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Shedd Aquarium
Sunset over river with bridge

Unconventional, Unforgettable, Real Quad Cities

From Local Experts

3 Days 25 Miles

Highlights

East Moline, Rock Island, Moline

from the local experts at Visit Quad Cities

Start exploring and indulge in the many diverse experiences and adventures that await you on our bend of the Mississippi River.

Quad Cities is the perfect destination for couples looking to relax and unwind.

Day 1:

East Moline

  • Restaurant full of windows overs looking the river during sunset.

Check-in at the Hyatt House/Hyatt Place, and begin your getaway with a toast to yourselves and a beautiful sunset at the Hyatt’s River Room. As you sit high above the Mississippi enjoying the views, you feel like you’re floating down the river. Insider Tip: see if they have a hotel room facing the river.

Just a short walk from the hotel, dinner awaits at the Combine, a Bass Street Restaurant. The comfortable environment and fresh casual food and drink are elegant but not stuffy.

Enjoy appetizers, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches, and delicious entrees such as salmon, ribeye, filet, and shrimp. Dine inside or outdoors on their patio. Reservations are required.

The rest of the evening is up to you. Take a stroll along the riverfront and take in more of the beautiful views or head over to The Rust Belt and get a taste of the Quad Cities music and craft beer scene.

The Rust Belt is just a quick drive east of your hotel and is a space reimagined. A former automobile manufacturing plant is the newest addition to the unique venues in the Quad Cities. Here you can experience a range of musicians, comedians, and other artists live on stage. The complex is also home to Midwest Ale Works, where you can try a pint of craft beer, and Jennie’s Box Car features street tacos and Tequila. Insider Tip: Check the Rust Belt website ahead of time to see who is playing. Tickets must be reserved ahead of time.

Day 2:

Rock Island & Moline

  • Exterior of Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House.

Begin your morning with breakfast at QC Coffee and Pancake House in Rock Island. This local favorite serves up breakfast all day long. They also serve sandwiches and other temptations until 2 p.m. The restaurant has won multiple People’s Choice Awards and they are famous for their cinnamon roll pancakes and stuffed omelets. Order a burger, and they brand the top with a QC.

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time for a history adventure.

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Rock Island is one of only 17 Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums in the United States. The museum features changing exhibits throughout the year.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was designed by architect William C. Jones of Chicago in the Palladian style. Its dome consists of some 8,000 colored fish scale glass panes on a wooden support structure. Insider Tip: Check out the stained glass windows and dome.

Welcome to Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center, located in Moline. Both historic homes once belonged to John Deere’s descendants and they serve as year-round sites for quality educational and cultural events and tours.

One of the highlights of the Butterworth home is the library. Built in 1917, the room was designed to hold an 18th-century Italian ceiling painting found in Venice, Italy. It is believed to have been painted by Gaspare Diziani, and is one of only six known Venetian ceiling paintings existing in the United States today.

Make reservations for a complimentary tour online. The beautiful gardens of the homes are open to the public until sunset. Insider Tip: Use the mirror in the library to get a full view of the Venetian painting.

During the evening hours, you’ll find a nice selection of restaurants, pubs, and craft breweries in downtown Moline and Rock Island.

You could also make reservations to attend a show at Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse. This beautiful, historic theatre opened as the Fort Armstrong Theatre in 1921. The theatre was originally a vaudeville and silent movie house. Circa ‘21 features musicals throughout the year.

Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is also a great option if you want to try your luck on the slots or at the tables. They also feature a state-of-the-art, one-level casino that is one of the largest in the state. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel offers a variety of dining options from casual experiences, to an expansive buffet featuring daily specialty items, as well as a high-end steakhouse.

The casino hotel also offers a unique Aqua Range and putting green. Guests can practice their golf swing by driving floatation golf balls out into Wicks Lake, next to the hotel.

Day 3:

Moline & Rock Island

  • Cheese Pizza

Your final day in the Quad Cities should include another encounter with the big and bad Mississippi River. Get out on the open waters of the river aboard the Channel Cat Water Taxis.

These open-air passenger ferry boats make stops at docks on both sides of the river, providing you the opportunity to get on and off as you like and explore more area attractions. Service is generally provided from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, with additional weekend service through October (weather permitting). Your ticket is good for the entire day.

After cruising the river, your visit will not be complete without tasting our Quad Cities-style pizza. For over 50 years, Harris Pizza has been tossing dough for its unique style. What makes Quad Cities-style pizza unique? It comes down to five main ingredients: the crust, the sauce, the sausage, the assembly, and the cut.

We hope to welcome you back again to the QC. There are many more adventures to be discovered. Come with family or friends and find out more about our area and what makes us unconventional, unforgettable, and real.

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