the historic Route 66 and this makes it a perfect stopping point for travelers exploring this legendary U.S. road. Attractions in Joliet include the Joliet Area Historical Museum, Old Joliet Prison, Joliet Route 66 Stadium, Chicagoland Speedway, Hollywood Casino, Pilcher Park Nature Center, landmarks like the beautiful Rialto Square Theatre, Jacob A. Henry Mansion, Bird Haven Greenhouse & Conservatory, and more. There are plenty of restaurants serving local and global cuisines, world-class shopping malls, casinos, golf courses and family entertainment venues in Joliet. With so much to see and do, it can be tough to make a choice. But weâve done all the research and taken out the guesswork for you! Come along and take a look at all the things to do in Joliet, Illinois.
Joliet Veteran’s Memorial Bicentennial Park
Address: 201 W Jefferson St, Joliet, IL 60432
Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 8am – 4:30pm Fri: 8am – 12pm
Take A Tour Of Old Joliet Prison
Featured in many films and TV shows, Old Joliet Prison is a former correctional facility in Joliet that has recently been converted into a tourist attraction. Visitors to Joliet and travellers on Route 66 can take a stop at this historic prison to understand its history through a variety of tours. Walking tours of different types are offered at Old Joliet Prison including photography, historical, haunted history and guard tours. At the Old Joliet Prison, you can learn about the grim history of the prison and its inhabitants, walk through the passages, and photograph this historic structure in stunning natural light.
Old Joliet Prison
Opening hours: Check tour schedule timings
Price: 15 USD onwards
Popular Types Of Attractions In Joliet
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Tee Off At The Inwood Golf Course
The day started with rain but ended with a beautiful afternoon of golf. â³ï¸ #GolfJoliet
Posted by Inwood Golf Course on Tuesday, 4 June 2019
Take a break from the sights and sounds of Joliet and enjoy a round of golf at the Inwood Golf Casino. Spread out over 6100 yards , this picturesque golf course is well-maintained, has gently rolling greens with some challenges, and is suitable for both beginners as well as expert players. The Inwood Golf Course is a great place to relax with your friends over golf, and some beers and food afterwards.
Inwood Golf Course
Pilcher Park in Joliet consists of 640 acres of lush green space that provides plenty of opportunities for the whole family to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. The park has an array of scenic trails suitable for hiking and biking. Visitors can bring their bicycles and enjoy biking across the beautiful terrain of the park stretching across many miles. Spot the local wildlife, stop under the canopy of trees to have a picnic or just cycle non-stop through the park whatever you choose to do, you will surely enjoy biking in Pilcher Park.
Opening hours: 8am – 4:30pm
Chicago Speedway And Route 66 Speedway
Anyone who feels the need for speed when they are in Joliet should think about heading down to the Chicago Speedway and Route 66 Speedway which opened in 2001. The facility has the claim to fame of being the largest sporting venue in Illinois and has seen a range of high profile events held here such as the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
As well as watching a race here, you can also visit the adjacent Champions Park which is filled with live entertainment, interactive exhibits, and a special zone for children to enjoy.
At the Route 66 Speedway, which is the neighboring track of the Chicago Speedway, you can get behind the wheel yourself and even drive your own NASCAR.
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Commune With Nature At Pilcher Park
Pilcher Park is a deceptively large green space with a thick forest and Hickory Creek as its main geographic features.
While most people associate the attraction to a small, developed section with modern amenities, the park itself covers 640-acres of land.
The large swath of woodland is often used as a jogging and biking route, and winter allows for cross-country skiing.
There are two other attractions within the location that you shouldnt miss: Pilcher Park Nature Center and Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory.
The former serves as a base for visitors where they can learn about the park and see the maps of the trails.
On the other hand, Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory serves as a home for native Illinois flora.
Some of their flowers have won awards, so visiting the greenhouse is well worth the trip.
Tour The Interiors Of Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
Hailed as one of the most beautiful Victorian mansions in the region, the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate is a prominent landmark in the city.
It has been around since 1837, becoming a significant structure over the years until it was eventually listed under the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the estate is used as a venue for wedding ceremonies, private events, and public celebrations.
Upon arrival, youd be awestruck by the regal architecture of the home and its landscaped grounds.
The inside is also a sight to behold, with polished black oak and walnut on most rooms and furnishing.
Youre welcome to tour the halls and rooms to see the sophisticated items and furniture.
If youre lucky, you can join the dinner theater event with home-cooked meals and entertaining musical production.
