Places to visit in Peoria IL

Places to visit in Peoria IL
Interesting places to visit in Illinois
If you have heard of the catchphrase 'Will it play in Peoria', you've heard of Peoria! Peoria Illinois is a beautiful US city located roughly between Chicago and St. Louis Missouri, which is the quintessential of an all-American city.

If you’re wondering what to see and do in this Midwest city, you'll be glad to know that Peoria boasts lots of cultural attractions and places to visit, a vibrant nightlife, golf courses, charming shops, lovely parks and plenty of regular events held at Peoria Civic Center.

Peoria Riverfront (Water Street)

Peoria Riverfront is, without a doubt, one of the top places to visit in Peoria IL and one of the best places in town to find live music and restaurants and catch fun events.

Peoria Riverfront is home many of Peoria tourist attractions and tour companies so, you’ll be able to tours such as horse-drawn carriage and segway, as well as paddlewheel excursions (see picture).

Riverfront Visitors Center

If you’re visiting Peoria for the first time, one of the best places to visit in town is the visitor's center. You'll be able to plan your vacation in Peoria at the Riverfront visitor’s center, grab free maps, find out about events that day and book all kinds of tours such as open-air bus tours and walking tours. The visitor's center is located at 110 Northeast Water Street.

Peoria Historic Buildings

One of Peoria’s biggest draw is the amount of historic places the city boasts, and what better way to explore them than on a guided tour!

Peoria Historical Society organizes a variety of tours that will allow you to explore Peoria’s historic sites such as County Courthouse Plaza and Peoria City Hall, as well as historic homes such as John C. Flanagan House and Pettengill-Morron House.

The Historical Society is located at 611 SW Washington St. and offers these tours during the summer and fall seasons only.

Grandview Drive

If you’re planning on using car rental during your trip, one of the top places to visit in Peoria IL is Grandview Drive, which is home to some of the most prestigious homes in the area.

Grandview Drive is certainly one of the most scenic drives in the US as it offers stunning views of the Illinois River and the historic homes along it.

Grandview Drive is located in the village of Peoria Heights near Peoria Country Club (around 10 minutes drive north of downtown Peoria).

Luthy Botanical Gardens/ Peoria Zoo

If you enjoy marveling at beautiful gardens and visiting safari-style zoos, Luthy Botanical Gardens and Peoria Zoo are popular attractions in town to visit, especially during the warm months of spring and autumn.

Both Luthy Botanical Gardens and Peoria Zoo are located in Glen Oak Park, which is nearby Springdale Cemetary.

Peoria Riverfront Market

Peoria Riverfront Market is one of the top attractions along Peoria Riverfront and a great place to visit to mingle with locals, soak in great atmosphere and buy local arts and crafts.

The Riverfront Market is normally held every Saturday morning during the summer and autumn months.

Springdale Cemetery

Springdale Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Illinois and it’s another great place to visit in Peoria, especially during Halloween when the Prairie Folklore Theater organizes a tour of the cemetery.

Springdale Cemetery tours by the Folklore Theatre are normally held in the first two weeks of October in the afternoon, and feature plenty of healthy American humor so they aren’t spooky at all!

Illinois Antique Center

The Illinois Antique Center is another interesting place to visit in town if you’re interested in buying specialty items and vintage stuff such as vinyl music records, antique jewelry and art, coins and that kind of thing.

The Illinois Antique Center is located along the Riverfront at 311 SW Water St. (which is just off Liberty Park).

Proctor Recreation Center

If you’re looking for fun activities to do with the family during your trip to Peoria, be sure to visit Proctor Recreation Center, which is located at 309 South Dusable Street.

The Proctor Recreation Center offers classes and programs for seniors, adults and youth, as well as the African American Hall of Fame, which is a neat little museum!

Peoria Art Guild‎

The Peoria Art Guild is another of the top places to visit in Peoria IL if you are interested in art generally. Besides seeing art on display, the Art Guild is home to an art fair in late September and regular art shows all year long where they showcase local art works from high school students.

The Peoria Art Guild‎ is located at 203 Harrison Street

Laura Bradley Park

Laura Bradley Park is the largest park in Peoria and one of the best places to take the family for a fun day out. The park is adjacent Newman golf course and boasts many picnic areas, a nice Japanese bridge, game courts and plenty of play areas.

Lakeview Museum-Arts ‎

Lakeview Museum-Art is another of the popular places to visit in Peoria IL, especially if you’re looking for fun things to do with the family.

The museum houses various art galleries where you’ll find exhibited folk art artifacts such as coverlets and quilts, as well as an impressive 19th century decoy collection.

The Lakeview Museum-Arts ‎also boasts interesting science exhibits such as Carolyn Russo’s famous abstract art photography.

The museum also boasts an area dedicated to Jim Henson where they exhibit his work such as cartoon drawings, photographs and puppet collection, which includes Jim Henson’s famous Kermit the Frog.

Shopping in Peoria

Peoria boasts a myriad of shopping centers  if you fancy enjoying a bit of shopping retail therapy, or a fun day out with the kids.

University Square, Metro Centre, Glen Plaza, and Evergreen Square are all located in the area around Lakeview Park and Illinois Central College, and are the largest shopping areas in town.

Sterling Bazaar, Northwoods, Westlake, Wardcliffe shopping centers are located a few miles further west of the downtown area.

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