Itineraries for IL Governor’s Conference


Discover Peoria


Welcome to Peoria! Whether you’re arriving early, looking for extra things to do during your visit, or staying a bit longer after the conference, Discover Peoria is your concierge for shops to visit, eateries to try and places to explore!

For those arriving early, we would encourage you to check out these exceptional locations!   

Alexander’s Steakhouse {Peoria} // A popular spot due to the caliber of clientele it regularly entertains, Alexander’s Steakhouse is one of the most high-end drinking spots in town, so expect an older, more mature collection of whiskeys here. Dinner calls for fine steaks and seafood, you’re in luck because regardless of the occasion, Alexander Steakhouse is an interactive crowd pleaser—guests are able to grill their own steaks!

Senara Chiropractic + MedSpa {Peoria}  //  Before you get your mind and body engaged in the Governor’s Conference agenda and activities, get yourself in a position to relax + unwind before a busy week with a therapeutic massage and specialty spa services.

Intuition Coffee + Juice  {Downtown Peoria}  //  Intuition is bursting with seasonal flavors and it’s not just about the coffee; it’s about the connections we create. We foster a warm, welcoming atmosphere where every guest is embraced with genuine kindness and acceptance. Don’t forget to take a selfie with the iconic bear (IYKYK)! 

Jalapeños   {Peoria} //  Jalapeños in the Metro Centre impresses with a combination of tasty tacos and cocktails served inside a stylish, urban dining space. The grilled steak taco is a winner any day of the week, but so are the baja taco and the vegetarian-friendly Tacos de Vegetal. Don’t miss out on their amazing queso fundido. 

Saffron Social  {Downtown Peoria} //  Open Monday – Saturday, this art-deco inspired restaurant is sure to satisfy with mouth watering seafood, delectable steaks, an impressive wine list and so much more. Whether you choose the prime-aged steaks and/or seafood options that are flown in overnight, your cocktail and wine pairing will be sure to impress any palate. 

Jim’s Steakhouse {Downtown Peoria} // Open Monday – Jim’s is a staple for celebrities visiting Peoria and you’ll see that by the plethora of photos donning the walls as you make your way to your table in the subterranean steakhouse. Enjoy a dirty martini with your prime cut steak before you jump into the conference.

Have some down time while you’re here? Let us guide you around the town! 

Ardor Breads and Provisions  {Downtown Peoria, Illinois Maker}  //  Focusing on fermentation and old-fashioned cooking techniques, Ardor Breads & Provisions is a popular artisan bakery located in Peoria’s Warehouse District, which just received a designation from USA Today as one of the top restaurants in the country. Ardor sells the most delicious naturally leavened bread, hand-laminated pastries and sandwiches that melt in your mouth. You’re also sure to love the shop’s aesthetic atmosphere and positive vibes. 

Caterpillar Visitors Center   {Peoria} //  This one-of-a-kind museum is a great way to spend an afternoon. As the hometown of Caterpillar, this interactive and educational stop in Peoria is a fascinating exhibit showcasing the history and innovations throughout the growth of Caterpillar, Inc. Get up close and personal with Caterpillar diggers, massive machinery, and vehicles from modern to vintage. Experience hands-on activities like the backhoe digital simulator, exploring the cab of a real bulldozer, and measuring up to a life-sized Cat 797F Mining Truck tire—a massive two-and-a-half story machine.

George’s Shoeshine + Hatters  {Downtown Peoria, Illinois Maker} //  George’s Shoeshine and Hatters is a shop lost to time. Serving his community for more than 76 years, this long-forgotten art remains a staple of high-society in downtown Peoria. A service you cannot find anywhere else in town, and provided by a master of his craft, George’s Shoeshine is a treasured business that echoes the style and elegance of a forgotten era.

Gone Social  {Peoria} //  From Axe throwing and escape rooms to pinball and cocktails, don’t miss out on all the fun! Truly see how a team works together with the escape room or help them blow off some steam with axe throwing.

