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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Illinois, stretching from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, embraces vast, rich farmlands, the giant city of Chicago, rolling glacial plains and, to the south, the hills and valleys of the Illinois Ozarks. Illinois boasts 6,900km (4,300 miles) of scenic shoreline, 1,100 historic sites and half a million acres of state parks. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president, spent most of his professional (he was a lawyer) and political life here. Nicknamed the ‘Windy City‘, Chicago is one of the world's giant trade, industry and transportation centres and the birthplace of the skyscraper. In contrast, its Lake Michigan shoreline is dotted with sandy beaches, hundreds of parks, harbors, zoos and vast expanses of forest reserve. It is one of the USA's largest cities and the hub of the Midwest.The inhabitants in the 'Chicagoland' area speak more than 50 languages, making it the most ethnically diverse city in the USA. For visitors to the USA, it is the gateway to the cities and farmlands of Illinois, Indiana and the recreation areas of Wisconsin