This historic city was established in the early 1800s and was a prime location for industrial growth due to its proximity to the Red River. Similar to other Rust Belt cities, Rockford is overcoming economic downturns by focusing efforts on revamping its downtown and encouraging growth through the city's strong history of arts and culture. Home to world-class museums and concert halls, Rockford offers much more in the way of cultural experiences than it might initially appear. And if the name Rockford sounds familiar, it's probably because of the legendary Rockford Peach women's baseball team made famous by the movie "A League of Their Own."
Breweries are beloved in Rockford. Favorites include Pig Minds Brewing Co., which serves high-quality micro-brews and serves a 100 percent vegan menu, and Prairie Street Brewing Company, creators of the Rockford original Nikolob, known as the "beer that made Milwaukee jealous." If you want food with your brews, there are plenty of local favorites to frequent. Grab what locals consider the best burger in Rockford at Vintage at 501 or nosh on some fresh, table-side-made guacamole at Mexico Classico.
Outdoor lovers will find beautiful trails for hiking, biking, hunting and fishing within the over 3000 acres of Rock Cut State Park. Closer to the city center is the particularly busy Rockford Park District, which hosts the Burpee Museum of Natural History, home to the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. The Park District also attracts golfers off all skill levels, as it is the location of the most famous golf course in Illinois, Aldeen Golf Course.
Real estate in Rockford hovers around $100,000, making it financially accessible for young buyers and those looking to provide a new home for a growing family. Popular neighborhoods include Love Creek, which residents say is safe and offers excellent school systems. If you're looking for a more modern, loft-style space, Rockford downtown is the place to look. Buying a home in Rockford means you're investing in a vibrant community that's experiencing steady growth.