12 Best Things to Do in Peoria, IL


The oldest everlasting European settlement in Illinois, Peoria is perched atop a bluff overlooking each the Illinois River and Peoria Lake. Once derided because the Average American Town, its residents are rightfully pleased with what the town has to supply with some even saying its sights make it a smaller, cheaper Chicago.

Named after the Native American those who inhabited the area, the strategic riverside space was settled by French explorers in 1691. Its outstanding port meant Peoria grew to become a serious heart of agriculture, commerce and transport for the Midwest. Its regular development and quiet snug life noticed it considered because the archetypal US city and the well-known determine of speech ‘Will it play in Peoria?’ coined.

While demographic adjustments imply it’s considerably much less consultant of Midwestern mainstream tradition now, the town is bound to supply up loads of surprises to those that go to. With loads of issues to do in Peoria, a hip riverfront district and the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Drive’ to discover, this neglected gem is effectively price testing.

12. Wildlife Prairie Park

Wildlife Prairie Park

A enjoyable place to go to, the great Wildlife Prairie Park has over 150 animals to spot, roaming round in a pure setting. Often ranked among the many finest sights in Illinois, it lies nestled simply twenty minutes drive northwest of city.

Sprawled throughout a large space, it encompasses huge forests, rivers and meadows. First opened to the general public in 1977, it now protects round sixty species native to the state with bobcats, bears, bison and wolves all on present.

Aside from taking wildlife watching excursions and studying extra concerning the elk and otters, you may hike, bike and kayak about its numerous landscapes. Playgrounds, picnic areas and campgrounds are additionally on supply as are a railroad, sculpture stroll and disc golf course.

11. WeaverRidge Golf Club

WeaverRidge Golf Club

Whether you’re a full beginner, enthusiastic newbie or perhaps a skilled, the WeaverRidge Golf Club is a beautiful place to play a spherical. At the championship course, you may both tee off amidst gorgeous surroundings or check out a cool golf simulator.

Open to the general public, the eighteen-hole course may be very lovingly landscaped with its pristine greens and sandy bunkers set amid sweeping valleys and forested hills. Despite dramatic elevation change and lengthy distances concerned, its 5 units of tees imply it’s appropriate for all ages and talents.

Besides taking part in at one of many top-rated programs in the nation, friends can dine at its lavish clubhouse or open air on the restaurant deck. There are additionally golf courses accessible, an on-site store and the enjoyable simulators if you happen to don’t fancy ambling concerning the inexperienced exterior.

10. Tower Park

Tower Park

If you’re after the most effective views in city, make certain to head to Tower Park in the Peoria Heights a part of the town. From the highest of its darkish purple water tower, you may bask in phenomenal panoramas of the big Illinois River Valley stretching nearly endlessly away earlier than you.

Instantly recognizable, the 200-foot-tall tower has three lofty statement decks from which guests can gaze out over Grandview Drive and all its historic outdated mansions. Weather allowing, it’s open from April via October with autumn being a very particular time to go to due to all its fiery fall foliage.

On prime of having fun with its unbelievable vistas and snapping some pics, it’s also possible to stroll concerning the small park’s paths with playgrounds, public sculptures and a pavilion dotted right here and there.

9. Luthy Botanical Garden

Luthy Botanical Garden

Full of colourful vegetation, flowers, timber and shrubs, the stunning Luthy Botanical Garden will be discovered tucked away in Glen Oak Park. An absolute deal with to wander round, its pleasant grounds lie alongside each Peoria Zoo and the Playhouse Children’s Museum.

Home to fifteen fabulous themed gardens, quite a few sculptures and a tropical conservatory, it was established in 1951. Since then, it has amassed a formidable assortment of flora from throughout the globe with some sections specializing in herbs and perennials and others on roses and orchids.

While spring sees 1000’s of bulbs bloom, its blazing autumnal colours make for simply as hanging a sight. The backyard can also be recognized for its tremendous seasonal reveals with the Poinsettia Show in November and December being by far the preferred of the lot.

8. Peoria Riverfront

Peoria Riverfront

One of essentially the most taking place elements of city to hit up is the vigorous Peoria Riverfront, which is full of outlets, eating places, artwork galleries and music venues. Thanks to its huge number of institutions and leisure choices, it’s arguably one of the best place to store, dine and exit in Peoria.

Lying alongside the Illinois River, its bustling blocks have now been on the heart of life in city for hundreds of years. While some individuals come for the Contemporary Art Center or to see the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, others store til they drop or try the numerous cafes, eating places and breweries.

Its quite a few riverside parks and viewpoints are different fashionable drawcards, as are the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center. The fixed concert events, cultural occasions and festivals going down solely add to the realm’s interesting atmosphere.

7. Peoria Civic Center

Peoria Civic Center

If you need to take pleasure in a top-class live performance, play or comedy evening when in city, then the Peoria Civic Center is definitely the place to go. Located proper by the stylish Riverfront district, its huge area, theater and exhibit halls have a jam-packed calendar of thrilling occasions to try.

