The Quad Cities region is located on the mighty Mississippi River, and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline/East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The region welcomes over 1 million visitors each year and is known for its wealth of festivals, 20+ museums, amazing bike trails, family-friendly attractions, riverboat cruises, casinos, John Deere attractions, and its micro-brewery and music scene. Each city offers it's own unique vibe. The region is the largest metropolitan area on the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Louis.
Quad Cities International Airport (IATA: MLI)  is located in Moline, Illinois. The airport offers dozens of daily nonstop flights with international and domestic connections through many popular hub/connecting cities. Airlines and cities are: Allegiant from Las Vegas, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda-Ft. Myers, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Beach; American Eagle from Chicago O'Hare and Dallas-Ft. Worth; Delta Air Lines from Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul; United via Chicago O'Hare and Denver.
The Quad City International Airport(Airport code: MLI), strives to make travel easier with amenities such as two restaurants and gift shops, free WI-FI, recharging stations, business center, helpful customer care (Wheelchair/electric cart)services, taxi and rental car service, and more. Administrative offices are open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m and can reach them at at 309-764-9621.
The Quad Cities are accessible from the east by Interstates 80 and 88, from the west by Interstate 80, and from the south by Interstate 74. US Route 61, a highway that runs alongside the Mississippi, also leads into the area. Interstates 80 and 280 form a beltway which is bisected by Interstate 74, making the entire area easily accessible by freeway and by the scenic Great River Road- highway 67. The area is also served by several bus stations.
The nearest city with Amtrak service is Galesburg, Illinois, about 50 minutes south of Moline on Interstate 74.  It is served by four routes: California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Illinois Zephyr, and Carl Sandburg, all of which originate in Chicago.
Getting around the Quad Cities is easy and three bridges allow access to both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the river. The I-74 Bridge between Bettendorf, IA. and Moline, IL., Rock Island Arsenal Bridge between Rock Island, IL. and Davenport, IA., and the Centennial Bridge between Davenport, IA and Rock Island, IL. The region also offers UBER service, taxis, and a very nice bus transit system that provides service to and from the Iowa and Illinois sides of the river and to area attractions and shopping areas. https://www.gogreenmetro.com/
Though not officially named, the Quad Cities could well be another city called "The City of Bridges". Numerous pedestrian-friendly bridges span the Mississippi River, providing breathtaking views of several downtowns. Additionally, the newly completed "Skybridge" in downtown Davenport provides a bird's-eye view of that city's immaculate core while treating street-level pedestrians to an ever-changing array of colors from light emitting diodes embedded in the bridge's structure. The area lies in a steep valley, allowing those approaching the Mississippi an astonishing view of the surrounding area.
The Quad Cities is the largest metropolitan area on the Mississippi between Minneapolis, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri. The region is just a 2 ½ hour drive from Chicago, Illinois, and is served by the Quad City International Airport (MLI). Each city in the Quad Cities offers its own unique vibe.
In 2009, National Geographic Traveler named the Great River Road from Minneapolis to Davenport as one of the 50 “Drives of a Lifetime.” With the museums and attractions that have cropped up along the way, it is “not only one of the most scenic drives in the country, but also one of the culturally richest.”
Big River Magazine, BudgetTravel.com, and Outdoor Magazine named the Quad Cities in their list of top riverfront cities. Davenport, the Outdoor Magazine article notes, defies the region’s reputation for cornfields and grain silos with culture – the Figge Art Museum – and rugged recreation – Friends of Off Road Cycling’s 30 miles of mountain bike trails. The article also notes the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival and unreal bass and walleye fishing on the Mississippi River.
Moline, Illinois Each city offers its own history and atmosphere. Moline, Illinois, with roots tied to John Deere and Deere & Company’s World Headquarters, has gone through a major re-development process and continues to expand and improve its beautiful downtown riverfront. Gift shops, antiques, ethnic and traditional restaurants, Bent River Brewery, outdoor concerts, riverboat cruises, water taxi rides, and riverfront trails make this city a place to be enjoyed by all ages.
