Visiting Luthy Botanical Garden Peoria IL

Perennial Garden at Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria by

Visiting Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria, IL is a peaceful retreat into nature … Luthy encompasses five accessible acres with 15 themed gardens to explore and a tropical conservatory near the entrance.

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Among the highlights are a Rose Garden, Children’s Garden, Cottage Garden, Crabapple Cove, Flowering Shrub, Herb Garden, Hosta Glade, Prairie Border, Spring Border, Viburnum Border, Wildlife Garden, and a Woodland Garden.  All very well-maintained and easy to navigate.

Luthy Botanic Garden Peoria IL

About Luthy Botanical Garden

The garden was established in 1951 and named in honor of George Luthy, a prominent Peorian who was president of the Peoria Park District.

Open from 10 am – 5 pm seven days a week, admission is free at the small, but lovely Luthy Botanical Garden, and donations are always appreciated.  Luthy participates in the reciprocal admissions program sponsored by the American Horticultural Society.

Luthy is a charming oasis … located in the center of busy Peoria right next to the Zoo and inside Glen Oak Park.

Daisy Sculptures at Luthy by

          Cheery Daisy Sculptures Intermingled with the Perennials

Complementary Sculptures Pepper the Landscape

One of the first things I noticed and admired at Luthy were the lovely sculptures interspersed in the gardens.  They truly complement the surroundings rather than detract.

Daydreaming Child sculpture in the Children's Garden at Luthy by

“The Daydreamer” in the Children’s Garden at Luthy

The Children’s Garden

I enjoyed the Children’s Garden (I’m just a kid at heart) with the endearing statues placed where kids can touch and pose by for photos.  There were well thought out places to explore, crawl, and play while focused on nature’s beauty and diversity in this special area.

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Tropical Plants in the Luthy Conservatory by

A Taste of the Tropics in the Luthy Conservatory

The Conservatory

The conservatory is chock full of intriguing tropical plants, cacti, fruit trees, and ferns.  The various orchids and giant Ponderosa lemons were some of the highlights for me … an attractive taste of the tropics in the Midwest!

Beautiful orchids at Luthy by

              Lovely Orchids Blooming in the Conservatory

The Memory Garden

I love the idea of a Memory Garden to honor loved ones who have passed away. Plant flowers & shrubs that remind you of your family members or friends …

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Luthy has a special place set aside to reflect and remember those near and dear to you … while there embrace the sentiment and revel in the beauty of the magnificent Gingko Tree.

Memorial Walk at Luthy Garden by

           Memorial Walk – Path of Memories at Luthy

The Herb Garden

You must visit the delightful herb garden!  The sundial in the middle was donated to the Peoria Park District in 1905 in honor of a prominent Peorian and it eventually made its way to Luthy in the 1970’s where it has been on display in the herb garden ever since …

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There are many types of herbs on display (all labeled) and creatively arranged.  The aromas were amazing and a big draw for our pollinator friends.

The Luthy Herb Garden by

 The Attractive Herb Garden at Luthy Botanical Garden

Luthy Has A Letterbox …

What is Letterboxing?  Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining artistic ability with “treasure hunts” in parks, forests and cities around the world. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by cracking codes and following clues found on the Internet.

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Letterboxers stamp their discoveries in a personal journal, then use their own personal rubber stamp, called a “signature stamp”, by stamping it into the logbook found with the letterbox, perhaps writing a note about the weather or their adventures in finding the letterbox.  I learned something … never heard of this before!

Peoria IL Favorites …

We’ve been visiting Peoria since the mid 1980’s. Initially we spent time in this central Illinois city on my husband’s business trips, and later added Peoria to our ever expanding list of weekend getaway destinations. Here’s a list of some tried and true local Peoria establishments and attractions. Each are spotlighted so you can discover them on your very own visit …

Castle's Patio Inn Peoria IL famous cheese spread by

Castle’s Famous Cheese Spread

Castle’s Patio Inn: Tucked into a residential neighborhood just west of Sheridan Road on Loucks Avenue, this friendly restaurant/bar has an interesting story. It’s one of Peoria’s longest continuously operating establishments and is known as “The Cheesiest Place In Town” …

Independently owned, Castle’s Patio Inn draws its name from the current owner, Barb Castle, who along with her late husband and family have operated this inviting Peoria spot for decades. It’s a short few blocks away from Peoria’s oldest bar, Whitey’s Tip Top Inn, so if you’re looking for a slice of real Peoria, you’ll find it here. Those wondering where the actual patio is will learn a bit of the place’s history. In short, there’s no patio here. The former owner lived right next door and his patio was part of the general footprint, so the name carried on …

