Record-breaking, shriek-inducing, heart-racing, snack-munching, and walking in the footsteps of movie stars. From WTF to LOL, this is life in Illinois.

This isn't just any ordinary road trip you're about to take, it's a road trip to see some of the things that make Illinois unique.

7 Weird and Wonderful Things Illinois Is Known For

1. The Small Town of Casey, Illinois Holds 12 World Records

A tiny town in East Central Illinois, tucked between St. Louis, Missouri, and Indianapolis, Indiana with a population of just over 2,500 has quite a global reputation.

A reputation nobody would ever imagine could be true.

Guinness World Record Holders in Casey, Illinois:

  1. World's Largest Wind Chime
  2. World's Largest Golf Tee
  3. World's Largest Pitchfork
  4. World's Largest Rocking Chair
  5. World's Largest Wooden Shoes
  6. World's Largest Mailbox
  7. World's Largest Gavel
  8. World's Largest Truck Key
  9. World's Largest Barbershop Pole
  10. World's Largest Teeter Totter
  11. World's Largest Golf Driver
  12. World's Largest Swizzle Spoon

Here a some of the BIG things you'll see in Casey. You'll find some other interesting facts about Casey, including one thing that all these big items have in common when you click HERE.

Big Things in a Small Town via Facebook
Big Things in a Small Town via Facebook

RELATED: Small Town of Under 3,000 Just Dubbed IL’s Most Underrated Town

2. Illinois Has 9 Offical State Animals

There seems to be no limit to how many state animals a state can have.n New York has 10 state animals, Texas has 8, and Illinois and California have 9 state animals

The states of Iowa and Indiana have zero designated state animals. See what I mean, the 'state animal' thing is all pretty arbitrary.

Can you name all 9 of Illinois' official state animals, they're all in the photo below.

dottedhippo, Canva
dottedhippo, Canva
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There's one official animal that is actually the official state fossil, but it once was a shriek-inducing prehistoric sea creature with a strange and jagged mouth.

paleoart illustration showing an extinct Tullimonstrum creature
paleoart illustration showing an extinct Tullimonstrum creature (photo credit: dottedhippo)

If you can't name them all, you could click here for the full list of official Illinois state animals.

3. Chester, Illinois is the Home of Popeye

This little southern Illinois town just topped the list of the cheapest and safest places to live in Illinois list. Chester has an incredibly low crime rate and it's safer than 81% of cities in America.

Then there's the fun fact that Popeye's creator, Elzie C. Segar, was a resident of Chester when she created Popeye. There are more than a dozen tribute murals and monuments all over town.


RELATED: One of the Most Beautiful Drives in the U.S. is This 33 Miles of IL Road

4. One of the Best Rollercoasters in the World is In Illinois

My life was forever changed when I rode this world-record-breaking Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Great America theme park in Gurnee, Illinois.

Chicago Big Brothers, Big Sisters Experience Thrill of First Roller Coaster Ride with Help of Wyndham Rewards
Tasos Katopodis

Travel + Leisure chose the coaster Goliath, "the most extreme coaster of its kind, providing an adrenaline rush like no other." The travel site actually ranked the 19 Best Rollercoasters Around the World and Goliath is one of only six in the United States to make the list.


Goliath holds three world records, the world's fastest wooden coaster (72 mph), the world's tallest drop for a wooden coaster (180 feet), and the world's steepest drop for a wooden coaster at a near-vertical 85 degrees.

5. Twinkies were invented in Schiller Park, Illinois

Just outside Chicago, in Schiller Park, one of America's most beloved treats was created.

Hostess Twinkies Celebrate 75th Anniversary
Getty Images

It turns out that it's not as loved as you'd think, as it recently made the list of the Worst Rated Desserts in the World.

6. World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois

To get to the lid of this giant bottle, you'll need to climb 170 feet. Built in 1949, this catsup bottle roadside attraction in Collinsville is dubbed one of America's Most Unusual Things.

RELATED: 5 Unspoken Rules of the Chicago Dog and Best Places in IL to Get One

7. Walk in Bill Murray's footsteps in Woodstock, Illinois

Stay at Illinois' Famous Cherry Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast which was featured in Bill Murray's 1993 movie, Groundhog Day. YOu can even stay in the same suite he did. Many parts of the movie were also filmed around the town of Woodstock, also.

Cherry Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast via Facebook
Cherry Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast via Facebook
Real Woodstock via Facebook
Real Woodstock via Facebook

The town of Woodstock, Illinois throws quite a winter festival for Groundhog Day every year.

CAN YOU GUESS THE ANSWER: Who Tops The 5 Most Popular Athletes from IL List?

What Illinois License Plates Looked Like the Year You Were Born

Take a look at the history of Illinois license plates. This photo gallery includes every plate used in the Land of Lincoln from 1911 to 2023. 

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