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Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Sky Zone Trampoline Park is an indoor facility that features a Ninja Warrior Course, Freeclimb wall, Ultimate Dodgeball Skyslam, Skywars, and Freestyle Jump for energetic kids who love challenges and playing hard. Experience wall-to-wall trampolines and watch the kids jump to their hearts content.
Theres an area designated for toddlers only, and theres attractions where the adults can hop on board as well. The park is truly an integrative family trampoline opportunity thats fun for everyone.
Chicagoland Speedway And Route 66 Raceway
Theres a special kind of exhilaration that accompanies seeing professionals zoom across racetracks in a blur of speed. Chicagoland is the largest sporting venue in Illinois, and has even hosted the NASCAR Sprint Cup as well as other championships. You can watch races along one of the biggest racetracks in the region, a one and a half mile route, from the comfort of one of the 47,000 seats offered.
The smaller facility adjacent to Chicagoland is the Route 66 Raceway, which displays a wider range of racing vehicles. These include motorcycles and pro-stock cars. If youve ever wanted your own fast and furious experience on the track, you can get behind the wheel at this amazing speedway.
Getting riled up at the speedway is one of the best things to do in Joliet, Illinois for those with a passion for racing. And when your need for speed is satisfied, take the family over to Champions Park where everyone can enjoy live entertainment, interactive displays, and a childrens area.
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Catch A Show At Rialto Square Theatre
The most prominent performance art venue in the city is the regal Rialto Square Theatre, located downtown.
It opened its doors in 1926 and has since undergone many renovations to address the ever-changing needs of every era.
Upon arrival, youd notice the magnificent Neo-Baroque facade, which earned the theater a place under the “150 great places in Illinois” by the American Institute of Architects.
Its also been called the Jewel of Joliet and is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in the world.
And its no wonder, as the intricate design of the interior exudes utter elegance and sophistication.
You can catch intriguing theater plays, live music performances, comedy skits, and dance recitals.
Many famous personalities have graced the theaters stage, so if youre lucky, you might see a famous actor during your visit.
Check out their calendar and book your ticket!
Joliet Veterans Memorial Bicentennial Park
A visit to this park is one of the perfect things to do in Joliet, Illinois for those who appreciate the opportunity to pay homage to war veterans and those who have dedicated their lives to the US. The memorial was created to commemorate the countrys 200th birthday, and has acres of parkland alongside the Des Plaines River.
Enjoy a peaceful riverwalk with views of downtown Joliet, and watch the boats as they float by. The Joliet Veterans Memorial Bicentennial Park is adorned with historic murals and even a mosaic that mark this as a key location to visit while youre in town.
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Catch The Latest Movie At Cinemark
Relax with a tub of popcorn and an ice-cold soda while watching the latest flick at Cinemark cinema at the Louis Joliet Mall. With multiple screens, comfortable and plush seating, and several snacking options, watching a movie with your family or friends will be an enjoyable experience at Cinemark. Perfect for a date night or night out with friends, Cinemark offers you the chance to enjoy the latest and the best movies in a comfortable environment.
Opening hours: According to show timings
Admire The Splendid Architecture Of Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
Built in 1873 by a railroad magnate, the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate is a stunning building that is the largest surviving example of the Renaissance Revival style of architecture in the entire state of Illinois. Made from Joliet limestone, this National Historic Landmark has an old Victorian charm about it and it is marvellous to look at. The mansion and its grounds are very well kept and can be admired from the outside. The interior is only open to people hosting or attending events.
Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
For some live entertainment in Joliet, head on over to the Rialto Square Theatre, renowned as one of the 10 most beautiful theatres in the U.S. The theatre has a beautiful European style architecture and provides a wonderful venue for concerts, plays and even comedy specials. So, when in Joliet, do drop by at the Rialto Square Theatre to enjoy the ambience, take in the beauty and have an entertaining night watching a play or a concert.
Rialto Square Theatre
Website: Rialto Square Theatre
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Provena Saint Joseph Inwood Athletic Club
Opened in 2007, the Provena Saint Joseph Inwood Athletic Club spans an impressive 65,000 square feet and has a huge range of facilities for guests.
The best thing about the club is that you dont have to be a member to visit, as day passes are available here, so you can come an enjoy the 25 yard indoor pool even if you are only visiting Joliet briefly.
There is also 10,000 square feet of fitness space and equipment, as well as a whirlpool and steam room if you want to relax after a workout.
Test Your Luck At Hollywood Casino Joliet
The raucous Hollywood Casino Joliet is a glittering landmark, one of the only two casinos in town.
