Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
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Rock Island, Illinois

Downtown Rock Island Riverfront

The City of Rock Island, Illinois, one of the core cities which make up the greater Quad Cities metropolitan area, is located in the southwest “corner” of the Quad Cities – in western Illinois on the Mississippi River, and is home to about 40,000 people.

Additionally, Rock Island is:

  • Surrounded by two great rivers, the Mississippi and the Rock Rivers. These rivers support many leisure activities in the area and have beautiful scenic views.
  • A beautiful area, especially since the City’s Park and Recreation Department operates 26 sites having over 878 acres of green space. This offers residents and visitors a wide variety of activities and programs including league activities, fitness and aerobic programs, aquatic programs, senior activities, and recreational classes.
  • Home to Augustana College, Saint Ambrose University and the Quad City Graduate Center, and within 40 miles of three four-year institutions of higher education: Knox College, Ashford University.
  • Rich in resources for entertainment, education and cultural enrichment, thanks to the three locations of the Rock Island Public Library. With one of the area’s largest collections of new books, audio, DVD and computer choices, the Main Library, 30/31 Branch and the Rock Island Southwest Branch offer “More for your Life”.

Attractions

Rock Island offers plenty of options to play. The District, Rock Island’s downtown area, features art galleries and theatres, nightclubs and coffee shops, and restaurants of all flavors. Go beyond the downtown area, you’ll find plenty of golf courses, parks, casino, botanical center, marina, historic tours, bike paths, and festivals to entertain you.

The District

The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District, known locally as “The District,” is conveniently located along the banks of the Mississippi River. The neighborhood features beautiful historic buildings, modern residential living, outstanding art galleries, vibrant nightlife, and innovative dining options. Add to that a jam-packed festival calendar and you’ll understand why The District is synonymous with fun.

Among the arts and entertainment offerings found in The District are:

Quad City Botanical Center

Built next to the Mississippi River, the Quad City Botanical Center entertains visitors and natives with its beautiful gardens no matter what the season.

Featured in this beautiful facility are:

The unique signature gardens of the Tropical Sun Garden conservatory, featuring islands of gardens, a beautiful 14-foot waterfall, reflecting pools with Japanese Koi fish, and a 70-foot skylight peak with ferns, palms, bromeliads, orchids, frangipani, bird of paradise, banana plants, and other exotic tropical wonders. You’ll enjoy the seasonal changes, too:

  • Thousands of bulbs in the spring
  • Hundreds of colorful flowers in the summer
  • Rainbows of hardy mums in the fall
  • Tropical blooms and twinkling lights in the winter

Other features include a Conifer and Perennial Garden and a Physically Challenged Garden, which is planted and maintained by community members with physical challenges.

Sunset Park Marina

Sunset Park and Marina offers fabulous river views. Launch your boat, take a stroll, bike the trails, have a picnic, or just enjoy the scenery. You’ll be glad you discovered these 250 acres of wooded parkland and trails along the banks of the Mississippi River. Want to fish? This is one of the best places in the Quad Cities, complete with public docks, picnic tables, a back water pond from the Mississippi, walk path and a playground for the kids – in case the fish are not cooperating. You’ll find pan fish, bass/walleye or stripies, even catfish.