The Firefly Grill in Effingham, Ill., is among the nominees for the virtualtourist.com "8th Wonder of the World" contest. / virtualtourist.com photo
Website virtualtourist.com is asking the planet to vote for the "8th wonder of the world" in its online contest.
Voting runs today through Sept. 30 at the site. Among the dozens and dozens of nominees are these Chicago area/greater Illinois/neighboring states sites:
Cahokia Mounds State Park (Collinsville, Ill.): The largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. Over 1,000 years ago, the Mounds people numbered nearly 20,000 people;
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch (Rantoul, Ill.): 16 Alaskan reindeer call the ranch home. You can also pick a pumpkin, take your turn at the paintball gallery, shop the country store or find your way out of the 10-acre corn maze.
Iowa 80 Truckstop (the world's largest truckstop, Interstate 80 and Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa): On the side of Interstate 80, you can't miss the tall sign with a giant arrow signaling the world's largest truckstop. Set on 220 acres, visitors can enjoy 8 eateries, movie theater, trucking museum, barber & more.
Firefly Grill (Effingham, Ill.): The modern roadhouse restaurant is located on the shores of Kristie Lake. Chef Niall Campbell & his wife Kristie own and operate this oasis of American-fresh cuisine in the heart of Midwest.
Galena's Main Street (Galena, Ill.): Main Street curves past over 100 19th-century storefronts, resembling what Galena (the second most-visited city in Illinois) looked like in the Civil War era. Now, the historic red brick buildings house boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.