Quad Cities Gardens: Visit These 8 Scenic Gems

Quad Cities Gardens: Visit These 8 Scenic Gems

Flower Chick is back with another “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, so tag along for a virtual visit to eight Quad Cities gardens that’ll inspire and impress!

One of the most unique metropolitan areas in the country, the Quad Cities straddle the states of Illinois and Iowa. On the Illinois side of the Mississippi River are the cities of Moline and Rock Island. Across the river in Iowa, you’ll find Davenport and Bettendorf …

Offering several destinations for garden lovers, the Quad Cities are in the heart of Gardening Zone 5. Due to the slightly warmer temperatures of the Mississippi River valley, flowers and plants suited for Zone 6 also do well here.

In this travelogue feature, we’ll spotlight Quad cities gardens on both sides of the river. As you’ll see, they range from city parks to gardens surrounding historic homes to the impressive Quad City Botanical Center (photo at top of the post). Get ready for a virtual gardening adventure!

Vander Veer Park in Davenport Iowa by FlowerChick.com

           The Lovely Vander Veer Park & Gardens in Davenport Iowa

Before we start our Quad Cities gardens exploration, let’s acquaint you with the area …

Introducing The Quad Cities

The Quad Cities are perfectly located for overnight or long weekend excursions from just about anywhere in the Midwest. Interstate 80 leads visitors to the area from east or west, and I-74 cuts through the cities as well …

From Chicago, it’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive … the same for Des Moines. Dubuque, IA is just over an hour away, and so is Peoria, IL. The Quad Cities, in fact, draw a lot of their visitors from these locales …

The Quad Cities metro area is home to almost 400,000 people, with Davenport being the largest of the four main cities. We’ve always enjoyed visiting here – the Quad Cities are a wonderful blend of big city amenities and small city charm. Plan a visit here and you’ll find yourself coming back again and again …

If you’re a fan of historic homes, the Quad Cities has them in droves. Both Rock Island and Davenport offer long established historic districts. Moline also has several architecturally significant homes …

Tour Noted Architectural Styles Of The Midwest – Explore Here #ad

Each of the four main Quad Cities has a distinctive, defined downtown area. As an added bonus, the Village of East Davenport is a shopping and dining mecca in the area. We’ll acquaint you with a few of our East Davenport favorites in a few minutes …

Map of the Quad Cities by FlowerChick.com

                             Overview Map Of The Quad Cities

As for the climate, you’ll experience typical Midwestern weather here. Summers tend to be sunny and warm, with a “generous” dose of Mississippi River valley humidity thrown in. Winter is cold and somewhat snowy, as you might expect. The collar seasons of spring and fall are glorious times to visit! Days are relatively warm, and evening temperatures are more than manageable …

Stay On Top Of The Weather – Both Indoors and Out With This Made In The Midwest Device! #ad

Did You Know? The Mississippi River flows in a north-south direction on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. In the Quad Cities area though, the river flows mostly east to west …

To fully experience the Quad Cities area, particularly in summer, we recommend at least a long weekend. A day or one night visit allows you to scratch the surface – and identify all the sights to see the next time around …

We’ve made the Quad Cities a regular travel destination for the better part of 35 years and are still discovering new favorites. Plus, it takes a few visits to grasp the best ways to get around. Only now after all these years can we drive without a map or GPS close at hand!

Road Trip Ideas Along The Upper Mississippi River … Click Here #ad

Insider Tip: Driving around Rock Island and Moline (the Illinois side of the Quad Cities) can be confusing. Keep these tips in mind – in both cities Avenues run east-west and streets run north-south. Avenues are lower numbered to the north and higher numbered to the south. Also in both cities, streets are higher to the east, lower to the west …

Did You Know? Local residents here are known as “Quad Citians” and / or “Quad Citizens” …

Before we explore a few of the Quad Cities great shops and restaurants, let’s pay a virtual visit to eight unique Quad Cities gardens. These gardens, and the area’s numerous natural attractions, help make the Quad Cities a fun and inspirational destination for gardeners …

Eight Quad Cities Gardens You’ll Love To See

Riverside Park Greenhouse & Gardens: If you’re visiting the Quad Cities from points east, Riverside Park is the first garden destination you’ll encounter. It was first on our agenda as it’s located on the east side of Moline. Convenient to find, Riverside Park is not far from the terminus of Interstate 88 from the Chicago area …

Riverside Park Gardens Sign by FlowerChick.com

The greenhouse and the gardens surrounding it have been adopted by the Friends of Riverside Park Gardens.  They offer plant sales, classes, and other opportunities for those who love gardening.

Dynamic Banner: 728x90

These are community gardens full of beautiful annuals, perennials, roses, and vegetables.  Their mission is to promote knowledge of gardening and nature and provide a center where interested groups may encourage community improvement and beautification.

Riverside Park Community Gardens by FlowerChick.com

   Pretty Vistas Everywhere You Look At Riverside Park Gardens

There’s a playground adjacent to the gardens where the kids can run off a little steam.  Children will also enjoy the veggie gardens where we viewed zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins growing in the raised beds.

Riverside Park Gardens by FlowerChick.com

Rosebushes with Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens in the Background

Did You Know?  Hibiscus don’t just grow in the tropical climates!  Hardy Hibiscus / Rose Mallow can survive Zone 5 winters.  These beauties are best planted in full sun or part shade in soils that are moist and high in organic matter.

Click Here To Buy Hibiscus Plants For Zone 5 & 6 Gardens …

Hardy Hibiscus at Riverside Park Gardens by FlowerChick.som

              Brilliant Red Hardy Hibiscus at Riverside Park Gardens

Quad City Botanical Center:  This gem of a horticultural heaven is located on 4th Avenue in Rock Island, IL. They truly take great pride in their gardens and grounds being true to the QCBC mission of bringing people and plants together in meaningful ways.

