• Ronald Reagan Birthplace & Boyhood Home
• Historic Museums & driving tours
• Tour authentic Windmill & Cultural Center
• Stops at a variety of shops featuring chocolate
Cities where the itinerary operates:
Dixon, Rock Falls, Sterling & Fulton, Illinois
Day One: Dixon Illinois
Your day begins with a tour of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home which has been restored to the 1920’s era when Ronald Reagan and his family lived there. Through the guided tour you will learn about his boyhood and teen years spent in Dixon. There is a gift shop and visitor’s center on site.
Your next stop is The Northwest Territory Historic Center, a Smithsonian-affiliated history, research and learning center housed in Ronald Reagan’s boyhood South Central School. Here you will find interactive exhibits on Native American & Black Hawk war and early American farming; "Dutch" Reagan's restored classroom, Reagan history room, Walgreen history room, original Reagan movie posters, original Reagan diplomas, historical paintings on every floor, changing historical exhibits and the museum store.
The Loveland Museum will welcome you for lunch catered by Baker’s Street Café which will include a selection of their signature chocolate specialties – 14-layer cinnamon torte, rich Bavarian cake or the chocolate Ganache filled and topped in rich chocolate.
Board the bus for the Dixon Welcome Center where you can shop for Reagan memorabilia and check out the Lincoln Highway Interpretive Exhibit. You’ll be joined by a step-on guide for a driving tour of the historic community that helped shape a future president.
A stop in downtown Dixon will include The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe which offers Chocolate Ports and Chocolate Martinis. Not sure how to pair wine with chocolate? Allow their knowledgeable staff to assist you and we can also arrange an optional chocolate martini sampling for your group which includes 3 kinds of martinis and chocolate samples as well.
Check in for an overnight at the Dixon Comfort Inn. A group dinner can be arranged or take your pick of the many area dining options offered.
Day Two: Tampico & Sterling/Rock Falls, Illinois
Following breakfast you will travel to Tampico to visit the birthplace of President Ronald Reagan. The apartment where he was born has been restored and authentically decorated and your visit will include a stop at the museum and gift shop.
The tour proceeds to the Sterling/Rock Falls area for stops at the Dillon Home Museum and the Sterling/Rock Falls Historical Society Museum. The Dillon Home Museum features history of the founders of Northwestern Steel and Wire and features fine antiques belonging to the Dillon family. The Sterling/Rock Falls Historical Museum is located in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Dillon Home Museum.
Lunch at The Factory Pub & Grub in downtown Sterling.
Following lunch you’ll stop at The Little Chocolatier where owner Dennis Little will give a demonstration and you’ll have a chance to check out this chocolate specialty shop features hand dipped chocolates, caramel and cheese popcorn, novelty and holiday candies, gourmet coffees, espresso bar drinks and gift items.
Your next stop is the Rock Falls Fire Museum which boasts vintage firefighting equipment.
Check in for an overnight at Holiday Inn Express located along the Rock River or Country Inn & Suites in Rock Falls. A group dinner can be arranged or take your pick of the many area dining options offered.
Day Three: Fulton, Illinois
Following check out and breakfast you’ll travel the historic Lincoln Highway to Fulton which is the Lincoln Highway’s gateway to the west where it crosses the mighty Mississippi River. Fulton’s strong Dutch heritage offers travelers many interesting sites. The authentic Dutch Windmill, “De Immigrant”, was prefabricated in the Netherlands and erected by Dutch craftsmen in Fulton on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Windmill Museum & Cultural Center across the street features exhibits & 23 large scale models of European windmills that will broaden your understanding of the important roll windmills played in early Europe.
Lunch at Manny’s in downtown Fulton will feature a chocolate dessert.
Following lunch the tour will continue at Heritage Canyon which is located on the Mississippi River in an old 12 acre quarry restored and furnished to replicate a mid-1800’s settlement. Paths through the wooded hillside lead from home sites to a doctor’s office, one room school, church, covered bridge, swinging bridge and much more.
Your group can explore downtown Fulton and check out their unique shops or depart for home.
All locations and times listed in this sample itinerary are subject to change according to your needs. To personalize this itinerary contact us and we’ll work with your group to make your tour special! Blackhawk Waterways will make all the arrangements for your group of 25 or more.
• Fun chocolate shopping experiences
• *Dinner Theater
• Overnight Stay with a scenic view of the Rock river
• Lunch in a rustic lodge
• Indulgent Desserts
Day 1 – Oregon
The first stop on your chocolate adventure is Conover Square in Oregon; spend time wondering through its many distinctive shops. Built in 1893, home of the Schiller Piano Factory. Enjoy lunch at Conover Coffees & Chocolates, among the chocolate truffles and the meltaways, the nuts and the caramels, their gourmet Bridge Mix and other familiar favorites, you’ll find one vary rare and extraordinary ingredient – their 100% pure chocolate passion. Conover Coffees & Chocolates offers more than 70 different kinds of chocolate indulgences along with gourmet blends of coffees, teas & smoothies.
Travel a short distance to Oregon Soap Shoppe; here the CHOCOLATE GOODIES have some very important features! They are; 100% guilt free, 100% calorie free, OH so very good for you and only mildly "habit forming"! Choose from their many soaps, the delicious chocolate varieties or any of the other 150 plus blends to really nurture the skin you are in! Besides the Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Amber & Milk Chocolate Almond soaps for your bathing adventures, keep your lips kissable with Chocolate Covered Cherry and Chocolate Mint lip balms. Relax and luxuriate with Chocolate Bath Salts or exfoliate with Chocolate Mint Sugar Scrubs.
After a day of shopping, Head North enjoying the scenic view of the Rock River as you arrive and check in at The Paddlewheel Inn of Oregon. They will provide the chocolate lover with a variety of chocolate treats in your room upon arrival if you book thru Blackhawk Waterways.
After checking in, go across to Maxson’s Manor Restaurant for an upscale dinner with salad bar. You can also stroll along the Rock River or book a tour via the Pride of Oregon Riverboat. I’m sure you will find plenty of Chocolate surprises on their desert menu.Return to hotel.
Day 2 – Mt. Morris, Rochelle
After a refreshing night sleep and breakfast, visit the many unique shops Oregon has to offer, including Robin’z Nest for a breakfast with specialty chocolate chip pancakes and coffees.
How about a quaint shopping experience in a boutique? Visit Merlin’s Greenhouse and Flowers and The Otherside Boutique, where they will always go out of their way to please a customer. Every Season is special, beautiful decor throughout and clothing and jewelry is amazing!!
Be sure to stop in Eagles Nest which is a one of a kind shopping experience. If you have ever shopped out west you will LOVE what we have to offer. They have Corral boots, handcrafted native American jewelry, Minnetonka moccasins, artifacts, rustic furniture and so much more.
Continue your trip 10 min west to *White Pines Inn, located in the beautiful White Pines Forest State Park; enjoy a delicious lunch while you relax and enjoy a live theater production(tickets purchase in advance) in the rustic historic lodge. Make sure you save room for chocolate cobbler or chocolate covered ice cream dessert. Chocolate lovers will delight in the gift shop’s assorted chocolates, truffles and myrtles.
As you head home your last stop is Colonial Flowers & Gifts in Rochelle. Featuring seasonal settings, Colonial Flowers & Gifts offers a wide variety of fresh, classic chocolates in upscale packaging and free chocolate samples.
*Only available on specific dates
Please call Blackhawk Waterways for groups of 10 or more.
Depart for home.
Start in Oregon, the northern-most part of Ogle County.