Spring Break Road Trip: Moline, IL to Peoria

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Cruising the Cornfields: A Quirky Road Trip from Moline to Peoria

The open road calls, and this time, it beckons us on a journey across central Illinois, from the industrial heart of Moline to the historic charm of Peoria. Buckle up, folks, because this ain’t your average highway cruise. We’re taking the scenic route, embracing the quirky and the unexpected, with stops guaranteed to leave you giggling (and maybe a little bewildered).

First Gear: Farewell, Factory Town

We bid adieu to Moline, where John Deere reigns supreme, and head south on Route 150. But before hitting the gas, fuel up with a hearty breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Their fluffy stacks are legendary, and you’ll need that energy for the oddities ahead.

Second Gear: Giant Chicken Encounter

Just outside of Kewanee, a 50-foot tall fiberglass rooster named “Colonel Sanders” guards a KFC. Yes, you read that right. Snap a selfie with this feathered behemoth, a symbol of Americana (with a side of fried chicken).

Third Gear: World’s Largest… Everything!

Prepare to be dwarfed! In nearby Atlanta, marvel at the world’s largest concrete gnome, a stoic guardian standing 22 feet tall. Then, in Chenoa, gape at the world’s largest gas station replica, a kitschy tribute to roadside Americana.

Fourth Gear: Stepping Back in Time

Shift gears and visit the charming village of Le Roy, a living museum of Victorian-era architecture. Worth the extra bit of driving, you can stroll down tree-lined streets, peek into antique shops, and grab a scoop of ice cream at the old-fashioned soda fountain.

Fifth Gear: Nature’s Embrace

Time for a breath of fresh air! Hike or bike through the scenic trails of Wildlife Prairie State Park, keeping an eye out for deer, bison, and maybe even a bald eagle. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the tranquility before hitting the road again.

Sixth Gear: Peoria Awaits!

Finally, we arrive in Peoria, the Land of Lincoln. After you check-in at Stoney Creek Peoria, explore the vibrant Riverfront District, visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum, or get your kicks at the Peoria Chiefs baseball game. Refuel with a classic Peoria cheeseburger and a frosty glass of local craft beer.

Seventh Gear: The Journey Continues

But wait, the adventure doesn’t end there! On your way back to Moline, take a detour to Chillicothe and visit the Rock Island Railroad Museum and Sweet Finds the candy and souvenir shop. Learn about the old Rock Island track that runs between Peoria and Bureau, IL,. Get lost in the unique finds and sweet deals.

Eighth Gear: Reflection and Memories

Back in Moline, with a car full of laughter and quirky souvenirs, reflect on your journey. This wasn’t just a road trip; it was a dive into the heart of Illinois, where roadside giants, Victorian villages, and natural beauty coexist in a delightful dance. As you fall asleep, the rooster’s crow and the gnome’s stoic gaze might just flicker in your dreams, reminders of the offbeat charm you discovered along the way.
So, ditch the ordinary and embark on this quirky road trip from Moline to Peoria. You might just be surprised by the hidden gems and unforgettable memories you’ll find along the way. Just remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, so keep your eyes peeled, your camera ready, and your sense of humor in overdrive. Happy travels!
Bonus Tip: Pack a deck of cards for impromptu roadside games, snacks for the inevitable cravings, and an open mind for the unexpected!


Peoria in the Spring:

  • Peoria Riverfront Market is an outdoor market that features local vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, and other artisanal products.
  • Explore the Luthy Botanical Garden. The botanical garden has a variety of plant collections, including an herb garden, rose garden, and tropical conservatory.
  • The Peoria Art Guild hosts an annual art fair in the spring. It features work by over 150 artists and is a great way to support local art.

Best Food in Peoria:

Moline in the Spring:

  • Attend a River Bandits baseball game. The Quad Cities River Bandits are a Minor League Baseball team that plays at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.
  • The Kwik Star Criterium is a cycling race that takes place in downtown Rock Island. If you like cycling, you might think about joining the race.
  • The Farmers Market at the Freight House in Davenport is open year-round, but spring is a great time to enjoy fresh produce and other local goods.
  • Enjoy live music at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival. This annual festival celebrates the music of jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke and takes place in Davenport.

Best Food in Moline: