Chicago is arguably one of America’s greatest cities. Known as the ‘home of the blues,’ Chicago became a refuge for thousands of African Americans who fled the Jim Crow laws of the South and brought with them a new form of American music. But Chicago isn’t the state’s only great city - Illinois has been an urban hotspot since ancient times. Cahokia, once home to thousands of Native Americans, was America’s first city and is now the largest archaeological site in the U.S., according to National Geographic. Cahokia featured a central plaza as big as 45 football fields, where athletic events and religious proceedings, including ritual human sacrifice, took place. Illinois isn’t smothered in cities, far from it. Farms raise corn, soy, hogs and cattle over 80 percent of its land. State Parks abound as well. The Garden of the Gods Recreation Area is part of the Shawnee National Forest and features rock formations and cliffs with evocative names like Camel Rock and the Devil’s Smoke Stack. Kickapoo State Park is great for families, with fishing and boating in deep-water ponds as well as the Middle Fork River. The University of Chicago Medical Center is has been awarded national rankings in 12 adult and 9 pediatric medical specialties, according to U.S. News and World Report.