Midwest Living Review
Rockford's River District includes historic residential neighborhoods and grand old churches, along with a mix of parks, cultural venues, salons, restaurants, shops, loft apartments and government buildings. It's bounded by Longwood Avenue on the east, Kilburn Avenue on the west, Whitman Street on the north, and the Union Pacific Railroad on the south. Before taking a walk through the area, you can download a free audio tour or a map from the website. Stops along the self-guided tour include the museum campus, Coronado Theater, Federal Building, County Court House, Memorial Hall, Riverview Ice House, Rockford Public Library (the state's first public library), Davis Park, City Hall, Midway Theater, State of Illinois Building and the Metro Centre, which got a $20 million in renovations in 2009. Other tours are available: Forest City Queen River Tours, a river excursion narrated by local historians; the Eastside Business District walking tour, which highlights buildings that went up right before the Great Depression; and the Trolley Tour of the Westside Business District, which includes a stop in Beattie Park, the site of Indian burial mounds.