Close your eyes, and imagine the quintessential Midwestern farming town. Now you’ve got a pretty good idea of Kouts. Driving in, you’ll pass vast green and yellow fields dotted with barns and silos before making your way to Main Street, where local restaurants serve up everything from hearty breakfasts to great pizzas. You’ll quickly notice that everyone knows everyone here—and visitors don’t remain strangers for long.
Head to downtown Kouts, and stop into Birky’s Bakery & Market to shop for locally raised pork and other meats, as well as baked goods, ice cream, and homemade goods. While in town, take the chance to grab a bite at one of the great restaurants and pizza parlors along Main Street, including Cronies Charhouse & Gin Mill and Main Street Pizza Plus, or head out to Baum’s Bridge Inn for outdoor dining, sizzling steaks, and BBQ chops. If you’re lucky enough to visit during August, be sure to celebrate everything pig-related at the Kouts Pork Fest.
Launch your boat and kayak, or cast a line into the Kankakee River from Dunn’s Bridge County Park. This is a spot that holds a sacred place in the area’s history, which guests and locals celebrate during the Aukiki River Festival that takes place each August.