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Tourism in Davenport Iowa

Family-friendly activities abound in the Quad Cities, with a 12-month calendar filled practically every week with a special event, festival or celebration offering something for everyone. Davenport and the Quad Cities have become prime destinations for weekend getaways, bringing in more than one million tourists each year and providing guests with lots to see and do at very affordable prices.

Families can indulge in such Quad-City favorites as Bald Eagle Days; the John Deere Classic PGA Tournament; the River Roots Live Music Festival; the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival and Quad-City Times Bix 7 Run; the Quad-City Arts Festival of Trees and Big Balloon Parade; the Riverfront Pops Concert; Red, White and Boom!; Sturgis on the River and the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest. With many of the area’s activities taking place along the Quad Cities’ biggest attraction — the Mississippi River — residents and tourists have spectacular scenery and vistas as the backdrop for music, sports, recreation and entertainment of all varieties.

One of the unique vantage points of the Mississippi River is along the 50-foot high Skybridge in downtown Davenport, stretching over 600 feet and linking the downtown area with the beautiful waterfront. Visitors to the Skybridge will be fascinated by the colorful lighting programmed to music, and awed by the panoramic views from the outdoor observation deck overlooking the lock and dam, LeClaire Park Bandshell and Centennial Bridge. The architects of this great structure, Holabird & Root, received the 2005 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award from the National Council of Structural Engineers Association for their work on the Skybridge.

Celebration Belle in Moline

For those who want to try their luck, the Quad Cities’ three popular riverboat casinos grace the river’s edge, including the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf, Rhythm City Casino in Davenport and Jumer’s Casino Rock Island. Celebration Belle in Moline provides a non-gaming environment with leisurely lunch and dinner cruises as well as 100-mile day cruises.

Sport lovers can enjoy baseball, arena football, hockey and racing in the Davenport/Quad Cities area. Check out the Class A baseball affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals at the scenic John O’Donnell Stadium in Davenport. Also make sure to see the Arena Football 2 Steamwheelers team and the Quad-City Flames hockey team, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames. Both of these local teams play at the i Wireless Center (formerly the MARK of the Quad Cities) in Moline. For drag racing enthusiasts, the nearby Cordova Dragway was selected in 2007 as the site of the annual World Series of Drag Racing.

The i Wireless Center of the Quad Cities, a 12,000 seat civic center in Moline, also offers the best entertainment around, including live concerts with big-name entertainers and exhibitions for all ages. Just across the street from the center is a popular tourist attraction: the John Deere Commons area, equipped with an extensive agricultural museum recognized as the most comprehensive agricultural museum in the world. Patrons can even jump inside a new green combine inside the John Deere Pavilion.

John O’Donnell Stadium in Davenport

Established in 1867, the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science in Davenport hails as one of the first museums founded west of the Mississippi River.

The museum surprises visitors with five exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions, and provides big screen excitement at Iowa’s only 3D IMAX Theatre. Home to over 160,000 artifacts and specimens,

the Putnam Museum not only offers a variety of exhibits, but provides dynamic public programs, all in an extensive 115,000 square foot facility, making it the largest museum in the Quad Cities, eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Museum enthusiasts can further indulge their interests at the German American Heritage Center in Davenport, the Figge Art Museum, or the Family Museum in Bettendorf that features hands-on, interactive exhibits for children of all ages.

At the Hauberg Indian Museum in Rock Island, dioramas with life-size figures depict activities of the Sauk and Mesquakie people typical of the period 1750 to 1830. Many artifacts, including authentic trade goods, jewelry and domestic items are displayed.

Hauberg Indian Museum in Rock Island

History buffs take pleasure in the area’s strong and prominent heritage. Arsenal Island in Rock Island, a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River, is the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States. Historic points of interest on the island include a museum equipped with the largest collection of small firearms used in battle in the past 150 years; the Confederate Cemetery; National Cemetery; original 19th century stone workshops; officers’ quarters; Colonel George Davenport’s house and the site of the first bridge built across the Mississippi, the Government Bridge. Additional historic sites throughout Davenport/Quad Cities include the Black Hawk State Historic Site, the Chippiannock Cemetery, the John Deere Historic Site and the village of East Davenport. Black Hawk State Historic Site, a 200-acre park along the Rock River that was once a Native American site, includes four miles of hiking trails, the Hauberg Indian Museum, Watchtower Lodge, and one of the least-disturbed forests in Illinois.

Approximately 250,000 visitors a year make Niabi Zoo one of the most popular attractions in the Quad Cities. With additions such as a new African Primate exhibit, Niabi is home to over 900 animals representing more than 160 species. The zoo grounds also offer a playground, train rides, picnic areas and concession stands.

There is always something to do in the Quad Cities!

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