Whether it’s your first time in the River City or you’re a Peoria pro, make the most of your stay and discover why the Peoria region is unlike any other in Illinois. From our state parks to our favorite food dives, we do summer in Peoria differently. Here are some of the best ways to experience Peoria this summer.
Feed Your Appetite // If you want the easiest way to experience the Peoria area, then the fastest way is with your tastebuds. Whatever part of the region you adventure to, you’ll know there’s always something tasty and exciting just around the corner. If you’re downtown, check out one of our local favorites, Zion Coffee. Located in the historic Warehouse District, Zion Coffee is the best place for a great cup of joe, craft cocktails, and tasty treats when exploring summertime activities.
Are you looking to grab a quick bite? Or perhaps a sit-down lunch? Wherever you roam in Peoria, you’ll find a wide range of dining options to choose from. From classics like Childers Eatery to Alexander’s Steakhouse, tuck into flavorful dishes and Peoria favorites made with the freshest ingredients that are always sure to satisfy any craving. For an elevated dining experience, check out these date night dinner ideas, or go to Troy Ummel’s Connected, recognized for its designation as one of the most distinguished restaurants in North America. Visitors in search of a more exotic taste should visit Pho Noodle House for authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
Get Wild // If you’re searching for an outdoor adventure, then get wild at the Peoria Zoo. Located adjacent to Glen Oak Park, the Peoria Zoo is an excellent place for people of all ages to get up close and personal with the budgies, donkeys, or a new goat friend. Or, spend your time learning more about the over 100 animal species that call the zoo home through the many tours, classes, and demonstrations that take place.
If you want a more hands-on adventure, then the Pekin Park District is the place to be. Packed full of fun and activities, there’s something for everybody to enjoy. Activities include hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, adult sports, an adaptive playground, and more. However, if you’d prefer to embrace the local flora and fauna of the Peoria region, the best places to go are the Wildlife Prairie Park or the Forest Park Nature Center.
Shop Like A Local // Need a little retail therapy? There are plenty of opportunities to shop till you drop in the Peoria region. Get the ultimate indoor experience at the Northwoods Mall, the largest shopping mall in the tri-county area, featuring over 65 stores ranging from apparel to entertainment.
For an outdoor retail adventure, visit The Shoppes at Grand Prairie, and admire the public art as you browse the local boutiques and well-known brands in this open-air, park-like destination. Of course, summer shopping wouldn’t be complete without visiting Peoria’s downtown Riverfront District. The enchanting scenery pairs wonderfully with the concerts and events available throughout the summer. Plus, with so many local boutiques to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect gifts or treasures to bring home.
Find The Fun // There’s no shortage of summertime fun in Peoria. With events like the Heart of Illinois Fair to venues at the Peoria Civic Center, there’s entertainment to be found around every corner. Want a fun, family-friendly experience? Go enjoy a leisurely swim at one of the many Peoria area swimming pools.
Local festivals and celebrations like our Heart of Illinois Fair are an excellent way to hang with Peoria locals and enjoy that summertime vibe. Watch live circus performers, truck and tractor pull, carnival rides, live music, and more. Plus, If you’re an active military personnel, you can enjoy free admission every day at the fair. Other ways to soak up the summer include catching a ball game at Dozer Park or chasing the farmers markets found throughout the greater Peoria region.
Stay A While // Whether you’re visiting Peoria for business, a family-friendly vacation, camping, or to tour the Bradley University Campus, there’s a variety of accommodations that can be found throughout the greater Peoria region. Depending on your itinerary, there are several hotel options near the Peoria Civic Center and even pet-friendly accommodations.
If your summer experience in Peoria turns into a more permanent stay, it wouldn’t be the first time our visitors started calling Peoria home. After all, Peoria is ranked one of America’s best places to live in Illinois. Just take a ride through Peoria Heights on Grandview Drive and you’ll see why President Theodore Roosevelt himself once said it’s the “world’s most beautiful drive.”
Interested in finding the perfect neighborhood in Peoria county? Then take the first steps and get prequalified for a mortgage. Getting a mortgage pre-approval helps you find the amount of money you have towards buying a home by looking at your current income, credit score, and other debts or assets. It’s a great way to start your home search in the Peoria area. Peoria is ranked in the top 40 for both the best cities to buy a house in America and having a lower cost of living. With such diverse communities and lots of bars, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment available, you’re sure to find everything you need in the Peoria region.
Whatever brings you to Peoria, make the most of your summer and see why Peoria is the best place in Illinois to live, work, and play!
Photo References: Bradley University