The Quad Cities is an area rich in both history and natural beauty. It’s idyllically located along the banks of the Mississippi River and encompasses northwestern regions of Illinois, including Moline and Rock Island, as well as the southeastern regions of Iowa, including Davenport and Bettendorf.
It’s the perfect destination for those who enjoy exploring the outdoors, having a good meal, or watching a picturesque sunset. While there are plenty of things to do in Quad Cities, such as the Circa ’21 Playhouse, Quad City Botanical Center, Figge Art Museum, Putnam Museum and Science Center, and the Niabi Zoo, this guide covers some of the lesser-known things to do. These sites are just a quick drive from the Stoney Creek Moline, IL hotel.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Quad Cities
Home to John Deere Headquarters
Moline is home to the John Deere World Headquarters. One of the most popular things to do in Moline, IL, is to visit the John Deere Pavilion, which houses both vintage and new John Deere models.
Site of the First National Football League Game
You may not know that Douglas Park, located in Rock Island, was the location of the first-ever National Football League game on September 26, 1920. The park is still used today for local leagues and is just ten minutes from the Stoney Creek hotels.
Only Bi-State Parade in the Country
If you’re fortunate enough to visit Quad Cities over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, you don’t want to miss your opportunity to attend the only bi-state parade in the United States. The annual Grand Parade travels across the Talbot-Centennial Bridge from Illinois to Iowa.
Location of the Longest Roller Dam in the World
As if access to miles of riverfront views isn’t enough, Quad Cities is also home to the longest roller dam in the world. The 1,203-feet long Locks and Dam 15 spans the Mississippi River from Davenport, IA, to Rock Island, IL.
Hosts of the Largest Karting Street Race in the Country
The Rock Island Grand Prix is known as the largest karting street race in the country. Typically held over the Labor Day weekend, the race runs through the streets of downtown Rock Island.
5 Off the Beaten Path Places to See
If you like picking through antiques or just like watching American Pickers on TV, a stop at Mike Wolfe” store, Antique Archaeology, is a must.
Take the time to explore the 37-acre Sylvan Island, where you’re likely to find limestone paths and remnants of the old industrial site located on the island.
Black Hawk State Park
The Black Hawk State Park is a place where history meets nature. Enjoy your day hiking in the dedicated nature preserve that’s been declared as one of the least disturbed forests in the state, or learn about the history of Quad Cities at the Hauberg Museum.
Mississippi River Trail
The Mississippi River Trail stretches 60 miles from Rock Island to Savanna. Fortunately, most of the trail located in Quad Cities has a flat, hard surface for easy walking.
Celebration Belle River Cruise
There’s no better way to travel down the Mississippi River than on Celebration Belle, a 750-passenger paddlewheel boat.
5 Local Dishes You Have to Try
Quad Cities Pizza
What is Quad Cities Pizza? Think malt in the crust, toppings under the cheese, and pizza cut into strips, not triangles. Stop by one of these pizza shops to find out what makes Quad Cities Pizza special — Happy Joe’s, Frank’s Pizzeria, Harris Pizza, or Bad Boyz (just blocks from Stoney Creek Hotel).
Start the day out right with a quick stop at Meli’s Pancake House for breakfast. With a full breakfast and lunch menu, the eatery will please the whole family.
Take a break from all the hiking trails and enjoy a different type of trail – the Quad Cities Ale Trail. This self-guided tour will take you to the area’s best breweries on both sides of the river.
Whitey’s Ice Cream
While visiting Quad Cities, treat yourself to a stop at Whitey’s Ice Cream shop. With dozens of flavors to choose from, it’s sure to have something for everyone.
One of Quad Cities’ little-known secrets is Boetje’s Mustard. Locals may love this gourmet mustard, but you can enjoy it too by grabbing a couple of jars to take home.
5 Local Hang Outs
Dead Poet’s Express
If you want to hang out with the locals during your stay, stop in at the Dead Poet’s Express. Enjoy their drink of the month or one of the many local favorites, such as a Dirty Chai or Vanilla Bean Blast.
Bent River Brewing Company
While the café may be the place to hang out with locals during the day, Bent River is where locals go at night. With a full menu of foods and brews, you can’t go wrong.
River House Bar and Grille
Less than a half-mile from Stoney Creek Hotel, the River House is the ideal spot for those looking for good food and a relaxing atmosphere.
If you want to enjoy a great cup of coffee while enjoying views of the mighty Mississippi, Milltown Coffee is the place to go.
Analog Arcade Bar
The Analog Arcade Bar offers locations in both Moline and Davenport. Enjoy playing dozens of video games ranging from Pacman to Deal Pool.
Best Spots to Watch the Sunset
Sunsets in Quad Cities are magnificent. You definitely don’t want to leave without seeing at least one sunset. Here’s a look at the three best spots to view a sunset during your stay.
- Ben Butterworth Parkway — Located along the Great River Trail.
- Sunset Park – If you get there early, you might get to watch it from the tower
- LeClaire Park – Located in Davenport.
After a day of exploring all of Quad Cities’ great attractions, you’ll enjoy nothing more than our comfortable rooms at Stoney Creek Hotels. Book your stay at Stoney Creek Moline today!