The Physically Enabling Garden at the Entrance by FlowerChick.com

The ‘Physically Enabling Garden’ at the Botanical Center Entrance

Located just outside the garden gates as part of the grand entrance, this unique garden (The Physically Enabling Garden) provides a number of elevated, vibrant garden beds accessible to guests who find bending to ground level difficult or impossible.  A great idea and a bright-colored welcome to the Quad City Botanical Center!

Upon entering the Visitors Center, I was delighted to see that they raise butterflies and release them into the gardens!  The display in the lobby shows the four various life stages of the Monarch Butterfly from egg, larva (the caterpillar stage), pupa (the chrysalis phase in a butterfly’s development), to adult butterfly.

Raising Monarch Butterflies at QCBC by flowerchick.com

Exhibit Showing The Various Stages of Monarch Butterfly Development

Best Perennials for Attracting Pollinators – Zone 5 & 6 Gardens

The next area on my radar was the Tropical Sun Garden just off the lobby.  It consists of thriving tropical plants in a 6,444 sq ft climate-controlled space.  A 14-foot waterfall, a stream, and fish pond circulate water through the atrium, providing a home for the popular Japanese Koi, and supplying vital humidity for the exotic plants.

Tropical Sun Garden at Quad City Botanical Center by FlowerChick.com

        You Can Visit Exotic Lands in The Tropical Sun Garden

Insider Tip: Make sure to purchase some koi food at the gift shop to feed the colorful, friendly fish.  Only 25 cents for a small cup of koi chow. They are fun to watch and eager to greet you.

Tropical Sun Garden at Quad City Botanical Center

                A Showy Lollipop Plant By One of The Koi Ponds

You’ve Heard About Puppy Chow – How About Koi Chow?? #ad

The Sun Garden is home to fruit-bearing plants including coconut, banana, vanilla, coffee and the cocoa tree (chocolate). Another interesting plant I spotted was the Lollipop Plant which produces small white flowers from a beautiful cone-shaped bract that’s bright yellow in color.  Please don’t eat it!

Back outside, the Scrambled Alphabet Garden was truly a delight. Planted with flowers and plants that begin with each letter of the alphabet and marked with a mosaic glass tile.  For instance: D included Dusty Miller, Z for Zinnias, E for Evergreen, N for Nasturtium … etc.  Fun for all ages to find the letters and the corresponding specimens.

Scrambled Alphabet Garden at Quad City Botanical Center

  One Portion of the Clever ‘Scrambled Alphabet Garden’ at QCBC

Pat’s Garden is a whimsical fairy garden. This fanciful pocket interactive woodland garden is nestled under the protective branches of a well established burr oak and blue spruce trees. This enchanting little space includes hostas, ferns and other shade-loving plants. Small fairy homes are tucked into the garden as well as other petite surprises …

Pat's Fairy Garden at Quad City Botanical Center by FlowerChick.com

   Look Closely For All The Magical Details in Pat’s Fairy Garden

I loved this sign at the side of the Fairy Garden – so true!  A good reminder for all, no matter your age.

Pat's Garden Sign At Quad City Botanical Garden by FlowerChick.com

 This Saying Sure Rings True!

The planting island on the west lawn was recently transformed to a beautiful butterfly and bee garden. Butterfly weed, butterfly bushes, bee balm, Black-eyed Susans, sedum, milkweed, purple coneflowers and other pollinator-attracting plants adorn this garden and bring hundreds of winged visitors every season. Flower Chick was thrilled to see many monarch and swallowtail butterflies on her visit!

Bees & Butterflies All Abuzz in the Pollinator Gardens

                Bees & Butterflies All Abuzz in the Pollinator Gardens

When we visited, the Children’s and Railway Gardens were closed, but as luck would have it, Head Gardener and Grounds Manager Dave Searl was nearby. He graciously conducted an impromptu tour of the amazing Children’s Garden and explained the ambitious future plans for this fun and interactive space. A miniature Lake Itasca and a bald eagle viewing station are in the works – the Quad Cities area is well known for bald eagles wintering near the open waters of the Mississippi River …

Get The Kids Interested In Gardening Early On … Dig This! #ad

This playful garden is an inventive interpretation of the Mississippi River. Surrounded by greenery, cool water features, creative props, flowering perennials and native prairie plants. Visitors become acquainted with a world of fours – the four seasons, the four directions, four way tests, factors of four, games of four and flowers of four!

Children's Garden at QCBC by FlowerChick.com

Aquatic Fun Mixed With Learning Awaits At The Children’s Garden

Four Seasons Fun – Children’s Puzzle For An Indoor Challenge! # ad

The outdoor pond grows aquatic plants and is home to goldfish, frogs, toads and occasionally a pair of mallard ducks. This stunning feature of the garden is popular for photos due to the reflective nature of the water. I had a cute frog (I think it’s a northern leopard frog … but I’m no amphibian expert) pose for me. I didn’t see his friend under water until I saw the photo later on …

Frogs at the Quad City Botanical Center

Do You See Two Frogs In This Picture? They Were Hanging Out At The Outdoor Pond

If you are near by, make it a point to visit the wonderful Quad City Botanical Center.  This magical place shines in all seasons.  The tropical atrium is splendid throughout the winter months and the special plant collections outdoors vary by month and weather.  They truly take great pride in their gardens and grounds … bringing people and plants together in meaningful ways.

Hosta Garden and Outdoor Goldfish Pond at the Quad City Botanical Center by FlowerChick.com

          A Peaceful Setting At The Quad City Botanical Center

Longview Park Conservatory & Gardens: Established in 1908, Longview Park is one of the most historic parks in the Quad Cities. Well known locally for its picturesque location on Rock Island’s west side, the park is an area favorite for walking, picnicking, disc golf, and beautiful floral displays …

Longview Park by FlowerChick.com

              Lovely Rolling Terrain At Longview Park in Rock Island

The first noticeable characteristic of Longview Park is its setting. The park is at the crest of a long hilly ridge which runs through Rock Island and Moline to the east. It’s no wonder the City of Rock Island planned a park for this part of town – the location is beautiful …

We discovered a welcome burst of color and textures in the Conservatory with alliums, petunias. roses, and more blooming besides pines and perennial grasses.

