Rockford really is the biggest small town! My husband and I moved here less than a year ago and it’s been a ride and a blast to explore. There is so much to do and just about everything a person would need is within 20 minutes away. It’s affordable and people have been so kind and helpful – from new neighbors who welcomed us to strangers who gave us tips on places to go.

Here are just a few of the remarkable places we have experienced:

Italian Nachos at The Pomodoro (it’s a meal for two!)

Rock Cut State Park (pick a trail or activity, it’s there)

Rock Cut State Park kayaking

Rockford Symphony Orchestra at The Coronado Performing Arts Center

Dinner on the Dock at Prairie Street Brewing Co.

The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County (there is a check list to hit them all and because I have to complete a task, we will hit them all)

The Rockford Art Museum (art talks, yoga, Art in Bloom – yes, I like art)

Anderson Japanese Gardens (holiday lights, Frescos)

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Laurent House Museum

Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens

Rockford City Market

City Market Crowd

There is also so much more to experience coming up:

Midway Village Museum (been there but need to spend more time)

Burpee Museum of Natural History (same)

Historic Auto Attractions (same)


Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens and more!

And so many restaurants to try!

As the vice president of marketing for the RACVB, I am often asked how do we get the word out about all the great things happening in the Rockford Region. Advertising a consistent message works of course, but word of mouth from someone you trust is often the most effective. When you find out about something from someone you know you are more likely to retain it longer. Be that person. Be an ambassador for this big small town.


Ways to be an Ambassador

Join the 815 Ambassadors

815 Ambassadors are a group of digitally active community members, professionals, and leaders who have ties to the Rockford region and help elevate its national reputation by sharing positive news stories with their social media networks.

Support Attractions and Restaurants

Be a visitor in your own backyard. We learned how to do this during the pandemic. Attractions and restaurants still need you. The Rockford Park District and so many attractions offer free or affordable opportunities. Take advantage of them and then when a visitor stops to ask you what’s there to do in the Rockford area, you can help!

When a visitor asks for help, do it

Just about everyone has likely been in an unfamiliar area so we all know how that feels. We also know how good it feels when someone helps us out.

Get involved

Volunteers are needed everywhere so if you have the means or the time, please seek out something you love or feel strongly about. And if the most you can do is be better informed, that is enough. As we close out the 40th anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week, remember to be an ambassador all year long. The biggest small town has a lot to offer, let’s share it!