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Travel Guide: Exploring Springfield, The Land of Lincoln

My fascination with history started when I was young. As a kid, I loved learning about the past which included frequent trips to the library and museum. I’ll never forget in 7th Grade when our teachers took us down to Springfield and Salem, IL. to learn about President Abraham Lincoln. I vowed that one day I would come back and a few weeks ago I finally got that chance.  Now that I have the boychild he too is obsessed with history. He’s been asking a lot of questions about Abraham Lincoln, so I decided spring break was the perfect time to take him to Springfield to learn more about Lincoln and to see what Springfield has to offer.

Since Springfield is only 3 hours away from us, it was the perfect quick getaway. We stayed at State House Inn in Springfield, which is centrally located near all of the attractions we wanted to see while in Springfield.



The hotel was on a clean and quiet street and the staff was extremely friendly.  After we checked in we headed to our room to rest before dinner. Our room included a bedroom and living room which was perfect for the boychild and I. 20160324_193706

I relaxed in the room while he spent his time in the living room, watching tv and doing things that boys do. Our room included a refrigerator and sink which was perfect for storing our food and drinks. It also included a desk that gave me room to get work done when were weren’t out and about.


After getting some much needed rest it was time for us to get something to eat. For dinner we stopped by a local Springfield favorite, Darcy’s Pint.


Since this was my first time visiting Springfield in over 20 years I wanted to try what the locals ate so my waitress suggested I order a horseshoe. A horseshoe is basically an open face sandwich with meat, cheese, fries and more fries on garlic bread. I ordered the steak and mushroom horseshoe and when I tell you it took everything in me not to eat the entire sandwich. I promise it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in my life. I paired my horseshoe with a cocktail and Darcy’s Pint quickly became a favorite of mine. I’m home now but I’m tempted to take the 3 hour drive just to get another horseshoe and cocktail…don’t judge me!


Before I bit into my horseshoe, I ordered potato skins for an appetizer. I don’t know what kind of cheese D’Arcy Pint uses but I’m convinced God made it himself. This was not apart of my diet but I couldn’t resist the food was just that good.20160324_210241

After that amazing meal we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the next day’s activities…

The next morning, we started our day off with breakfast at the Infamous Charlie Parker’s another Springfield favorite. Since I was still full from the night before I opted for a breakfast sandwich and hot chocolate while the boychild got the mouse pancakes. If you are looking for a diner-style restaurant while visiting Springfield,  Charlie Parker’s is the restaurant for you.


After breakfast it was time to head to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I don’t know who was more excited me or the boychild.

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It was a great experience for the boychild because he got to learn things about Abraham Lincoln that he didn’t read in his textbooks. Even though I was impressed with his overall knowledge of President Lincoln, it never hurts to learn more.

20160325_132651Here he is posing with Abraham Lincoln and his family.


I was pleasantly surprised at how much Black History the museum had, as it was my favorite subject growing up. I love to see when museums embrace different cultures. Above is a statue of Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass.


What’s a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Museum without a picture with John Wilkes Booth the man who assassinated Lincoln?


We also got to learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd and how women dressed during her area.

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Just like today there was tons of social rivalry, how a woman dressed is what set her apart from others. Here are a few examples of dresses worn my Mary Todd’s social rivals.
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The attention paid to detail was beyond amazing. I swear, I would dress like this today. I live for an elaborate dress. There were so many amazing things to see this is just half of it. Stay tuned for the next post to see more of what we got into while visiting Springfield, IL. Special thanks to Springfield for taking care of me and the boychild.

About the author

Raijean Stroud

Fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogger based in Chicago and founder of Swa-Rai.com, Swa-Rai Media Group and Bleeding Heart Project. Launched in 2010, Swa-Rai discusses a range of topics including: fashion, beauty and lifestyle experiences which includes travel, tech, family, dining and so much more! When not in Chicago, Raijean can be found traveling around the country covering some of the hottest events! She can be spotted in places such as New York for covering events such as Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronics Show), LA for Lucky FABB and more! When she's not traveling she's in Chicago, interviewing celebrities and covering exclusive events.

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