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12 Things You Can Do in the Quad Cities

I always knew that I was going to need to visit Iowa someday if I was going to cross off all 50 states on my bucket list.... but the question was, where would I go there? The truth was that I did not know much about the state, besides hearing the city name Des Moines here or there. While that was a little further than what I wanted to drive, I pulled up Google maps to realize that Davenport (or the Quad City,) was a 6 and a half hour drive from me.... Not too bad! So, for Independence day weekend, we hit the road and spent a few days there. I did some pretty extensive research to find the best restaurants, attractions and tourist spots in the 4 small areas that make up the Quad City: Davenport, Rock Island, Moline and Bettendorf.


  1. Eat a Sushi Corndog with Sushi Fries at Eddy's Snack Bar

When I hear the words 'sushi' and any other food combination, I immediately hop on that train!! I've had sushi burritos, heard of sushi donuts, but never heard of sushi corndogs until now!! Eddy's Snack Bar is a really cute joint for many different types of Asian eats. The owner is also very friendly, and has the whole place decked out in Dragonball Z decor! You can also get your sushi corndog cut up if you prefer it that way, and it'll still be coated with crunchy goodness!


2. Visit the Niabi Zoo

While the Niabi Zoo is a bit smaller than your average, that is absolutely NO reason to skip it! They have all kinds of neat animals to see, including some that I had never seen before... like armadillos and porcupines! Tickets are also super cheap here... Only $9 for an adult! You can also get add ons, like the train ride or giraffe feeding.


3. Nerd Out at the Putnam Museum and Science Center

I love me a good science center.... but some that I have visited tend to be focused mainly for kids. Luckily, Putnam feels like it was made for all ages to enjoy! Make sure to spend a few hours here, because there is a LOT to go through! From Egyptian history, to Iowa nature, to a space exhibit!! And that's just naming a few. They also had an IMAX theater with different showings every day!


4. Walk Across the Davenport Skybridge

If you're looking for a fun (and free!) activity to do in downtown Davenport, then you need to check out the Skybridge! It may not be exactly what you think - It's small and only goes over the street, but will give you some nice views of downtown and the river! It also looks really pretty at night when it is lit up! It's a great, easy way to get to the downtown park area, and to get some extra steps in.


5. Get Your Game On at Analog Arcade Bar

If there's one thing that I'm a sucker for when visiting a new city, it's trying out a new arcade bar! Analog is located in the heart of downtown Davenport and has all kinds of different retro and modern games to play. We did everything from Mortal Kombat to Guitar Hero, all while sipping on some of their tasty cocktails!


6. City-Hop With the Channel Cat Water Taxi

This was a bit of a last-minute addition to our itinerary, and wow, it was SO fun! If you want a cool way to hop around the Quad Cities, you can buy a cheap all day pass for the Channel Cat and roam around as you please! Each ride is a good 15-20 minutes, so you'll get a fun little boat ride in the way to your next destination!


7. Try Some Quad City-Style Pizza from Harris Pizza

We were on the hunt for some good places that the locals eat in Davenport... While chatting with a local, he gave us his approval that Harris Pizza is a great place for a good pie! A cool fact about this place is that it is the original spot for Quad City-style pizza, which includes malt in the dough and special ingredients in the tomato chili flakes being a big one! We tried their taco pizza and loved it. Also, make sure to come here hungry because the pizzas are GIGANTIC!


8. Indulge in A Scoop of Whitey's Ice Cream

If you were to ask someone on where to get some good ice cream around Davenport, Whitey's seems to be a popular answer! Their ice cream is thick, flavorful and soooo delicious. They have all kinds of concoctions to make with different sauces and toppings...not to mention all kinds of cool flavors to choose from! They have multiple locations all around the city, so it's easy to stop at no matter which part of town you're in!


9. Sip on A Cold Brew at Front Street Pub & Eatery

If you're a beer fan, Front Street in Davenport is a great place to try out some local brews! And while you're at it, make sure to grab a bite to eat here, because their food is delicious! My mouth is still watering over their bacon and guacamole burger.... This cute little pub sits close to the river (not right on it but just across the street,) and is an easy place to walk over to if you're down at the park or Skybridge!


10. Try a Maid-Rite Sandwich

Okay, time to talk about another part of the Quad Cities besides Davenport!! Still hungry? You need to try a Midwestern classic, a Maid-Rite! (You can find these all over the Quad Cities.) This sandwich mainly consists of loose ground meat, and can have all kinds of different toppings added to it! There are multiple Maid-Rite diners around town, so it'll be easy to check this item off of your foodie bucket list.


11. Grab A Slice of Breakfast Pizza from Casey's

I never thought I would be so excited to try gas station pizza, but it seemed that everyone swore up and down about Casey's breakfast pizza! This is actually a general Midwestern thing, but it was different for us, not having a Casey's where we live. There are different kinds you can get - sausage, bacon, egg... but they are ALL delicious! You can grab them by the slice and it'll cost you next to nothing for a piece of goodness.


12. Check Out The World's Largest Truck Stop

Located just about 20ish minutes outside of Davenport, this truck stop is seriously the coolest one you could visit in the U.S! And yes, it really is ginormous... Did you ever think that you could find a theater, dentist AND a chiropractor inside a truck stop?? Well, you sure can here! Aside from that is a large food court and shopping with souvenirs, trucker goods and all kinds of other random finds! It's fun to just walk around and browse, honestly!


If anyone tells you that Iowa is full of nothing but corn fields, here is my experience to prove them wrong! It's amazing how much you can find when you venture out to a new place, especially when it turns out completely different than what you imagined. The Quad Cities are very underrated, so if you've never been, I recommend you visit to give it a shot!




Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!


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