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View the 2024 Tourism Guide

It’s hard to describe in just a few paragraphs why Bureau County is such a great place to visit. Many people have turned their visit into a permanent stay after falling in love with the area. We are located in north central Illinois, just an hour east of the Quad Cities and two hours west of downtown Chicago.

Princeton is the county seat and also the largest city in the county. It is centrally located right on Interstate 80. Route 6, Route 26, Route 29 and Route 34 all intersect in Princeton. There is also an Amtrak railroad station located in town. A variety of stores are located in Princeton with everything from antiques to fashion to farm implements. There are (23) villages located in Bureau County. Many of these villages have shops and restaurants that are a treasure to discover as you travel. You never know what you might find as you travel the back roads.

Bureau County is a photographers’ paradise. Travel the back roads and you might see white tailed deer, cardinals, flocks of geese, fields of sunflowers or freshly baled hay. A particularly scenic place to visit is the historic Hennepin Canal. Walk, bicycle or ride a horse along its banks during each of the four seasons for an ever varying change of scenery. You can cross over the Bureau Creek on the historic Red Covered Bridge or the new Captain Swift Covered Bridge.

There is always a wide variety of entertainment for your family to enjoy. The sports fan can take their choice of all kinds of high school sports, motocross racing, APBA Pro National boat racing, running, bicycling, golfing, hunting and fishing. Car shows, cruises, flea markets, garden walks, concerts, art shows, home tours and antique shows are also popular events.

Festival 56, Illinois’ largest summer theatre festival, presents a ten show season of plays and musicals each summer and fall, featuring free performances of Shakespeare and a variety of Broadway musicals and classic and contemporary plays.

For the history buffs amongst you, our county is proud to offer a considerable selection of Museums to explore, each full of wonderful displays and informative exhibits telling a piece of the Bureau County story and how her citizens have grown and prospered over the years. For those in search of their roots, may we suggest the Genealogical Society in Princeton, an extensive resource in discovering your family tree and its history.

The Bureau County Fair has been bringing family and friends together every summer since 1855 with an abundance of thrills, attractions and entertainment. Likewise, many of our villages and communities host annual summer festivals and events overflowing with great food, music and fun for the entire family.

You won’t go hungry in Bureau County. Some of the food items that we are noted for include famous tavern fried chicken, pork and beef, pizza, cheese and ice cream. Stop by our regular farmers markets for strawberries, sweet corn, vegetables and freshly baked items.

We have only touched on a slice of the things that make a trip to Bureau County so much fun. Please, take some time to explore our site, our upcoming events and our featured attractions. We hope you and your family plan on visiting us sometime soon for a day, a week, or maybe, just maybe, forever…We would love to have you!

Contact Bureau County Tourism:

205 South 5th Street, Princeton, IL 61356

Phone: 815-866-3606