Tour the RDA

The River District Association is the official tour provider of downtown Rockford. Take a tour of downtown on foot or on a bike with renowned Rockford architect Gary Anderson.

“The River District has a rich history of diverse architectural styles,” said Gary Anderson.  “From industrial warehouses to personal residences, every building tells a story of the people, activities, and events that have shaped our city’s past.  We invite you to catch a unique glimpse into both the past and the future on our walking tours.”


The Walking Tour will include a history of historic properties and the many uses they have sustained over the past 150 years.  Over 20 stops are included on the tour, including:

  • The Waterfront warehouse district on Water Street

  • Historic properties along Madison Street

  • The Brewmasters House of the Peacock Brewery

  • Historic and contemporary residences on First Street

  • And much more.

The cost for the tour is $25, and includes drinks and light fare from a downtown restaurant.  Proceeds benefit the events and programs run by the River District Association.



The Bike Tour of our beautiful downtown is also led by Gary Anderson. It usually leaves on a Saturday morning beginning at 8 a.m. from Rockford City Hall. It is 2 hours long and offers a glimpse of Rockford’s history and a peek into the future.

Our stops typically include:

*Fairgrounds Park
*The former St. Thomas High School
*The Shumway and Condon Seed building
*The new Embassy Suites Hotel
*The Graham Ginestra Museum
*The former Barber Coleman plant
*A ride along the new South Main bike path to River Oaks and the history that surrounds the site
*The Monastery of the Poor Clares
*A ride on the pedestrian bridge crossing Fordham Dam
*A view of the Orchid Neighborhood, where the new Kishwaukee School will be constructed

The cost of the Bike Tour is $20 and includes coffee and light fare at a downtown Rockford restaurant.

Gary Anderson