Castle's Patio Inn Peoria by

 The “Cheesiest Place in Town”                      Castle’s Patio Inn

A small, comfy place, Castle’s Patio Inn is situated on a triangular lot and looks like a house from the outside. Walk in and you’ll see a long wooden bar in front and seating scattered throughout. There’s fresh cold beer on tap and the menu is small but mighty! It features fantastic cheeseburgers, pizza, and Castle’s signature Prime Beef Sandwich, which is carved from beef roasts cooked low and slow every day the place is open …

Mention this place to locals and they’re sure to rave about Castle’s Patio Inn’s one of a kind garlic cheese spread. Settle in at a table to eat and you’ll be presented with a basket with an assortment of crackers and small crock of this wonderful creamy cheese dip. We’re not sure of the recipe, but the cheese spread has flavors of sharp cheddar with a touch of garlic. Perfect for gatherings, it’s available to take home in small and large containers …

Castle’s garlic cheese spread is so renowned it’s considered one of Peoria’s hometown delicacies. Former Peorians drop in frequently from out of town to get their fix and the dip is a popular gift for friends and relatives. And that’s why Castle’s Patio Inn is known as “The Cheesiest Place In Town”!

Lou's Drive-In Peoria by FlowerChick.comLou’s Drive-In: This revered Peoria landmark is conveniently located on Lake Avenue just north of Knoxville – you can’t miss Lou’s brightly colored sign beckoning patrons in for over 65 years …

Open seasonally, Lou’s is where memories are made in these parts. Ask any native Peorian and undoubtedly they’ll have a fond memory of this iconic gathering spot. Well known for their casual menu of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and pork tenderloins, Lou’s offers old fashioned service at your vehicle. Just pull up to a spot and a friendly car hop waitress will come by to take your order …

Insider Tip: Be sure to enjoy Lou’s root beer, made in house and served in frosty mugs. We always take a gallon home and add a scoop of Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream for a Peoria style root beer float!

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Summer in Peoria isn’t complete without a stop at Lou’s Drive-In …

Alwan & Sons Meat Company: Since 1957, this full service butcher shop and specialty grocer has been Peoria’s premier destination for fresh cuts of meat and more. Conveniently located on War Memorial Drive, Alwan’s is also a popular seasonal lunch destination …

Alwan & Sons Peoria by

Alwan & Sons – Great Meats / Deli!

We’re very partial to Alwan’s deli section. Choose from in house freshly made items like chicken salad, four bean salad, and unique choices like roasted corn pasta salad. Being a full serve meat market, you’ll also find delectable cuts of pork, beef, chicken, sausages, and more from their meat counter. We picked up center cut tenderized pork chops this visit and wish we’d bought more!

Alwan & Sons Peoria by FlowerChick.comYou’ll also appreciate that Alwan’s carries a nice selection of locally made products. In the frozen section, you’ll find area favorites like Butch’s Pizza, Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream, pork tenderloin patties (a central Illinois favorite), and all sorts of other goodies. Insider Tip: Pick up a bottle or two of Alwan’s Barbecue Sauce, displayed near the front check out counters. Available in a few different varieties, this versatile sauce pairs well with any type of meat you’re serving. It offers a nice spicy tang and complements pork particularly well …

Scenic Grandview Drive in Peoria by

         Bella Enjoying the View From Scenic Grandview Drive

Grandview Drive: Talk about appropriately named thoroughfares! This winding drive is nationally renowned for magnificent vistas and prestigious homes along its route.

Bella Enjoying a Picnic on Grandview Drive

Bella Enjoying a Picnic on Grandview Dr.

Stretching from Peoria Heights down to Route 29, Grandview Drive is one of Peoria’s must see attractions. There’s no cost to drive the road from top to bottom (or bottom to top) and the Illinois River valley views are breathtaking. Best of all, there are several spots along the 2.5 mile route to have a picnic or simply enjoy the spectacular scenery.

America’s 26th President Theodore Roosevelt visited the area in 1910, shortly after leaving office. He termed Grandview Drive as “the world’s most beautiful drive” and it’s easy to see why. If you’re fortunate enough to visit in the fall, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable display of color, courtesy of Mother Nature …

Agatucci's Restaurant in Peoria IL by

Enjoy a Delicious Meal at Agatucci’s

Agatucci’s: My husband has a unique habit of seeking out locally revered independent restaurants whenever we travel for He really outdid himself by discovering the wonderful Agatucci’s on University Drive in Peoria …

Family owned and operated since 1926, Agatucci’s is a local and regional gem. Well known for their thin crust pizza and fried chicken dinners, their menu features many Italian style specialties, appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. As comfortable as your favorite pair of gardening shoes, the inviting old school interior is accented by a long traditional bar just inside the front entrance …

Agatuccis Peoria by FlowerChick.comWalk in and you’re likely to be personally greeted by affable owner Dan Agatucci or another family member. Settle right into a booth or table or enjoy your favorite beverage at the bar. Insider Tip: The Budweiser on tap here is as good or better than any we’ve had! It’s fresh, cold, easy to drink and pairs well with anything on the Agatucci’s menu. We asked Dan how much draft Budweiser they go through, and he replied with a smile “A lot!” …

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If you like family owned and operated restaurants like we do, stop in at Agatucci’s next time in Peoria. You’ll thank us later!

