A Little Time and a Keyboard: Art, Nature, History, Foodie Finds and Beer Blend Into A Perfect Getaway in the Quad Cities

Monday, April 26, 2021

Art, Nature, History, Foodie Finds and Beer Blend Into A Perfect Getaway in the Quad Cities

 Art, Nature,  History, Foodie Finds and Beer Blend Into A Perfect Getaway in the Quad Cities

A Perfect Weekend Escape to the Quad Cities Wandering Through Nature, Sipping Craft Beer, Admiring Art and History and More

Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Quad Cities for hosting my trip to the Quad Cities in order to share incredible experiences with my audience. Opinions are 100% my own.

Recently, my husband and I spent a weekend recharging along the Mighty Mississippi in the Quad Cities of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. The Quad Cities offers a magnificent location for getaway featuring nature, history, art, foodie finds and local microbreweries. Even though this was our second visit to the Quad Cities, we found the region full of new experiences blending in with old favorites. For us, this was the perfect recipe for a wonderful getaway! We had such a fantastic time and I am looking forward to sharing our adventure with you in this next series of posts. Take a peek at what we will explore:

A Taste of Art in the Quad Cities

During our visit, we discovered public art throughout the Quad Cities. One of my favorites happens to be the mural commemorating the first train to cross the Mississippi traveling from Rock Island to Davenport. My grandfather once worked for the Milwaukee Road and the Soo Line, so anything railroad brings a certain fondness! Murals and sculptures throughout the Quad Cities add little treasures to any getaway to the region.

Taking a peek at the Railroad Mural in Rock Island.
Taking a peek at the Railroad Mural in Rock Island.

We also wandered through the galleries of Davenport's Figge Art Museum admiring the impressive and varied collections on display. We learned that the Figge Art Museum actually holds one of the largest collections of Haitian art. The Haitian art on display explored a variety of mediums and presented to us elements of the history, culture and nature of Haiti! The pieces reflected poignant and meaningful moments of Haitian life. We also enjoyed wandering the other exhibits entirely impressed by the depth of the artworks presented.

Here I am looking at one of my favorites at Figge Art Museum: Late Autumn East Hampton, NY by Bruce Crane. On the other wall you will see Still Life with Oranges by Jeannette Scott.
Here I am looking at one of my favorites at Figge Art Museum: Late Autumn East Hampton, NY by Bruce Crane. On the other wall you will see Still Life with Oranges by Jeannette Scott.

Delighting in the Magical Creations of Nature

The Quad Cities provides a gateway to so many splendid and unique nature experiences. Right in Moline, we splendored in hikes around Sylvan Island, a rehabilitated industrial site, spotting wildlife throughout.

Elements of Sylvan Island's industrial past blend in with the nature of today.
Elements of Sylvan Island's industrial past blend in with the nature of today.

Hiking at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in nearby Hampton, paths wound us up through carpets of woodland wildflowers for ravine views and a panoramic view of the Mississippi River. 

We took a pause after hiking up the bluffs of Illiniwek Forest Preserve to admire the spectacular view of the Mississippi River.
We took a pause after hiking up the bluffs of Illiniwek Forest Preserve to admire the spectacular view of the Mississippi River.

Wildcat Den in Muscatine, Iowa beckoned us to chase waterfalls, appreciate rock formations and smile at wildflowers.

Wildcat Den's rock formations are breathtaking!
Wildcat Den's rock formations are breathtaking!

On our last morning in the Quad Cities, we relished a peaceful meander through Betterdorf's Devils Glen Park including a nice pause admiring a waterfall! 

A short descent from the trail treated us to a stunning tiered waterfall in Bettendorf, Iowa.
A short descent from the trail treated us to a stunning tiered waterfall in Bettendorf, Iowa.

History and Nature Intrigue at the Hauberg Estate

Tucked inside of Rock Island stands a fantastic example of Prairie-style architecture, the Hauberg Estate, which was constructed in 1909-1911. The extensive gardens were designed by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen and represent one of few fully intact Jens Jensen gardens in the United States. Currently, the estate has been focused on reviving and restoring these gardens.

Impressed by the Jens Jensen garden at the Hauberg Estate drawing from regional nature
Impressed by the Jens Jensen garden at the Hauberg Estate drawing from regional nature.

While we primarily toured the gardens, we also peeked inside the breathtaking mansion. A contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert C. Spencer was the architect for of the Hauberg Estate. We were totally captivated by the beautiful windows adorned with tulips and highlighted the nature just on the other side.

The art glass windows of the Hauberg Estate are heavenly!
The art glass windows of the Hauberg Estate are heavenly!

Foodie Exploration

We enjoyed a variety of tastes throughout the Quad Cities including tasty dinners from Bent River Brewing and River House Bar and Grill. We sipped locally roasted coffees from Dead Poet's Espresso and Redband Coffee Co. We sampled barbecue at Contrary Brewing for a lunch. Of course, we just needed some sweets from Whitey's Ice Cream and Shameless Chocoholic! I will share more on these delights soon but here is a taste:

Yummy Crab Cakes from River House Bar and Grill, Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fries from Bent River Brewing, Mocha from Dead Poet's Espresso and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream from Whitey's Ice Cream. Delicious!
Yummy Crab Cakes from River House Bar and Grill, Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fries from Bent River Brewing, Mocha from Dead Poet's Espresso and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream from Whitey's Ice Cream. Delicious!


Quad Cities Ale Trail

Sampling quality craft brews adds such a fun adventure to any couple's getaway! My husband and I love, love, love heading to a local microbrewery to order a tasting.  With the Quad Cities Ale Trail, visitors can go on a self guided tour of microbreweries in and around the Quad Cities. We sampled three different breweries during our visit including Bent River Brewing Company, Wake Brewing and Contrary Brewing.  

Sampling local microbrews along the Quad Cities Ale Trail!
Sampling local microbrews along the Quad Cities Ale Trail!

Quad Cities Fact: Pedestrians were once charged 5 cents to cross the Centennial Bridge when the bridge opened in 1940. Automobiles were charged 10 cents. All tolls were done away with in 2003.

Relaxing evenings at the Radisson on John Deere Commons in Moline, Illinois.
Relaxing evenings at the Radisson on John Deere Commons in Moline, Illinois.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Radisson on John Deere Commons located right on the Mississippi River and across from John Deere Pavilion. We found the hotel perfectly located for our getaway mere footsteps away from great dining options as well as affording us lovely evening walks along the Mississippi River. I will share more about the Radisson soon but it was so very comfortable and COVID safe. The staff was incredibly nice and attentive as well. We enjoyed our relaxing stay there. 

Follow Along for More About the Quad Cities

For more on a fun couple's getaway to the Quad Cities, follow my series as I uncover an incredible array of fun to be had in the Quad Cities. Our getaway to the Quad Cities was just what we needed to relax and recharge! I look forward to sharing more with you! For more, see:

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I just wanted to mention it’s Hampton, not Hampshire where you hiked Illiniwek Forest Preserve. And the original Quad Cities included East Moline, not Bettendorf. When Bettendorf grew in population we tried to make it the Quint Cities but it didn’t stick so it remains the Quad Cities which includes those 5 cities plus all of the surrounding area. Just a little history as East Moliners get a little salty when not included :) Glad you enjoyed your visit!!

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    1. Thanks for the catch! I actually had it right in the Illiniwek post. I work with a lot of small businesses and have been working pretty much round the clock with advocacy since last March, so I think I am hitting a bit of my wall. But things are looking better now! Thank you!

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