Hey Ledgestone fans! You’re all excited for the 2023 Ledgestone Open and you know the disc golf part of your trip is going to be a blast. But when you’re not out on the course crushing drives, shredding woods lines and sinking putts, what are you going to do to stay busy?
Well, we’ve got you covered!
We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 things to do in Peoria so you can stay entertained and enjoy your time in Central Illinois, both on and off the disc golf course.
Located at the highest point in the city, this 2.5-mile stretch of road meanders along the crest of a large hill overlooking the Illinois River. The drive is complete with walking paths, parks, beautiful waterfront views, and old, historic mansions. There is enough diverse entertainment here to keep the whole family occupied for hours.
If you’re looking to enjoy the gift of plant life, look no further than the Botanical Gardens. This peaceful sanctuary, located just northeast of the city’s center next to the Peoria Zoo, features over 300 genera of plants, from roses, to woodland greenery, to tropical shrubs. The color and sense of life is consistently on full display because something is always in bloom. Sit on a bench and enjoy the peaceful silence amongst the trees or meander through the 5-acre property to take in the numerous different gardens.
Learn about the history behind one of the country’s most well-known construction machine manufacturers. From the first tractor built by Benjamin Holt, to the acquisition of the first manufacturing facility in Peoria, to the growth of the present-day business, this modern-looking building in the heart of the city celebrates one of the companies that has helped keep Peoria on the map. The riverfront location just adds to the ambiance as you fill your afternoon with Caterpillar’s history.
Open year-round, this 14-acre zoo has a wide variety of animals. Take a look at the giraffes, lions and hippos or keep it a bit smaller and check out the porcupines and wild tortoises. The site is home to over 230 different species. Spend your entire afternoon here and take a break at the Zambezi River Lodge where you can enjoy some food, comfortable seating and a great view of the Africa exhibit.
If you’re looking for that homey, warm, welcoming feel while you’re traveling, look no further than one of Peoria’s many coffee shops. Allow the fresh brews and smell of cocoa beans to bring you back to a sense of inner peace. There are several great choices around the city, but these five stand out:
This scenic park sits in the northern outskirts of Peoria on the location of a former golf course. The repurposed land has been manicured into a beautiful sculpture garden and luscious greenspace. On the south end of the park you’ll want to stop by the Northmoor Observatory where high-end telescopes and other equipment allow you to get a look at the cosmos. Best of all, in the center of the park you’ll find the popular restaurant called Cyd’s In The Park where soup, sandwiches and a bakery give off a quaint, cafe feel.
Peoria sits on the west bank of the Illinois River, and has been a key location along trade routes for centuries. Founded as a settlement in 1691, the city’s rich history has led to a large number of museums, all of which are worth checking out.
- Peoria Riverfront Museum
- Wheels O’ Time Museum
- John C. Flanagan House Museum
- African American Hall of Fame
- Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum
- Pettengill-Morron House Museum
This site just happens to share the same park as one of the featured Ledgestone disc golf courses: Bradley Park. You might notice a lot of traffic partway through the disc golf course and that’s because you’re approaching the theater. The stage features five main shows during the summer months along with several other side performances.
This half-mile stretch along the Illinois River in downtown Peoria is always bustling with people. Enjoy a relaxing dinner at one of the many restaurants, stop into any number of niche shops to find antiques or home decor, or just enjoy a modernized stroll along the river’s west bank. The stretch features live music, art and other shows throughout the summer and is also host to the RiverFront Market where consumers can pick up an assortment of fresh produce and local delicacies.
If you’re a gambler, consider stopping by the only casino within 40 miles of Peoria. Check out the wide variety of slots and table games across the four decks of this docked casino as it floats gently on the east bank of the Illinois River. While you’re there, consider staying at the Par-a-Dice Hotel across the street and dining in at the Lizard Bar & Grill, Nelson’s Deli, or Boyd’s Steakhouse.