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Peoria

Known for Shopping, Dining and Family-Friendly

Stroll along the picturesque Illinois River, through parkland and down tree-lined streets in the oldest European settlement in Illinois.

How do you get to Peoria?

Visit museums, theaters and galleries in Peoria, one of the first towns to be settled by Europeans in Illinois. The city was established in 1680 by French explorers and is today the biggest city on the Illinois River.

Visitors of all ages will love the Peoria Riverfront Museum. This fusion of art and science has a planetarium, sculpture garden and large theater screen. Peoria has been the headquarters of famous American equipment manufacturer Caterpillar since 1925. Discover how the company’s iconic tractors are made at the Caterpillar Visitors Center.

Peoria caters to a variety of musical tastes with concerts held frequently. See a performance by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, one of the oldest of its kind in the U.S. The city is also home to a variety of choral groups, bands and youth symphonies.

See a play by one of Peoria's many professional and community theater groups. Peoria Players Theatre is one of the five oldest community theaters in the nation. In the warmer months, see a play at the outdoor Corn Stock Theatre.

Peoria Park District is the oldest park district in Illinois. Walk or rent a bike to ride through 9,000 acres (3,642.2 hectares) of protected land. Play a round of golf at one of six public golf courses.

Spot exotic creatures in the African safari exhibit at Peoria Zoo in Glen Oak Park just north of downtown. See movies and concerts held regularly during the warmer months in an open-air theater. Go hiking and biking on trails and let the kids explore the playgrounds. Surround yourself with blooming flowers and landscaped shrubbery at Luthy Botanical Garden.

Rent a car to take the scenic trip along Grandview Drive. This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) road north of Glen Oak Park has spectacular views of the Illinois River and historic mansions. President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have called this “world’s most beautiful drive” during a visit to Peoria in 1910.

Rent a car to drive from Peoria to Chicago, 167 miles (268.76 kilometers) northeast of the city. Peoria International Airport provides regular services to a number of destinations within the United States.

Things to do in Peoria

From Broadway shows to the Bradley Braves basketball team, this venue hosts a packed calendar of events, games, trade shows, concerts and more throughout the year.

Explore art, science, history and technology exhibits, plus an expansive planetarium and a riverfront sculpture garden, at Peoria’s premier museum.  

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