Springfield, Illinois is the state capital of Illinois and according to residents, one of the best places to live, work, and play. Home to more than 116,000 Illini, the county seat of Sangamon County is comprised of an urban core and its associated neighborhoods as well as several surrounding communities that make up the greater Springfield area. Some of those communities include Andrew, Archer, Athens, Barclay, Berry, Bissell, Bolivia, Bradfordton, Breckenridge, Buckhart, Cantrall, Chatham, Dawson, Devereux Heights, Fancy Prairie, Glenarm, Grandview, Jerome, Leland Grove, Mechanicsburg, New City, Riddle Hill, Riverton, Rochester, Sherman, Southern View, Spaulding, Springfield, Toronto, and Williamsville.
Essential to linking the surrounding communities to the city of Springfield is an understanding of the interstate system that weaves its way through the Midwestern countryside. The I-55 runs from Laplace, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois and is 875 miles in length. Interestingly, the interstate is also the only one of its kind in the nation to cross the Mississippi River twice. The I-72 begins in Hannibal, Missouri and ends in Champaign, Illinois. Unlike the I-55, the I-72 only covers a length of 184 miles. As with all freeways in the interstate system, the odd-numbered I-55 runs in the north-south direction while the even-numbered I-72 runs in the east-west direction.
Together, the communities that surround Springfield make up a very diverse group of towns, villages, and neighborhoods. Some are just on the fringe of Springfield while some are several miles away. Some have only two hundred residents while some have several thousand people. Some are quiet urban or suburban while many others are rural and actually quite isolated. These differences speak to the sheer diversity of the area around Springfield. Residents who decide to move to Springfield find that they can find their perfect piece of real estate if they spend enough time looking. A rural country farm could be just as far away from the central business district of Springfield as a suburban townhouse.
Tourism in Springfield and the are around the city thrives on a number of landmarks and attractions that can be found in the city itself and as far as twenty miles from the city center, including the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, the Lincoln Depot, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.