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Putnam Museum
Vacation Travel Guide

Participate in hundreds of immersive and educational exhibits at this history and natural science museum that serves the residents of Davenport, Iowa, and beyond.  

It is widely known that one of the best ways to learn is by taking a hands-on approach, which is why the Putnam Museum provides a fantastic fun and educational outing. Try building a rocket, see relics from ancient Egypt and interact with 3-D characters.

Located on what residents refer to as “Museum Hill” in Davenport, the Putnam Museum was one of the very first museums to be set up west of the Mississippi River. It opened its doors in 1867 and has expanded its collection over the years to more than 160,000 items. Visit to see how a museum that looks relatively small on the outside can pack so much information and materials inside.

Start your tour of the museum in the Science Center, which has many of the interactive exhibits. Learn about the science behind pulleys as you try to move heavy objects from one place to another. Speak to a robot to find out about advanced robotic technology. Safely experience the power of electricity in an exhibit about the voltage delivered to our homes every day.

Continue on to the natural science section, where you can view live animals and learn about the environment. Watch as river fish swim along in the aquarium. Marvel at the size of a giant oak tree. In the underwater exhibit, explore the ocean’s varied creatures and ecosystems.

Finish your day with a stop in the history section, featuring thousands of artifacts. One exhibit, specifically dedicated to the earliest prairie inhabitants, tells the story of the founding of Davenport. Walk into an Egyptian tomb in the Egypt exhibit, where a curated collection of Egyptian pots and mummies gives you an idea of the fascinating culture of these ancient people.

Visit the Putnam Museum any day of the week. It operates year round, except on major holidays. The basic admission price covers access to all the permanent exhibits. Pay a bit extra to be able to see a film on the museum’s large movie screen.

Top things to do in Putnam Museum

Top Hotels Close to Putnam Museum

Radisson Quad City Plaza
Radisson Quad City Plaza
3.5 out of 5
111 E 2nd St, Davenport, IA
The price is $91 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Downtown, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from River Music Experience and RiverCenter. Figge Art Museum and Government Bridge are also within 10 ...

3.8/5Good! (981 reviews)

"Nice hotel and staff. Very pleased! Convenient to the river."…"

Reviewed on Sep 5, 2020

Radisson Quad City Plaza
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
200 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA
The price is $129 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Downtown, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of RiverCenter and Rhythm City Casino. Augustana College is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away.

4.7/5Exceptional! (490 reviews)
Clearly a four star hotek

"A very nice hotel overall. It has a very nice and pleasant staff as well as great food and a comfortable room. However, my one discomfort I had was that almost every window in the hotel is covered in dirt and webs on the outside which made it less pleasant to enjoy the view."…"

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2020

Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
215 North Main Street, Davenport, IA
The price is $129 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Downtown, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of River Music Experience and Rhythm City Casino. Augustana College is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

4.6/5Exceptional! (331 reviews)

"Everything about this hotel was excellent. It's located in a beautiful area, near the river, and surrounded by restaurants."…"

Reviewed on Dec 4, 2020

The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Putnam Museum

Radisson Quad City Plaza
Radisson Quad City Plaza
3.5 out of 5
111 E 2nd St, Davenport, IA
The price is $91 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Radisson Quad City Plaza
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
200 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA
The price is $129 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection
The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
215 North Main Street, Davenport, IA
The price is $129 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
The Current Iowa, Autograph Collection
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Davenport
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Davenport
2.5 out of 5
401 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Davenport, IA
The price is $81 per night from Dec 23 to Dec 24
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Davenport
Victorian Mansion Weddings, Rehearsals, Family Reunions, $350/nt-slp up to 24
Victorian Mansion Weddings, Rehearsals, Family Reunions, $350/nt-slp up to 24
Davenport, IA
Victorian Mansion Weddings, Rehearsals, Family Reunions, $350/nt-slp up to 24
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Davenport & Conference Center
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Davenport & Conference Center
2.5 out of 5
3330 E Kimberly Rd, Davenport, IA
The price is $54 per night from Dec 22 to Dec 23
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Davenport & Conference Center
Holiday Inn Rock Island
Holiday Inn Rock Island
3 out of 5
226 17th St, Rock Island, IL
The price is $80 per night from Dec 15 to Dec 16
Holiday Inn Rock Island
Resort 5BR Villa/amenities/pool&spa/near Disney,shopping Plaza,champions Gate
Resort 5BR Villa/amenities/pool&spa/near Disney,shopping Plaza,champions Gate
Davenport, IA
Resort 5BR Villa/amenities/pool&spa/near Disney,shopping Plaza,champions Gate
Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center Quad Cities
Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center Quad Cities
2.5 out of 5
101 18th St, Moline, IL
The price is $77 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14
Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center Quad Cities
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.