A road trip from Chicago through Northern Illinois to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, picturesque Galena and historic Rockford with specific travel tips!
Travel blogs, photos and features from Rockford, Illinois
Rockford Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Rockford
Rockford is a cute city in northern Illinois famous for several venues of cultural and historical significance. And it’s a great place to stop on a Midwestern USA road trip! Start here with my basic Rockford travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Rockford travel blogs.
When to Visit
The weather in Rockford can be extreme, like the rest of Illinois. In summers, it gets very hot while winters can be bitterly cold with heavy snowfall, which is great if you enjoy skiing and other winter sports! In summer, things definitely get busier and prices rise slightly, so early fall can be a good alternative time to come to Rockford.
Top Museums to Visit in Rockford
Burpee Museum of Natural History – This seems like the type of museum you’d find in a major metropolitan city, but here it is, in Rockford, Illinois. The museum has been around for over 70 years, starting out in a local family’s house until it expanded to its present location. Today, the museum’s biggest attraction is Jane: the world’s best-preserved and most complete fossil of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Midway Village Museum – Not many people know this, but the symbol of American kitsch (the sock monkey, clearly), was invented and first produced in Rockford thanks to a Swedish immigrant who made red-heeled socks without seems—perfect for making sock monkeys! The city is now home to a historical museum which features a small exhibition on this history, as well as other cultural contributions to the city’s history.
Rockford Art Musem – This small museum is home to some impressive contemporary art collections featuring a range of art forms including photography, glassware and traditional painting by local and nationwide artists.
Although it’s a relatively small city, taking a tour around Rockford will save you time and get you in to some areas of the city you might otherwise overlook, so it’s definitely worth you time to consider one.
LGBTQ – Gay Rockford Travel Guide
Rockford, while a relatively small city, has a good range of gay life, especially nightlife, to enjoy. These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Rockford.
Office Niteclub – Probably the friendliest club place in Rockford, this place serves reasonably priced drinks, and has a a fun atmosphere. There’s a spacious dance floor and a nice outdoor patio, perfect for summer evenings.
Gene’s Place – Though this looks like a typical sport bar, it actually serves good (and typically Midwestern) food in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Rockford Hotel Deals
Rockford has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They’ll likely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance.
Follow @travelsofadam on Instagram for more travel tips!
Rockford Travel Blogs
Story from visiting the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois. And for what it’s worth, dinosaurs are awesome.