In 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Grandview Drive to be the “world’s most beautiful drive.” That was just one of the Peoria fun facts we learned about the city’s history on the narrated River City Tour conducted by the Peoria Historical Society.
Bring new life to a blighted neighborhood with trendy condos or apartments. Add craft breweries and restaurants. To complete the effort, install public art. We love the revitalization efforts we’re seeing throughout Midwest cities, including the Warehouse District in Peoria, Illinois. Once a deteriorating neighborhood, today developers can’t convert old warehouses to apartment buildings quickly enough. In the evenings, crowds gather at craft breweries. And Sculpture Walk Peoria adds an artistic touch to the once-again bustling Warehouse District just southwest of downtown Peoria.
The sun is warm on our faces as we sit in third row seats along the first base line at Dozer Field. We eat jumbo hot dogs drenched in tangy yellow mustard and wash them down with cold beer. We’re watching the Peoria Chiefs take on the Quad Cities River Bandits in a minor league baseball game. Later, as we stand for the seventh inning stretch, the team mascot, a dalmatian named Homer, leads us in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” This is the quintessential all-American summer afternoon.
The Mark Twain Hotel in Peoria, Illinois, was the first boutique hotel I ever stayed in. Boutique hotel. The term itself conjured up images of upscale décor and pampering amenities. I looked forward to our visit with excited anticipation. The experience was even better than I expected. The chic décor blends rich boldness with warm elegance, and the service is impeccable.
The first stop when we visited the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, Illinois, was the 797 Theater. The theater sits in the bed of a 797f mining truck.
We took our granddaughter to Peoria over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend mainly to see the top-notch East Peoria Festival of Lights. Looking for something to do during the day, we found the Peoria Riverfront Museum. The museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, proved to be a great choice for both our granddaughter and us. With plenty of hands-on activities, the Dome Planetarium, and the Giant Screen Theater, you could spend hours in the museum.