Hollywood Casino Joliet brings the world of casino thrills to the Chicagoland area. But don’t limit yourself to the thrills you will find at the slots and tables. The Chicago suburb of Joliet, Illinois, is thriving with plenty of hot things to do when you need a break from the casino.
Today’s post covers a few of these locations and you can use it to build a dream vacation itinerary to the area. And since you’re so close to Chicago, what you will find below is just a sliver of all the things there are to do in the area.
Best yet, you will find places to explore that fit all ages and interest levels. So, if you came to the area with family or those too young for the casino floor, you have plenty of fun outlets to turn to.
Ready to discover what lies beyond the Illinois gambling scene? Let’s go.
Pilcher Park serves several functions in the area. For one, it’s the ideal place for hiking and connecting with nature’s beauty. But it goes so far beyond that. At Pilcher Park, you will also come across programs for kids of all ages, a nature center, wildlife, and even a historical society.
The park embraces the culture of America’s Heartland and the Midwest. It’s a great way to discover which wild animals are native to the area and to get a taste of what life was like back in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
It’s a great place for the entire family to explore and yes, it has something out there for guests of all ages and interest levels. So, if you or your kids are looking for outdoor, recreational activities, you will find plenty of them at Pilcher Park.
Jacob Henry Mansion
An old, historic building featuring breathtaking architecture, the Jacob Henry Mansion is the perfect location to explore during an afternoon away from the casino floor.
Out back, you’ll find another building that holds wedding receptions, banquets, and other corporate gatherings and events at the mansion. A few reviewers have also praised the place for serving lunch as part of the tour.
And even cooler, a few reviewers are area natives who stumbled upon the historic site. You’re looking at a true diamond in the rough in the region that won’t take too much of your time away from Hollywood Casino Joliet.
It’s the perfect place to head over for a visit during a clear afternoon before you return to the casino games for an evening round of gambling.
Joliet Iron Works Historic Site
Right in Will County, the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site is a must-visit if you’re into the area’s history. Or, if you’d like to gain an understanding of Joliet, Illinois’ history, this is also a must-visit.
At the site, you will find protected blast furnaces and other protected remains from the old manufacturing plant that existed during the 19th and early portion of the 20th century.
And like Pilcher Park, the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site is also a fantastic place to connect with nature. They offer access to over 10 miles of paved limestone hiking trails, among other recreational amenities.
So, if you’re up for an outdoor workout but you’re craving more than just natural scenery, this is a fantastic place to visit. Or if you’re just looking to take a walk into nature and snap a few photos of the past, the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site is more than worth the trip.
Route 66 Park
Route 66 Park is a popular first stop on the Route 66 road trip. If you’re taking a casino road trip and you are stopping at Hollywood Casino Joliet for the day, be sure to start the true Route 66 road trip at Route 66 Park.
Come over and snap a photo of the famous Route 66 sign in the center of the park. They also have a cafe and ice cream parlor on site and reviewers warn that if you order a large ice cream for dessert, you will end up with a super-sized order.
Once you’re finished at Hollywood Casino and ready to embark on your tour of Route 66, or if you’re just looking for a famous landmark, head on over, grab lunch or dinner at the cafe, and don’t forget to stop at the ice cream saloon before you head back out.
Whether you’re on a road trip or if you’re just in town to snap a selfie with the Route 66 sign, this is definitely one of the top places to explore in the Joliet, Illinois, region.
Dirt Oval at Route 66
Like demolition derbies that will put those at your local state or county fair to shame?
Head over to the Dirt Oval at Route 66 and you will find the hardest-hitting demolition derbies you’ve ever seen. And the Dirt Oval at Route 66 prides itself on the nonstop crashing that you will witness.
At this ⅜-mile dirt oval, you will also discover monster truck events, off-road trucks, sprint cars, late models, and midgets.
You never know what kind of racing is going on at the Dirt Oval at Route 66, but it’s a surefire bet you will find just as much adrenaline-pumping action as you would at Hollywood Casino Joliet.
So, take your friends and family with you to witness thrills that no casino in America can bring. See the show, watch the competitors trade some paint and smash some cars, and brace yourself for an unforgettable evening of nonstop fun.
Joliet’s Splash Station Waterpark
Another great place to explore near Hollywood Casino Joliet that is suitable for all ages, Joliet’s Splash Station Waterpark is among the most fun attractions to frequent in the middle of summer.
Not only is it an ideal place for water activities, you can also take a break from the casino and have a picnic right at the park. Some reviewers on TripAdvisor caution that you can’t bring your own food or drinks. But they also said whether they enforce the rule is dependent on who is working.
Either way, come in and have lunch and embark on a fun, aqua-filled afternoon at Joliet’s Splash Station Waterpark. Reviewers have also cautioned that if you plan on heading over, be sure to arrive within an hour after they open. Tourists and locals pack this place, so if you want a table, go early.
Then, head over to the activities portion for endless fun that you can make an entire day of. Reviewers have commended the park’s cleanliness and the number of lifeguards on-site. So, you can leave your worries behind and go play in the water during those hot afternoons in the summertime.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Are you looking for a pricey yet unforgettable experience in the area?
As mentioned, the Richard Petty Driving Experience is pricey, starting per the website at $199.99 for just a five-minute drive around the 1.5-mile track. If that’s too much, you can always head over for a ride along at the track for just $99.99. And those are just when they’re running specials.
The normal prices start at $399.99, so you’re looking at over $100 per lap when you embark on the Richard Petty Driving Experience. But hey, it’s nothing that winning a jackpot at Hollywood Casino Joliet can’t cover, right?
If you’re lucky enough to win it, why not head over to the Richard Petty Driving Experience if they’re in town to spend some of your winnings?
A trip to the Richard Petty or Rusty Wallace Driving Experience is the ideal gift or experience if you’re a die-hard NASCAR fan. And by the end of it, you will finally realize what it’s like to drive such a heavy piece of machinery.
Enjoy a Day Off From Casino Gaming
Hollywood Casino Joliet has tons of thrills within its doors. But you’re shorting yourself if you don’t give yourself a few days to explore the area. And given its proximity to Chicago, you’re looking at a lot of fun places to embark on when you explore the Joliet, Illinois, area.
From the Richard Petty Driving Experience to historical mansions and everything in between, you have a fine region at your disposal just waiting to be explored. Set aside a few days and discover what’s waiting for you in Joliet, Illinois.
Have you been to Hollywood Casino Joliet? If so, did you go out and explore the area? Did you visit any of the locations on today’s post? Let us know in the comments and share your story. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.