Greater Peoria Treasures




The Greater Peoria area is home to a plethora of treasures—some hidden and some well-known. From historical sites to outdoor recreational opportunities, eclectic shops to family fun spots, Greater Peoria has something to offer for both longtime residents and visitors who are new to the area. Here’s a small sampling, in no particular order, of what the region has to offer:


Peoria City Hall  {Peoria}   //   Several Peoria ironworks companies and their craftsmen helped construct Peoria’s magnificent and historic City Hall, which was dedicated in 1899 and remains in use today. The building, known for its red sandstone facade and stunning marble interior, is considered a local architectural treasure. Start your visit to Peoria with a tour.

Peoria Civic Center  {Peoria}   //   First opened in 1982, the Peoria Civic Center is the premier arena and concert hall in central Illinois, playing host to professional sports events, concerts, theater events and more.

Dozer Park  {Peoria}   //   Home to the St. Louis Cardinals high Class A minor league franchise, the Peoria Chiefs  play here each year from April through early September. Check the Discover Peoria Calendar of Events for the game schedule and special promotion nights in a family-first environment. 

Contemporary Art Center + Water Street  {Peoria}   //   According to their website, over 15,000 visitors each year are attracted to the Contemporary Art Center on Peoria’s RiverFront. Peoria’s “cultural hub” features the innovative artwork of living artists at the forefront of today’s art scene, in three galleries situated on Peoria’s vibrant Water Street.

8-Bit Arcade Bar  {Peoria}   //   Also located on Water Street, the 8-Bit Arcade Bar quickly became the talk of the town with its multitude of craft beers and three rooms of vintage video games that you can play for free. For adults only with the exception of occasional family days. 

Gone Social  {Peoria}   //   Located in Peoria’s resurgent Waterfront District, Gone Social is great for family fun, date night or getting together with friends.  There are a variety of games for players to go “head-to-head” for some competitive fun! 

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, giant screen theater and educational programming. 

Peoria Zoo  {Peoria}   //   The Peoria Zoo is home to unique animals from all over the world and is open to the public 360 days a year.  The Zoo also offers behind-the-scenes tours and serves as a great venue for birthday parties, weddings, and corporate events.

Luthy Botanical Gardens  {Peoria}   //   Conveniently situated adjacent to the Peoria Zoo in Glen Oak Park, Luthy is home to a tropical conservatory, a theme garden and seasonal botanical shows. The sprawling garden is also a beautiful background for weddings, showers and corporate events.

Grandview Drive + Park  {Peoria Heights}   //   Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Grand View Drive is a 2.52 mile meandering pleasure driveway constructed in 1903, according to the Peoria Park District website. The “world’s most beautiful drive,” as President Theodore Roosevelt referred to it in a visit to Peoria in 1910, offers visitors numerous panoramic scenic views of the Illinois River Valley and the chance to view many historic and remarkable homes lining it.

Downtown Peoria Heights  {Peoria Heights}   //   Cap off your tour of Grandview Drive with a stop in Peoria Heights on Prospect Avenue between Lake Street and Knoxville Avenue, where an eclectic array of family-owned shops and bistros await you. From Heritage Square to Downtown Heights, there is something for everyone.

Kartville  {West Peoria}   //   Go-kart enthusiasts can head out to West Peoria for a visit to Kartville, where there are also bumper boats, mini-golf and batting cages for a full afternoon of family fun.

Wheels O’ Time Museum  {Dunlap}   //   Open from May to October, the Wheels O' Time Museum campus encompasses five buildings of over 30,000 square feet, filled with treasures from Peoria’s and the nation’s past. Begun as an automobile museum by two Caterpillar, Inc. retirees, the museum has grown to house one of the most diverse collections of nostalgia in the Midwest.  

Donovan Park  {Peoria}   //   Formerly a Peoria Park District golf course in the heart of the city, Donovan offers an observatory open to the public, a sculpture garden, fishing in three ponds, several picnic tables and Cyd’s in the Park—a locally owned gourmet restaurant.

Wildlife Prairie Park  {Hanna City}   //   Located  10 miles west of Downtown Peoria, Wildlife Prairie Park has been referred to as a jewel in the Midwest. Opened in the 1970s, the park features over 1,800 acres of woodland and prairie inhabited by over 150 animals of 60 different species that are native to Illinois.

