Experience the Hidden

One of the best things about UIS is the strong sense of community and how close-knit the campus is. Students are constantly bombarded with event flyers and notices from friends about different activities going on. However, a city lies right outside the cornfields that residents call home, and there is a lot going on in Springfield. Something students complain of is that they do not know what Springfield has to offer. Although there are a lot of things obscured by the overshadowing presence of Abraham Lincoln, there are a multitude of hidden gems that present exciting chances for a fun-filled day off-campus if one knows where to look.

Coffee Shops/Bakery:

Wm. Van’s Coffee Shop

A trendy place to sit down, sip coffee, and study, Wm. Van’s offers a unique taste of Springfield. Attached to Obed and Isaac’s Microbrewery, Wm. Van’s is housed in a historic home that offers a multitude of views and levels of quiet. One of their tastier treats includes a giant brownie that complements a piping cup of tea. Looking for local gifts? They also have a few kitschy items that are perfect for sending back to the family. The rooms have modern amenities that include a multitude of outlets, plush chairs, and large, dark wood tables that creates a comfortable environment to work on homework or visit with friends. Take a load off and relax into the welcoming atmosphere of Wm. Van’s.

Tourist Site:

Abraham Lincoln Tomb

The far north side of Springfield houses the final resting place of one of America’s heroes. Take a drive over to pay respect to the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, at the tranquil, gorgeous Oak Ridge Cemetery. Lincoln’s tomb stands proudly in the center of the cemetery. Inside the tomb, visitors can walk through the receiving vault and reflect on the life of one of America’s favorite presidents. Once outside again, on the backside of the tomb are winding stairs that lead to the receiving vault, the first place Lincoln was interred. The paths are beautiful, especially in autumn. If one follows the trails, he or she will pass several of Springfield’s more famous residents, including Vachel Lindsay, Susan Lawrence Dana, and Nellie Satoris Jones, daughter of Ulysses S. Grant. It is a peaceful place to wander and celebrate the life of an amazing leader, all the while enjoying the beauty of nature.