Longview Park & Gardens by FlowerChick.com

        Here’s What Was Blooming In the Conservatory Upon Our Visit

Add Vibrant Color To Your Garden … All Season Long With These Beauties!

Did You Know? Longview Park was recently cited as being one of the “Top Places To View A Quad Cities Sunset” by the staff at Visit Quad Cities. When you visit, stand with your back to the park’s playground area and experience the sun setting over the Mississippi River to the west …

Colorful Garden at Longview Park

            A Pocket Of Color Among The Verdant Green Landscape

Hauberg Mansion & Gardens: The Hauberg Estate is one of many stately estate homes in Rock Island’s renowned historic district …

Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Cocktail Glassware – Click Here #ad

Officially known as the Broadway National Historic District, this multi block area is situated about a mile from the Mississippi River on Rock Island’s west side. Bordered by downtown Rock Island on the north and roughly 16th Avenue on the south, this active residential community was named a National Historic District in 1998.

Hauberg Estate Rock Island IL by FlowerChick.com

              The Stately and Historic Hauberg Estate in Rock Island

The Hauberg Estate is one of several 19th and early 20th Century homes open to visitors for tours and community events. Built between 1909 and 1911, the estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Designed by Robert Spencer, a friend and colleague of Frank Lloyd Wright, this beautiful home is in the midst of a multi year complete historical restoration …

Hauberg Estate Jens Jensen Garden Plans

          How Cool Is This? The Jens Jensen Blueprints for The Estate

The gardens surrounding the home are of particular interest. They were designed by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, whose original blueprints are being used in restoration efforts.  Per Deb Kuntzi, Director of the Hauberg Estate Historic Mansion & Gardens, Jensen designed 350 estates of which only 35 still exist.  The Garfield Park Conservatory is likely the most celebrated and widely-visited work of architecture by Jensen.

Jens Jensen: One Of America’s Most Distinguished Landscape Architects – Explore His Works Here #ad

Both the terraced garden and formal rose garden at Hauberg are currently being restored to their original splendor …

Terrace Garden at the Hauberg Estate

   The Tulip Fountain on The Pretty Terrace Garden at Hauberg

Gardens at Butterworth Center: The Butterworth Center is one of several prominent historical homes in Moline. Now a combination historic home and community education / events center, this hilltop home offers quite a history …

Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center Sign by FlowerChick.com

Charles Deere, son of John Deere, built this home as a wedding present for his daughter. The home sits a block away from Deere’s own home, the Deere-Wiman Home. Both are open for group tours …

Butterworth Gardens by FlowerChick.com

      Gorgeous Old School Gardens On The Butterworth Grounds

The gardens at The Butterworth Center date back to 1910. Extensive formal gardens were designed, including winding pathways and a lovely summer gazebo. These gardens, for the most part, remain intact and we’re pleased to showcase the highlights for you …

Quad Cities Gardens by FlowerChick.com

A Fabulous White Hardy Hibiscus Beckoned Us Over For A Closer Look

Many colorful flowers are planted throughout the well-tended grounds including zinnias, marigolds, salvia, nasturtiums, roses, snapdragons, and hardy hibsicus.

Add Pizzazz To Your Plot With These Easy Care Roses … See Them Here

Chery Row Of Zinnias At The Butterworth Center

Cheery Zinnias Brighten the Day At Butterworth

Vander Veer Botanical Park: Flower Chick is thrilled to finally visit Davenport’s beautiful Vander Veer Botanical Park!

This historic Iowa park dates back to 1885 and amazingly, some of the park’s gardens and trees date back to the 1890’s. This can’t miss Quad Cities garden attraction is located five minutes north of downtown Davenport and is a treasured four season destination …

The Old World Gardens At Vander Veer Park

Striking Displays of Vividly Colored Garden Beds Pepper The Park

Vander Veer Park offers a little something for everyone on its 33 acre site. From the gardens-under-glass Conservatory to the popular Stone Fountain to the gorgeous Municipal Rose Garden, there’s beauty everywhere you look.

Vintage Postcard – Vander Veer Conservatory #ad

It’s difficult to choose among the photos taken in the Vander Veer Conservatory … appealing flower and plant combos are everywhere you turn! Rotating features are on display annually. During our visit summer tropicals and foliage were featured.

Conservatory at Vander Veer Park by FlowerChick.com

Lots of Eye Candy Inside The Conservatory at Vander Veer Botanical Park

The Municipal Rose Garden, established in 1948, is an All-American Rose Selections (AARS) garden. Beautiful mix of rosebushes featuring old-fashioned favorites and newer varieties all hardy in Zone 5 / 6.

The Rose Garden at Vander Veer Park by Flowerchick.com

The Wonderful Rose Garden At Vander Veer Park Established in 1948

The Grand Alle is a prominent walkway of trees leading to the popular Stone Fountain: a fountain of dancing, billowing water and changing lights.  The Stone Fountain is the second fountain built in the park dating back to the 1930’s.  The original was an iron Victorian fountain that was later removed.

The Grand Allee At VanderVeer Botanical Park

The Grand Allee Is A Popular Place For Walking Among Stately Trees

The Old World Gardens, in front of the fountain, display carpet flower beds of the style popular in many European countries.  Marigolds, salvia, canna lilies and others planted in mass … steal the show with their spectacular, vivid colors. 

The Stone Fountain and Old World Gardens at Vander Veer Park by FlowerChick.com

           The Photogenic Stone Fountain & Old World Gardens

The Enabling Garden in front of the Conservatory spotlights an accessible garden featuring plantings that stimulate all the senses.  It includes garden beds and containers raised for comfortable reach for all.  The gardens are designed to improve and maintain the physical, mental and social health of everyone.

The Enabling Park at Vander Veer in Davenport by FlowerChick.com

The Accessible Enabling Garden Offers A Feast For The Senses

When we visited Vander Veer Botanical Park, the theme of the specialty gardens was “Fantastic Plants and Where To Find Them”. The emphasis was on an array of magical plants and creatures such as dragons, hobbits, and mermaids in unexpected spots throughout the park.

