Illinois River Road and Peoria Trip Guide | Midwest Living
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Illinois River Road and Peoria Trip Guide

Enjoy state parks, memorable meals and history on a drive along the Illinois River Road.
Starved Rock State Park
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What to do

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge The largest of three National Wildlife Refuges within the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuges Complex (the others are the Emiquon and Meredosia), Chautauqua attracts more than 100,000 fall birds. (309) 535-2290; fws.gov/midwest

Peoria Heights North of Peoria, detour from the Illinois River Road byway to pretty Grand View Drive. Restaurants and shops include Leaves n Beans and I Know You Like a Book. (309) 685-4812; peoriaheightschamber.com

Peoria RiverFront You’ll find plenty of places to eat, plus paddle-wheeler excursions, ethnic festivals and a marina. A riverfront museum opened in 2012. (309) 671-5555; peoriariverfront.com

Starved Rock State Park Views of the Illinois River unfold from bluffs in Starved Rock State Park. Hikes hit all of the highlights. (815) 667-4726; www.dnr.illinois.gov

Where to eat

Agatucci’s Pizza Thin-crust pie served in a casual tavern atmosphere has a loyal Peoria following. (309) 688-8200

June A fine-dining destination in Peoria Heights serves dishes such as local eggs with house-made pancetta, coffee-smoked shiitake mushrooms and hollandaise sauce. (309) 682-5863; junerestaurant.com

Where to stay

Mark Twain Hotel A lovely 111-room boutique hotel stands blocks from Peoria’s riverfront. Try the barbecued chicken pizza at Two25 in the hotel. From $129. (866) 325-6351; marktwainhotel.com

Mission Oak Inn With in-room fireplaces, two-person whirlpools and a small lake out the back door, this Henry inn feels like a true escape. From $175. (309) 370-4083; missionoakinn.com

Read our story about a fall drive along the Illinois River Road.

For information and maps: (800) 747-0302; illinoisriverroad.org

 

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