From Presidents to parks, Dixon has many tourist destinations - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

From Presidents to parks, Dixon has many tourist destinations

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The most recent issue of Northwest Quarterly Magazine names Dixon, Illinois as one of 10 Fantastic Fall Destinations in the region. It's not the first time the city's been featured.

History leaves its mark all around Dixon. Mix that with an exciting downtown atmosphere, scenic areas, and the result is a tourism hot-spot. Right as you get into town, Dixon shows off what it's proud of as former President Ronald Reagan's childhood hometown. The house he lived in is now an attraction. The small town also has ties with another President who served at Fort Dixon during the 1832 Black Hawk War.

"We have a statue of Abraham Lincoln as a young soldier, the only one in existence that I know of." -says Dixon Tourism President Colleen Brechon.

If you want sights that aren't so stationary, Dixon has that too.

"We have a lot of areas for people who are interested in hiking, walking, or bird-watching." -says Brechon.

Coming back into town from parks like Castle Rock or Lowell, there's plenty of places to greet you.

"You can really spend a full day in downtown Dixon, going into retail shops, going out to eat, and then going to the art gallery afterwards." -says Dixon Main Street Executive Director Josh Albrecht.

According to Brechon, downtown is a place for everyone, from families to couples.

"It's just a very nice, romantic kind of area." -she says.

Albrecht says tourism doesn't end with the fall season.

"We've got a lot of Christmas activity and it's a great way to come and shop for the holidays supporting small, local, independent businesses." -he says.

A lot of those downtown retail stores can be found in big cities but Albrecht claims Dixon is unique.

"You get a little bit of a different shopping experience, it's a little more laid back, little more relaxed, you don't have the hustle and bustle."

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