Photo: Robin Pendergrast
Woodstock was chosen as a
Dozen Distinctive Destination 2007
Only 45 miles from Chicago, the small, warm Victorian village of Woodstock, Ill., has a unique and beguiling charm. A treasure nestled in the heart of McHenry County, Woodstock is known for its celebrated town square and downtown historic district, which features a delightful collection of shops, restaurants, galleries and a theatre. Throughout the year, Woodstock plays host to a cavalcade of festivals and fairs, summer band concerts, a Farmers’ Market, and a Groundhog Day celebration commemorating Woodstock's starring role as Punxsutawney, Pa., in the 1992 movie Groundhog Day.
Two historic structures dominate the town square: the Opera House and the 1857 Court House. The Romanesque-style Opera House, with its imposing five-story bell tower and stained glass windows, was erected in 1889 and today remains the town’s cultural and entertainment center, hosting plays, concerts, and performances throughout the year, including the nationally renowned Woodstock Mozart Festival. The Court House is now home to restaurants, an art gallery, a pottery shop and the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum, which honors Woodstock’s hometown cartoonist and his famed detective. Children enjoy the Challenger Center for Science & Technology, which offers numerous programs for would-be space explorers, the city-owned Recreation Center and the Family Aquatic Center.
Not to be missed is Woodstock's Victorian Christmas celebration that begins each Thanksgiving weekend. In a scene like a page out of Dickens, carolers stroll Woodstock’s streets while visitors bundle up for horse-drawn carriage rides around the square, and thousands of miniature lights twinkle from trees and historic buildings.
For these reasons, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the country's largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, has named Woodstock, Ill., to its 2007 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, an annual list of unique and lovingly preserved communities in the United States. Woodstock was selected from 63 destinations in 27 states that were nominated by individuals, preservation organizations and local communities. Woodstock represents the very best of small-town America, a place where community and quality of life are values that are revealed in every street and sidewalk, said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A real, living, dynamic town, Woodstock appreciates and capitalizes on its rich past while keeping a watchful eye on the future.
more information, visit the Woodstock Chamber