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Road trips: Things to do near Palmer’s Davenport Campus(2)

3/23/2011 (Archived)

Now that summer is in the air, it’s a great time to get out and take a road trip! Here are just a few things you can do in the area around Palmer’s Davenport Campus. Included are the miles away from campus for each location.

West Lake Park – Davenport, Iowa (7.61 miles)
West Lake Park consists of 620 acres and has four lakes for swimming and/or fishing, picnic facilities, playgrounds and campgrounds.

Scott County Park – Eldridge, Iowa (9 miles)
Scott County Park is made up of 1,280 acres, has 12 picnic areas, a baseball field, playgrounds, a radio-controlled airplane site, nature trails, an equestrian area, an Olympic-size heated swimming pool, and five camping areas. Also located on the grounds is the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village, which has 18 historic buildings and is the location of a Scott County cross-roads settlement and stage coach stop of the 1860s.

Niabi Zoo – Coal Valley, Ill. (12.08 miles away)
Niabi Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 160 species. The zoo grounds cover 40 acres, and an additional 200 acres is set aside for native flora and fauna preservation. The animals include: elephants, giraffes, Bengal tigers, lions, bald eagles, American bison and much more.

LeClaire, Iowa(17.14 miles)
LeClaire is a Midwestern historic river town alongside the Mississippi. It’s the birthplace of Buffalo Bill and is currently receiving acclaim as the home base for the History Channel’s hit show “American Pickers.” The town offers antique and boutique shopping, a gallery, the Mississippi River Distilling Company, Buffalo Bill Museum and more.

Wildcat Den State Park – Muscatine, Iowa (19.62 miles)
Wildcat Den offers camping, trails, picnicking, cliffs, rock formations, and historic structures. The 1848 Pine Creek Grist Mill and Pine Mill Bridge are both on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bishop Hill, Ill. (46.39 miles)
Founded in 1846 by a group of Swedish immigrants, Bishop Hill is a National Landmark Village, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is an Illinois State Historic Site. The small village offers museums, unique gift shops, art galleries and seasonal festivals.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site– Westbranch, Iowa (46.53 miles)
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is located on a 187-acre park administered by the National Park Service. The Museum is one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa(57.05 miles)
Attractions include: the Englert Theatre, museums (including the African American Museum of Iowa), international cuisine, night clubs, shops, pedestrian mall, and Hancher Auditorium, Coralville Mall, Sleepy Hollow RV Park & Campground, Riverside Theatre, and more.

Amana Colonies – Amana, Iowa (78.71 miles)
The Amana Colonies are seven villages that were settled by German Pietists in 1855. The Colonies were listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965. They are one of America’s longest-lived communal societies (1855 to the mid 1930s). Today’s Colonies offer historic homes an buildings, the Amana Heritage Museum, Communal Kitchen and Cooper Shop, High Amana General Store, Communal Agriculture Museum, Amana Community Church Museum, Homestead Store Museum, Homestead Blacksmith Shop, and more.

Galena, Ill. (85.33 miles)
Featured on Yahoo Travel as a “time-warp town,” Galena was a lead-mining town established in 1826. Galena’s historic district is on the National Register of Historic Places and includes more than 1,000 mostly brick and stone buildings. The town is home to antique stores, boutique shops, art galleries, spas and more. The area is very scenic and offers opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing and winter sports, including downhill skiing and snowboarding. Historic locations include: Galena’s oldest home (Dowling House), Old Blacksmith Shop, Old Market House, Old Stockade, and Ulysses S. Grant Home.

Starved Rock State Park – Oglesby/Utica, Ill. (95.06 miles)
Starved Rock State Park contains 2,630 acres of forests with waterfalls, canyons, sandstone rock formations, river and bluff trails, and amazing views of the Illinois River. The 18 canyons wee formed by glacial meltwater and stream erosion. In 2010, more than two million visitors came to Starved Rock to hike, horseback ride, cross-country ski, fish, boat, camp and more.

The House on the Rock – Spring Green, Wis. (130.79 miles)
The House portion of House on the Rock was designed and built in the 1940s by Alex Jordan. The 14-room house rests on a 60-foot chimney of sandstone rock, overlooking the Wyoming Valley. Over the years, the attraction has expanded to include the Infinity Room (with glass walls projecting over the valley), gardens, exhibits, and a massive collection of unique items (including “the world’s largest indoor carousel,” 200-foot model of a sea creature, “Streets of Yesterday,” a collection of automatic music machines, and much more).

Looking for something off the beaten path? Check out these unusual attractions:

Raven’s Grin Inn – Mount Carroll, Ill. (64.13 miles)
Raven’s Grin Inn is a haunted house like no other. Open year-round, Raven’s Grin isn’t your usual haunted house filled with gore and people jumping out at you in costumes. It’s combination of junk art and an old-fashioned spook house. The Chicago Tribune calls it “something resembling The House on the Rock (see listing above) as remodeled by Beetlejuice.” Call before you go. Specialty group tours are available.

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk – Riverside, Iowa (79.71 miles)
If you’re a “Star Trek” fan, you will definitely want to visit the future hometown of Captain Kirk! And don’t miss the annual TrekFest, June 24-25.

Field of Dreams Movie Site® – Dyersville, Iowa (88.52 miles)
“Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” Relive the 1989 Academy Award-nominated movie during a visit to the baseball diamond in a cornfield. Field of Dreams is open April 1 through Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.