What to do and see in Dixon, United States: The Best Places and Tips

November 29, 2017 Brandee Mangan

Dixon is a city and the county seat of Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,733 as of the 2010 census, down from 15,941 in 2000. The city is named after founder John Dixon, who operated a rope ferry service across Rock River, which runs through the city. The Illinois General Assembly designated Dixon as "Petunia Capital of Illinois" in 1999 and "The Catfish Capital of Illinois" in 2009.
Restaurants in Dixon

1. Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

816 S Hennepin Ave, Dixon, IL 61021-3646 +1 815-288-5176
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 91 reviews

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

Reviewed By Randy K - Des Moines, Iowa

Wife was visiting from Europe and had found memories of how President Reagan stood against Communism as she grew up in a Communist country.

The house was well maintained and restored. Really a tribute to President Reagan. Interesting was his story of hiding pennies under a tile in front of the fireplace downstairs.

Must see for American History. President Reagan attended the dedication while he was president.

2. Lowell Park

2114 Lowell Park Rd, Dixon, IL 61021-9542 +1 815-284-3306
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Lowell Park

Reviewed By Tim M - Sterling, Illinois

A couple drive throughs this week but wild flowers not out yet. Main road down to riverfront has been resurfaced. Some cleanup near the shoulders.

3. Northwest Territory Historic Center

205 W 5th St, Dixon, IL 61021-3052 +1 815-288-5508
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

Northwest Territory Historic Center

Reviewed By cbo1870 - Madison Heights, Michigan

Self guided tour revealing the history going back to the Sauk tribe. There is a lot of history on display here and they did and an excellent job of presenting it. The museum showcases their hometown love and affection of Ronald Reagan. They also have lots of displays and information on the Army Fort Dixon and the trials and tribulations between white man and the indeginous people of the area. Definitely worth a stop and spend at leats two hours checking it out.

4. Veterans Memorial Park

668 Il Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021-9126
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Veterans Memorial Park

Reviewed By Linda W - Urbana, Illinois, United States

Were in town for a graduation and saw the flags from a distance and decided to check it out. Awesome park filled with planes, a tank, helicopter and plaques explaining Dixon's role in WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. Nicely done.

5. The Next Picture Show

113 W 1st St, Dixon, IL 61021-3025 +1 815-285-4924
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

The Next Picture Show

Reviewed By JudyD00 - Dixon, Illinois

The lighting and display walls for art are superb. The warmth of orginal wooden floors and brick walls makes the space very pleasant. The director and limited volunteer staff are intelligent and helpful. Frequent exhibitions and classes and occasional musical performances make this a total art experience for locals and visitors.

6. Dixon's Railroad Street Arches

Dixon, IL
Excellent
42%
Good
58%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

Dixon's Railroad Street Arches

Reviewed By Dave3441 - Rockford, Illinois

The Illinois Central Stone Arch Railroad Bridges are a trio of limestone railroad bridges in the city of Dixon, Illinois, The bridges were constructed between 1852 and 1855 as the Illinois Central Railroad laid its first rail lines across the state of Illinois. The bridges remained in use by the railroad until 1985, and the three bridges were added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

7. Loveland Community House

513 W 2nd St, Dixon, IL 61021-2960 +1 815-284-2741
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Loveland Community House

Reviewed By SmallTownsWin - Bennington, Vermont

This gorgeous building , which should change its name to draw more people, has some wonderful exhibits. Within Loveland there is a very interesting museum; interesting because there are so many authentic artifacts,and many of them you can touch . Second, the Loveland has a nice art gallery ( which should certainly be advertised) just a few blocks from Dixon's larger "Northwest Territory Museum."

8. Old Settlers Memorial Cabin

Lincoln Statue Drive, Dixon, IL 61021
Excellent
33%
Good
67%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Old Settlers Memorial Cabin

Reviewed By Dave3441 - Rockford, Illinois

Located on the north side of the Rock River in Presidents Park along a nice river walking path, immediately off of Illinois Route 2 in downtown Dixon. This is the only statue ever made which depicts Abraham Lincoln as a young soldier. The statue was done by Leonard Crunelle and shows Lincoln as a 23 year old volunteer in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Dedicated in 1930, the statue sits on ground which was named Fort Dixon during the war.

While currently known as Dixon, Illinois, the town was named Dixon's Ferry at the time of the construction of the fort. On May 22, 1832, Fort Dixon was officially named as a base by General Henry Atkinson.

Because the site was centrally located between Fort Dearborn, Fort Armstrong, and Fort Clark, General Atkinson established Fort Dixon as his command post. Additionally, the Illinois militia used the ferry to transport troops and supplies across the river.

Many notable soldiers served at Fort Dixon, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Winfield Scott, and Zachary Taylor. Lincoln, Davis and Taylor were at the Fort at the exact same time during the Blackhawk War.

9. Veterans' Memorial Arch

215 S Galena Ave, Dixon, IL 61021-3045
Excellent
40%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 5 reviews

Veterans' Memorial Arch

Reviewed By Dave3441 - Rockford, Illinois

Since 1919, this lighted historic memorial arch on Galena Avenue in Dixon has honored the veterans of war. The arch has become a true Dixon landmark as it greets travelers and visitors who pass beneath it. A replica of the arch is included in President Reagan's Presidential Museum in California.

10. Dixon Welcome Center

106 W River St, Dixon, IL 61021-3085 +1 815-284-3496
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Dixon Welcome Center

Reviewed By Dave3441 - Rockford, Illinois

Open seven days a week (some variation in hours), the welcome center is located in downtown Dixon, near the Rock River. About three minutes directly north off of Interstate 88 / Dixon exit.

A wide variety of brochures for local attractions. The Welcome Center has FREE wi-fi access available. The location is home to the Lincoln Highway Interpretive Center and has a gift shop which features items associated with the local area.

Friendly staff. Worth the time to stop when visiting Dixon.

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