23 Best Things to do in Davenport, Iowa

23 Best Things to do in Davenport, Iowa


When selecting a trip vacation spot for your self, you and a few mates, otherwise you and your loved ones, Davenport could not instantly come to thoughts.

This small metropolis on the western shore of the Mississippi River in Iowa is dwelling to somewhat over 100,000 folks and may not look like a lot once you go by way of it on I-80.

However, you’d be shocked; there may be truly fairly a bit to see and do in Davenport, and whether or not you’re there on enterprise, are there visiting household, or select it as your precise trip vacation spot, you’re certain to have a great time – and a much better time than it’s possible you’ll anticipate earlier than you go.

Don’t sleep on Davenport! Davenport is likely one of the 4 cities within the Quad Cities metropolitan space, which additionally consists of Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois. Together, these cities are dwelling to just about half 1,000,000 folks.

This Midwestern assortment of cities that grew up across the confluence of the Mighty Mississippi and the Rock River is extra taking place than one would possibly assume.

Beach sunset

It’s about three hours west of Chicago and about 4 hours north of St. Louis, however not like these bigger cities, the Quad City space together with Davenport has extra of a relaxed, pleasant, welcoming, and laid-back really feel; nonetheless, the folks right here additionally prefer to get out and do issues quite than simply staying dwelling, it doesn’t matter what the season nor time of 12 months.

That’s why you’ll discover loads of museums, parks, historic sites, eating places, and buying adventures right here to maintain you busy throughout your complete keep.

So, if you end up in Davenport or might be visiting there quickly and are searching for issues to do in Davenport, Iowa, learn on. In this informative publish, you’ll study all in regards to the many issues to do on this Iowa city.

Get able to tackle Davenport and luxuriate in this hidden gem of the Hawkeye State!

Before You Go to Davenport, IA

Remember, it’s at all times clever to get travel insurance earlier than you head out for any journey! World Nomads is a good supplier, however in the event you don’t see what you need there, try to see extra choices.

To go to Davenport by aircraft, you may fly into Chicago after which hire a automotive from and drive from there. Or, you would fly into Quad City International Airport (MLI) in Moline for even simpler entry. Put each cities into Skyscanner and see what sort of offers you could find.


  • Best Museum: Figge Art Museum
  • Best Outdoor Activity: Vander Veer Botanical Park
  • Best Historical Attraction: German American Heritage Center
  • Best Family-Friendly Activity: Modern Woodmen Park for a ballgame
  • Best Shopping: Freight House Farmers Market
  • Best Entertainment: River Music Experience

Best Things to Do in Davenport, IA

Figge Art Museum

If you’re in western Illinois or japanese Iowa surrounded by cornfields, it’s possible you’ll assume that you might want to journey both to Chicago or Des Moines to view world-class artwork, however due to the Figge Art Museum, that’s not the case.

This museum opened in 2005 and was the successor to the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery – later the Davenport Museum of Art – which opened in 1928.

This energetic metropolis has been dwelling to patrons of the humanities since its early days, and in consequence, the Figge Art Museum isn’t solely one of many oldest artwork establishments within the United States, but additionally the oldest municipal artwork gallery in our nation.

This is an enormous however not gigantic museum; its assortment is made up of over 4,000 artworks. The American assortment is spectacular and consists of works by Bierstadt, Whistler, Homer, Wyeth, Warhol, and extra. European artists like Rembrandt, Goya, and Renoir are additionally represented right here, as are Asian artists like Hokusai and Kunisada.

However, this museum is finest recognized for its intensive assortment of Haitian artwork, Colonial Mexican artwork, and Midwestern artwork, and for its assortment of items by Midwestern architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright.

It’s simple to get misplaced within the Figge Art Museum for a complete morning or afternoon even in the event you don’t fancy your self to be a lot of an artwork aficionado. There’s a lot to see right here. If you wish to keep close by, The Current Iowa is a good resort possibility inside strolling distance.

