Illinois – Land of Lincoln

The sixth largest state by population in the United States, Chicago has a diverse economic base with natural resources, agricultural productivity and the many waterways that make it a major transportation hub.

With tons of museums, parks and history there is plenty to do and see. In Chicago the world’s first Skyscraper was built in 1885 and then the first Aquarium opened in 1893. Make sure to wear your dancing shoes, the Illinois state dance is square dancing.


Chi-Town is a city of many things; sports, major transportation hub, numerous landmarks and visual and musical arts.

Chicago is serious about sports. They have the third most major sports league franchises in North America, behind only New York and Los Angeles. There are two MLB teams, the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs, the oldest Major League Baseball to have never changed their city. The NFL Chicago Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including a 1985 Super Bowl XX win. The Chicago Bulls is one of the most recognized NBA teams in the world thanks in part largely to Michael Jordan who, in the 1990s, helped them win six NBA championships in eight seasons. The city is also home to the NHL Chicago Blackhawks and the MLS Chicago Fire Club.

Bringing in$680 billion in 2017, Chicago has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world. This is largely due to being a huge transportation hub. O’Hare International Airport is one of the top thirty busiest airports in the world. Six of the seven largest railroads all meet in Chicago making it the largest railroad hub in the industry. The Port of Chicago has several major port terminals and the city has the biggest number of U.S. highways.

In 2018 Chicago was the second most visited city in the nation with 58 million visitors. They were no doubt coming in to explore all the magnificent landmarks Chicago has to offer.

  • The Navy Pier – a 3,300-foot-long pier off Lake Michigan. Chicago’s number one tourist attraction, you will find 50 acres of shops, parks, restaurants, and gardens to explore.
  • Willis Tower or Sears Tower – Completed in 1973 this skyscraper stands 1,450 feet tall and is 110 stories. It is currently the second-tallest building in the United States.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo – this 35-acre zoo was founded in 1868 making it one of the oldest zoos in North America. Bonus, it’s also one of the few zoos that is free admission!
  • Millennium Park – a public park that covers 24.5-acres and in the second most visited tourist attraction behind the Navy Pier. The park boasts a variety of public art and a civic center near the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Another of the many things on Chicago’s list is the arts. The city is known for many world-renowned theater companies; The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the historic Gateway Theatre. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world, calling Symphony Center home. Professional dance companies Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Festival Ballet perform at different venues, including Harris Theater in Millennium Park.

An affordable way to enjoy all of the big sports action in Illinois is to become a Dish Network customer. But before we get into the many wonderful benefits of taking advantage of all that Dish has to offer, take a moment to learn more about Illinois.


Consistently ranked within the Top 10 Best Mannered Cities in American, Peoria is the biggest city on the Illinois River. Named after the Peoria tribe, it is the oldest European settlement in the state. The city consists of beautiful landscapes, parks and trails. In 1910 Theodore Roosevelt drove through Grandview Drive which runs through Peoria and called it “the world’s most beautiful drive”.

The city is also filled with quite a bit of history. The Peoria Symphony Orchestra is the 10th oldest in the nation. The Peoria Players are the fourth oldest community theater in the nation. The city also homes the Peoria Ballet, Peoria Municipal Band and the Youth Music Illinois.

Peoria has a deep history in medicine which has become a big part of their economy. The city boasts three major hospitals and the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, the largest of the Agricultural Research Service Centers, which researches and develops new technology to improve the environment. It is also home to the lab that first produced the mass production of penicillin.

Another historical adventure is the Peoria Riverfront Museum. It includes a planetarium and a huge screen theater. Honoring Caterpillar Inc. whose world headquarters was held in Peoria for 110 years until 2018 when it was moved to Deerfield, is a Caterpillar World Visitors Center. The best part of the museum is the “Illinois River Encounter” which describe the ecology, history and the working of the river that is flows right outside the museum.


With a population of about 150,00, Rockford is in the far northwestern Illinois. There is plenty to do in third-largest city in the state, home to several museums, beautiful architecture and all their outdoor activities.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the Lake-Peterson house was one of Illinois finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture built in 1873. It is now owned by the Swedish American Hospital.

In a more modern direction, the renowned Coronado Theatre was listed as one of 150 Great Places in Illinois by the American Institute of Architects for its Art Deco and Spanish Revival. The Faust Hotel, Rockford’s tallest building, was built in 1929 and is located next to the Coronado.

Another location on the 150 Great Places in Illinois are the Anderson Japanese Gardens. This 12-acre garden is filled with ponds, streams, numerous waterfalls and a tea house. The gardens sit on the home of John R. Anderson who established the garden in 1978. They were landscaped by Hoichi Kurisu after Anderson visited the Portland Japanese Garden, which was also designed by Kurisu.

