About RockfordBisected by the Rock River, Rockford is named for the shallow ford used by the Galena-Chicago Stagecoach Line before the area was settled. The city’s founders were African American slave Lewis Lemon, his master Germanicus Kent and Thatcher Blake, who built a sawmill near the ford in 1834. The earliest settlers were chiefly from New York state and New England. Large numbers of Irish-born immigrants arrived in the 1850s, and a few Swedish immigrants in 1852.
Other significant ethnic groups that had a presence in Rockford were Italians (after 1880), Poles and Lithuanians (after 1900). The ethnic heritages of the groups that have made the city their home survive in musical organizations and theater groups.
The city's streets were designed to accommodate the winding river without regard to uniformity. Parks, encompassing 6,000 acres, appear at oddly placed intervals; streets that begin as a boulevard narrow and stop at a wall or building. Its citizens nicknamed Rockford “The Forest City,” because of the many trees. Today seven public gardens and several private gardens have transformed Rockford into a “City of Gardens.”
Stock car racing takes place at Rockford Speedway. Local recreation includes boat and trolley rides and outdoor concerts offered in the summer by Rockford Park District. A scenic portion of SR 2 parallels the Rock River and intersects SRs 72 and 64 along its span from Rockford 41 miles southwest to Dixon.
Visitor Centers Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 102 N. Main St. Rockford, IL 61101. Phone:(815)963-8111 or (800)521-0849
Self-guiding ToursA guide book with maps and information about the local area is available at the convention and visitors bureau.
Things to Do Anderson Japanese Gardens
Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
Burpee Museum of Natural History
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!Courtyard by Marriott Rockford
7676 E State St. Rockford, IL 61108
Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!Hilton Garden Inn-Rockford, IL
7675 Walton St. Rockford, IL 61108
633 N Bell School Rd. Rockford, IL 61107
7555 Walton St. Rockford, IL 61108
As a AAA member, you'll save even more. Your AAA Travel Agent will check to see if AAA Vacations is combinable with other AAA member benefits, plus cruise and tour past passenger discounts and benefits.