The largest metro area along the Illinois River has transformed its riverfront with restaurants and a handful of galleries and shops beside pretty parks and trails.
Murray-Baker Bridge
Murray-Baker Bridge


Caterpillar Visitors Center

Take a virtual ride inside a giant mining truck and test your driving skills on a simulator.

Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

Live at the Five Spot, held on Friday nights, features live music and a chance to see the center's three fine art galleries.

Grandview Drive

Wind past historic homes on the way to bluff-top overlooks of the Illinois River Valley.

I Know You Like a Book

This bookshop in Peoria Heights' charming business district is a must for its well-stocked regional section and wine bar, where they hold occasional signings, book club meetings and other gatherings. I Know You Like a Book on Facebook

Murray-Baker Bridge

The narrow, cantilevered bridge carries Interstate-74 across the wide Illinois River to link Peoria and East Peoria. Its swooping shoulders, intricate metalwork and dazzling light display draw scores of photographers each year.

Peoria Riverfront Museum 

Part science center, part history museum, part art gallery, the museum mashes hands-on science with history lessons and art for a kid-friendly stop.

Peoria Zoo

An African exhibit almost doubled the size of this classic small zoo. Get eye to eye with a giraffe on the elevated walkway surrounding the circular exhibition. Stand inches from a lion playfully pawing the glass, and look for rhinos, zebras and antelopes wandering across the area.

Wildlife Prairie Park

Near Peoria, this 2,000-acre zoological park gets visitors within hear-'em-breathing distance of cougars, black bears, wolves, foxes and bison.

Eat and Drink

Agatucci's Pizza

Thin-crust pie served in a casual tavern atmosphere has a loyal Peoria following.

The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern

House-smoked meats are served in a renovated train depot.

Jim's Steakhouse

In downtown, it promises friendly service, a date-night atmosphere and good steaks. A violinist playing in one of the dining rooms adds a luxurious tone.


Satisfy cravings for comfort food with homemade Irish stew and cheesecake at this contemporary-feeling pub along the riverfront. The old-fashioned bar serves a huge selection of beers, some in towering glasses.

Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe

Keep the tunes going during dinner with live music on weekends. Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe on Facebook


Mark Twain Hotel

A lovely 111-room boutique hotel provides a comfy stay and serves made-to-order omelets for breakfast.

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