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. 

One of Joliet’s oldest buildings 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 several film and television productions, most notably in “The Blues Brothers” movie. After two decades without use, the Joliet Area Historical Museum took control of the property and 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 from late spring through the fall, with special guided and flashlight tours available on occasion. 

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. This Slammers season will be the first under a new ownership group with strong roots in Chicago, baseball, and Chicago baseball. Actor Bill Murray is a part-owner of team, along with Mike & Night Train Veeck, son and grandson of the great White Sox owner of the 1970s, Bill Veeck.

Joliet is also home to the historic Rialto Square Theatre, a 1926 vaudeville movie palace that now hosts national touring acts and provides behind-the-scenes tours. Iconic performers such as Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, and Taylor Swift have all graced its stage. Still considered one of the most stunning theaters in the U.S., it is a must-see destination. Behind-the-scenes tours allow you to escape the sun and take in beautiful architectural details, including an esplanade inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. Lucky tour groups can even visit the green room and view a wall of signatures from past performers.

Foodies should not miss Joliet’s Mousa Greek Taverna, serving Mediterranean-inspired tapas, charcuterie, and main dishes in a cozy setting. For a taste of Joliet’s culinary history, visit Al’s Steakhouse, an upscale dining institution known for serving the best charbroiled steaks in the area for over 60 years. Steak enthusiasts can also visit The Reserve Steakhouse at Harrah’s Joliet Hotel & Casino and CUT 158 Chophouse, which doubles as a popular martini bar. If you’recraving the perfect taco, embark on the Joliet Taco Trail! This app-guided tour hits up eight of the best taquerias in town.

Music lovers should plan to attend the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s Summer Rooftop Concert series. The partially covered third-floor rooftop space offers stunning views of downtown and the riverfront, with lively shows that often sell out. While there, be sure to view the movie-worn Blues Brothers suits on display in the museum lobby!

Three new museums have opened their doors in Joliet this year. The Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 is dedicated to celebrating the state’s musical heritage and educating visitors about its diverse music history, displaying artifacts from artists with ties to Illinois who have achieved national and international acclaim.

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The Planinsek Grocery and Meat Market Museum preserves the Slovenian immigrant experience in Joliet and their lasting cultural impact on the city through the lens of the Planinsek family’s corner grocery store. And opened just this spring is the Joliet Railroad Museum, a former interlocking signal tower from 1913 known locally as Union Depot Tower that was preserved and incorporated into the city’s new Gateway Center Train Station.

Joliet is bursting with adventure, history, and delectable food. Plan your visit to Joliet today! For more information, visit