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.

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

Baymont by Wyndham Rockford
Baymont by Wyndham Rockford
2.5 out of 5
662 N Lyford Rd, Rockford, IL, 61107
The price is $79 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 28
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Rockford. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
3.9/5 Good! (978 reviews)
"The property was clean, and the room had everything we needed. We were only there for 1 night, but everything was just as we hoped."

Reviewed on Jun 16, 2022

Baymont by Wyndham Rockford
Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
3 out of 5
7676 E State St, Rockford, IL, 61108
The price is $103 per night from Jun 26 to Jun 27
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Rockford. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the WiFi in our reviews. ...
4/5 Very Good! (797 reviews)
"Our standard king's floor was a little sticky and couch was very uncomfortable. It was okay as we just spent limited time as we were traveling through and spent little time in the room. Loved the breakfast/bar area in the lobby. Breakfast was excellent."

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2022

Courtyard 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, 61104
The price is $135 per night from Jul 25 to Jul 26
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Rockford. Enjoy free WiFi, an indoor pool, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (201 reviews)
"Nice place"

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2022

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 $308 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 8
Stay at this family-friendly villa in Rockford. Enjoy WiFi, a spa tub, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Anderson Japanese Gardens and Jefferson Street ...
5/5 Exceptional! (61 reviews)
Excellent stay
"Everything was as nice as we expected. Loved the greeting as we entered the house. Great communication with Marlene. Would definitely recommend."

Reviewed on Apr 29, 2022

Sedona of Rockford- Rockford's Hidden Gem!
Riverfront Cottage on Rock River
Riverfront Cottage on Rock River
Rockford, IL
Stay at this vacation home in Rockford. Enjoy free WiFi, a water park, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the comfy beds in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
5/5 Exceptional! (108 reviews)
Perfect Getaway
"Quiet peaceful setting on the river. Bill was very easy to communicate with. Home was very welcoming! We would love to stay again !!"

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2022

Riverfront Cottage on Rock River
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark
3.5 out of 5
7020 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI, 53147
The price is $389 per night from Jul 1 to Jul 2
Stay at this 3.5-star spa aparthotel in Lake Geneva. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a golf course. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,670 reviews)
"Everything was great!"

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2022

Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark
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.

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