Joliet Travel Guide

Read this comprehensive guide for a list of places to visit, the best things to do, food and drink scene, where to stay, and more info on Joliet, Illinois.

Introduction to Joliet

Located in the South Suburbs of Chicagoland in Illinois, Joliet is a charming city boasting a mix of rich history, natural beauty, and modern city attractions. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s cultural heritage, outdoor adventures, or culinary scene, Joliet is an ideal pick for your next vacation destination.

List of Places to Visit in Joliet

Here is a complete list of the best places to visit in Joliet that offer something for everyone.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Joliet Area Historical Museum
  2. Old Joliet Prison Park
  3. Route 66 Visitor Center and Joliet Area Historical Museum Gift Shop
  4. Rialto Square Theatre
  5. Joliet Iron Works Historic Site

Natural Attractions of Joliet: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory
  2. Des Plaines Conservation Area
  3. Rock Run Preserve
  4. Pilcher Park Nature Center
  5. Forest Preserve District of Will County

Hiking/Biking Routes of Joliet

For those looking for scenic walks or biking routes to enjoy in Joliet, there are several options to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. I&M Canal Trail
  2. Rock Run Greenway Trail
  3. Hammel Woods Trail
  4. Centennial Trail
  5. Lake Renwick Preserve Trail

Best Things to Do in Joliet: Activities and Tours

  1. Harrah’s Joliet Casino
  2. Chicagoland Speedway
  3. Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park and Theatre
  4. Joliet Junior College Renaissance Center
  5. Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park

Week-Long Itinerary for Joliet

Here is a suggested week-long itinerary for your trip to Joliet:

Day 1: Visit the Joliet Area Historical Museum, followed by dinner at Al’s Steakhouse, a Joliet institution serving hearty Italian-American cuisine.

Day 2: Head to the Rialto Square Theatre and catch a show, visit the Route 66 Visitor Center, and then have lunch at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill.

Day 3: Take a scenic hike along the I&M Canal Trail, have a picnic lunch at Rock Run Preserve, and then visit the Pilcher Park Nature Center.

Day 4: Spend the day at Harrah’s Joliet Casino and try your luck at the table games and slot machines.

Day 5: Visit the picturesque Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory, followed by a relaxing afternoon at Hammel Woods Trail.

Day 6: Check out the haunts at Statesville Haunted Prison and then have dinner at Truth Italian Restaurant, serving authentic Italian cuisine.

Day 7: Head to the Chicagoland Speedway and catch a race, then have dinner at Joliet’s oldest restaurant, The Public Landing.

Food and Drink Scene of Joliet

No trip to Joliet is complete without indulging in the city’s delicious local cuisine. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Italian beef sandwiches from Al’s Steakhouse
  2. Deep-dish pizza from Chicago Street Pub
  3. Italian sausage sandwich from Fratello’s Hot Dogs
  4. Gyros from Gjiro’s Cafe
  5. Burgers from Jameson’s Pub

Local Beverages

  1. Joliet Junction Cream Ale from MyGrain Brewing Company
  2. Wine from Wine & Cheese by TCC
  3. Whiskey from Joliet’s Union Brewing and Distilling Co.

Where to Stay in Joliet: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

For those planning to stay in Joliet, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our top picks:

  1. Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel
  2. Hollywood Casino Joliet Hotel
  3. Hampton Inn Joliet I-55
  4. Home2 Suites by Hilton Joliet Plainfield
  5. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Joliet North/Plainfield

What to Buy in Joliet: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Joliet has numerous places to shop for souvenirs or local products to bring home as mementos. Here are our recommendations:

  1. Joliet Iron Works Historic Site Gift Shop
  2. Route 66 Visitor Center and Joliet Area Historical Museum Gift Shop
  3. Wine & Cheese by TCC
  4. Gifts Galore
  5. Joliet Antique Mall

Local Culture and Customs of Joliet

The people of Joliet uphold their cultural values and traditions. Expect to experience a welcoming and diverse community that values family and the history of the city and its surrounding area.

Best Time to Visit Joliet

The best time to visit Joliet is between May and October, when the weather is mild, and outdoor activities are abundant.

Do’s and Don’ts of Joliet


  1. Try the local cuisine
  2. Visit the historical sites and museums
  3. Explore the outdoors
  4. Embrace the city’s cultural heritage
  5. Stay at the city’s local hotels


  1. Litter
  2. Disrespect the cultural traditions and customs of the city
  3. Engage in illegal activities
  4. Exceed the speed limit on the roads
  5. Forget your sunscreen!

Safety and Health

Safety in Joliet

Joliet has a crime rate higher than the national average, so always remain aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Joliet

Joliet has plenty of medical clinics and hospitals to choose from if necessary. For those with preexisting health conditions, consult your healthcare provider before traveling.

Getting to Joliet: Transportation Options and Logistics

Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, there are several transportation options to get to Joliet.

Airports Near Joliet

The nearest international airport to Joliet is Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). Other regional airports include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD).

Bus Stations Near Joliet

Greyhound has a bus station located at 143 E Cass St in Joliet.

Other Options

There are several options for traveling to Joliet, including taking the train on Amtrak’s Illinois Service or the METRA BNSF Railway.

How to Get Around in Joliet

To get around Joliet, the easiest option is renting a car. Rental companies such as Avis, Enterprise, and Budget have outlets in Joliet. Alternatively, there are cab services and public transportation options like buses.

Where to Go Next from Joliet: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, nearby cities like Aurora and Naperville offer plenty of activities to explore.


Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or enjoy outdoor adventures, Joliet has something to offer. With its unique cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery, it’s a destination you won’t want to miss.