Rockford is known for its award-winning museums and world-class art galleries. Spend your days gazing up at dinosaur skeletons, admiring American Impressionist paintings and visiting pioneer homes. You can also throw on your hiking boots and hit the trails in Rock Cut State Park.
Things to do in Rockford
The Burpee Museum of Natural History welcomes you with a ferocious T-Rex skeleton found in the Badlands of Montana. It's considered one of the most important dinosaur discoveries. The museum also features displays on the Rock River Valley, Native American culture and local wildlife.
The Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum is housed in an old Victorian home built in the late 1800s. Stroll around the house and admire handcrafted features like the gleaming walnut spiral staircase. It's also filled with antiques, artwork, colonial clothing and handwritten diaries.
From steel horse sculptures and hand-blown glass to American Impressionist paintings and Chicago Imagist works, the Rockford Art Museum showcases works from across the United States. There's a big focus on regional artists, with highlights including the contemporary Arnold Gilbert Photography Collection.
Just across the Rock River, the Anderson Japanese Gardens enchants nature enthusiasts with its cascading waterfalls. For a walk on the wild side, head to Rock Cut State Park. It's laced with hiking trails where you can spot muskrats, racoons and waterfowl.
Getting around Rockford
Downtown Rockford is easy to get around on foot, with most major sites and attractions within walking distance. The city is well-serviced by a network of local buses and taxis, while rental cars are also available. The drive to Chicago takes around 1.5 hours.