Located on the banks of the Illinois River, Peoria County is at the heart of the area represented by the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and offers a wealth of attractions, events, historical sites, shopping and artistic venues throughout the county's communities. Over 300 years ago, the Native Americans and French Traders who called our river valley home referred to the area as Pimiteoui, or "fat lake," because of the richness of the river. Today that tradition continues through riverfront development, a bustling downtown Peoria and much more. With over 20 hotels and over a hundred attractions and restaurants, Peoria County is a hotspot for tourists.
The downtown area should be your first stop when visiting Peoria County. Located in the heart of downtown, the Riverfront Visitors Center is where you can find a myriad of maps, brochures, and information on things to do in our area. Not only does the riverfront host a myriad of festivals and events throughout the year such as Erin Feis and The Taste of Peoria, but the year-round attractions are just as enticing. The Spirit of Peoria is a turn-of-the-century paddle wheeler available for sightseeing, theme cruises, private charters and 1-5 day overnight excursions to Starved Rock and the St. Louis Riverfront. Riverfront restaurants like Rhythm Kitchen and Kelleher's Irish Pub offer great dining prospects, and students from Illinois Central College and Bradley University love spending weekend nights downtown at hotspots like Sully's Pub and Café and Ulrich's Rebellion Room. It's easy to spend the entire day downtown with everything Peoria County's riverfront has to offer.
Shopping is also convenient and plentiful in Peoria County. The Metro Centre is one of Peoria's premier destinations. If you need fashion, footwear, crafts, sporting goods, musical instruments, unique gifts, artwork or even organic food options, the Metro Centre or the Junction City Shopping Center is your place. For even more variety, try visiting the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. This outdoor mall is aesthetically beautiful and is home to your favorite familiar clothing stores, coffee shops and specialty brands. If you're at Grand Prairie during a meal time, be sure to check out Jillian's Sports Grille - it's an edgy and entertaining megaplex with billiards, bowling, an arcade, and banquet facilities for up to 2,000! Our shopping centers are must-see destinations for visitors to Peoria County.
If you're looking for entertainment, there are many outlets to choose from. Peoria Players Theatre and Corn Stock Theatre are both in the county and have performances running year round for audiences of all types. The Peoria Ballet and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra are two additional groups that dazzle the Central Illinois region all year, every year at low prices. Or, if you like sporting events, check out Peoria Chiefs Baseball or Peoria Rivermen Hockey. These are two prominent professional teams in the Midwest that have strong support systems in the Peoria Area. And, don't be afraid to make learning fun while you're here! Perhaps you would like to see wild and exotic animals up close? If so, head over to the Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park or the Wildlife Prairie State Park! Both have a wide selection of animals and guarantee hours of fun for anyone interested in the animal world. The Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, a Smithsonian affiliate, is another Peoria County milestone that you can't pass up. With exhibits constantly changing, there will never be a dull moment at the Lakeview Museum.
Let's face it - there is just too much to do in Peoria County to spend only one day here! Make sure to check out hotel packages in the county and book your overnight trip today!