On a cross-country road trip, you might barrel right through Davenport, which sits on the Mississippi River separating Iowa and Illinois. But put on your brakes because there’s enough here to fill an overnight or weekend getaway. Known for jazz (the birthplace of legend Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke), the thriving riverfront and walkable downtown have even caught the eye of comedy icon Will Ferrell.
Here are some of the reasons to stop:
1. Hotel Blackhawk This beautifully restored 1915 property shines with marble flooring at the entrance, crystal chandeliers throughout and gleaming wood in the lobby. There's even a bowling alley/martini bar in the basement.
Comfortable beds topped by plush pillows are the centerpieces in rooms made luxurious yet relaxed with modern decor of geometrics in gray and purple. Bonus: Certain rooms are pet (pug) friendly (from left: Lily and Steve).
2. Barrel House 211 Restaurant and Pub Two words: wasabi burger. Not quite the cry-into-your-bun smack of wasabi die-hard fans may crave, but a mild wasabi-cucumber sauce ties together the double quarter-pounder, melted Swiss and crispy, tangy fried pickles.
3.LeClaire Park/Riverwalk Nearly 9 acres of urban green space make LeClaire Park the hub for concerts and festivals. Here's a peek at the Tony Hamilton Orchestra performing in the riverfront concert shell during the 2014 Jazz Bix Fest two weeks ago (unfortunately, it rained all day, but the band was hot!):
4. The Phoenix Restaurant Decisions, decisions. They are difficult to make when faced with the 25-plus crazy concoctions on the Phoenix martini menu (gummy bear martini, anyone?). And the horseradish-encrusted salmon hits the spicy and savory spot. Warning: They serve homemade cheesecake.
5. Boozies Bar and Grill This upstairs dive is the perfect spot to discuss your Davenport discoveries or make some by listening to the locals. Friendly bartenders pour drink specials every night, and locals swear by the Boozie Burger.
BONUS QUIZ: Interesting art and memorabilia decorate Hotel Blackhawk. This framed piece hangs in the hallway on the way to the lobby. What do you think it is?
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