from the local experts at Blackhawk Waterways CVB

Our region of NW Illinois is an easy two-hour drive from Chicago and this two-day day adventure has no shortage of thrills. Highlights include: skydiving (or just watching) at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle; a tour & tasting at Kennay Farms Distillery located on the historic Lincoln Highway; a relaxing luncheon cruise on the Rock River via a paddle wheel boat; treats at a shop ‘baking a difference;’ and a self-directed art sculpture driving tour of Oregon.

Many attractions have reopened with limited capacity or different operating hours. Inquire with attractions ahead of time for up-to-date travel policies and health and safety information.

  • Day 1: Rochelle

Since 1968 the Chicagoland Skydiving Center has been in the business of jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and has introduced more than 400,000 people to the sport of skydiving – bringing the extreme to the mainstream. Not feeling adventurous? Sometimes it's fun just to watch those who choose to jump and land at the drop-zone and this can be done from the comfort of the outside seating at the Flight Deck Bar & Grill located adjacent to the skydiving center. This award-winning restaurant provides top-notch service, a broad food and drink menu and a perfect view of the skydivers. The open-air design and Flight Deck Beer Garden allows you to be in the action without actually jumping out of the plane.

Kennay Farms Distillery is located in the heart of Rochelle’s downtown inside the historic Hub Theater Building which still retains the tall ceilings, art-deco style balconies, moldings, and original historic character. Tours begin on the production floor of the distillery and proceed to the Rickhouse where they bottle the clear spirits for retail and barrel the dark spirits for 2.5-5 years. It concludes with an overview of the brewhouse and a tasting of their house vodka. Kennay Farms Distilling brings you handcrafted spirits made from local grain that is produced, milled and distilled by the Kennay family. The house-made vodka uses corn from their farm. Their gin, with hints of coriander, lemongrass, juniper, and orange peel, is available in the tasting room and may be purchased by the bottle. The production floor also features a brewery where recipes are created for ales, lagers, stouts, and IPAs as well as premium and seasonal beers.

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  • Day 2: Oregon

The Pride of Oregon is an authentic paddlewheel riverboat featuring 102 feet of river charm located on the Rock River in Oregon. It was built as a replica of the famous Rosie O'Shea paddlewheeler and offers luncheon and dinner cruises. The festive exterior and graciously appointed interior provide a relaxing atmosphere for memory-making cruises on the beautiful Rock River. 

A visit to Oregon isn’t complete without a stop at The Village Bakery where they create products that people love while “baking a difference” in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. Located in the historic downtown, The Village Bakery offers fresh baked goods, pastries, unique sandwiches and a wide variety of coffee drinks, frozen drinks and ice cream. At this unique bakery, adults with disabilities work shoulder-to-shoulder with professional staff, learning skills needed for employment.

The Oregon Sculpture Trail is a public art project that began in 1911 with the creation of Lorado Taft's sculpture, "The Eternal Indian" - commonly referred to as the Black Hawk Statue. Since that time, Oregon's legacy of public art has expanded to include numerous pieces that are found around town and now include 14 sculptures. Today, visitors to Oregon can enjoy a self-directed sculpture tour while driving through Oregon on Illinois Route 2. A downloadable sculpture trail map is available here.

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