Whimsical Touches

You Never Know What Might Be Lurking Around The Corner At The Park …

Vander Veer Botanical Park is definitely worth a visit!  The park grounds are home to an extensive collection of astounding gardens and trees.  Stroll around and take in all of the beauty. 

Travel To Old World Gardens From The Comfort Of Home … Tour Starts Here #ad

Stampe Lilac Garden: You’ll find the Stampe Lilac Garden adjacent to the far southwest corner of Davenport’s Duck Creek Park. As the name implies, lilacs are the primary draw with their spectacular spring blooms …

A Davenport favorite for photo shoots and wedding photos, Stampe Lilac Garden continues to put its best foot forward even long after lilacs are finished blooming.

Grow Your Own Lilacs And Start A New Tradition … Get Started Here

Stampe Lilac Garden by FlowerChick.com

                       The Photogenic Stampe Lilac Garden

This poem really captures the essence of  lilacs … both their visual beauty and exquisite fragrance.  It was written at the garden’s dedication in 1981 by a member of the Davenport Horticultural Society.

Stampe Lilac Garden Plaque by FlowerChick.com

               “Walk In A Lilac Garden” by Dorothy L. Wulf

A lovely spot for weddings and other special occasions.  There’s a gazebo, bench seating, shade, plus vibrantly colored annuals and perennials.  We would love to return when the lilacs are blooming …

Quad Cities Gardens: Visit These 8 Scenic Gems by FlowerChick.com

Petunias, Zinnias, & Dusty Miller Lighting Up The Stampe Lilac Garden

Centennial Garden Middle Park Bettendorf: Centennial Garden is located about five minutes east of the Stampe Lilac Garden. Head east from Davenport past Interstate 74 and you’ll see Bettendorf’s Middle Park on your right. The compact Centennial Garden is located on the eastern edge of the park, and there’s ample parking close by …

Quad Cities Gardens: Visit These 8 Scenic Gems by FlowerChick.com

Centennial Garden in Bettendorf Welcome & Garden Layout Sign

We love the clever idea behind Centennial Garden. Each grouping of flowers represents a decade in Bettendorf’s history. Flowers especially popular during a particular decade are spotlighted (if of course they do well in this Zone 5 / Zone 6 Midwestern climate) …

Centennial Gardens in Bettendorf Iowa by FlowerChick.com

Entrancing Flowers Popular From Each Decade Adorn Centennial Garden

Quad Cities Eats, Drinks, & Historic Taverns

If visiting botanical gardens helps you work up a thirst (as it does to my husband), the Quad Cities are the place to be. We love stopping in at long established independent restaurants and taverns and you’ll find these types of places here in abundance …

We’re so pleased to spotlight a few of our long time Quad Cities favorites. Each of the places listed below have stood the test of time and continue to be very popular … with good reason. By supporting the “local”, you’ll discover a town’s personality and experience a stronger sense of community.

So with that said, here are some of our favorites. We hope they become your favorites too …

O’Keefe’s: You’ll find O’Keefe’s Pub in the heart of downtown Moline – it’s in the midst of a cluster of restaurants, bars, and retail shopping options which comprise the downtown core …

O’Keefe’s is the oldest bar in Moline and has quite a history. Originally known as The Sportsmen’s Inn, Moline’s original mayor John Deere (yes, that John Deere!) issued this establishment Moline’s first liquor license in 1874. Tip of the cap to downtown Moline’s Geoff Manis of Moline Centre for the historical info …

O'Keefe's Tap Beer by FlowerChick.com

               There’s 24 Beers On Tap At O’Keefe’s … Decisions, Decisions!

If you’re a beer lover, O’Keefe’s is your kind of place. There are 24 beers on tap, many locally brewed. If you’re more of the “classic” beer type, both Hamm’s and Pabst Blue Ribbon are available in cans to slake your thirst …

Walking distance from Lagomarcino’s and other downtown Moline favorites, O’Keefe’s is a great place for a little day drinking and to soak in the oldest-bar-in-town atmosphere …

For The Guy Who Has Everything – Check Out This Make-Your-Own Gin Kit

Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Bar & Grill: Located very close to the campus of Augustana College, Kavanaugh’s is one of Rock Island’s most popular gathering spots for patrons of all ages …

Kavanaugh’s was established in 1984, but there’s been a bar named Hilltop at this location for more than seven decades. In the room adjacent to the main bar area, there’s a couple historical photographs of the place from its original incarnation. So, as best we can tell, Kavanaugh’s is Rock Island’s oldest bar …

Kavanaugh's Hilltop by FlowerChick.com

           Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tavern

A friendly and lively place, Kavanaugh’s offers an approachable menu of burgers, sandwiches, and cold beer. Behind the main bar, there’s a big outdoor deck where you can relax and enjoy the camaraderie. A short drive from anywhere in the Quad Cities, it’s no surprise Kavanaugh’s continues to stand the test of time …

Frick’s Tap: Frick’s Tap on downtown Davenport’s west side is the oldest bar in the Quad Cities, dating back to 1876. It has been known as Frick’s since 1888 and was extensively remodeled in 2016. Frick’s is a popular live music bar and hosts frequent local events and gatherings …

Very Cool Pabst Blue Ribbon Neon Sign – Click Here #ad

Open during the week at 1 p.m. and weekends at 10:30 a.m., Frick’s is also well known for their casual food menu. Highlights include great cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, wings, and some south of the border specialties. There’s a late night menu available along with specials during football season …

There’s a reason Frick’s has been around as long as it has. Simply put, it’s a great place!

