When you're in Lee County, Illinois, you'll encounter a relaxed atmosphere that allows you to shift gears and slow down. If you love nature and the great outdoors, hike the trails of the Franklin Creek State Natural Area where you can tour the only truly water-powered grist mill in Illinois, or go down the road a ways and watch majestic bison roam the sweeping expanse of natural prairie at Nachusa Grasslands.
History buffs will love learning about the early days of an American icon at the Boyhood Home of President Ronald Reagan in Dixon. Then, just few blocks down the street, there’s the Northwest Territory Historic Center where you can tour an extensive exhibit depicting the lifestyle and legacy of the war Blackhawk and the Sauk Indians during the era of the Native American - Blackhawk Indian War.
Do you like historic trivia and tidbits? Discover different aspects of the story of the first transcontinental highway in the United States in the Lincoln Highway Coalition’s interpretive display at the Dixon Welcome Center and at the Lincoln Highway Association’s National Headquarters at the H. I. Lincoln Store in Franklin Grove.
Do you enjoy leisurely hunting for treasures and trinkets in one-of-a-kind, locally owned shops and stores? Or strolling through fairs and festivals, and art and craft shows? Once the warm weather sets in there are plenty of places to explore and events to tickle your fancy. There’s the Ashton Summer Celebration in early June, and the Dixon Petunia Festival which encompasses the 4th of July holiday and is the area’s largest festival. The Franklin Grove Summer Harvest Festival is the first weekend in August. And don't miss the Amboy Depot Days during the last weekend in August, where you can try your luck by buying some 50/50 raffle tickets at the Annual Amboy Depot Days Car Show, where the winner’s take has become almost legendary. If those things are too tame for you, how about getting caught up in the excitement of truck and tractor pulls? If that’s more your style, mark your calendar for the Lee County 4-H Fair in late July and the Paw Paw Labor Day Celebration.
The pace is casual, the folks are friendly, and restaurants and cafes serve meals you’ll savor at prices so reasonable you may be tempted to order dessert, too. Play around with the website. Check out the Calendar of Events. Go to the E-Guide. Flip through the pages. See what piques your interest. Then come and explore. We want you to See Lee County, Illinois.