Your weekend guide to Rockford, Illinois

Your weekend guide to Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois is, "a Real. Original. City of Gardens and rivers, and a wonderful place to spend a life - or a weekend," as described by GoRockford. A beautiful small city of the Midwest, explore, "museums, visit some unique shops, grab a bite to eat at one of our many restaurants, take in some arts and culture, or relax at one of our hotels. You'll be In Good Company in Real. Original. Rockford!"

What to do:

1) Anderson Japanese Gardens

If you've never been to Rockford, something to immediately check out is Anderson Japanese Gardens, "an authentic Japanese Garden maintained by the highest standards that touches the souls of our guests. With grace, elegance, and gentle awareness we exemplify the Japanese cultural heritage of respectful humility in service to people of all cultures," as described on their website.


2) Rockford Art Museum

"Rockford Art Museum boasts a diverse yet concise collection, acclaimed modern galleries, museum store, office, studios and classrooms," as stated on Rockford Art Museum's website. Continuing, "now comprised of more than 2,000 works of art, the RAM Permanent Collection consists of modern and contemporary American art from the 19th and 20th centuries through today, from American Impressionist paintings to Chicago Imagist works to African American Art from the Black South. Regional art with an emphasis on Illinois artists remains a steadfast focus."


3) Nicholas Conservatory

"Situated along the banks of our beautiful Rock River, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens brings the tropics to the Midwest. The facility is the third largest conservatory in Illinois, offering an 11,000-square-foot plant exhibition area complete with water features, seating areas, and sculptures, all in a tropical plant setting. The beauty continues outdoors with the Eclipse Lagoon, complete with two fountains and a waterfall, pedestrian bridge, patio areas, and walkway connecting the Conservatory to the Sinnissippi Rose Garden," as described by Rockford Park District.

4) Midway Village Museum

"The Main Museum Center offers visitors 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits related to many aspects of life in early Northern Illinois and Rockford’s development and economic impact. Visitors engage and explore history within each permanent gallery and continually changing temporary displays. There are always new and exciting things for visitors to see in the galleries. Self-guided tours are open during regular museum hours," as listed on Midway Village Museum's website.

Where to Eat:

1) Stockholm Inn

Try delicious Swedish pancakes at a Rockford staple, "the spirit of hospitality—is the hallmark of Stockholm Inn. Here, hospitality goes beyond inviting soon-to-be friends to our table. At Stockholm Inn, we encourage you to 'ta mer': take more! From morning 'til night, we cook just for you, with fresh, high-quality ingredients and some Scandinavian hospitality."


2) Lima Mar

Try the Callao, "if you love seafood that is the perfect platter for sharing and taste all the seafood plus the classics Causitas Limena (filled with chicken, avocado ,egg). Ceviche Mixto (Seafood, lime juice) / Choritos a la Chalaca(steam mussels, onion, tomato, corn)." Or try the Tiradito Salmon, "sashimi cut fish (Salmon) marinated in our special Passion fruit sauce, sesame seeds, nori, eatable flowers."


3) Prairie Street Brewing Company

Try the Baked Cajun Mac 'n Cheese, "monterey Jack, aged cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, white wine, cavatappi, house-made tasso ham, chicken, and garlic herb breadcrumbs." Or the Smoked Chicken Sandwich, "dry-rubbed and smoked chicken breast, provolone, tomato, onion ring, apple BBQ sauce, smashed avocado, mayo, and golden split-top bun."

4) Abreo

Abreo,"original and seasonal menus that are sourced heavily from local farmers along with a variety of premium import suppliers," are an excellent find. The restaurant "has four unique dining areas including a newly remodeled Bar, Open Air Dining Room, Heated Outdoor Patio (open year round), and a Private Wine Cellar."


5) Rockford Roasting Company

Try Rockford Roasting Company, "locally owned and operated. We’ve been roasting and serving great coffee at our Roasting Facility + Brew Bar in downtown Rockford since fall 2014. Being downtown has given us the great privilege of serving and becoming friends with some really great people who live, work + play in downtown Rockford!"



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