From the early Indians to its present suburban manufacturing community, East Peoria, with its rich plains, scenic hills and abundant waterways, has grown and prospered. Now, this little town across the river from Peoria, IL is not only known for being home to the world-renowned Caterpillar Company, but it is also being discovered by tourist for its shopping, entertainment and great food.
East Peoria is proving that it has something to offer to everyone from age 4 to 94 - must-go destination for locals and visitors alike. Here are just a few highlights that one should not miss when visiting this beautiful town:
Festival of LightsThe Festival of Lights began in 1985, when the economy and spirits were down. In an effort to turn the mood around, the community came together to create something beautiful. East Peoria's Festival of Lights celebration soon became a yearly tradition.
30 years later, the Festival of Lights has become the pride of East Peoria. With its bright lights and colorfully creative displays, it still delights and amaze everyone in the family like it did on that first night in 1985. It's certainly one of the best options when visiting East Peoria in late November.
East Port MarinaLocated along the Illinois Route 116, East Port Marina is one of the area’s well known destinations. Besides tourists, boaters find it a welcome and relaxing stop between April and October each year. The port offers shopping, dining and entertainment. For boaters, it also offers restrooms, showers and laundry facilities, as well as gas and diesel pumping stations.
Notable Destinations in East Peoria
- Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino - The city’s own riverboat casino, where one can stay and play on the water. Whether one is a serious player or just seeking a unique entertainment experience, the Par-A-Dice Hotel is definitely a place to go.
- Fon du Lac Park District - Where one can enjoy 1,600 boundless acres of parks, riverfront and trails. The Fon du Lac Park District also features two golf courses, a scenic marina and a natural campground.
- EastSide Centre - the city’s premier sports complex, which hosts national, state and regional and local sports tournaments from softball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and track. It also features sports fields, basketball courts, a splash park and a fitness center.
For the FoodiesEast Peoria also offers great dining, even to the unassuming foodie.
- East Peoria Farmer’s Market - Located on the pedestrian promenade in the Levee District. It offers fresh produce, great wine and hot-out-of-the-oven fresh baked goods. This family-friendly tradition is a favorite stop for locals.
- Burger Barge - Although, referred to as a “dive”, it has consistently been a local favorite and has won awards for its burger.
- Jonah’s Seafood - This house that Jonah built, proudly states that it has the Best Seafood in East Peoria. From the widespread consensus as evident on review sites, such as TripAdvisor.com, they are undisputedly correct.
- Granite City Food and Brewery - Boasts awards nationwide for Best Restaurant, Best Brunch, Best Patio, Best Beer, Best Martini, Best Burger, and more.