Located on the banks of the beautiful Rock River in northern Illinois, Rockford is the perfect combination of urban amenities and small town charm. The third largest city in Illinois with a growing population of over 300,000 residents, Rockford serves as a gateway to Wisconsin and the surrounding urban area including Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee.
The city is known as a world leader in manufacturing including machine tools, auto parts, and aerospace components and the surrounding area contains some of the most prime agricultural land in the United States.
There's always something to do or experience in the "Forest City" as well. The Rockford park system maintains more than 150 parks and some of the best golf courses in the state. The city is also rich in cultural experiences and offers more than 500 arts and cultural attractions including local theatre groups, a symphony orchestra, numerous music groups, dance companies, and concerts of all sizes.
Rockford is also home to numerous museums and historic sites. For those sports fans out there, Rockford boasts a number of local teams including baseball and ice hockey. If you can't find anything within the city to suit your fancy, you are always a few hours away from Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Galena, and the Quad Cities.
The Rockford area is home to some of the greatest variety in residential opportunities and is consistently ranked as one of the top five metropolitan areas in the United States for affordable housing. Residents have access to some of the best educational and health care systems in the state as well. Rockford also provides residents with some of the best shopping and entertainment in the northern Illinois area.
Rockford provides a wealth of educational opportunities for students of all ages. Rockford Public School District #205 is the third largest in the state and provides education to over 25,000 students. The district currently consists of 40+ elementary schools, seven middle schools, and four high schools. In addition, Rockford is home to over 25 privately funded educational institutes. There are also a large variety of surrounding communities with excellent school districts within minutes of the metropolitan area.
For those interested in post-secondary education, Rockford is situated within 75 miles of more than 45 higher education institutions. The City of Rockford and the surrounding area also provides a number of collegiate opportunities including Rockford University, Rock Valley College, Rockford Career College, and Saint Anthony College of Nursing. Several satellite branches of other schools are also located in the area.
There's never a reason to be bored in Rockford either. With a diverse economy and over 15,000 local businesses, the city is home to a large number of stores including retail, clothing, groceries, designer outlets, and more. Not really sure what store you fancy? Spend a day walking around the Cherry Vale Mall, home to over 60 shops and restaurants.
Looking for something outdoors? Rockford is nicknamed the "Forest City" or the "City of Gardens" for good reason. If you are looking for a peaceful distraction from the hustle and bustle, Rock Cut State Park, a beautiful 162-acre forest, is located in the northern part of the city.
The Rockford Park District consists of over 150 public parks and more than 7,000 acres of land, providing residents plenty of room to bike, hike, swim, boat, picnic, camp and fish. The park district also maintains 10 golf courses, including the Aldeen Golf Club, which has been awarded a 4 1/2 star rating by Golf Digest.
Rockford's riverside district is always alive with new and exciting entertainment as well. From sculpting competitions, boat shows, art fairs, music festivals, and annual holiday events, there's never a dull moment on the banks of the Rock River.
The Rockford region is home to a diverse set of artistic and cultural opportunities. In 2004, the city received the Presidents' Arts Friend Community Award, presented by the Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation and the Illinois Municipal League, for recognition of Rockford as a model for how Illinois leaders can work with local artists and arts organizations in their communities.
For those who enjoy the performing arts, Rockford is home to the Coronado Theatre, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and the MetroCentre, Rockford's premiere arena-sized venue for large concerts and events.
For those looking to learn more about history and culture, Rockford provides access to some of Illinois' best museums and cultural centers. Among some of the more intriguing points of interest are the Anderson Japanese Gardens, the Klehm Arboretum, the Burpee Museum of Natural History, the Discovery Center Museum, the Rockford Art Museum, and the Midway Village Museum.
As is the case with most large metropolitan areas, Rockford contains a wide variety of houses of worship including churches, synagogues, mosques, and more.
Rockford provides the best mix of big city living and small town appeal. The city is host to a wide variety of housing opportunities for families of all sizes and has been ranked as one of the top five metropolitan areas in the United States for affordable housing.
Not looking for the big city atmosphere? There are a number of smaller communities all within minutes of the metropolitan area that provide a variety of residential opportunities as well for families big and small.