We’re itching to get moving around here in Illinois. One of the best trips you can make this spring is to visit some charming river towns across Illinois. These are towns full of character, history, and charm. You definitely need to check these 12 out.
Ottawa has a cute downtown but stunning water views. Definitely stop at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, where you will get loads of information about our gorgeous rivers. Then, explore Buffalo Rock State Park.
This town is truly charming. Take a trolley around and tour the downtown area. You can get out on the river in a kayak or boat. There are also excellent bed and breakfasts to stay at.
Alton has all sorts of draw for tourists, from curiosity (being home to the tallest man), to intrigue (being the home of the Piasa bird sighting), to horror (being home to many ghosts and odd paranormal activity).
4. Cave in Rock
Cave in Rock is home to, you guessed it, Cave in Rock State Park. This massive cave has a 55 foot opening, and it was once a hideout for all sorts of bad guys. This one is worth the trip.
Once a haven for Mormons, Nauvoo still retains its Mormon roots. There are tons of historical reenactments you can witness, and certainly get a taste of what this town once was. You will stand in awe of this temple.
Chester was the home to the creator of Popeye, and this town is paying homage with statues across town. If you like to hike, check out the Piney Creek Ravine.
Quincy is an established town that offers some great draws for tourists, including wineries, awesome restaurants, and beautiful old homes.
The big draw of Fulton is this giant Dutch windmill. You can check out the Windmill Cultural Center, which actually houses a collection of 22 windmills.
Moline is a great town to walk around downtown and enter some of the various shops, many of which have been around for generations. The other notable thing to do here is to go on a tour of the John Deere Pavilion.
Peoria is a larger city nestled among the river, meaning it has that quaint charm but also more amenities. Notable places include the Caterpillar Visitors Center, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, and the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center.
Pekin is a gorgeous community off the river, and it is a place where more and more people are putting down roots. Their parks are stunning, including water parks and dog parks.
Streator is a bastion of history and beautiful architecture hidden in Illinois. Of note is the gorgeous Weber House and Garden.