Explore Our Communities
Whether you’re visiting family and friends, or just looking for an excuse to have fun in our community this weekend, DeKalb County has lots to offer!
Our museums and historical society will surpass the appetite of any historian, while our art and entertainment will be sure to amuse. Looking to get outdoors? Visit local forest preserves, yoga centers, orchards, skate parks, pools, recreation centers and so much more. With lots to do and see, don’t forget to take a break for a mouth-watering bite at one of our local restaurants!
Remember to join us throughout the year as we celebrate local festivals. Practice your kite flying skills at DeKalb’s Kite Fest. If you’re a fan of tradition, you won’t want to miss the Sandwich Fair, Corn Fest, Pumpkin Fest and many more. Be sure to put us on your calendar!
Since being incorporated in 1865, the Town of Cortland has been characterized by small hometown living in a warm community atmosphere. Visit us throughout the year for our annual town Garage Sales, Magic Show, Summer Fest, Fall Festival, Parade, and Turkey Trot.
DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, the first estate whiskey distillery in Illinois, and where barbed wire was invented. The historic Egyptian Theatre is the heartbeat of downtown and is the only one East of the Rocky’s. Art and culture thrive here, featuring national, regional and local talent. Explore our museums or one of our 44 parks. Downtown is a shopping destination filled with vintage finds, antiques, restaurants, and hand-made confections. Our history is embedded in the rich farmland that surrounds our area. Be sure to attend one of our many annual events including, Corn Fest, Kite Fest, and the Kishwaukee Fest Parade. Stay, Shop and Play in #ProudlyDeKalb.
Make Genoa your destination for a great day in a historic community that has so much to offer! We are easy to find, located at the intersection of Illinois Routes 72 and 23. Browse unique shops, choose from a variety of restaurants including a Victorian tea room, cafés, ethnic restaurants, and taverns. Sample local wines at our winery or enjoy a craft beverage at our brewery, visit the nature center, hike forest trails, or canoe the Kishwaukee River. The opportunities are endless!
Southeast of DeKalb lies the Village of Hinckley, home of the Globetrotters first game and two-time class 1A Girls State Basketball Champions. Hinckley is a great place to live and grow up in. Small town living at its best, with its quiet tree-lined streets and wonderful home gardens. Come and visit us for great food, spirits, shopping and events throughout the year. hinckleybusiness.com
Kingston is a small town located along Route 72 in northern DeKalb County where every summer you can find boats made entirely out of cardboard being raced on the Kishwaukee River during Kingston Fest’s Kardboard Boat Regatta.
Kirkland is rich in small-town American traditions. Come see us during our 4th of July celebration and experience the best fireworks in northern Illinois. Enjoy a game of disc golf, try skateboarding, or visit one of the most beautiful veteran’s memorials in the country, where each Memorial Day weekend we honor those who have served our great nation. Cap off your summer with a little music at Pickin’ in the Park in August. Visit villageofkirkland.com/events/ for all the latest on our events.
The Village of Lee is located on the DeKalb and Lee County border. Our small town takes pride in our Scandinavian history.
Come share in the Lincoln Highway’s wonderful heritage. Our seedling mile mural is a hand-painted, unique work of art. The mural is located on the Historical Society’s Old Town Hall Museum at 127 North Third Street. It depicts the history of the first concrete mile of paved highway coast to coast. Our small-town festival in June with big town attractions will feature free entertainment all weekend, a carnival, food vendors, car show and beer garden. Visit Jonamac Orchard September through November for the corn maze, apples, pumpkins, ciders, apple wines and more.
Maple Park is located on the edge of DeKalb County. It was founded in 1854 and named to reflect the many Maple trees growing in the area. Enjoy the many family-owned businesses, orchards and vegetable markets in and around the area. One event that draws many families to Maple Park is the Labor Day Weekend Fun Fest, complete with softball games, 5K run, crafts, parade and a huge display of fireworks.
The reasons residents love Sandwich is why you’ll keep coming back…festivals, dining, entertainment, and small town hospitality. Sandwich is home to the Sandwich Fair, which has been held every year since 1889, making it the oldest continuing county fair in the State of Illinois. The rural community is also known as a haven for antique hunters, with over a dozen shops offering antiques and other unique home décor and specialty items. Among our many restaurants is the Bull Moose Bar & Grille, housed in an 1893 Pullman Palace Car Company dining car, once used by President Roosevelt. For entertainment, catch a show at the historic Sandwich Opera House built in 1888 that features family-friendly live music and theatre. We look forward to seeing you in our “fair” city.
Shabbona, located about halfway between Chicago and Rockford in southern DeKalb County, is home to many outdoor recreational activities, featuring Shabbona Lake State Park, Indian Oaks Country Club, Chief Shabbona Forest Preserve and our hometown events. Shabbona, named after Chief Shabbona, has a rich Native American history. Stop by the Lee Rollo Shabbona Museum to learn our unique history. Shabbona Lake State Park is the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois” with 475,000 visitors annually. The Park’s campground has 150 sites, two cabins, and The Camp Store. Bring your birding book, hike scenic forested and lake view trails. Watch for wildlife, including Bald Eagles. Join our community every July 4th, for the Shabbona Fire Department’s All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast, Pokanoka’s Trail Run and Walk, our Home Town Parade and Celebration, and end your day with the best fireworks in DeKalb County booming over Shabbona Lake. Satisfy your appetite at one of our several eateries, play a round of golf, bike, fish, kayak, hike, rent a boat, picnic, and camp, in our extraordinary community.
The Village of Somonauk lies at the southern end of DeKalb County. Attend Somonauk Summer Fest in July featuring Cruise Night, live entertainment, parade, 5K run, tractor pull, craft show, and kids play zone. It’s fun for the entire family.
Sycamore is a warm, vibrant city full of suburban sophistication and historic charm. Experience our many annual events including Turning Back Time Weekend, downtown shopping events, and Pumpkin Festival. Take time to explore our museums and relax in our parks. Enjoy the beautiful 100-year old courthouse in the heart of the historic downtown business district or unique finds in our shopping district. We invite you to stay, shop, dine and enjoy our charming city. For more information visit discoversycamore.com
This tranquil community is taking on a new look. Waterman is a village rich in agricultural and historical traditions located at the intersection of Routes 30 and 23. Take a miniature train ride, enjoy the playground and skate park year around in Lions Community Park. Stop by our winery and vineyard and try some lively local wines. Join us for Summer Fest the 3rd Saturday in July. Visit our local orchard, enjoy cider donuts, pick apples, or find the perfect pumpkin. Come back in November for the Lions Club Gobbler Gallop 5K race. Enhance your holiday traditions with a farm-fresh HOKA turkey. Waterman awaits to share its charm with you.