The Best Things To Do in Peoria: A Local’s Guide for Hotel Guests

The Best Things To Do in Peoria: A Local’s Guide for Hotel Guests

Peoria, Illinois, may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a vacation, but this underestimated gem nestled along the Illinois River offers a surprising array of attractions. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or someone who enjoys the arts, Peoria caters to all. Keep reading to unearth the local favorites and hidden treasures that ensure an unforgettable stay in the heart of Illinois.

Discover the Wonders at Peoria Zoo and Luthy Botanical Garden


Animal lovers and families alike will delight in a visit to the Peoria Zoo, where conservation and education come together. Home to a myriad of species, the zoo provides an intimate encounter with wildlife, from the mighty African lion to the slithering reptiles. The zoo’s layout is well thought out, offering a journey through different global habitats.

The Luthy Botanical Garden is another treasure, just a short distance from the zoo. It’s a tranquil oasis that hosts a variety of themed gardens, including a tropical conservatory that blooms year-round. The garden is an ideal spot for a peaceful walk, photography, or simply a place to reflect and relax.

Both the zoo and the botanical garden host special events throughout the year, including holiday celebrations and educational programs. These events offer unique experiences such as night walks and behind-the-scenes tours, enriching your visit with memorable encounters.

Accessibility to these attractions is seamless, with ample parking and accommodating staff to ensure a pleasant visit. For those staying at a hotel in Peoria, they are a must-see addition to your itinerary, providing fun and learning opportunities for all ages. Choosing from a list of popular hotels with amenities and proximity to attractions will make it easier to navigate the city.

Exploring the Charm of Peoria Riverfront District

At the heart of the city’s social scene lies the Peoria Riverfront District, a lively hub brimming with entertainment, dining, and shopping options. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the riverfront, enjoying picturesque views and the gentle buzz of activity. The district is always abuzz with festivals, live music events, and street performers that add to its vibrant atmosphere.

Dining at the riverfront is an experience in itself, with an array of eateries catering to every palate. You can savor fresh, locally sourced cuisine at one of the many riverside restaurants or indulge in artisanal treats at the quaint cafes dotting the area. Nightlife thrives here too, with bars and pubs offering the perfect setting for an evening out.

For those who prefer a bit of retail therapy, the Riverfront District is home to unique boutiques and galleries. Shop for one-of-a-kind pieces, from handmade jewelry to custom art, and take a piece of Peoria home with you.

Dive Into History at the Peoria Riverfront Museum

Interactive exhibits and a commitment to educational experiences define the Peoria Riverfront Museum. As a multidisciplinary institution, it seamlessly merges art, science, history, and achievement through its dynamic exhibits. The museum offers a window into the region’s past, present, and future, captivating visitors of all ages.

One standout feature of the museum is its Giant Screen Theater, which brings documentaries and feature films to life on a massive scale. The Dome Planetarium is another highlight, offering a journey through the stars with its stunning celestial shows. These features make the museum a cutting-edge facility in presenting educational content.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the museum’s fine art collection, which includes works from both local and internationally renowned artists. Rotating exhibitions ensures that there’s always something new to discover, keeping the museum’s offerings fresh and engaging.

Taste the Local Flavors at Peoria’s Best Restaurants and Breweries


True to its Midwestern roots, Peoria offers a culinary scene that’s both comforting and innovative. The city’s restaurants pride themselves on local sourcing, bringing farm-to-table dining experiences to the forefront. From succulent steaks to inventive vegetarian dishes, Peoria’s chefs are adept at satisfying diverse appetites.

Not to be outdone, the city’s breweries and distilleries offer handcrafted beverages that reflect the character of the region. Beer aficionados can embark on a flavorful journey through crisp ales, robust stouts, and experimental brews that showcase the craftsmanship of local brewers.

Sweet treats are also part of Peoria’s gastronomic appeal, with bakeries and ice cream shops that hark back to simpler times. Whether you’re craving freshly baked pastries or handmade ice cream, the city’s dessert purveyors serve up delights that are sure to please any sweet tooth.

Altogether, Peoria’s diverse attractions provide a rich and fulfilling travel experience that caters to a wide range of interests. Overall, whether you are seeking adventure, education, or leisure, this charming city leaves a lasting impression with its riverside allure and Midwestern hospitality.