With that in mind, and to help make your Peoria vacation as memorable as possible, we have put together a few places and things we recommend anyone who is planning to travel to Peoria, IL should visit and do.
Peoria Grandview DriveIdeal for any Peoria vacation, the Grandview Drive is a must. The former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt described Grandview Drive as the 'World's Most Beautiful Drive' when he visited Peoria in 1910, and it is not too hard to see why he made such a claim. The views Roosevelt saw during his time there are still visible and in fact, unchanged since Native Americans settled there many centuries ago.
The drive itself is a lovely two and half mile drive that rewards visitors with an amazing panoramic view of the Marshall, Tazewell and Woodford counties. On an especially clear day it is thought that you can see over 30 miles of the picturesque Illinois River Valley.
Caterpillar Visitors CenterWhile this is perhaps one of the most popular and obvious attractions in Peoria, no trip to the city should be complete without visiting the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Caterpillar is probably Peoria's most famous export, and the Caterpillar Visitors Center offers you a chance to learn about and look back at the history of the company from its small beginnings as a tractor manufacturer into one of the leading companies in the building industry.
While it is not free to enter, the price is extremely reasonable and a family of four can easily take a self-guided and interactive tour round the center for just under $20. One of the highlights is the 24 ft. high 797 mining truck which also doubles up as a movie theater. It definitely makes the travel to Peoria worth it for those interested in big equipment and machines.
Peoria ZooPeoria Zoo, formerly known as Glen Oak Zoo, is based in Glen Oak Park is home to over 100 different species of animals. The Peoria Zoo opened a new exhibit called Africa in 2009, which features a boardwalk that allows you to walk around its main area, giving you the perfect view of the whole enclosure.
The area is divided into two distinct sections - the north which is home to gazelles and giraffes, and the south which is home to rhinos and zebras. The lions that most people come to see have their own den. The mandrills also have their own enclosure. While the Aldabra giant tortoise and African crested porcupines; and Columbus monkeys and Red River hogs live together.
The Peoria zoo also features a small animal building that is home to Taveta Golden Weavers, Madagascar tree boas, African rock pythons, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, dung beetles, pancake tortoises, giant Zambian mole-rats and Zebra mice amongst others.
Peoria is said to be the oldest of Illinois’s European settlements and was first established by Henri de Tonti, a French explorer. He named it Peoria after the tribe who originate from that area and it is also the largest city that sits on Illinois River. As a result, Peoria makes for a great vacation spot that many people travel to all year around.