Putnam Museum & Science Center

The Putnam Museum and Science Center, previously generally known as the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, is a fair older establishment than the Figge Art Museum. It was based in 1867 and was one of many first museums west of the Mississippi.

If you aren’t occupied with visiting an artwork museum just like the Figge, then chances are high that this museum might be a extra fascinating alternative for you.

This family-friendly museum has over 160,000 specimens and historic artifacts in its assortment; as you may think, solely a small portion of those is on show at any time, however you’ll be capable to see and study an incredible deal in a short while.

It will seemingly be no shock to you after your go to that this museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Exhibits on the Mississippi River, mammals, historical Egypt, prairies, world tradition, and science and expertise are all well-organized, thorough, interactive reveals that the entire household will take pleasure in.

Further, there’s a huge-screen movie show that reveals science movies; it’s one of many greatest film screens in your complete state. No matter what pursuits you, don’t miss the Putman Museum and Science Center throughout your go to to Davenport.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Dubuque, Iowa

German American Heritage Center

Many 1000’s of German immigrants selected to settle within the Midwest in the course of the late 1800s and early 1900s and the German American Heritage Center and Museum within the Germania-Miller Standard Hotel celebrates this reality and the huge contributions that these folks gave to the United States throughout their lifetimes.

The constructing itself was in-built 1862 as a guesthouse for immigrants and was later bought by John Frederick Miller, a German immigrant, who ran it as a resort for a few years after that. In 1983, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the German American Heritage Center moved in in 1995.

Interesting reveals at this museum and heritage heart embody an interactive expertise about German immigration, shows of German and native artwork, and extra.

There’s additionally a banquet corridor, a present store, and weekly occasions that can assist you immerse your self within the transplanted German tradition of the Midwestern United States.

Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive

If you want historical past museums, give this one a strive. Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, IA in 1903 and died on the age of 28 in 1931.

In his quick life, he realized learn how to play the coronet and piano and have become one of the crucial influential jazz soloists of his time. This museum is devoted to his life and musical contributions and is fascinating for anybody within the early age of jazz music or in music basically.

Artifacts from his life are on show in addition to devices he used throughout his musical profession.

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Vander Veer Botanical Park

Vander Veer Botanical Park is situated within the Vander Veer Park Historic District of Davenport. This 33-acre botanical backyard is spectacular and alluring. Established in 1885, it is likely one of the very first botanical parks in our nation situated west of the Mississippi River.

In this backyard, you’ll discover flowers, bushes, shrubs, hostas, succulents, cacti, and different crops of every kind, a lagoon, a sensory backyard, a kids’s sculpture backyard, greenhouses, a conservatory, and a formidable circa 1900 fountain. Many folks come right here to stroll for train; the trail across the perimeter is just below a mile in size.

West Lake Park

If you’re searching for a extra traditional-style park, then you definitely’ll like West Lake Park. This park isn’t on the banks of the Mississippi River however is situated on the west aspect of city.

It is sort of giant at 620 acres and there are 4 lakes and two campgrounds throughout the park’s boundaries. People come to fish, boat, and swim right here in the course of the heat climate months, nevertheless it’s an incredible place to go to and discover at any time of 12 months due to the numerous trails.

See Related: Best State Parks in Iowa to Visit

Modern Woodmen Park

For a very totally different sort of park, you would possibly swing by Modern Woodmen Park. This is a minor league baseball discipline that was initially in-built 1931 however has been renovated many instances since.

Today it holds 4,024 spectators and is dwelling to the Quad Cities River Bandits and the St. Ambrose University baseball groups. It additionally hosts concert events and different occasions.

Locals love this small stadium as a result of it’s on the banks of the river and presents nice views of the Centennial Bridge. There’s additionally a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a kid-sized roller coaster to take pleasure in.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is adjoining to Modern Woodsmen Park; not like West Lake Park, this municipal park is, in actual fact, on the shores of the Mississippi and it’s simply west of the Centennial Bridge.

