In a bunch of states south of our state of Illinois, the season of Fall isn't wildly different than the other three seasons, with the exception of an all-out obsession with college football and maybe some cool weather.

Here in Illinois, we've got literally an entire state to explore for the best in Fall foliage and colors starting around the first of October each year.

Before we get to the Illinois spot that survey respondents named as the best hidden gem for checking out the colorful Fall leaves, I'll share my favorite spot for Fall foliage. It's the drive down Route 2 along the Rock River from Rockford to Byron, then on to Oregon and Dixon. Having lived around here my entire life, it's my pick for one of the best ways to enjoy the colorful spectacular that Fall in Illinois really is.

This guy looks awesome in Autumn. (Eyewitness News, Facebook)
Getty Images
This Southern Illinois spot is pretty okay, too. (Getty Images)

3,000 People Were Asked To Share Their Pick For The Hidden Gems Or Under-The-Radar Spots They Head For To See The Leaves Change In Fall

You'd think that a company that makes photo books would know a thing or two about colorful and photogenic spots around the country, and you'd be right. recently released the results of their survey, and out of the 150 spots named around the country, Illinois has three of them.

Coming in at number-one in Illinois (and 24th overall in the entire country), is Starved Rock State Park. (By the way, click here to learn the horrifying reason Starved Rock got its name to begin with.)

Getty Images
Getty Images

The other two Illinois locations to make's list are Castle Rock State Park in Ogle County (#2 in Illinois and #66 nationwide), and Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton (#3 in Illinois and #98 nationwide).

Per the Mixbook survey, here are the Top 5 “under-the-radar” destinations around the country

1. Sterling Forest State Park, New York

2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

4. Mount Greylock State Reservation, Massachusetts

5. Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Maine

As a side note, it's Monday. If you need a little bit of de-stressing, take a look at this:

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Stacker created a list of 50 cozy American towns to visit each winter. Towns were selected based on visitor opinions, ratings from nationwide publications, and tourist attractions.

Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

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