Rockford is filled with lots of fun and unique spots to spend your time.  The city offers countless exciting options for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. In this guide, I will provide my favorite places to go, things to do, and sites to see. This intern guide will help you create an unforgettable 815 experience! 

Without a doubt, summertime is my favorite time of year in Rockford. The city truly comes to life when people are able to get out and enjoy the weather. There are plenty of options for entertainment almost every day of the week including live music, food trucks, markets, and plenty of other events. Summertime allows visitors to experience Rockford at its full potential. 

A dirt road through a forestDescription automatically generated 
Photo courtesy of Miranda Brook 

Rock Cut State Park | 7223 West Lane Rd, Caledonia, IL  

I am someone who loves to spend a lot of time outdoors. Rock Cut is my favorite place to go when I need some fresh air. Although there are countless trails to choose from, Willow Creek Trail is my favorite. I also love sitting on the benches next to the water in Red Oak picnic area with a good book. Another fun activity I enjoy at Rock Cut is paddle boarding on Pierce Lake. There are also kayaks and other boats available to rent for a few hours. Getting out on the water is a great way to get some exercise while soaking up the sun! Whether you’re looking to relax or exercise, Rock Cut allows you to do both while immersing yourself in nature. 

A person giving a thumbs upDescription automatically generated 
Photo courtesy of Miranda Brook 

Meg’s Daily Grind | 1141 N. Alpine Road | 3885 N. Perryville Road Rockford, IL 

I am a huge coffee lover, so I find myself at a coffee shop fairly frequently. My favorite local shop is Meg’s Daily Grind. It is a family-owned business that is constantly innovating the coffee world with new and unique flavors. My go-to order is an iced coffee with sugar free vanilla and oat milk. Their espresso is also a favorite of mine. They also have delicious food options for lunch or breakfast including pastries, sandwiches, bagels, and more! I love to bring my family and friends with me to enjoy some coffee. I’m always greeted with friendly staff and a warm atmosphere at Meg’s!  

Maximum Clothing Inc. | N, 7164 Cherryvale N Blvd, Rockford, IL 

Second hand is my favorite way to shop. Maximum Clothing is a locally owned store that allows me to do that. They always have trendy pieces from the best name brands. It’s a great way to save money. Buying secondhand clothing pieces also helps me to be more sustainable, which is something I am always looking to do! 

A plate of sushi on a tableDescription automatically generated 
Photo courtesy of Miranda Brook 

Hachi Sushi | 6516 E Riverside Blvd, Loves Park 

If you enjoy Japanese food, especially sushi, I will highly recommend stopping by Hachi Sushi in Loves Park. They have delicious fried rice and Hibachi dinners, but their sushi is my favorite. I love the Spicy California Roll, The Lion Roll, and the Spicy Tuna Roll. With options for takeout or delivery, it is the perfect restaurant for anytime you’re craving Asian cuisine! Their menu has so many delicious options including non-seafood and vegetarian options, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

A group of people on a stageDescription automatically generated 
Photo courtesy of Miranda Brook 

Prairie St. Brewing Company | 200 Prairie St, Rockford, IL 

When I spend time downtown, I frequently end up at Prairie Steet Brewing company. I love going to Dinner on the Dock on Thursdays for live entertainment. I also enjoy going there and sipping on a drink from the Dockside Taproom at night. The Wavey Blonde is my favorite brew, but there are several types of unique beers and cocktails to choose from! I love sitting at the tables on the dock in the evening and watching the sun set over the river. Prairie Street has become a Rockford Staple! It’s also a great place to socialize and meet new people.