So if you want to test your luck or experience the thrill of gambling, add this destination to your itinerary.
Its hard to miss, especially at night when its neon lights create a festive show visible from blocks away.
Inside, youll find more than a thousand slot machines and video poker games.
And you can also visit the gaming tables where you can play blackjack and poker, amongst other casino staples.
If youre looking for a place to stay while in Joliet, the casino has a spacious hotel.
Its a great base for your adventures in the city, as youd have access to the dining and entertainment facilities of the establishment.
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Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park
Image for illustration purposes only
Downtown Joliet, Illinois Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park is a picturesque 10-acre green space located between Cass and Jefferson streets along the river.
The park was named after Billie Louise Limache, an influential woman in the city who pushed for its construction and oversaw its operation.
The park was built for the Bicentennial of the United States of America as a commemorative project.
It was handed over to Joliet once the park was completed. The city has managed it with Will-Joliet Bicentennial Park, Inc. .
It is the only park in Joliet owned and operated by the city that is not a part of the Joliet Park District.
Youll see Joliet and Will County residents hosting a wide range of events at Bicentennial Park.
Not only that, in addition to their outdoor bandshell and a viewing hill, they also have a 350-seat indoor theater.
Address: 2231 W Jefferson St, Joliet, IL 60435, United States
Things To Do In Joliet
Things to Do in Joliet IllinoisSee you In J-Town, Joliet tells tourists
From Route 66 nostalgia to NASCAR racing, casinos, pro baseball and stars of entertainment including a 160-year-old building that often stars in entertainment Joliet offers both residents and visitors a cornucopia of reasons to See You In J-Town.
Summer 2018 saw the long-awaited opening of the world-famous Old Joliet Prison to the public as a tourist attraction. Built in 1858, the prison has attracted curiosity seekers plus TV and movie crews ever since it closed in 2002.
People from the Joliet Area Historical Museum lead tours through the limestone prison three days per week from April through October. Always one of the countrys best known correctional centers, it became a legend of modern pop culture when it was used to film the first scenes of The Blues Brothers. The Blues Brother played by John Belushi, was named Joliet Jake.
As a sign of how widely Joliet now attracts tourists, the first prison tour in 2018 included three people from England, a couple from Lithuania and visitors from South Carolina and Massachusetts.
Route 66 is known around the world and its common for people to come from Europe or Asia wanting to drive the entire route, said Robert Navarro, president of the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau. They realize this is a taste of Americana, from our big cities to our small towns to the deserts to the farm country.
Rialto Square Theatre
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Enjoy A Few Drinks At Jameson’s Pub
? ? TGIF ??Friday is $6 Martinis at both our locations!Stop on in after work and try one of our delicious…
Posted by Jameson’s Pub on Friday, 5 July 2019
Soak in the all-American atmosphere of Jamesonâs Pub in Joliet as you enjoy a few drinks with friends or colleagues. Jamesonâs Pub has a modern bar setting and plenty of TV screens to watch live games as you catch up with your buddies. While the bartenders whip up mean cocktails, their exhaustive beer list is worth checking out too. They also have daily drink specials and happy hours that you can take advantage of. Their food specials and game nights are another reason to visit Jamesonâs Pub.
Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 1am Fri – Sat: 11am – 3am
Trek The Trails Of Rock Run Preserve
The gorgeous Rock Run Preserve is an expansive green space located in the geographic center of Joliet, so accessing it wouldnt be a problem.
This 320-acre attraction contains an array of habitats that make it a prime location for exploration and wildlife encounters.
Youll find wetland areas, riparian habitats, prairies, and large swaths of forests.
Many trails in the park lead to these unique sections, and most of them start at the Black Road Access.
This is one of the few sections of the preserve thats been developed.
So youll find picnic shelters, parking, and a few other modern amenities.
As you explore the preserves interiors, watch out for owls, waterfowl, river otters, and other small mammals scurrying about.
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Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
The Jacob Henry Mansion Estate dates from 1873 when Jacob A. Henry built this mansion on what used to be called Silk Stocking Row. The mansion sprawls over 16,800 square feet and features 40 lavishly decorated rooms, many of which are covered in black oak and walnut.
As you would expect, the mansion is now listed as a National Historic Landmark in Joliet, and is said to be one of the most beautiful Victorian buildings in the region.
You can come here to admire the gorgeous architecture of the mansion in its own right, or there are fun events held here such as the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate Dinner Theater where you can enjoy a lunch matinee that consists of a home cooked meal coupled with a musical production.