21 Best & Fun Things to Do in Quad Cities

The Quad Cities are a group of five metropolitan areas in Illinois and Iowa. The Mississippi River separates them.

Over a million people visit the region each year for the various attractions and events popular in the area, such as festivals, museums, and riverboat cruises.

The cities of the Quad Cities have their distinct character. The region is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Mississippi between St. Louis and Minneapolis.

Below, we will look at the best things to do in Quad Cities so you’ll know how to spend your time in the city whenever you visit!

Where are the Quad Cities?

Initially four cities, the Quad Cities are now made up of five cities in Illinois and Iowa.

These include Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline.

As of 2013, the population of the cities in this metropolitan area was estimated at over 400,000.

The area’s combined population of over 440,000 is regarded as the 90th-largest in the country.

The Quad Cities are located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock rivers. It is about 140 miles west of Chicago.

Due to the location of the river’s confluence, the cities of Bettendorf and Davenport are situated north of Rock Island and East Moline.

The Mississippi River passes through the region’s heart, making the area unique.

Fun Things to Do in Quad Cities

As we earlier said, the quad cities are made up of five cities. These five cities have so much to offer. There is an abundance of museums, parks, and other attractive destinations in these cities.

Below are some of the most amazing things to do in Quad Cities:

1. Visit the Vander Veer Botanical Park

The Grand Allee walkway is a part of the park’s gardens that leads to the Stone Fountain. This walkway is also filled with trees and blooming flowers. 

The Stone Fountain additionally features various water features such as lights and dancing water.

The park’s Conservatory is full of trees and blooming flowers. It also hosts various events, such as the Poinsettia Lights Display and the Chrysanthemum Festival.

Address: The Vander Veer Botanical Park is at 215 W Central Park Ave, Davenport, IA 52803.

2. Chocolate Manor

The Chocolate Manor is a popular Davenport establishment that sells various chocolate products. 

The staff members of this store only use the finest ingredients.

The store’s smell is divine, and it’s believed that the chocolate they use has been made using the finest ingredients.

Besides being able to sell chocolate products, the staff members of the Chocolate Manor also create unique creations. 

For instance, they have made a menorah that measures eight feet tall, and hundreds of toothbrushes made using chocolate. 

They additionally make life-sized chocolate shoes and other chocolate treats.

Address: This attraction is located at 110 E 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52801, United States.

3. Freight House Farmers Market

The Freight House Market is a popular establishment selling various food products and services. 

This market is located in Davenport and is close to the Mississippi River. Some of the products that this store can offer include eggs, cheese, honey, and poultry.

The Freight House Market, located in Davenport, is open every day of the week from 10 am to 2 pm. 

It also has weekends. Everything sold at the market is seasonal and changes throughout the year.

Address: This attraction is located at 421 W River Dr, Davenport, IA 52801, United States.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Quincy, Illinois

4. Adler Theater

The Davenport Theater is a well-known venue that can accommodate various performances. 

It can also host Broadway shows. The adjoining hotel and the theater have additionally been registered as historical places.

Originally known as the RKO Orpheum, the Davenport Theater was designed by A.S. Graven and featured Henry Dreyfuss as its interior designer. 

In 1981, the Adler was renamed in honor of E.P. and Philip Adler, who donated significantly to the theater’s restoration.

Address: This attraction is at 136 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA 52801, United States.

5. Camp McClellan Cellars

In 1991, Camp McClellan Cellars was founded in Davenport. This store carries a wide variety of wine and other related products. It also sells gift baskets and wine racks.

This establishment also sells various food items. It also has multiple ingredients that can be used to make your wine.

Address: This attraction is located at 2302 E 11th St, Davenport, IA 52803, United States.

6. Rock Island Museum

The U.S. Army’s museum on the island of Davenport, opened in 1905, is regarded as one of the oldest such facilities in the country. 

It features various artifacts related to the history of the area. One of these is Fort Davenport, which used to be a summer camp for Native Americans.

The museum features a massive collection of military equipment, such as howitzers, artillery, rockets, and anti-tank guns. 

It also has over a thousand small arms. This is considered one of the largest collections of these weapons in the U.S. Army.

The museum also features exhibits that explain how military equipment was made at Rock Island. 

Address: This attraction is in North Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

7. Schwiebert Riverfront Park

A waterside park is also near the river’s edge. It offers a view of the area’s notable landmarks, such as the fort at Fort Davenport.

The Schwiebert Riverfront is a public park that features various art pieces. It also has a digital playground.

This park can also be used for various types of outdoor concerts. During the winter season, it’s additionally a great spot to watch bald eagles. 

Address: This attraction is at 101 17th St, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States

8. Great River Trail

Sunset Park is located in Rock Island’s western section. It’s the start point of the Great River Trail, a cycling and walking trail that connects the cities of Davenport, Rock Island, and Bettendorf. 

It can be explored by taking the trail through various areas, such as John Deere’s pavilion.

The trail that leads to this area can be used to explore the various attractions, such as the John Deere Pavilion. It also has bike trails and waterfront levees.

Address: The Great River Trail is located beside the Mississippi river at 1601 River Dr #110, Moline, IL 61265, United States.

9. Mississippi River Visitor Center

Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr

For over two centuries, the U.S. Army has been working to make the Mississippi River as safe as it can be in Rock Island. 

This is why the visitor center for the river is located on an island in the waterway.

During the winter season, the area can be used to watch as barges pass through the lock system and dam. 

This natural feeding ground for bald eagles is also a popular spot for eagle lovers.

