Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve © Birdfreak.com
Illinois' second city, Rockford, is just a hop and skip to the northwest of Chicago, set in rolling hills. It is worth a visit for culture vultures and golfers, in particular. The city is known for its 'cultural corridor' of which the highlight is the Rockford Art Museum's stunning permanent collection focusing on 19th and 20th century works. There is also a wealth of private galleries and historical museums in the city centre. Rockford is also known for its antique shops and markets, and the many golf courses in the city and vicinity that have earned it the title of Illinois' 'holey' city.