The Forest City, known for its abundance of elm trees has several other gardens worth visiting:

  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
  • Nicholas Conservatory

Located on the Rock River, the Burpee Museum of Natural History is rich in prehistoric history. The museum is home to Jane, the most complete juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex found to date. Jane was found in Montana, was 11 years old when she died and probably weighed 1,500 pounds. Based off the Mazon Creek fossil beds, a two-story tall prehistoric coal forest is made that showcases life-size insects and amphibians from 300 million years ago.

To go along with the fossils are exhibits to the history of mankind in North America. Items such as Dish Installationan American Bison, a dugout canoe, and several house dwellings used by the Native Americans are on display.

Illinois is a lovely state, but the winters can be snowy and harsh. Why shut yourself in without any entertainment when you could lock in Dish Network’s low monthly rate? This satellite provider offers unique programming for all sorts of people. It’s not surprising that it was ranked number one by J.D. Power.


Like many of the cities in Illinois, Champaign is full of arts, history and beautiful scenery. The city is known for the sprawling campus of the University of Illinois as well as being a hub to many technology startup companies. Champaign is home to office for IBM, Sony, State Farm and numerous other Fortune 500 companies.

Speaking of technology, Champaign is home to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Blue Waters. What it would take a human millions of years to calculate, Blue Waters can complete in a single second.

After all that computing why not relax with a walk or bike ride. In 2015 Champaign was named one the Best Places to Walk or Bike by Time Magazine. Or head downtown to shop in the over 250 boutiques, antique and big-name stores. In the evening enjoy a festival or two. Always celebrating music, art, food and more there is always a festival going on.

Expand your horizons by checking out any of the eleven museum and nature center the city has to offer. The Krannert Art Museum is located on campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a dedicated space of 48,000 square feet. The museum specializes in Egyptian art, Asian art, 20th-century art and pre-Columbian art.

As for outdoor activities the city has thousands of acres perfect for hiking, including 5 forest reserves. There are numerous parks and gardens to explore with mature forests and aquatic centers to keep busy.

Residents can relax at home and watch any number of sports programs on Dish Network’s wide array of offerings. Customers always have access to an affordable, convenient menu of benefits, channels and programs. For more information, and to start getting all that Dish Network has to offer, check out the website.

Illinois Sounds Perfect, But Not So Fast

There are a few cons to living in the “Prairie State” that you need to make sure you are ready for.

  1. If you haven’t been through an Illinois winter, then you haven’t really seen one yet. The winters are extremely harsh, long and unforgiving. Blizzards are common and can become costly, not to mention you will have to invest in some great winter attire.
  2. Chicago alone has contributed to 10% of the nation’s increase in homicide rates within the last couple of years.
  3. Decline in population. A local news station labeled Illinois as the “most moved from state” in 2017. In 2015 the state saw a loss of roughly 125,000 residents. The reason for the decline seems to be rising crime rates, unbearable winters and rising taxes.


Nicor Gas

Headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, is a natural gas distribution company. They are the largest natural gas distributer in the state delivering to over 2.2 million customers. Owning and operating one of the biggest natural gas aquifer storage systems in North America, Nicor has been serving Illinois for six decades.

On a positive note, Nicor Gas has received several awards, including 2018 Top Utility Environmental Champion, 2018 Most Trusted Utility Brand, 2017 Customer Champion, and 2017 Most Trusted Utility Brand.

The Power Company

The Power Company, TPC, is an energy services company helping residents take advantage of deregulated energy rates and providing energy efficient solutions. As an independent company, TPC can help lower your rates with competitive supplier bidding until they find the right rate for you.

Their E3 Energy Efficiency Experts will then do an audit and come up with recommendations on products and services that can help reduce your energy use.

Dish Network

Dish Network has the better choices for your budget than any other TV providers, with prices guaranteed for 2 years. Number one in Dish Networkcustomer service, Dish has 24/7 customer support and is available anywhere.

Dish is also dedicated to the communities they live and work in with Dish Cares. As part of this program, Dish helps provide support to areas hit by natural disasters providing satellite internet and TV service to aid in communication needs.

Right now, in Illinois, Dish is offering a $75 Cash Back rebate. You can also get the latest technology with the Hopper that allows you to record up to 3 HD channels at once. Call now and bundle to save with internet starting at $20/mo*.

*Restrictions apply. Subject to availability.


Illinois is a wonderful place with lots of things to do and see. When you’re not visiting Metropolis (yes, the home of superman is a real city) or having a pint of beer for Saint Patrick’s Day next to the green (dyed) Chicago River, you can rest easy knowing there is plenty to keep you busy indoors with your Dish Network. During those harsh winter Chicago Bears, Da Bears, games you can watch warmly from your couch on your Dish Network Hopper.