1. Visit Ronald Reagan’s Boyhood Home
816 S. Hennepin Avenue, , 61021
The boyhood home of Ronald Reagan is open to visitors from April 1st through November 12th. Admission is only $5. The house is set up as it was when he lived there so you can enjoy a realistic view of life back then. There is also a statue and visitor’s center to explore.
2. Spend the day at Lowell Park
2114 Lowell Park Road, , 61021
At Lowell Park, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to enjoy as well as a 3 and a half mile trail which is great for jogging and biking. Boat ramps are available for river activities. Also available are cross country skiing trails, a nature center, and picnic tables.
3. Attend Dixon’s Annual 4th of July Petunia Festival
Various locations, , 61021
This annual festival is held over 4th of July week every year and includes a week full of fun-filled activities such as a parade, carnival, live entertainment, fireworks show, a 5k race, and more. Beautiful petunias line Main Street.
4. Spend the day hiking at Castle Rock State Park
1365 W Castle Rd, , 61061
This gorgeous state park is located just 15 minutes away from Dixon in the small community of Oregon. Here you will find 6 miles of quiet nature trails, where it is not unusual to see small forms of wildlife. The highlight of the park is the amazing view of the Rock River, which can be seen after climbing up a huge staircase (your legs will be hurting, although your eyes will thank you!).
If visiting during the winter, the flat trails are great for cross country skiing. Fishing, boating, camping, and picnicking are a few other activities to consider on your trip.
5. See the Ronald Reagan Memorial on the Rock River
106 W. River Street, , 61021
Recently completed, this new Reagan memorial includes a bronze statue of Reagan as well as some interesting historical tidbits to read. This statue is located on Heritage Crossing, a plaza where free concerts are frequently held over the summer months. There is also a nice little path along the Rock River which is great for summertime jogging and walking.
6. Enjoy year-round recreation on the Rock River
2114 Lowell Park Road, , 61021
The Rock River is a beautiful 258 mile long body of water, running through portions of Illinois and Wisconsin. Fishing and boating are popular pastimes, as well as jogging or walking along the riverfront path. Both Lowell and Page park provide access to the river. On an interesting side note, President Reagan once worked as a lifeguard at Lowell Park.
7. Take a hike at Lowden State Park
1411 N River Rd, , 61061
Lowden State Park is another gorgeous hiking option in Oregon, one that is most famous for the giant 50 foot tall statue of Chief Black Hawk. There is a challenging 100 step climb to the statue. In addition to getting in a great lower body workout, you will also enjoy a fabulous view!
Picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, and hiking amongst the park's 4 miles of nature trails give you plenty of options for spring and summertime fun!
8. Run the Reagan 5k
Ronald Reagan Home - 810 S. Hennepin, , 61021
This annual 5k event takes place during the Petunia Festival. This is a very challenging race; possibly one of the hardest 5ks I have run to date. Despite the rough hilly route, it's a great time with lots of support from the local community. Afterwards, you can tour the Reagan house for free.
9. Drive through the Dixon Arch
215 South Galena Avenue, , 61021
The Veteran's Memorial Arch was built as a World War I Memorial to celebrate the soldiers’ return home.
10. Stroll around downtown Dixon
Galena Avenue, , 61021
On the streets lining downtown Dixon, you will find various restaurants, bars, and shops. The Historic Dixon Theater holds various performances during the year, including free movies during the Petunia Festival. Books on First is a great place to relax with your morning cup of coffee. In terms of dining, Basil Tree is a wonderful upscale Italian restaurant.