A few of the highlights of Moline include Lagomarcino’s in its original 100 year-old soda fountain, the Celebration Belle Riverboat, Channel Cat Water Taxi, TaxSlayer Center, John Deere Pavilion, Deere & Company World Headquarters, Deere Factory Tours and John Deere mansions. Just a short drive from downtown you can enjoy shopping at SouthPark Mall where over 100 stores offer everything from clothing and jewelry to gifts and food.
Rock Island, Illinois Head west from Moline and you will enter Rock Island, Illinois, a city built from the beginnings of steamboats, railroads, lumber, and a taste for fun! Downtown Rock Island, called The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, features art galleries, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants.
Arts and entertainment make Rock Island a hot spot for the night owl. Stop in and enjoy a beer at the award winning Blue Cat Brew Pub. You’ll find an interesting selection of micro-brewed beers in a variety of flavors, including hearty dark stouts and ales. Visit Quad City Arts and Midcoast Fine Arts galleries for inspiring works from regional artists. Take in a musical at Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse - set in an amazing vaudeville-era theatre. Or, if comedy is more your style, try The Speakeasy or The Establishment Theatre. Check out the Schwiebert Riverfront Park featuring a digital playground, water play area, live music & events, and amazing river views. Also, be sure to make a stop at the Quad City Botanical Center with its indoor tropical garden and new outdoor children’s garden.
The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District is also the hub for seasonal, outdoor music festivals and special events. The season kicks off the first weekend in June with music festivals such as Gumbo Ya Ya Mardi Gras in the District, Ya Maka My Weekend Caribbean Festival, various Gallery Hops and more.
Be sure to travel outside the downtown area to enjoy gaming at Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, waterski shows by the Backwater Gamblers, and American Indian history at the Black Hawk State Historic Site. This was the site where the Sauk & Meskwaki tribes once called their home, and the famous Sauk warrior, Black Hawk, lived.
A few of Davenport’s attractions include the Figge Art Museum, River Music Experience for live music, the Skybridge, Putnam Museum with its new STEM Center, Adler Theatre, German American Heritage Center, Bucktown Center for the Arts, and Rhythm City riverboat casino.
You’ll also find a nice selection of stores, pubs, coffee shops, and restaurants in the downtown area. Modern Woodmen Park, the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, was voted the "Best Minor League Ballpark" in the 2013 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards. The ballpark includes a 112-feet Ferris Wheel, two-deck carousel, and other new games and attractions.
Head east out of the downtown area on River Drive and you will find yourself at the historic Village of East Davenport. This six-square block shopping district is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, pubs, antique stores, and galleries. And if you like to really shop, you’ll have your choice of over 200 stores at NorthPark Mall and along the area’s 53rd Street shopping corridor.
Like the other cities, Davenport’s riverfront hosts a variety of world-class annual festivals including the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, award-winning Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Alternating Currents music festival, Quad City Symphony’s Riverfront Pops Concert, Brew Ha Ha, and Celtic Festival & Highland Games.
Bettendorf, Iowa If you head east on River Drive from downtown Davenport you’ll find yourself in Bettendorf, Iowa,--home of the Family Museum, Isle Casino Hotel, and 53rd Street Shopping Corridor. The Family Museum recently completed its final phase of a $4 million renovation of its permanent exhibits. Just a 15 minute drive from Bettendorf is a wonderful little town called LeClaire – a true river town from the past and the birthplace of the Wild West’s Buffalo Bill Cody. Enjoy downtown shopping, great restaurants, pontoon boat and jet ski rentals, and tours of the Mississippi River Distilling Company.
Other Quad Cities Highlights Besides the downtown areas, the Quad Cities’ Rock Island Arsenal Island—a 3-mile long island set in the middle of the river—showcases the Lock & Dam, the Mississippi River Visitor Center, the first permanent house built in the area, a Civil War and National Cemetery, and a military museum that tells the history of the island from its beginnings as a fur trading post. Bring a valid picture I.D. to get passage onto the Island. Non-U.S. citizens must make reservations at least a month ahead to enter the Island as it is also a working military installation.