Address: The Mississippi River Visitor Center is located at 328 Rodman Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

10. Broadway Historic District

This residential area is southeast of Rock Island’s downtown. It features several homes that were constructed during the 19th century.

Over 550 Victorian houses currently stand in Rock Island’s Broadway Historic District. This area is known for its various styles, such as Queen Anne and Colonial Revival.

The Broadway Historic District was first recognized as a National Register of Historic Places site in 1998. 

It’s also been known for its innovative ways of preserving its past. 

Address: This attraction is located at 7th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

11. Whitewater Junction Aquatic Center

The outdoor pool complex in Rock Island’s Broadway Historic District usually opens during the summer. 

Another popular area in this area is the Rock Island Whitewater Junction, which also features multiple slides.

This park features various water features, such as a spray feature and a tumble bucket. 

The Rock Island Recreation Department also operates it. 

Address: This attraction is located at 1601 Longview Drive, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

12. Village of East Davenport

Photo by Kepper66 via Wikimedia

This area, which spans the Mississippi River, features parks such as the Upper Lindsay and Lower Lindsay.

This area is also known for its various festivals and events. This is a great place to gather with family and friends for events.

One of the most popular areas in Davenport is the former Camp McClellan, a Civil War military camp. 

In addition, this area is known for its various bars and restaurants. This neighborhood is also known as the Village.

Address: The Village of East Davenport is at E. River Dr. (H.W. 67) and Mound St., Davenport, IA 52803, United States.

13. Lagomarcino’s Confectionery

The Lagomarcino’s Ice Cream Shop in Davenport is a famous ice cream shop. 

This establishment was once a pharmacy, designed to look similar to the original Lagomarcino’s in Rock Island. 

It also has a black walnut bar and a stained glass window.

The Chocolate Manor is another popular establishment serving various chocolate products. 

Its staff members only use the finest ingredients. This shop is known for its famous hot fudge and Easter eggs.

Address: This attraction is located at 2132 E 11th St, Davenport, IA 52803, United States.

14. Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy

The Beréskin Gallery and Art Academy combine an art gallery and a studio. This is a great place where people can learn more about the available art forms. 

This gallery features different types of art, such as sculptures, drawings, and paintings. 

Its wide variety of art allows people to easily buy something they can use in their home or office.

The surroundings of the Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy are also designed to make it a welcoming environment for both art lovers and buyers. 

Aside from classes, this facility also hosts workshops designed to help individuals improve their skills.

Address: This attraction is at 2967 State St, Bettendorf, IA 52722, United States.

15. Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra

Established in 1916, the Davenport Symphony Orchestra is a local organization known for its various performances. 

The group has gone on to perform multiple types of music. Some of these include chamber music concerts and pop concerts.

Address: This attraction is at 327 Brady St, Davenport, IA 52801, United States.

16. Figge Art Museum

Photo by Steve Tatum via Flickr

The Figge Art Museum was established in 1925 after Davenport received over 300 works of art from philanthropist Charles Ficke. 

Originally known as the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, the museum has since been renamed.

In 1987, the museum was renamed after receiving several donations. 

In 2005, the facility was changed after the O.O., and Elizabeth Figge Foundation made a significant contribution.

After it was established, the museum was moved to a modern building designed by renowned architect David Chipperfield. 

Its collection features work by various European, Spanish, and American artists.

Address: This attraction is at 225 W 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52801, United States.

17. Rock Island Arsenal

The facility is situated in the Mississippi River and is known for its various activities. 

Besides being the home of the First Army, it additionally features a center for 3D printing.

It has been known to maintain its ties with the government. Over the years, it has been regarded as one of the biggest weapons production facilities in the country. 

Its original structures have also been recognized as National Historic Sites.

Address: The Rock Island Arsenal is at 226 17th St Suite 100, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Fort Madison (Iowa)

18. Downtown Rock Island

Rock Island’s downtown area is full of restaurants and bars. It also has several live music venues.

This area is additionally referred to as the arts district in the Quad Cities due to its variety of events. 

More than a thousand people live in this area, and it has employed over 3,500 individuals.

The area’s eclectic architecture and the various commercial buildings that have been renovated are some of the reasons why it has been regarded as a must-visit destination.

Address: Downtown Rock Island is located at 226 17th St Suite 100, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

19. Quad City Botanical Center

The Quad City Botanical Center was opened in 1998. It features a large glass atrium enclosed by a tropical garden with various fruits and vegetables. This facility also has a large pond and stream.

The Children’s Garden is also a must-visit area for families. It features various educational materials and water features. 

It also has a model railway that can be utilized for multiple projects. 

Address: The Quad City Botanical Center is located at 2525 4th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

20. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum’s building is one of its 17 branches. It was founded in 1983 by real estate developers David and Marsha Karpeles.

The collection of historical documents and manuscripts that the museum holds is regarded as one of the largest collections of its kind. 

Its most notable works include the Bill of Rights and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

The museum’s rotating exhibitions highlight various aspects of its collection. For example, its inner dome features 8,000 glass panes designed to resemble fish scales. 

Address: The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is at 700 22nd St, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.

21. Black Hawk State Historic Site

Photo by Magicpiano via Wikimedia

One of the most well-known sites related to the Black Hawk War is the Illinois State Historic Site. This area is where the soldier Black Hawk was born. This site is in Perry County.

This area is known for its various picnic areas and hiking trails. The trails run along the riverbank and through the hills.

Another must-visit area is the Hauberg Indian Museum, which features a vast collection of artifacts related to the Sauk and Meskwaki tribes.

Address: The Black Hawk State Historic Site is at 4801 11th St, Rock Island, IL 61201, United States.