A girl riding the Sizzler at the Illinois State Fair
Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune

Taking a ride on the Sizzler at the Illinois State Fair

Hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to swarm Springfield this weekend to see the llama show, taste the fried key lime pie, and more at the annual Illinois State Fair. Whether you want to spend your time watching the demo derby or listening to Ke$ha, you can build your perfect weekend with the packed State Fair schedules available on the event’s website. One thing not listed? Where to stay. Here are four options for where to set up camp this weekend (rates shown reflect the lowest priced rooms available on August 16, as of press time).

The Hilton Springfield
700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530; from $109
The centrally located Hilton towers over the Old State Capitol, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and the rest of downtown Springfield (check out the panoramic view of the city at the 30th-floor Pinnacle Club). With 365 guest rooms—including 21 suites—all at the Hilton standards of cleanliness and modernity, it’s the perfect base for your State Fair weekend.

The State House Inn
101 E. Adams St., 217-528-5100; from $110
The hotel/conference center borrows its design ideas from the 1960s—each of the 100 standard rooms features fun vintage desks, chairs, and lamps. If you’re not heading to the fair, consider the $325 Four for Fun package: one night stay in a deluxe room and four tickets to the Knights Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and the Route 66 Drive-in Theatre.

The President Abraham Lincoln Hotel
701 E. Adams St., 217-544-8800; from $135
For history buffs, the charming 230-room spot is all about Lincoln—pictures of the president adorn the lobby, and the presidential museum is right around the corner. The 310 stylish guest rooms were just recently redone (the hotel freshened up its look in 2011), and there is a restaurant and pub on site if you’re sick of the fried everything at the fair.

The Inn at 835
835 S. Second St., 217-523-4466; from $129
The historic hotel (and Springfield landmark) boasts 13 turn-of-the-century guest rooms, each with its own perks—on the low-end, the Magnolia Room ($129 a night) features a queen bed and claw-foot tub; the three-bedroom Orchid suite ($199 a night) has a private veranda with views of the Capitol. For the Champagne lovers, start your day with the $40 Breakfast in Bed package: breakfast entrée, fresh flowers, chilled juice, and of course, premium bubbles.