Find your Real Getaway in Northwest Illinois
Map of NW Illinois
Welcome to NW Illinois

100 miles due west of Chicago lie the rolling hills, old growth forests and the pristine rivers of the Blackhawk Waterways in Northwest Illinois. With its quaint cabins and darling bed & breakfasts, it's the perfect weekend getaway in Illinois. Every mile is steeped in history, surrounded by outdoor beauty and dotted with charming villages. The Blackhawk Waterways is what your vacation getaway looks like...
In Real Life.

John Deere

Historic Site

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photo: Jack Hughes

Mississippi Palisades

State Park

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photo: Jack Hughes

Nachusa Grasslands

Bison Herd

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De Immigrant Windmill

working windmill

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FESTIVAL | Mount Carroll Mayfest

On Saturday, May. 27, 2023
FESTIVAL | Mount Carroll Mayfest
Mayfest Celebration 

May 26-28
This annual festival has been a staple of Northwest Illinois culture for over 40 years. Located on the gorgeous Shimer Square campus in Mount Carroll, the festival hasn't moved very far from its roots as a Student Day Fair at Shimer College in the 60s. Two music stages, a Beer Tent, a Wine Tent, a Food Tent,  KidZone with Bounce House, Art Show and vendors throughout the historic quad bring in thousands of visitors from all over Illinois and surrounding states.

A 5K walk run will be held Saturday morning and the classic car show will be held on Sunday from 9 to 3 in downtown Mt Carroll.

Mainstage Headliners:
Friday nightEthan Bell Band playing Country/Rock
Saturday nightThe Breakfast Club playing 80’s Rock
Sunday nightEchoes of Pompeii, the best Pink Floyd tribute band in the nation, will be playing classic rock with a performance which includes a laser light show.
PLUS, music by local and regional performers will be playing on the Quad all weekend


Go to the Facebook link above for all the details. 

Classic Car Show

The classic car show will be held on Sunday in the historic downtown from 9 am - 3 pm. Dash plaques to the first 100 entries plus participant Judging with trophies to the top 50 plus Best of Show &  Best Paint. Music by 3-D Sound.

Event repeats

NW Illinois Travel Blog

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