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Rockford

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Understand[edit]

The Rock River which gives Rockford it's name

Rockford [1] is a city in Winnebago County in Northern Illinois. With a population of over 150,000 it is the third largest city in the state.

Rockford was built along the Rock River, midway between Chicago and Galena, IL in 1834. Rockford was named for the place where wagons would cross, or ford, the Rock River. "Midway" is another name sometimes used, as well as "Forest City", for the oak forests which once surrounded it.


Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

  • Rockford International Airport (IATA: RFD) [2] is served by Allegiant Air [3] with service to four destinations.
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD) [4] is the nearest full-service airport and is directly connected to Rockford by Interstate 90.
  • Dane County Regional Airport (IATA: MSN) [5], in Madison, Wisconsin, is about an hour and 20 minutes north of Rockford in Interstate 39/90 and is served by six airlines.

By car[edit]

Rockford is located at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 39, as well as US 20, a distance of 85 miles west of Chicago, IL, 73 Miles south of Madison, WI, 95 miles east of Dubuque, IA, and 130 miles north of Bloomington, IL

By bus[edit]

  • Coach USA/Van Galder [6] runs a bus service from Rockford to O'Hare International Airport, Midway Airport, and Union Station in Chicago on a regular basis.

Get around[edit]

While there is mass transit, car is the best means to get around Rockford. There are some taxi services, but they aren't as common as in larger cities. While walking and biking are always options, most of the destinations are spread out, and many roads lack sidewalks or crosswalks.

By car[edit]

Rockford is largely based on a grid layout, with a few major exceptions. State Street is a major retail corridor that provides the north-south boundary. The Rock River provides the east-west boundary. Main Street, Auburn, and many other major roads that pass through downtown are in the midst of a rennovation project to revitalize the downtown region. Because of this, while Main Street is currently one-way on North Main and two-way on South Main, this may soon change.

Rockford's roads change names often, be aware of how these changes occur. One road in particular changes names 5 times all within 3 miles. 3-way interesections are also very common as many roads simply discontinue when reaching an intersection.

East-State, Riverside, and Harrison are the largest east-west avenues, with Alpine, Mulford, and Perryville being the largest north-south avenues.

Many roads have been redesigned over the years. One good example is the "Five-Points" area, so-named for the 5 roads that once intersected, but have since been rearranged. Charles Street once ran from Belvidere, IL to downtown Rockord through Five-Points, and it's for this reason that it's at an angle to all other roads.

The intersection of Main and Auburn has recently been reworked as a two-lane traffic-circle.

By bus[edit]

The Rockford Mass Transit District [7] offers bus service in Rockford, Loves Park and Machesney Park.

See[edit][add listing]

Midway Village Museum
Sinnissippi Garden Floral Clock
  • Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St. Rockford, IL 61107, (815)987-8858, [8]. Tue-Fri: 9-4, Sat-Sun: 10-3, Closed Mondays. Adults: $6, Seniors, Veterans, Children over 5: $4.  edit
  • The Rockford IceHogs [9] of the American Hockey League offer an excellent family entertainment option.
  • Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Rd Rockford, IL 61107, (815)397-9112 (). Museum 10AM-4PM, Village 11AM-4PM, closed Mondays. Adults: $7, Children 3-17: $5.  edit
  • Tinker Swiss Cottage, 411 Kent Street Rockford, IL 61102, (815)964-2424 (), [10]. Guided Tours Tuesday - Sunday, 1PM and 3PM. Adults: $7, Children 5 and under are free.  edit
  • Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main Street Rockford, IL 61103, (815)968-2787, [11]. Daily 10-5. Adults: $7, Seniors and Students: $3, Children: Free.  edit
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens is open May through October and was rated the finest Japanese Garden in North America, according to the Roth Journal.
  • Klehm Arboretum & Botanical Garden has over 500 different species of trees, shrubs and vines.


Do[edit][add listing]

Rockford AirFest
Sinnissippi Waterfront Shared Path
  • Rockford AirFest, Chicago Rockford International Airport, [12]. June 7th and 8th, 2014. Ticket Prices Pending.  edit
  • The Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St. Rockford, IL 61101, Tickets: (815)968-0595 (, fax: (815)968-1318), [13]. Price: Varies.  edit
  • Starlight Theatre on the campus of Rock Valley College features classical and contemporary musical productions during summer months. Starlight theatre has a unique mechanical roof that opens out like a blooming flower on clear nights.
  • The Discovery Center Children's Museum, ranked fourth in the nation by Child magazine.
  • Magic Waters Waterpark
  • The MetroCentre, Rockford's downtown 10,000-seat arena, is home to music, athletic and exposition events.
  • Rock Cut State Park is one of the largest state parks in Illinois and features camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, horseback riding and kayaking
  • Sinnissippi Waterfront Shared Path (Walking and biking along the Rock River among gardens and adjacent to the Nicholas Conservatory and Botanical Garden.), 1354 N 2nd St, Rockford, IL 61107 (Parking Available at Nicholas Conservatory and the YMCA to the south). Sunrise to Sunset. Free.  edit

Rockford also has a large variety of low-cost public and private golf courses. In the fall and winter, locals and visitors enjoy many apple orchards and Christmas tree farms.

Rockford also has a symphony orchestra, dance company and several theatre companies.

During March, the Midway Village & Museum Center hosts the Sock Monkey Madness Festival featuring vendors, crafts, make-your-own-monkeys, activities, and information on sock monkey history.

Rockford hosts an annual rock concert during Memorial Day weekend called Wing Ding. Notable bands such as Buckcherry, Saliva, Breaking Benjamin, P.O.D, and Drowning Pool have performed at this concert. The concert is held by WXRX 104.9FM.

Every Labor Day weekend, Rockford hosts On the Waterfront, Illinois' largest outdoor music festival, featuring local, regional and national acts on eight different stages. The second weekend of October brings rowers from around the country for the Baird Head of the Rock Regatta, a premiere national rowing competition.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • JMK Nippon has high quality, moderately priced, Japanse quissine which is cooked at your table with lots of flair by the chefs.
  • The Machine Shed offers reasonably priced farm-style cooking, with large portions.
  • The Olympic Tavern provide family-friendly casual fine dining since 1945. Provides a world-class beer selection as well as outdoor patio in the warmer months.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Quality Suites, 7401 Walton St, Rockford, IL 61108, +1 815 227 1300, [14].  edit
  • Comfort Inn, 7392 Argus Dr, Rockford, IL 61107, +1 815 398 7061, [15].  edit
  • Sleep Inn, 725 Clark Dr, Rockford, IL, 61107, +1 815 398 8900, [16].  edit

Get out[edit]

Routes through Rockford
MadisonBeloit  N noframenoframe S  RochelleBloomington-Normal
MadisonBeloit  W noframe E  ElginChicago
DubuqueStockton  W noframe E  ElginChicago





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