Peoria CVB

Princeton Day Trips

Bring your family and friends along for a fun, relaxing, and unique day trip to the historic town of Princeton, Illinois, as easy to reach as it is to enjoy. From points north, south, east, and west, Princeton lies near major interstates and is an easy drive from Peoria, the Quad Cities, Rockford, Chicago, and many communities between. Plan your own day trip or gather some ideas from the options below ... either way, you will have an unforgettable day!


The Garden Enthusiast

Hornbaker Gardens - Enjoy the morning with a visit to Hornbaker Gardens, where you'll find one-of-a-kind pottery selections; hundreds of hostas, day lilies, iris, and perennials; and a remarkable variety of trees and shrubs. Check out (If your husband isn't into the whole garden thing, drop him off at Hunter's Ridge Golf Course, just a few minutes from Hornbaker's, and catch up with each other later.)

Kramer's Chuck Wagon & Catering - For lunch, come into Princeton and enjoy
home cooking at Kramer's Kitchen or try the sweet potato fries at Wise Guys. Princeton Day Trips_Pg Image

Park Avenue - Drive along beautiful brick-paved Park Avenue to marvel at the Victorian homes and their beautiful gardens.

Main Street - Take a stroll down Main Street and explore one-of-a-kind shops including the nationally famous Hoffman's Patterns of the Past, Goodscents, and Annie's Little Pots. 


The History Buff

Historic Lovejoy Homestead - Start your day with a tour of the historic Lovejoy Homestead, which was a significant station on the Underground Railroad. Be sure to visit the Colton Schoolhouse which is also on the property. Call ahead for reservations.

Bureau County Historical Museum - 109 Park Avenue West, Stop here to discover the first families of Princeton, see relics of the Civil War and historical artifacts from the last 200 years, and enjoy photographs of Princeton as far back as the 1850s. While you're there, pick up the Architectural Walking Tour brochure and spend a little time wandering past some of Princeton's beautiful historic homes.

Vitale's Pizza Cellar- Next, stop here to grab a bite to eat, and then head over to Java on Main for a latte for a quick pick me up!

Then, Take a stroll up and down the historic streets of Princeton, where many of the buildings are over 100 years old and now house great shops like Sweeties, Amma's, and Beetz Me.  Take some time out from shopping to check out the walls, ceiling, rolling ladders, and storage bins in these shops - same features from years ago when it was Priestley's Hardware!


The Theater Lover (the Romantic)

Prime Quarter Steakhouse - Enjoy a romantic dinner and a cocktail at the famous Prime Quarter, where you can grill your own steak exactly the way you like it, or have it grilled for you. It's a fun and different way to enjoy dining.

Princeton Theatre Group - If you're a theater lover, you're in luck! Princeton is the home of Festival 56, the largest professional theater festival in Illinois, featuring comedy, drama, musicals and late night cabarets. The Festival's summer season begins at the end of June with Songs for a New World and ends in August with Kiss Me, Kate. The full program can be found at, where you can also check out the fall production schedule.

Fitzgerald's Piano Lounge - After the show at Festival 56, take a short walk to Fitzgerald's Piano Lounge to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the excellent service. 


The Antique Admirer

Sherwood Antique Mall - You could spend the whole day browsing through the Sherwood Antique Mall, a virtual Disneyland for antique hunters. Whatever your antique obsession, you'll probably be able to feed it there!

The Garden Room Grille - Discuss your great finds over lunch at the Garden Room Grille, where you'll have attentive service and great food served in a fun antique décor.

Anne's Antiques - After lunch, take a walk across the street to Anne's Antiques, home to wonderful furniture pieces, accessories, jewelry, and amazing prices.

Hattie's Arts & Antiques - Just up the block and around the corner you'll find Hattie's Antiques, a beautifully decorated store with several levels of great finds, from antique linens to antique kitchen accessories and even more great antique furniture.


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