Mac’s Tavern: A downtown Davenport favorite, walk into Mac’s and your first thought will undoubtedly be “What a cool old bar!”. It was definitely our reaction on our first visit years ago, and it holds true today more than ever …

Mac's Tavern by FlowerChick.com

                      The Marvelous Vintage Sign At Mac’s Tavern

Mac’s dates back to 1934 and continues to impress. You’ll be drawn in by the spectacular retro neon sign outside and once inside, immersed into the old school ambiance …

Insider Tip: Mac’s has the smooth and tasty Killian’s Red on tap. This red ale, brewed by Coors, is very quaffable yet retains body and character. Sidle up to Mac’s historic curved bar and have a few …

Turn Your Man Cave Into The Neighborhood Irish Pub … View Here #ad

Mac's Bar by FlowerChick.com

         The Comfortable & Friendly Interior of Mac’s Tavern

If hunger strikes, Mac’s stands ready to serve. They’re famous for burgers and wings in particular. The kitchen is open late too. Mac’s is a great place for an afternoon respite or as a late night final stop …

If you’re anywhere near downtown Davenport, a visit to Mac’s is a must. Enjoy!

Boozie’s Bar & Grille: Another downtown Davenport staple, Boozie’s is a short two blocks from Mac’s. They’re both on 3rd Street, so stop in at both!

Established in 1979, Boozie’s has been a go to destination for over 40 years. It’s housed in a handsome historical building and features a casual menu of appetizers, pork tenderloin sandwiches, burgers, and more. We loved Boozie’s bar area and enyoyed the friendly banter among the regulars and locals …

Boozie's by FlowerChick.com

               Try Boozie’s For Tasty Food & Cold Drinks

There’s plenty of cold beer here, including a few locally brewed choices on tap. Boozie’s is probably best known for their “Boozie Burger”, which features cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, and a special Boozie sauce. Bring your appetite!

Tired Of Ho Hum Burgers … Try These Tasty Patties With Less Fat Than Beef #ad

Washington Gardens: Despite its name (and despite being listed on FlowerChick.com) Washington Gardens is not actually a garden. Read on for all the details …

Located at 13th and Marquette on the west side of Davenport, this historic building has housed a tavern since 1885. The building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of many in the Quad Cities …

Washington Gardens History by FlowerChick.com

The National Register of Historic Places Plaque & Old Photos at Washington Gardens

Once a focal point and gathering spot for the city’s German-American community, Washington Gardens still draws locals today. A casual welcoming atmosphere, cold beer, reasonable prices … what’s not to love?

The “gardens” part of the name has a historical connection as well. Elaborate gardens and a beer garden formerly occupied the footprint of what’s now the parking lot …

If you ever find yourself on a historical pub crawl in the Quad Cities, Washington Gardens is a place not to be missed!

What Are You Waiting For? 170 Historic Saloons & Pubs Await…Sidle Up To The Bar Here #ad

Dam View Inn: Billed as downtown Davenport’s favorite dive bar, Dam View is really just a friendly, lively place for all ages 21+ …

The bar owes its name to their location on the Iowa side of the famous Arsenal / 24th Street bridge, which connects The Hawkeye State and Illinois to the east. There’s no food here, but plenty of lively conversation and a great selection of drinks. The crowd ranges from “newly legal to imbibe” to those more seasoned, all of whom seem glad to have a bar like this in Davenport …

Discover The Fascinating History Of The Rock Island Arsenal – Click Here #ad

Dam View Inn by FlowerChick.com

                   Quench Your Thirst At The Dam View Inn

We enjoyed a fun happy hour here before dinner downtown and we’re happy to share the Dam View with you. It’s definitely on our radar for our next adventure to the Quad Cities …

Bleyart’s Tap: The Village of East Davenport is well known as a shopping and dining destination in the Quad Cities. You’ll find specialty shops and several restaurants along the main thoroughfare and surrounding streets …

Quietly tucked just off the corner of 11th Street and Jersey Ridge Road is Bleyart’s Tap, East Davenport’s local favorite. Bleyart’s has a long history – the establishment relocated here in 2010 after a long run in central Davenport, very near Vander Veer Park.

Bleyarts East Davenport by FlowerChick.com

  Between Shopping Trips – Rest a Bit at Bleyarts With A Cold Drink

If shopping in the Village works up a thirst, there’s no better place to quench it than Bleyart’s. Settle in at the long main bar, order up a Pabst Blue Ribbon on draft, and you’re good to go …

Exploring East Davenport is an enjoyable part of any Quad Cities visit … tell the good folks at Bleyart’s we said hello!

Quad Cities Pizza

Just like New York, Chicago, and Detroit, the Quad Cities have their own distinct style of pizza. It might not be as well known as the aforementioned cities, but it’s definitely beloved locally!

As with any populated area, you’ll find quite a few pizza parlors in the Quad Cities. Not all serve the style this area is known for … Chicago and even New York style pizza places do well here.

Did You Know? Quad Cities style pizza is differentiated from other regional pizza styles by four unique characteristics: First, a malt based crust is used, giving the pizza a toasted, nutty flavor. Second, the toppings are placed beneath a layer of cheese rather than atop. Third, the tomato based sauce usually includes a bit of cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes, making the flavor profile more spicy than sweet. Finally, Quad City style pizza is cut in strips rather than squares, typically by large utility type kitchen scissors …

Quad Cities Style Pizza Cut Into Strips

                      Quad City Style Pizza Cut In Strips

We’ll spotlight two of our favorite Quad Cities pizza destinations. Be sure to tell us in the comment section below which you like best!

Show Your Love For Quad Cities Pizza – Wear This! #ad

Harris Pizza: Harris Pizza is arguably the Quad Cities favorite pizza – they have four popular locations in the area. We love the original in Rock Island and stop in every time we visit the Quad Cities …

Harris Pizza By FlowerChick.com

              We Enjoyed A Delicious Pizza From Harris

They’ve been doing it the right way here at Harris Pizza since 1960. There’s an ample menu of specialty pizza and the tried and true varieties as well. We tend to opt for our go to favorite … cheese and green pepper. Two things stand out with a Harris pizza – the crust and the sauce. Crunchy and chewy at the same time, the malt based crust tells you that you’re in the Quad Cities. Ditto for the slightly spicy sauce, augmented by red pepper or cayenne (or both) …

Did You Know? Quad Cities pizza is cut into long strips to ensure each slice contains some crust …

No matter the location, the pizza you’ll get is remarkably consistent. Stop in at any of the Harris Pizza locations and become a Quad City pizza convert …

Frank’s Pizza: This Silvis, Illinois pizzeria and Italian Restaurant dates back to 1955 and is generally credited as being the originator of Quad Cities style pizza.