Jubilee College State Park  {Brimfield}   //   This 3,200-acre facility is located in Peoria County between the towns of Kickapoo and Brimfield. A scenic area with rolling topography and meandering streams, Jubilee offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. It is home to Jubilee College (circa 1839), which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. 

Peoria’s Historic West Bluff  {Peoria}   //   Encompassing 365 acres along North and Main Streets, High Wine Street, Moss and Randolph Avenues, Sheridan and University, east of Western Avenue, and parts of adjoining streets, the West Bluff Historic District is one of three Registered Historic Districts in Peoria County. The area flourished in the 1800s when prominent residents of the city built their mansions and stately residences. The area encompasses Bradley UniversityBradley Park, the Arbor, Cottage, and Orchard Districts, the Uplands and a few other neighborhoods.



Dickson Mounds Museum  {Lewistown}   //   Dickson Mounds, a branch of the Illinois State Museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the most notable on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian in an awe-inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in the Illinois River Valley.

Emiquon Nature Preserve  {Lewistown}   //   The Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge is a 11,122-acre wetland wildlife refuge located in Waterford Township in Fulton County, Illinois across the Illinois River from the town of Havana


Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area  {Lacon}   //   Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area, located along nearly 10 miles of scenic Illinois River backwaters, bottomlands and bluffs, lies in the heart of the mallard flyway and supports a wide variety of animals, plants and outdoor pursuits.


Historic Downtown Havana  {Havana}   //   Located on the banks of the Illinois River between Peoria and Springfield, Havana is known for its rich history, red brick streets and beautiful Riverfront Park. Once known for its cigar manufacturing and notorious nightlife (Al Capone was an occasional visitor), Havana is now well known for its downtown shopping and business district. 

Sand Ridge State Forest  {Forest City}   //   A forest in a sea of agricultural fields located just minutes southwest of Peoria, Sand Ridge State Forest, at 7,200 acres, is the largest of Illinois' state forests. The area boasts sweeping expanses of native oak-hickory woodland, extensive pine plantations, sprawling open fields, grasslands and completely unique sand prairies.


Rock Island Trail State Park  {Alta to Toulon}   //   The Rock Island Trail State Park is a converted railbed that winds through parts of Stark and Peoria counties. The recreational trail stretches from Alta to Toulon, encountering DunlapPrinceville, and Wyoming along the way. The linear park offers many natural and architectural attractions in a tree-canopied corridor that is only 50 to 100 feet wide.

Tanner’s Orchard  {Speer}   //   Since 1947, four generations of the Tanner family have provided an amazing country farm experience near the border of northern Peoria and Stark counties. Tanners Orchard has become a family destination with a bakery serving noon lunches, a large country farm market, wagon rides to the orchard with pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, a corn maze and the Back 40 Fun Acres with farm animals. 


Par-A-Dice Casino  {East Peoria}   //   Docked upon the Illinois River, the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino couples Las Vegas excitement with the finest Central Illinois hospitality. Four decks offer a wide selection of new slots, old favorites, and a magnitude of casino table games. Grab some excellent cuisine at one of many on-location restaurants, and try your luck on a day at the boat!

Fort Creve Coeur  {Creve Coeur}   //   Fort Crèvecoeur was the first public building erected by Europeans within the boundaries of the modern state of Illinois and the first fort built in the West by the French. The location is now home to a historical recreation of the 1680 fort established by Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and Henri de Tonti. The fort annually holds interpretive historic events and is available to tour.


Ronald Reagan Museum + Peace Garden  {Eureka}   //   Housed in the Donald B. Cerf Center at Eureka College, the museum collection numbers over 10,000 items from President Reagan's Eureka College student days, his movie and TV career, his governorship of California and two terms as president of the United States. The Reagan Peace Garden located on the historic campus includes a bust of the 40th president and a section of the Berlin Wall.

Metamora Courthouse Historic Site  {Metamora}   //   Experience a slice of history at the historic Metamora Courthouse—best known for being one of only two surviving Illinois circuit courthouses where future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln practiced law. Now, a museum dedicated to early local history, the 1850s court system, and Lincoln’s journey as he traveled the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Be sure to grab a photo opp in the Metamora Square across from the Courthouse with the life-sized bronze statue of Lincoln, which stands side-by-side with Melissa Goings, his last Woodford County client on trial for murder.

The Barn III Dinner Theater  {Goodfield}   //   Doubling as an event center, the Barn III offers top-notch dining and entertainment, while also hosting weddings, family and corporate events in a rural setting near Goodfield. 

Discover Peoria, IL