COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Rockford, IL
Travel Guide

Rockford featuring a city and general coastal views

Science museums, an arboretum, historic concert halls and a Japanese garden make Rockford an interesting and fun-packed destination in northern Illinois.

Rockford is the “City of Gardens,” a destination of public parks, outdoor recreation, museums and live music venues. The city spreads across the Rock River in northern Illinois. Settled in 1834, Rockford became popular with 20th-century European immigrants, who left their mark on the city’s architecture.

Start your visit at the Riverfront Museum Park on the west bank of the river. This cultural center is home to a museum, galleries and performing arts venues. Have fun with over 250 interactive science exhibits at the Discovery Center Museum. Explore the night sky and the solar system at the museum’s planetarium. Spot North American art from the 1800s to the present day at the Rockford Art Museum.

Enjoy classical and contemporary musical performances at the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Watch ballet performances, such as the Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland, at the Rockford Dance Company. Visit the Burpee Museum of National History to see ancient fossils and indigenous artifacts such as canoes and wigwams. Don’t miss the skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, which lay buried for over 60 million years.

Spend time exploring the independent boutiques and galleries of downtown Rockford. Take a behind-the-scenes tour or watch live music and comedy shows at Coronado Performing Arts Center. Previous performers include Frank Sinatra and the Marx Brothers. Join a riverboat cruise to experience an alternative view of the city’s architecture.

Rockford is also famous for its parks and nature. Stroll around the manicured lawns, ornamental lagoon and greenhouses of Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Study the picturesque teahouses and gardens at Anderson Japanese Gardens. Go to Rock Cut State Park for year-round activities such as camping, fishing, sailing, hiking and cross-country skiing. Gaze up at tall trees and spot exotic plants at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

Rockford is less than a 2-hour drive from Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee and connected by intercity bus services. Getting around downtown Rockford is possible on foot although driving a car is the best way to reach attractions outside the city center.

Where to stay in Rockford

Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
3 out of 5
7676 E State St, Rockford, IL
The price is $78 per night from May 27 to May 27
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village Museum, Midway Village & Museum Center, and Magic Waters Water Park. CherryVale ...
4.1/5Very Good! (597 reviews)
"The stay was very nice the room was very clean and the bed was comfortable."

Reviewed on May 5, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rockford
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rockford
2.5 out of 5
7651 Walton Street, Rockford, IL
The price is $86 per night from May 18 to May 18
Located in the heart of Rockford, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village Museum, Midway Village & Museum Center, and Magic Waters Water Park. CherryVale ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (443 reviews)
"Great location with surrounding retail. Everything we were looking for."

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rockford
Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront
Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront
3.5 out of 5
416 S Main Street, Rockford, IL
The price is $139 per night from May 19 to May 19
Located in Downtown Rockford, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of BMO Harris Bank Center and Coronado Performing Arts Center. Veterans Memorial Hall and ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (57 reviews)
"The staff is super friendly. The hotel its self is absolutely gorgeous. Our room was very nice and super clean! We’ll definitely be back!"

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2021

Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Sedona of Rockford- Rockford's Hidden Gem!
Sedona of Rockford- Rockford's Hidden Gem!
Rockford, IL
The price is $280 per night from May 17 to May 17
Situated in Rockford, this villa is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from SwedishAmerican Hospital and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Coronado Performing Arts Center. Jefferson Street ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (39 reviews)
Bowling Tournament
"Every year our bowling team goes to the State Tournament and we find a house to rent, so we can all stay together. This house was by far the best one we have stayed into date! There were so many activities to do outside and we were able to play some board games that were there. And we laughed all ..."

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2021

Sedona of Rockford- Rockford's Hidden Gem!
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Great for Business Travelers!
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Great for Business Travelers!
Rockford, IL
The price is $130 per night from May 16 to May 16
Situated in Rockford, this apartment building is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Midway Village Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village & Museum Center and Magic ...
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Great for Business Travelers!
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Near Midway Village Museum!
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Near Midway Village Museum!
Rockford, IL
The price is $160 per night from May 16 to May 16
Situated in Rockford, this condo building is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Midway Village Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village & Museum Center and Magic Waters ...
King Suite. Pool & Hot Tub. Free Breakfast. Near Midway Village Museum!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Rockford

Top things to do in Rockford

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Rockford

15 Places for the perfect childfree getaway

15 Places for the perfect childfree getaway

15 Places for the perfect childfree getaway
6 biggest corn mazes and pumpkin patches

6 biggest corn mazes and pumpkin patches

6 biggest corn mazes and pumpkin patches

Cities near Rockford