Moxie's Resale Peoria by FlowerChick.comMoxie’s Resale:  Moxie’s Resale located at 3827 N Sheridan Road in Peoria has a nice mix of clothes, jewelry (many pieces are new by local artists such as “The Bent Penny”), special occasion dresses, vintage, and more. 

This last trip I found a cute White House Black Market jacket, interesting earrings, and a J. Jill blouse for bargain prices! Moxie’s is just a five minute drive from most anywhere in Peoria …

The Book Rack in Peoria by FlowerChick.comBook Rack:  This local and veteran owned Peoria indie bookstore sells used books at very affordable prices!

A great selection arranged by genre and alphabetical by author. It was easy to locate my favorite category … mysteries.  I found several paperbacks to add to my reading “pile”. Can’t wait to curl up and read some good books this winter!

Fashionably Late Peoria by FlowerChick.comFashionably Late:  This consignment shop in the Junction City area of Peoria features nearly new clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. On the back wall, they also have new boutique clothing.

They had a great selection of boots and handbags on my most recent jaunt. Found a cute sweater, pair of jeans, and black suede flats I can wear to work!

View from the Peoria Heights Tower by

View from the Peoria Heights Tower

Peoria Heights: Technically a Peoria suburb, “The Heights” as it’s referred to locally is a destination area for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The commercial section of Peoria Heights is on Prospect Avenue, stretching from War Memorial Drive on the south to Tower Park on the north end …

Prospect Avenue in The Heights features casual and fine dining, numerous shopping options, and a lively vibe. We love coming here and strolling up Prospect to Tower Park and enjoying the view from atop the park’s 200 foot observation tower. Tower Park also features many local events throughout the year …

Prospect Avenue across from Tower Park is also where you can access Grandview Drive. Follow the road down to Route 29 and War Memorial Drive and enjoy the panoramic views! The Village of Peoria Heights website, linked in the title, does a great job of outlining all the local businesses and happenings going on in this fun and inviting area …

More Favorites Just Outside Peoria

Lindy's Market Washington IL by

Lindy’s Market in Washington IL

Lindy’s Downtown Market: You’ll love this hometown specialty supermarket just off the charming town square in Washington, IL, just a few miles east of Peoria on Business Highway 24. Visit and shop here once and you’ll make it a point to stop here again and again! We visit Lindy’s every time we go to Peoria. The deli is top notch and you’ll find an ample selection of locally made items …

Castaways Consignment Peoria IL by

Castaways Consignment in Peoria

Castaways Consignment: This bustling women’s consignment shop is located just two minutes west of Lindy’s Market on Business 24 as you head toward Peoria …

I always score big here!  This time I found a cute dress, denim jacket, and a brand new Vera Bradley purse all for a fraction of the retail prices.

Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream: A combination creamery and ice cream shop, Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream is located in the small town of Eureka on Route 24. Eureka, probably best known as the home of Eureka College, is about 15 miles east of Peoria …

Uncle Bob's Icecream Eureka IL by

Uncle Bob’s – Delectable Ice Cream

Uncle Bob’s is on the eastern edge of town on the north side of Highway 24. You’ll see cars of in the know locals in the parking lot stopping in to get their ice cream and custard fix. A local landmark, this place has been here since 1980 and their ice cream is very popular in the surrounding area …

This visit, the menu offered seasonal treats like Lemon Custard and Harvest Peach, along with all the traditional favorites. The ice cream is made on site at the creamery in the rear of the building. If you’re not near Eureka, you can pick up Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream at many retail locations in the area, like Lindy’s Market and Alwan’s as mentioned above …

Open all year around, Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream will have your car pulling over for a stop any time you’re traveling along Route 24 …

Summer blooms at Luthy by


We thoroughly enjoyed our most recent to visit to Peoria and the surrounding area.  Don’t miss the beautiful Luthy Botanical Garden …  encompassing five accessible acres with 15 themed gardens to explore and a charming tropical conservatory to boot.

Have you been to Luthy? What are your favorite spots in the garden or around Peoria?  Please share by visiting our Contact Page

Luthy Botanic Garden by

Fall blooming Asters at Luthy by