Frank’s is easy to reach coming into the Quad Cities from the east … it’s located right on Highway 92 in Silvis, a small community just east of Moline. Just look for the cool retro sign and you’ve arrived …

Frank's Pizza in Silvis by FlowerChick.com

In addition to their spectacular Quad Cities style pizza, Frank’s is well known for their fantastic beef sandwiches …

Insider Tip: Get your Frank’s Italian Beef sandwich to go and liven it up with a bit of your favorite hot giardiniera … mmmm yeah, how YOU doin’??

Try Giardiniera On Pizza, Pasta, Sandwiches … Goes With Just About Everything! Click Here #ad

Frank’s consistently ranks at or near the top of “Best Pizza in the Quad Cities” polls and is the senior statesman of Quad City pizza parlors. The menu also features a wide array of Italian style specialties, so if pizza isn’t your thing, Frank’s still has you covered …

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth … Quad Cities Style

Lagomarcino’s: The best way to describe Lagomarcino’s is it’s the kind of place you’d like to see in every town you visit …

This Moline staple has been around since 1908 and recently expanded with a second location in downtown East Davenport. Family owned, Lagomarcino’s is well known for their expansive selection of chocolates and confectionery treats. They’re equally as famous for their soda fountain which serves ice cream, ice cream sodas, sandwiches, and more …

The Luscious Lemon Bark At Lagomarcino's

                The Luscious Lemon Bark At Lagomarcino’s

Did You Know? Lagomarcino’s is famous for their candy bark, particularly the lemon and peppermint varieties. Lagomarcino’s online store ships these delectable candy barks all across the USA …

Explore Sweet Memories … The Lagomarcino Story #ad

Stop in at lunch time to enjoy freshly made sandwiches along with an ice cream or candy treat. If you manage to get past the front candy counter without stopping to “ooh” and “aah” at all the goodies, there’s casual seating in the back. Settle in and enjoy a one of a kind Quad Cities tradition …

Lagomarcno's Vintage Sign by FlowerChick.com

                 Sweet Vintage Neon Sign at Lagomarcino’s in Moline

Insider Tip: Looking for the ultimate Quad Cities dessert? Try Lagomarcino’s “Quad Cities Special”. It’s a sundae shaped like a Mississippi River paddle wheeler, complete with banana, vanilla and strawberry ice cream and toppings, whipped cream, two paddle wheel shaped cookies, and a bright red maraschino cherry on top. Spectacular!

Lagomarcino’s ice cream is homemade and candies are still artfully created in the store’s original copper pot. Stop in at lunch for soups, sandwiches and dessert, and be sure to check out Lagomarcino’s special recipe fudge. Located right in the heart of downtown Moline, Lagomarcino’s is a must visit on any Quad Cities adventure …

Whitey’s Ice Cream: There’s nothing more “Quad Cities Local Favorite” than Whitey’s Ice Cream …

Always one of our first stops in town, Whitey’s is beloved by Quad Citizens. There are 8 Whitey’s locations around the Quad Cities, so no matter where you stay, fantastic ice cream is close at hand …

Whitey's Ice Cream by FlowerChick.com

                Satisfy Your Ice Cream Cravings At Whitey’s!

Insider Tip: When you visit Whitey’s, be sure to check out their selection of seasonal flavors. When we visited, two of the seasonal choices were Banana and Lemon Custard … yummy!

Make Your Own Fresh Ice Cream – Discover How Here #ad

Whitey’s offers all your standard favorites along with quite a few new and interesting varieties. Whenever the ice cream mood strikes in the Quad Cities, head on over to Whitey’s!

Did You Know? The original Whitey’s Ice Cream outlet is the location at 16th Street in Moline, just across from Browning Park. In fact, the adjacent parking lot is the former site of the very first Whitey’s …

Olde Town Bakery: We’re always on the lookout for great local bakeries, and in the Quad Cities, it’s Olde Town Bakery …

Olde Towne Bakery by FlowerChick.com

         The Eye Catching Delivery Van At Olde Towne Bakery

This traditional bakery, which dates back to 1951, offers all your favorites like donuts, pastries, fresh bread, cookies, and more. Located on the west side of Moline on 7th Street, Olde Town Bakery is also the QC’s local choice for special event cakes. The bakery makes them to order and the results are a culinary work of art!

Insider Tip: If you’re looking to save a little time, know that Olde Town Bakery and the original Whitey’s Ice Cream are only a short five minute drive from one another. We picked up some bakery items for the next morning’s breakfast, then headed to Whitey’s for dessert!

The Lady Loves A (Quad Cities) Bargain

Selective Seconds: The name sure fits this small consignment store in Moline offering slightly used clothing, shoes and accessories for a fair price.  They have a multitude of designer purses!  I spotted Coach, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Gucci and other high end bags … just waiting to be adopted by smart shoppers.

Selective Seconds Moline IL by FlowerChick.com

        Lots of Great Deals at Selective Seconds Consignment Shop

They have a nice selection of summer items on sale and a good array of fall items too so you can get a fashionable jump start on the season!  Flower Chick purchased two designer sweaters and a top … for a fraction of what they would cost retail.

The Resale Consignment Shop:  This specialty consignment shop located in Moline on 16th Street accepts furniture, home decor, household items, women’s clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, & vintage items. Nice assortment of goods on display!

Resale Consignment Shop by FlowerChick.com

There’s Something For Everyone At The Resale Consignment Shop

All around the front counter is costume jewelry at excellent prices. I had fun checking it out and purchased two pairs of earrings and a bracelet.  Dirt cheap! In the back of the store, you’ll find the clothing racks. I picked out a stylish Chico’s jacket in shades of purple/pink/turquoise and an accent top.