Peoria Riverfront Museum  {Peoria}  //  The Peoria Riverfront Museum, known as the only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, uses art, science, history and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. It features major traveling exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, and the giant screen theater sporting a screen 5-stories high and 7-stories wide and newly upgraded sound systems.

Rambler  {Peoria}  // Rambler is a moto-outdoors inspired men’s specialty shop located in the Warehouse District. With a focus on quality, American, adventure-ready goods, this man-boutique is a great spot to explore.

8 Bit Arcade Bar  {Peoria}  //  Take your inner child out to play with a night full of classic arcade games and skee-ball at 8 Bit. With a range of craft beers, those nostalgia-seekers are sure to enjoy a night out here.

Extending your trip? Discover something you weren’t expecting!

Crafted D.I.Y  {Downtown Peoria}  //  Choose a craft cocktail and one of the 20+ unique jewelry, home decor, leather, or woodworking projects and spend some time crafting. Be sure to grab a specialty shot of liquor served in an ice glass and test your aim as you hurl your drinking vessel towards the steel gong positioned out back in the alley.

Fired Up  {Peoria Heights}   //  Coax out the inner artist by painting your own pottery at this creative studio in the Heights. With a wide array of paint colors and pottery options, artists can create core memories with family and friends. The studio has a huge selection of ready to paint pottery along with excellent color selection for kids of all ages and abilities.

Generations Candle Company {Peoria Heights}  //  Experience crafting like never before and find your own signature scent at Generations Candle Co. located in Peoria Heights. Personalize your own hand-poured candle or another fragranced product from start to finish by creating a unique blend of fragrances from 90 choices, choosing a vessel that matches your style and designing a label for the end product. Generations Candle Co is more than just a candle shop, and encourages you to grab your loved ones and create lasting memories.

The Chef + The Baker   {Peoria}  //  When a restaurant is only open midday during the week, you know it has perfected lunch. Many of the “Sammies” here come with layers of tasty meats, cheeses, spreads, and vegetables on housemade bread. Be sure to save room for dessert—they have a cupcake flavor to satisfy any sweet tooth. 

Wildlife Prairie Park  {Hanna City}  //  Listed as a top 10 destination to visit in Illinois, Wildlife Prairie Park is known not only for being a hidden gem in our area, but also as a great destination for family fun. Discover wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bears, stunning natural landscapes and more. Be sure to ask for Nakoma–you’ll thank us later.

Greater Peoria Breweries {Peoria, Metamora, Peoria Heights} // Peoria may be the Whiskey City, but it’s also a great place for a beer! With seven (soon to be nine) breweries in the region, they all offer tasty, sudsy brews—each with its own unique personality. Check out these beloved breweries and take a growler home with you.

7 Local Wineries to Stop and Smell the Rosé {Mackinaw, Lewistown, Metamora, Manito, Washington} // Come explore the unique wineries Greater Peoria has to offer. From horse-drawn carriages to endless acres of captivating views, stop into these 7 wineries for tours and tastings, trivia nights, murder mystery dinners, concerts and live music or for a stroll through the grapevines to get away from the hustle and bustle of today’s hectic world.

Illinois Made Makers  {Article} // Celebrate the small businesses whose uniquely Illinoisan style and creativity set our locally-made goods apart. 

Peoria Made Souvenirs  {Article}  //  No trip is complete without souvenir shopping. Remember your time spent in Peoria by grabbing a locally made souvenir or two.

7 Must – Try Lunch Spots in Peoria  {Article}  // Check out one of these must-try lunch spots in the Peoria Area to curb your midday cravings, you won’t regret it!

16 Great Whiskey Bars in greater Peoria  {Article}  //  As the former Whiskey Capital of the World, it’s safe to assume the Peoria Area knows what it’s doing with whiskey. Whether you enjoy the spirit neat in a tumbler or made into a creative cocktail, these 13 spots have amazing selections.


Discover Peoria
Discover Peoria
Discover Peoria, IL