The Quad Cities is also home to over 200 parks and Niabi Zoo. You’ll also enjoy Scott County Park, Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, West Lake Park and a variety of botanical centers including VanderVeer Botanical Park, Longview Conservatory, and the Quad City Botanical Center.
Golf courses are also abundant in the Quad Cities. Choose from more than 25 courses including TPC Deere Run, home of the John Deere Classic PGA TOUR. The new Fyre Lake Golf Club opened in 2013 and the oldest golf course in the area opened in 1897. Golf is big in the Quad Cities, but the price tag is not. The average cost for 18-holes of golf with a cart is about $35. In fact, Golf Digest magazine voted the Quad Cities as one of the top 20 golf destinations in the United States.
If you like the outdoors, biking trails are as abundant as parks and golf courses. Hop on the Great River Trail for a 62-mile ride along the Mississippi River from Rock Island to Savanna, Illinois. Or cruise along paved riverfront trails and city trails in Davenport and Bettendorf where public works of art and historical markers add interest to the riding experience. Bike rentals are available through the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau by the hour or for the entire day.
The Quad Cities offers a fun, marvelous and unique getaway destination. The area lets visitors experience a riverfront city atmosphere along the mighty Mississippi River with great historical attractions and neighborhoods, casinos, non-gaming riverboat cruises, delicious Midwestern style cuisine, outdoor recreation, world-class festivals, luxury accommodations, wonderful museums, galleries, and unique shopping experiences.
The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.
The Quad Cities is famous for its pizza and a trip must include lunch or dinner at one of these famous locations - Frank's Pizza in Silvis, Illinois (a small town abutting East Moline.; Harris Pizza, with various locations in Rock Island and Davenport; Pizza & Subs in Rock Island, and Happy Joe's with locations throughout the Quad Cities.
If you like Ribs, then a trip to Jim's Rib Haven in Rock Island is a must. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine or beers along with you to the restaurant.
For those with a sweet tooth, satisfy your craving with Whitey's Ice Cream (various locations throughout the Quad Cities), Lagomarcino's (locations in Moline and Davenport), Country Style in Moline, and Chocolate Manor in Davenport. Any local will be happy to direct you to any one of these locations. These are all Quad Cities' originals and Lagomarcino's has been in business for over 100 years. They are known for their amazing hot fudge sundaes!
The Iowa Machine Shed in Davenport, celebrates the American farmer, cooking from scratch right down to peeling the potatoes. Meals are served family-style and the food is amazing, down-home cooking.
Anyone looking for family dining, family owned and operated Steakhouse, check out Tappa's Steak House located in downtown Davenport for 25+ years. The locally owned restaurants in the Quad Cities are amazing, delicious and provide everything from Asian, German, Italian, and Indian, to gourmet, french, and farm-to-table menus that will satisfy any foodies' craving.
The District of Rock Island is a pedestrian mall which serves as home to numerous bars, and should not be missed. It also plays hosts to local several local festivals.
Davenport's downtown plays host to several large upscale nightclubs. Visitors need only park their car and follow the crowds.
Davenport's "Rainbow District" is a (very) small gay village located on the outskirts of the city's downtown. It consists of a handful of gay-oriented bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and is known for its popular drag shows. As with many areas in questionable parts of town, visitors are advised to proceed with caution when visiting the area at night. A string of recent violent incidents has garnered greater police protection, but has also illustrated some of the area's downsides.
As with many other working class cities, Davenport has a number of small neighborhood pubs located among its residential developments.
The Moline Centre is a good place to park and walk. There are several bars including Bent River Brewery, try out there house beers. Also, Beir Stube located both in the Moline Centre and Village of East Davenport. Looking for outdoor music go to the River House.
Just like in any city, people should be aware of their surroundings and should be cautious when walking alone to your car.