Come check out the Resale Consignment Shop as there is truly something for everyone.  Their motto is “Giving Treasured Items a New Life!”

Ritzi Reruns:  You’ll find Ritzi Reruns in Davenport on West Locust Street. They carry quality, used brand name clothing for the whole family including names like Pink, Coach, MK, Rock Revival, Liz Claiborne, Kate Spade,  Under Armour and many more.

Ritzi Reruns Davenport by FlowerChick.com

Loads of Brand Name Clothing at Bargain Prices at Ritzi Reruns

Flower Chick scored several Chico’s pieces. All the clothing is neatly arranged by size so you can easily zero in on what you might be looking for.

Insider Tip:   There’s plenty of parking in back of the store. Just drive around the side and go in the back door which really serves as the front door.

Revolution Davenport: Revolution is a quality women’s consignment shop in East Davenport (on Jersey Ridge Road) specializing in clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories. They also have some unique new items on hand for your shopping pleasure.  Nicely organized and displayed, they only select very good brands and designer labels.

The benefits of consignment stores go far beyond simply saving a few dollars. Shopping consignment and consigning your own things are great ways to make some extra money, save on things you would have purchased anyway, support your community and local economy, and help to protect our planet by minimizing textile and water waste through recycling.

Revolution In The Village East Davenport by FlowerChick.com

Quality Gently Used Women’s Clothing & Gifts At Revolution

Only In The Quad Cities

Mint Green Boutique:  Located in East Davenport, Mint Green Boutique is a one-stop boutique for every woman looking for fashionable clothing or accessories. Items spotlighted are chosen for quality, value for the money and of course, for being on trend.

Flower Chick spotted super cute clothes for women, babies and toddlers on her visit. Also, attractive accessory items and gifty things are featured like candles, lotions, and more … quality things at good prices.

What a delightful store!  I found two great deals on stylish summer sandals and a pretty pair of unique earrings … both on sale and marked down.

Mint Green Boutique East Davenport by FlowerChick.com

Mint Green Boutique The “Go To” Shop For Women & Babies Clothes

Source Books: If you’re a book lover, a visit to downtown Davenport should include a stop at Source Books …

Iowa’s largest and oldest used book store for three generations, Source Books has just about everything from hardcovers, paperbacks, vintage magazines, vinyl records, music cd’s, to VHS & DVD Movies and more.

Source Books Davenport Iowa by FlowerChick.com

Flower Chick found an interesting mystery book that takes place in Iowa called “Time & Chance”. This is a murder mystery where each chapter is written by a different Iowa writer (17 in all) and was commissioned by Iowa Public Radio.  Recommended for anyone who wants a fun, quick read full of Iowa references!

Freight House Market:  The Davenport Freight House Farmers Market is located along the scenic Mississippi Riverfront, anchored by the historic Freight House Building in lively downtown Davenport, Iowa.

Freight House Farmers Market by FlowerChick.com

Pick Up Fresh Produce, Local Wines, Handmade Items, and More 

The market offers a great selection of goods from bakery items to fresh produce to hand-crafted merchandise such as soaps, jewelry, and hand-painted furniture.  During the milder months they set up outside … oodles of vendors for your shopping pleasure.  There is also an indoor area that operates all year long. Grab a bite and have fun!

Dogs are allowed at the outdoor Freight House Farmers Market, as long as they are good citizens. We saw several well behaved pups on our visit. Funny they all made a beeline for the vendors with homemade dog cookies …

Dogs Love Made From Scratch Biscuits! These Great Recipes Get A Paws Up … View Here #ad

Insider Tip: While you’re at the market, be sure to pop in at the adjacent Front Street Brewery Tap Room. Front Street is the original brewpub in the Quad Cities area (there are almost a dozen now). We love their Davenport Gold on tap, a smooth easy drinking beer that’s perfect any time of year …

Front Street Taproom by FlowerChick.com

                 Relish An Ice Cold Beer After Shopping The Market

Crafted QC: It’s always great fun to come across a local merchant specializing in locally crafted wares. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Crafted QC in downtown Davenport …

The store features a wide variety of items, many created by local artists and craftspeople. Stop in and you’ll find wearables spotlighting the Quad Cities, jewelry, artwork, specialty gifts, and much more. It’s all here just waiting to pique your interest …

Crafted QC by FlowerChick.com

            Shop For Local Arts, Crafts and More at Crafted QC

If you enjoy traveling and bringing back something “local” from your journeys, be sure to stop in at Crafted QC. You can also browse their selection and purchase directly at their website. We wish every place we visit had a store like this!

Quad Cities Skyline & River Views

Up Sky Bar: As the name implies, this fairly new addition to downtown Davenport is a rooftop cocktail lounge and small plate restaurant. Perched atop The Current Iowa boutique hotel at 2nd and Main Street downtown, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the Quad Cities and Mississippi River below.

View From The Up Sky Bar in Davenport by FlowerChick.com

    Gorgeous View Of The Mississippi River From The Up Sky Bar 

Open at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon on Sundays, Up Sky Bar is the place to go in Davenport for craft cocktails and comfortable stylish ambiance. Prices won’t break your budget and the sunset views are spectacular …

Did You Know: The Current Iowa is built on the former site of Davenport’s very first hotel …

The menu is a creative mix of fusion style appetizers and artfully prepared sandwiches like a BLT with heirloom tomato, brie, and raspberry aioli. Even if you’re not hungry, it’s great fun to linger here over a drink or two. And if the weather is less than perfect, the indoor bar area serves as a more than adequate substitute for the outer seating area.