This neighborhood park is a 250-acre inexperienced house with riverfront trails, picnic tables, benches, gazebos, a skatepark, and a canine park, and it’s an incredible place to easily chill out or get up-close-and-personal with the river.

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Village of East Davenport

The Village of East Davenport, often known as Davenport Village or just The Village, is that this metropolis’s historic district. It’s situated on the southeast aspect of city on the financial institution of the Mississippi River; it was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The space covers a number of blocks and consists of 145 historic buildings. Most are residential, however you can even view and benefit from the former Kuehl Hotel, the previous Pierce School, the Village Market Place, Hose Station No. 4, many aged retailers, a number of parks, and extra.

Step again in time on this neighborhood and get a really feel for what Davenport was like in its early days!

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cathedral Complex

There are 193 Roman Catholic cathedrals within the United States and a few folks attempt to go to all of them. The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport opened in 1891 and is exceptionally stunning inside and outside.

It’s situated excessive on a bluff overlooking the river to the east of the downtown Davenport space in an space that was settled by Irish immigrants and it may be seen from many locations on the town. A pipe organ fills the again of the cathedral and anybody who appreciates stained glass artwork might be impressed by the cathedral’s home windows.

Stop by and go to; even in the event you’re not Catholic you’ll be amazed by the fantastic thing about this construction.

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The Palmer Family Home & Museum

You could haven’t heard the identify Bartlett Joshua Palmer earlier than, however the folks of Davenport are fairly acquainted with the life and work of this man. If you’ve ever discovered aid for ache by visiting a chiropractor, you could have this man to thank.

It was his father, Daniel David Palmer who first established the observe of chiropractic, nevertheless it was B.J. who satisfied his father to ascertain a faculty of chiropractic right here, which led to the expansion and unfold of one of these care.

Today, many college students occupied with studying to be chiropractors come to Davenport from everywhere in the United States and the world to check on the Palmer College of Chiropractic which was established in 1897.

You can go to this faculty in addition to the Palmer Family Residence close by; excursions of the primary flooring of the household’s mansion are provided day by day. Further, you can even go to the close by Palmer Family and Chiropractic History Museum to study extra about this household, their historical past, and the artwork of chiropractic care.

You can keep proper close by on the well-rated Hotel Blackhawk and be close to every little thing on this nice Davenport lodging!

Freight House Farmers Market

A farmers’ market is a good way to study extra about any space that you just go to and the Freight House Farmers’ Market is likely one of the greatest and finest that you just’ll discover anyplace on this nation.

Over 200 distributors present up for this market weekly year-round, and prospects can attempt to purchase all types of fruits, greens, baked items, and artisanal meals merchandise. There’s no method you’re strolling out of this market with out a bag of goodies that you just simply couldn’t resist, so carry your pockets and produce your urge for food once you discover this market one weekend!

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Abernathy’s is a cool little store in downtown Davenport that sells classic and handmade items. It’s a bit distinctive and it isn’t for everybody, however in the event you like supporting small area of interest companies, you’ll seemingly discover one thing unusual and delightful to carry dwelling for your self or as a present for another person.

SIS International Shop

SIS International Shop gained’t offer you many Davenport-specific items; quite, this store is a store that provides stunning and diversified objects from everywhere in the globe with a concentrate on honest commerce.

You can store right here with good conscience and the information that all the merchandise on the market had been sourced ethically and sustainably and that the producers of the products had been compensated pretty. There’s one thing for everybody on this reward store.

See Related: Historical Landmarks in Iowa You’ll Want to Know

Chocolate Manor

Do you like chocolate? Most folks do. This family-owned chocolate store has been serving up tasty treats for over twenty years!

They supply excursions of their manufacturing facility that embody samples, but when that’s not sufficient, you may spend a while filling your buying cart with toffee, caramels, lotions, truffles, and extra. The choice is at all times altering, so in the event you go to Davenport usually, head on again to Chocolate Manor for extra, time and time once more.

