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Pritzker touts ‘Time to Drive’ for tourism despite gas price

Time for Me to Drive Illinois Campaign

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP/WREX) - Illinois governor unveiled a splashy tourism campaign this month called "Time for Me to Drive."

It touts hot spots from Galena to the Shawnee National Forest with lyrics set to a 1970s hit by Illinois band REO Speedwagon.

But Democrat J.B. Pritzker left out a key factor: The highest gas prices since 2014. Pritzker seemed unfazed when asked about it last week.

But so are motorists apparently. AAA estimates 34 million people will travel by car through Memorial Day weekend.

A spokeswoman says gas prices rarely dissuade travel but motorists cut back in other places.

Here's a full list of places highlighted to visit by the governor's office:

Outdoors & Regional 

  • Destination Shawnee – From ziplining and horseback riding adventures to hiking surrounded by majestic rock formations, there’s no better place to explore the outdoors than the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. 
  • Girls Trip to Galena - From hot air balloon rides and wine tastings, to strolling down Historic Main Street and even trekking with goats, a girls trip to Galena is one to remember. 
  • Chicago’s Greatest Hits – This itinerary features the top things to do in the Second City. Experience the Chicago Riverwalk, soak in the skyline with an architecture river cruise, bike the lakefront, shop the Mag Mile, and enjoy countless places to get Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs, and many other local favorites. 

Offbeat Illinois  

  • Roadside Distractions - White squirrels, pink elephants, sasquatches, giants, supermen—they all call Illinois home. The trip includes a stop at Bald Knob Cross, Popeye in Chester, Superman in Metropolis and a picture with Sassy the Bigfoot near Garden of the Gods. If you’re the type of traveler who thinks normal is boring and the quirkier the better, this is the road trip for you. 

Family Fun 

  • Instant Childhood Memories - Chicago’s surrounding cities, from Gurnee to Rockford, offer amusement park thrills, captivating museums, gorgeous gardens and splash-filled stays to create lasting memories for the whole family.  
  • Best of Springfield - Learn about Abraham Lincoln and explore Route 66 in Springfield. Dive into family fun, outdoor adventure, experience a drive-in movie theater and taste the “original” corn dog on a stick.  
  • Family Field Trip to Chicago – Chicago is a favorite destination for every generation. Visit world-class museums and attractions including the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, explore the wildlife at Lincoln Park Zoo or Brookfield Zoo and go ziplining at Go Ape Adventures in Western Springs.


  • Enter the Architectural Revolution - Illinois’ architecture is second to none. From gazing over Chicago’s towering skyline to marveling over the Illinois State Capitol’s impressive rotunda in Springfield, it’s an architecture lover’s dream. 
  • The Wright Stuff - Illinois is a larger-than-life gallery filled with many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces. Tour 13 of his most renowned buildings, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and experience the sites designed by the legend himself.

Arts, Culture, History  

  • Illinois’ African American History - African American history is deep-rooted in Illinois. Discover museums that celebrate African American culture, and art and visit the sites where freedom seekers traveled along the Underground Railroad. Wherever you explore, Illinois welcomes you to embrace the powerful legacy of its African American roots.  
  • The Birthplace of the Road Trip - The legendary Route 66 begins in Illinois and offers road trippers 300 miles of vintage, quirky, and larger-than-life roadside attractions.  

For more information on the road trip itineraries, visit

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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Associated Press

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