Historic Quincy hugs the Mississippi River in west-central Illinois, sitting along the Great River Road roughly equidistant from Springfield to the east and St. Louis to the south. Like a hidden gem, the Quincy area keeps a low profile and rewards its lucky finders. Check out our travel guide on what to see, eat and where to stay.

Discoveries in Quincy include the sparkling Bayview Bridge, which spans the Mississippi with colorful lights that cast an always-changing glow on the water. With four districts on the National Register of Historic Places, Quincy offers some of the state's best architecture outside Chicago. National Geographic named 16th and Maine streets one of the 10 most architecturally significant corners in the United States.

What to do

Sample the best in local art, food and music at Q-Fest, held in and around Washington Park in downtown Quincy in late June.

See examples of every popular home style from the 1830s to the 1930s in Quincy's East End Historic District, including the Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion, home of the Quincy Museum.

Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion
Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion. Photo courtesy of Quincy CVB.

Visit The District in downtown Quincy for dining, entertainment and shopping against a backdrop of historic architecture. After dark, enjoy the colorful light show at Bayview Bridgeover the Mississippi River.

Bayview Bridge
Bayview Bridge. Taken by Paul Nordmann.

Tour historic Villa Kathrine, a Moroccan-inspired castle overlooking the Mississippi built for Quincy native and world traveler W. George Metz. The site is currently the home of Quincy's tourist information center.

Villa Kathrine
Villa Kathrine. Photo courtesy of Turek Media.

Washington Park, in the heart of downtown, is a historic jewel. It provided the site for the sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858.

Where to eat

Follow the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail to five stops near Quincy, including Spirit Knob in Ursa. Nestled on the bluffs, the winery offers award-winning vintages and relaxing river valley views.

Mississippi Valley Wine Trail
Photo taken by Paul Nordmann

Dine on thin-crust pizza and classic pasta dishes at indulgently Italian Tiramisu in Quincy, where the rigatoni mozzarella draws raves. Be sure to try the meatballs, too.

Stop for an iced angel food cupcake at Underbrink's Bakery,open since 1929. See vintage ovens, mixers and other baking gadgets on display, as well as the original display cases.

Where to stay

Sprague's Kinderhook Lodge, southeast of Quincy in rural Barry, offers a quiet country escape with the home cooking and personal attention of a bed-and-breakfast. Three buildings provide room-size and layout options. The redbrick central structure dates to 1848.

More information: seequincy.com