Art, history, and science can all be explored in this museum. None of the exhibits are very large so it doesn’t take long to see everything.
The art gallery features changing exhibits. During our visit it had some pretty cool stuff by local artists.
The history gallery gives a good overview of Peoria which owed it’s early growth to the whiskey industry. Easy access to good water, oak trees, and grains spelled success for over a dozen distilleries and breweries that lined the Illinois River in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In an era when most of the federal government’s revenue came from excise taxes (mainly on whiskey) Peoria supplied almost half of the money. Passage of the 18th Amendment in 1918 brought an end to the industry which didn’t recover even after the amendment was repeated in 1933.
The science galleries feature exhibits about the ecology and the people of Illinois River region; a hands-on strength, dexterity, and knowledge area; and a planetarium.
The 13 paved miles of the Rock Island Trail starts across the street from the museum and follows along the Illinois River before turning north at the zoo. We went about a mile and found it to be wide and smooth.
Two parking lots on the south side of Water Street are large enough for RVs if they can fit by pulling through two spaces.