The view at Up Sky Bar is one of a kind! You’ll definitely feel like you’re on vacation, no matter when you visit …

Insider Tip: Try the “Impossible Burger” – it’s a plant based burger accompanied by buttered pickles, heirloom tomato, and cheddar cheese. Even if you’re not a veggie burger fan, this one is delicious …

A Burger With Taste So Rich & Texture So Meaty – You Won’t Believe It’s Made From Plants! #ad

A perfect destination for happy hour to a late night nightcap, Up Sky Bar will be at the “top” of your downtown Davenport list …

Channel Cat Water Taxi: Want to get out onto the Mississippi River but don’t have a boat? The fun and convenient Channel Cat Water Taxi has you covered …

The Water Taxi shuttles visitors to and fro across the Mississippi River from two points on both the Illinois and Iowa side.   We traversed from John Deere Commons (Moline) to the dock at Iowa’s East Davenport, a short five minute walk from the heart of the Village …

Did You Know? The Channel Cat’s route will take you right past Arsenal Island. This U.S. government owned island is an active military manufacturing operation and is a large Quad Cities employer. Technically located in Rock Island, IL Arsenal Island dates back to before the Civil War and is the site of a national military cemetery and Confederate cemetery. In the winter months, it’s not uncommon to see bald eagles perching high atop some of the island’s trees …

The Channel Cat operates seven days a week from Memorial Day through October. There’s ample parking on both sides of the river and boarding is quick and convenient. Bicycles are welcome too …

View of East Davenport From The Channel Cat

                      View of East Davenport From The Channel Cat

For those who want to learn more about the Mississippi River in these parts, the Channel Cat offers educational outings featuring expert guest speakers. Check the Channel Cat website for full details …

Len Brown’s North Shore Inn: The Rock River, one of Illinois’ largest waterways, cuts across the state and empties into the Mississippi here at the Quad Cities. This fun, casual roadhouse style bar in Moline sits on the north bank of the Rock River (hence the name), about two miles east of where the Rock River ends its journey emptying out into the Mississippi.

Len Brown's North Shore Inn by FlowerChick.com

                  Savor A Cold Brew With A View At Len Brown’s!

A great place to kick back and enjoy a sunny weekend afternoon, Len Brown’s North Shore Inn has been around for decades. It’s not a fancy place, but that’s a big part of the charm. It’s located at 7th Street and the Rock River in southern Moline … weekends feature a variety of live entertainment for your enjoyment. A local’s favorite, Len Brown’s North Shore is as casual as they come. Sit back, relax, and enjoy …

Quad Cities Specialty Meat Markets

Golick’s Meat Market: Just a few blocks north of Locust Street, Golick’s is a go to place for Quad Citizens for fresh meat, specialty sausages, bratwurst, and more.

We picked up some of Golick’s bulk Italian Sausage and wish we’d bought more … wow is it good! Mix it in with your favorite pasta sauce, a splash of red wine and some sugar – you’ll see what you’ve been missing …

Johnnie’s Meat Market: Davenport is fortunate to have two excellent meat markets – Johnnie’s is on the near west side of town, just two blocks west of Washington Gardens and less than five minutes from downtown …

Johnnie's Meat Market by FlowerChick.com

          Pick Up Something Tasty To Grill At Johnnie’s Meat Market

Insider Tip: Take your time in Johnnie’s and peruse their expansive freezer section. You’ll never know what delicacies you’re going to find, including hard to find cuts of meat, specialty sausages, and seafood …

Family owned and operated since 1952, this is where in-the-know Quad Citizens shop for fresh meat at very reasonable prices…

Try This Delicious Italian Sausage Sampler. Makes A Great Gift … Molto Bene! #ad

Jerry’s Market: We loved stopping in at this under the radar Moline gem tucked away on 17th Street …

Jerry's Market by FlowerChick.com

                   Excellent Customer Service At Jerry’s Market

Family owned for decades, Jerry’s Market is a combination small grocer and meat market. We had the distinct pleasure of asking about fresh Italian sausage and watching the owner prep it right in front of us … cutting the meat trimmings, grinding the meat, adding a blend of spices, and packaging it up. Nothing could be fresher!

Speaking of fresh, we also bought some catfish fillets that had just arrived in Jerry’s Market that morning. We prepared them with a corn meal batter and served them with fresh green beans from the Freight House Market. What a fabulous meal, wow …

Insider Tip: Just to the left of the main meat counter in the back of the store, you’ll see an assortment of house made deli salads. If you’re lucky, Jerry’s Market will have their pasta salad and cole slaw available for you. Both are fantastic!

Be The Star Of The Party With These Superb Salad Recipes … View Here #ad

Summary – Quad Cities Gardens

We’ve always loved visiting the Quad Cities and hope this feature inspires you to do the same. An area rich in history and very cool independent businesses, the Quad Cities is also a “gardener’s destination” … as we’ve hopefully shown!

One of the great things about the Quad Cities is this … no matter your interests, there’s always something fun to do and explore. So whether you’re a foodie, a gardener seeking inspiration, an historian, architecture buff, or simply seeking a relaxing weekend, this area has it all for you.

Quad Cities Gardens by FlowerChick.com

             Colorful Zinnias at The Quad City Botanical Center

Flower Chick isn’t compensated for our “Visiting Midwest Gardens” excursions … our passion for these destinations is real. We love sharing beautiful Midwestern Zone 5 and Zone 6 gardens and all the fun things to see and do when you arrive …

For this visit, we made a list in advance of all the places and businesses we wanted to check out and patronize. We got to most, but there are dozens more to explore. The Quad Cities are fun and ever changing – visit for yourself and see what we mean …

If you like this feature, be sure to let us know in the comment area below. Check out our many other “Visiting Midwest Gardens” profiles … you’ll see several listed below.

Special thanks to those who helped us plan this Quad Cities excursion, including:

Jessica Waytenick of VisitQuadCities.com

Dave Searl, Head Gardener at the Quad City Botanical Center

Geoff Manis of Moline Centre

Deb Kuntzi, Director of the Hauberg Estate Historic Mansion and Gardens

Quad Cities Gardens Vander Veer Botanical Park by FlowerChick.com
Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport Offers Something For Everyone

Leave a Reply