While we love the Rock River and use it plenty often during the summer months, there's a body of water nearby so great it's something everyone should see.

The New York Times a couple of days ago shared a list of 52 places in 2021 we need "to love" this year.

We asked readers to tell us about the spots that have delighted, inspired, and comforted them in a dark year.

The newspaper claims they received over 2,000 submissions and shared a definitive 52 "to remind us that the world still awaits."

Some of the locations shared by the New York Times are so exotic, like Saipan in the Northern Islands, I'd need an almanac to figure out where they are.

Of the 52 there are less than 10 places in 2021 in the US, but there's one place that got some "love" from the New York Times that's not far from Rockford.

Jillian Snyder, originally from Vancouver, says after moving to Indiana no one told her about Lake Michigan.

Visits to Lake Michigan have gradually taken on increasing seasonal regularity: marveling at ice waves in winter, enjoying April wildflowers, swimming late into autumn.

Lake Michigan Water Levels Surge After Record May Rainfall In Chicago Area
Getty Images

Growing up in Chicago, I must've taken the ease of access I had with Lake Michigan for granted. I didn't think much of it. To me, it was the water at the beach.

Only today did I realize how incredible Lake Michigan really is. It's also the kind of thing that makes me want to see the lake right now.

Read the rest of Snyder's love letter to Lake Michigan and see the entire list of 52 Places to Love in 2021 at NYTimes.com.

97 ZOK logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

5094 Severson Road, Rockford's Most Expensive Home For Sale

Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK, Q98.5, and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.

More From 97 ZOK