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When I travel in the Midwest, I often find myself mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the landscape, as I drive from city to city and from state to state. Too many people think this region of the country is nothing more than a homogeneous gathering of cornfields and towns, but in my experience nothing could be further from the truth. I've driven and stopped at countless places between cities like Fargo, St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago and many of the rest. One day, I was driving in northern Illinois towards Madison, Wisconsin when I got a call that my meetings for the rest of that day had been canceled. I was near Rockford, Illinois at the time and realized that this was a city I had never really seen, other than when I stopped for gas or a quick bite along the highway. Since I suddenly had a day to myself, I decided that instead of driving to my destination a day early, I'd spend that day in Rockford. I wasn't concerned about finding a place to stay, as I use the HotelTonight app. I'd book a Rockford hotel room as soon as I needed one.

The Museums

It didn't take long for me to figure out that Rockford seems to be a center for culture. There are all sorts of museums in town, and I wasn't sure which one to see first. I decided to start with the museum of natural history, which was quite impressive. Although I didn't have any kids with me, I spent some time in the children's museum and found out that adults can have just as much fun there as younger folks. I saw several theaters between stops. This is a place that clearly takes learning and history seriously.

The Outdoors

As I walked around, I also noticed that Rockford takes its outdoors life seriously as well. There were a lot of different gardens and other types of preserves around that I wanted to see. I spent some time in Japanese gardens as well as a nature center that was absolutely stunning in terms of what you get to see. The landscape is pure and beautiful, and the entire place is teeming with wildlife. I walked around for hours and took photos that I never thought I'd be taking anywhere in the Midwest. I also talked to a lot of really nice people.

The Dining

I was really hungry, and I wanted to go to a place that had been serving locals for generations. I heard about a pizza place that did just that, so I went there. It was a good decision. This was an old-school Italian place with leather booths for seating. I sat down and ordered a thin crust pizza, and it was nothing short of divine. The homemade sauce had a lot of flavor and a bit of a kick, the crust was crunchy and the cheese was perfectly melted.

HotelTonight – Rockford Hotels Nearby

I was full and ready to sleep. I opened my HotelTonight app and booked a Rockford hotel room in seconds. I couldn't wait to walk into my comfortable and clean room, happy that I had taken advantage of the opportunity to get to know a new place.