Big city fun with small city hospitality is what you’ll find in Joliet, IL. Located under an hour southwest of Chicago (and easily accessible by train!) the City of Champions has everything you need for a sensational summer getaway. History, architecture, sports, theatre, and more will keep you entertained all day.
Joliet’s oldest building is also one of its newest attractions – the Old Joliet Prison. This historic site was in operation from 1858 until 2002 and has been featured in a number of film and television productions, most notably in “The Blues Brothers” movie. After nearly two decades without use, the Joliet Area Historical Museum took control of the property and – with the help of thousands of local volunteers – reopened the site as a tourist destination telling the important stories of the people who lived and worked there for almost 150 years. The Prison hosts self-guided tours daily in the summer, with special guided, “After Dark,” and “Guard Tours” on select days.
Summer in Joliet
A summer in Joliet isn’t complete without a trip to see the Joliet Slammers baseball team. The Slammers, named after the Prison, host lively home games at Duly Health and Care Field in the heart of Downtown Joliet. The Slammers put on the area’s best fireworks shows after Friday night games as well as extremely popular theme nights throughout the season. Baseball fans who love craft beer can grab a few brews at Joliet’s first microbrewery, MyGrain Brewing, right across the street. MyGrain also serves up delicious entrees that complement their wide range of locally brewed beers on tap.
Joliet is also famously home to the historic Rialto Square Theatre. Built as a vaudeville movie palace in 1926, the Rialto now hosts national touring acts and offers behind the scenes tours. Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Jerry Seinfeld, and Taylor Swift have all played at the Rialto. Still considered one of the most gorgeous theaters in the United States, this is a can’t miss destination. Take advantage of the Rialto’s behind the scenes tours that let you escape the sun and immerse yourself in stunning architectural details, like the esplanade designed after the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. Lucky tour groups will even get to visit the green room and see the massive wall of signatures from past performers.
Mousa Tapas Bar is Joliet’s newest foodie hotspot serving eclectic tapas, charcuterie & mains from the Mediterranean plus wine & craft cocktails served in a cozy, comfortable setting. From the newest to one of the oldest, Al’s Steakhouse has been a longtime favorite upscale dining restaurant in Joliet. Al’s has spent over 60 years building their reputation serving the best charbroiled steaks in the area. Steak aficionados should also check out The Reserve Steakhouse at Harrah’s Joliet Hotel & Casino and CUT 158 Chophouse – also a popular martini bar!
If you’re in the mood for some live music with your drinks, try Elder Brewing Co., Joliet’s second microbrewery, focusing on local craft beer, live music, and art. With a side room designed for great audio and a large backlot space, you’ll find great up-and-coming musicians playing most weekends.
Music lovers should plan a trip around the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s extremely popular Summer Rooftop Concert series. The partially covered third-floor rooftop space offers incredible views of the downtown and the riverfront, and the lively shows often sell out. You can even see movie-worn Blues Brothers suits in the museum lobby!
Joliet is full of adventure, history, and great food – make plans to visit Joliet today! Check out VisitJoliet.com for more information.