Analog Arcade Bar

Arcade bars are at all times a great time. Analog Arcade Bar is stuffed with classic video video games and pinball machines that may show you how to whereas away the hours any afternoon or night. Have a beer or a signature cocktail and chill out within the lounge between video games.

This bar doesn’t serve meals however you’re welcome to have meals delivered. It’s all enjoyable and video games, however sadly you may’t carry your children – this institution is 21+ solely. There’s additionally one other location throughout the river in Moline if you wish to examine that out too.

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Have a Local Drink

Have a Local Drink

Visits to Wide River Winery and Bootleg Hill Honey Meads are an exquisite pairing for individuals who take pleasure in consuming alcoholic drinks and are occupied with studying about how they’re made.

These two companies usually are not associated in any method apart from the truth that they supply tasty drinks and manufacturing info to events.

Wide River Winery is within the Village of East Davenport and presents wine and small plates. Bootleg Hill Honey Meads is simply 4 minutes away by automotive and makes mead on website. Try each, however take it simple – these two drinks don’t combine properly for some!

Adler Theatre

The Adler Theatre was constructed over ninety years in the past in 1931; it was first generally known as the RKO Orpheum Theater.

This historic theatre is on the primary flooring of the previous Hotel Mississippi which at present has been transformed into flats. Both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the Adler Theatre is host to all kinds of occasions together with comedy, musicals, concert events, TEDx Davenport, and the Miss Iowa pageant.

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The Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra

The Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra was based in 1915 and is likely one of the longest-established, repeatedly working orchestral associations within the USA.

The orchestra performs about twenty instances annually, however along with performances, it additionally presents academic alternatives to town’s youth, together with a Youth Symphony Orchestra program.

River Music Experience

The River Music Experience is housed on the primary two flooring of the historic Redstone Building downtown. This group goals to advertise dwell, native music and to attach folks to it by way of performances in its efficiency areas.

The River Music Experience hosts over 150 performances per 12 months in its first-floor espresso store, the RME Cafe, and on its second-floor neighborhood stage, The Redstone Room. Stop by and take a look at some dwell and native performers doing their factor.

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Rhythm City Casino Resort

The Rhythm City Casino Resort is on the outskirts of city close to I-80. If you prefer to gamble, then you definitely’ll love this small on line casino and resort.

It’s open twenty-four hours a day, so in the event you’re searching for some late-night enjoyable, you may examine this place out after every little thing else has shut down for the evening. You can book a room here if you wish to keep in a single day; it’s an incredible alternative amongst Davenport resorts! Also, many occasions in Davenport are held right here – try their calendar.

Davenport Skybridge

This pedestrian bridge crosses over Highway 67/River Drive and presents nice views of town, the river, Centennial Bridge, and Rock Island throughout the best way.

It was in-built 2005 and is 575 ft lengthy and 50 ft tall. It’s lit up at evening with ever-changing colours in order that’s a good time to offer it a go. It’s one of many Davenport issues to do this shouldn’t be missed!

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Michael’s Fun World

Michael’s Fun World is close to the intersection of Route 61 and I-80 so it’s a little bit of a drive from downtown Davenport, nevertheless it’s definitely worth the journey in the event you’re with some kids.

This kid-friendly attraction is a year-round amusement park with mini-golf, go-karts, video video games, laser tag, batting cages, and extra. It’s enjoyable for the entire household.


What is Davenport recognized for?

Davenport, Iowa is understood for being one of many 4 Quad Cities on the Mississippi River. It’s an incredible place to go to and an incredible place to lift a household. It’s secure and the individuals are pleasant and welcoming. You’ll love visiting Davenport.

What meals is Davenport Iowa recognized for?

There are a number of meals you must strive when visiting Davenport and the Quad Cities basically. Quad City-style pizza can’t be missed. It options dough made with malt, tomato sauce with purple chili flakes and cayenne, sausage, and cheese.

Taco pizza can also be widespread right here. Of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to Iowa with out a large pork tenderloin sandwich. These widespread sandwiches have way more breaded and fried pork than bun. Enjoy!

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