Since 1982, the colossal advanced has placed on 1000’s of reveals, conventions and occasions which were attended by thousands and thousands. While its theater is the house of each the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Peoria Ballet, Broadway reveals additionally usually take the stage.

At the multi-purpose Carver Arena, you may as an alternative watch thrilling basketball video games and ice hockey matches or catch a big-name act. Over the years, everybody from the Eagles and Elton John to Cher, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, have carried out with Disney on Ice and WWE reveals additionally typically passing via.

6. Forest Park Nature Preserve

Forest Park Nature Preserve

A peaceable and picturesque place to discover is the Forest Park Nature Preserve. Set simply half an hour’s drive north of downtown, its winding nature trails and shady woodlands lie simply inland from the Upper Peoria Lake.

Very calm and quiet, its scenic confines are a haven for native wildlife with massive herds of deer and cute chipmunks and squirrels usually noticed amidst the timber. The terrain is simply as numerous as its well-maintained path system that takes you thru fairly meadows and ravines, up hills, over ridges and down steep bluffs.

It additionally has an excellent nature heart to cease by which options attention-grabbing displays on the area’s fauna and flora and offers extra data on all its tantalizing trails.

5. Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum

Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

Also situated in Glen Oak Park is the wonderful Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum. Full of enjoyable play areas and hands-on shows, its colourful displays encourage youthful ones to embrace their creativeness and be taught via contact and play.

Only established in 2015, the museum covers every thing from fossils, farm life and vaudeville to forces and movement, gravity and geology. Besides constructing issues and making music, youngsters can dig for fossils, roll balls down ramps and even milk a pretend cow.

Wooden climbing frames and water stations are additionally dotted about with most mother and father raving about its intensive actions and the standard of studying offered. What’s extra, the employees are very pleasant, welcoming and keen to be sure that your baby has one of the best expertise attainable.

4. Peoria Zoo


Another agency favourite with households is the adjoining Peoria Zoo, which homes a massively spectacular menagerie of unique and endangered animals. While some sections deal with species native to the state, others transport you as far-off as Africa, Asia and even Australia.

Founded again in 1955, its spacious enclosures now include about 250 animals, birds and reptiles of greater than 100 totally different species. Consequently, friends can see not simply lovable meerkats and wallabies however fierce lions, rhinos and tigers too when wandering across the zoo.

As effectively as watching stay feeding classes and even giving some giraffes some grass to eat, its collection of keeper chats train you all about its spider monkeys, snapping turtles and takins.

3. Grandview Drive

Grandview Drive

Lined by prestigious historic homes, picturesque parks and phenomenal viewpoints; Grandview Drive is certainly one of the crucial scenic roads in the States. Meandering its means up the left aspect of the lake, it affords spellbinding panoramas of its glowing waters and the sweeping valleys off in the gap.

Stretching two and a half miles in size, it was proclaimed the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Drive’ by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. As you cruise alongside slowly, you’ll cross grand estates exhibiting beautiful structure and attractive nature spots for you to cease off at.

Aside from mountain climbing and biking the encompassing parkland, you may picnic at its viewpoints whereas consuming in the divine surroundings earlier than you. A very nice time of yr to go to is autumn when the fiery colours of the timber make every thing much more gorgeous.

2. Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Home to a formidable array of artifacts, displays and artworks, the ever-popular Peoria Riverfront Museum lies proper in the center of the hip space. Besides perusing its numerous assortment and galleries, guests may also catch reveals at its big display screen theater and dome planetarium.

The solely multidisciplinary museum of its variety in the nation, it was opened in 2012 as a successor to the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences. Its gigantic fashionable constructing shows tremendous artwork and classic automobiles whereas short-term displays cowl varied topics like bioluminescence, American revolutionaries and house exploration.

After having fun with an academic and entertaining science present in both its planetarium or theater, you may all the time stroll concerning the sculpture backyard exterior. Mostly made by Illinois natives, their summary shapes and silhouettes make for some very attention-grabbing viewing.

1. Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Next to the museum is the town’s different standout sight: the very good Caterpillar Visitors Center. At its state-of-the-art website, you may see huge vehicles, diggers and but different heavy equipment and be taught concerning the historical past of the world-conquering firm.

Founded in 1925 following the merging of the Holt Manufacturing Company and C. L. Best Tractor Company, it now sells its machines, engines and gear in over 190 international locations all over the world. The interactive displays element its founding, improvement and evolution with outdated makes and fashions and video installations dotted about.

The spotlight although is after all hopping in its iconic yellow vehicles and diggers and seeing simply how large they’re from up shut. Visitors may also take a digital journey in a towering two-and-a-half storey truck earlier than selecting up some items in its on-site retailer.

Map of Things to Do in Peoria, IL

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