RockfordUnited States of America

Image for Rockford which includes a bridge, heritage architecture and a house

Visit Rockford

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

Rockford featuring a city and general coastal views

Downtown

If you're spending some time in Downtown, Coronado Performing Arts Center and BMO Harris Bank Center are top sights worth seeing.

Downtown

Top Hotels in Rockford

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Red Roof Inn Rockford
Red Roof Inn Rockford
2 out of 5
7434 East State Street, Rockford, IL
$47
per night
Jan 19 - Jan 20

Situated in Rockford, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village Museum, Midway Village & Museum Center, and Magic Waters Water Park. CherryVale Mall ...

3.7/5Good! (1,562 reviews)

"when we arrived we had only one issue, apparently, the cleaning staff missed some leftover food in the refrigerator. otherwise, we had a great time. The staff was very helpful and courteous. Will stay there again. Great location within walking distance of many places to eat."…"

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2020

Red Roof Inn Rockford
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Rockford
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Rockford
2.5 out of 5
7401 Walton St, Rockford, IL
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
$74
per night
Jan 27 - Jan 28

Situated in Rockford, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village Museum, Midway Village & Museum Center, and CherryVale Mall. Magic Waters Water Park ...

3.8/5Good! (669 reviews)

"Our stay was very nice. The only thing I saw that I didn’t like was bedding left in the hall when we checked in at 5 PM and it was still there the next morning. Staff walking in front of us just stepped over it"…"

Reviewed on Jan 7, 2020

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Rockford
Extended Stay America - Rockford - I-90
Extended Stay America - Rockford - I-90
2.5 out of 5
653 Clark Rd, Rockford, IL
$62
per night
Jan 25 - Jan 26

Situated in Rockford, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Midway Village Museum, Midway Village & Museum Center, and Magic Waters Water Park. CherryVale Mall ...

3.6/5Good! (591 reviews)

"Staff was very helpful, convenient for my trip to Rockford."…"

Reviewed on Jan 17, 2020

Extended Stay America - Rockford - I-90

Popular things to do in Rockford

Anderson Japanese Gardens
Image for Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens

4.5/5(41 reviews)

Rockford’s iconic gardens may be in the heartland of America, but you’ll feel transported to Japan as you explore the winding paths, ponds and waterfalls.

Burpee Museum of Natural History
Image for Burpee Museum of Natural History

Burpee Museum of Natural History

4/5(11 reviews)

Explore four floors of natural history exhibits, including one of the best-preserved and most complete juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the world.

Krape Park
Image for Krape Park

Krape Park

5/5(9 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Krape Park, a lovely green space in Freeport. Discover the area's sunrises and countryside.

Top activities in Rockford

Indoor Skydiving Experience at Naperville
Image for Indoor Skydiving Experience at Naperville

Indoor Skydiving Experience at Naperville

$70

Experience all the plummeting, free falling, and soaring sensations of skydiving without ever getting on a plane. This indoor skydiving experience puts you in a vertical wind tunnel, where you can float weightlessly in space for an unforgettable adrenaline rush in totally safe surroundings.

Operation City Quest of Aurora, IL
Image for Operation City Quest of Aurora, IL

Operation City Quest of Aurora, IL

$10

Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

Operation City Quest of Naperville, IL
Image for Operation City Quest of Naperville, IL

Operation City Quest of Naperville, IL

$10

Using an app on your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 120 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Rockford, IL
Image for Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Rockford, IL

Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Rockford, IL

$10

Itinerary During Operation City Quest, participants will solve riddles in order to find items throughout the city and complete challenges. For each correct task completed, the players will get points for their team.

Zombie Scavengers Game - Rockford, IL
Image for Zombie Scavengers Game - Rockford, IL

Zombie Scavengers Game - Rockford, IL

$3

Itinerary Recommended starting location to start Zombie Scavengers. This is where you will begin your hunt to survive the zombie apocalypse. (Please start outside) Stop At: • Joe Marino Park, 100 N Water St, Rockford, IL 61107, USA

Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Elgin, IL
Image for Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Elgin, IL

Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt - Elgin, IL

$10

Itinerary During Operation City Quest, participants will solve riddles in order to find items throughout the city and complete challenges. For each correct task completed, the players will get points for their team.

Reviews of Rockford

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
97
5 - Excellent 17.446043165467625%
4 - Good
261
4 - Good 46.94244604316547%
3 - Okay
182
3 - Okay 32.73381294964029%
2 - Disappointing
13
2 - Disappointing 2.338129496402878%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.539568345323741%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 17, 2020

Convenient shopping, restaurants and friendly people.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Dec 30, 2019

this is where our family lives so we visit there quite often its not to bas a place

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 24, 2019

About Expedia you should have told me they were working on the hotel i would not have stady there

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 23, 2019

Nice town with at least one bad hotel! !

4/5 - Good

Ed

Dec 19, 2019

Rockford is a small town with every social and economic class

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 23, 2019

We love staying in Rockford to Christmas shop and catch a movie. And there are plenty of great restaurants! We have been going to Rockford for over 30 years and have always enjoyed our stays!

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