Things To Do In Quincy, Illinois – Quincy, situated on the Mississippi River in western Illinois is a perfect picturesque town with a riverside and cliffs. This hamlet was a commercial and transportation hub during the heyday of the Mississippi steamboats.
On Quincy’s tree-lined avenues, you’ll see sophisticated parks, and neighborhoods dotted with great architecture that status is impossible to overlook.
The good news is that Quincy’s principal attractions are housed in gorgeous buildings from those days, and you’ll be able to explore the city on foot to see over 100 local landmarks and up to 20 National Register of Historic Places locations.
In west-central Illinois, historic Quincy hugs the Mississippi River, nearly equidistant from Springfield to the east and St. Louis to the south, along the Great River Road.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Are there things to do in Quincy, Illinois?” you’ve come to the right place. The answer is a resounding yes. You can choose from a variety of attractions in Illinois, ranging from historic sites to natural wonders.
The Quincy region, like a hidden jewel, keeps a low profile and rewards those who locate it. Check out our travel guide for suggestions on what to see, eat, and stay.
What Is There To Do In Quincy, Illinois
This Mississippi River city offers a diverse range of activities, sites, and attractions for both locals and visitors to enjoy, from mind-expanding museum tours to fun-filled family bonding experiences at entertainment hotspots.
Do you want to learn more about this location?
Here are the 15 things you can do in Quincy Illinois:
1. Hannibal, Missouri
This charming city, located 20 miles to the south on the Missouri bank of the Mississippi, is a perfect place to tour during your time in Quincy.
Hannibal’s most famous claim to fame is that it was Mark Twain’s (1835-1910) childhood home, and it would serve as the backdrop for both Tom Sawyer (1876) and Huckleberry Finn (1876). (1884).
It’s no surprise, however, that there are numerous Twain-related activities in Hannibal, ranging from sites to tours, as well as cruises.
A visit to his Boyhood Home and the Mark Twain Cave, which inspired McDougal’s Cave in Tom Sawyer, is at the top of the list. The magnificent Rockcliffe Mansion (1898), built for a timber tycoon in a commanding position over the city and the Mississippi has retained its 19th-century character.
2. Dogwood festival
Each year, in late April or early May, Quincy celebrates the arrival of spring with a four-day festival.
The Dogwood Festival has been an annual fixture for more than half a century, coinciding with the spectacular blossoms of its namesake trees.
It highlights Quincy’s strong community spirit. The fact that this is one of the northernmost sites where dogwood trees can grow is commemorated with a big parade down Maine Street, as well as a variety of fun side events like amusements and merchants in Washington Park, a Little King and Queen pageant, and a family-friendly block party.
3. Historic Downtown
Using Washington Park as a base, you may spend a pleasant couple of hours strolling through Quincy’s historic district. Numerous exquisite structures, spanning in style from Italianate to Richardsonian Romanesque, sprung up during the city’s heyday as a hub for commerce on the Mississippi.
Downtown is undergoing a revitalization phase, and there are a few locally-owned restaurants, particularly in the blocks close east of Washington Park.
That park, which is laid out in a square pattern, has had the same size for nearly 200 years and was the setting of the sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858. On Saturday mornings during the summer, there is a farmers’ market, as well as live music on the 2nd and 4th Friday evenings.
Continue your tour through the spectacular East End, which was once home to the city’s 19th-century movers and shakers, and the South Side German Historic District, which has a distinct German influence in its design.
4. History Museum on the square
At this magnificent edifice on the southwest corner of Washington Park, the Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County has lately established a compelling museum.
The History Museum on the Square is housed in the former Quincy Public Library (1888), which was built of rusticated stone in a Romanesque Revival style.
The three-story circular tower above the main entrance is a striking feature. Inside, you can see permanent and rotating exhibits about the city’s and Adams County’s history.
There are fascinating items from the pioneer days on display, as well as information regarding the Mormon exodus from Missouri in the winter of 1838-39, paintings by Edward Everett (1794-1865), and fascinating data about the beautiful Washington Square in front.
The Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design was once housed in this building, and there are several intriguing relics.
On the museum grounds, there’s a stunning display of stained glass by Frank Lloyd Wright and Tiffany & Co., as well as a delightful sculpture garden.
5. Quincy Museum
The exquisite Richardsonian Romanesque Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion is one of the magnificent properties in Quincy’s Historic East End District.
This building, which was built in 1890-91 for Richard F. Newcomb, the founder of the Quincy Paper Company, features a rough-hewn Berea sandstone exterior that is extensively adorned with carvings from the ground level to the chimney tops.
The house employed steam heat, which was unusual at the time, and the furnace, water heater, wine cellar, laundry, and even a bowling alley were all located in the basement.
The gorgeous renovated interiors, complete with 14-karat gold woodwork, are on the first floor, while the two higher floors include fascinating displays about the city.
6. Villa Kathrine
Something that wouldn’t look out of place in Marrakech or Fes is perched high on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi.
W. George Metz, a wealthy and eccentric Quincy citizen with a passion for Mediterranean architecture, commissioned Villa Kathrine, a Moorish-style courtyard palace, in 1900.
The property, according to mythology, was built for a woman Metz had fallen in love with but who refused to come to live with him. Metz lived alone in this house for over ten years, with just his Great Dane and Bingo for companionship, but he did throw extravagant parties.
Bingo’s ghost is said to haunt the estate, which was renovated during a 20-year period from 1988 to 1998, and one narrative claims that the dog is buried with a large quantity of gold somewhere on the grounds.
From Monday to Sunday, you can take a tour of this magnificent structure, appreciating the patio, reflecting pool harem, and overall finery and craftsmanship.
7. John Wood Mansion
The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County also looks after the majestic Greek Revival home of John Wood (1798-1880), Illinois’ 12th Governor. Wood, who had previously resided in a two-story log house, founded both the city of Quincy (1835) and Adams County (1825) and moved to the mansion in 1837.
The pedestal and four stately Doric columns on this monument instantly attract the eye, and these were actually made by Wood himself on a purpose-built lathe.
the group has owned the john wood mansion since 1906, and it is filled with historical furnishings and antiques from the wood family. The 1835 log home, as well as a visitors center built in 1986 and housing an intriguing exhibit on Quincy during the Lincoln era, are both on the grounds.
8. Clat Adams Bicentennial Park
A lovely waterfront park is nestled between the Quincy Bayview Bridge to the north and the Quincy Memorial Bridge to the south, where you may take a break and enjoy the famous river.
The Clat Adams Bicentennial Park is also an excellent place for public activities during the summer, in addition to providing that spectacular vantage point.
The magnificent blue and white gazebo host a variety of outdoor performances, and there are few better spots in the country to see the 4th of July fireworks.
9. Quincy Art Center
This non-profit art museum is located in the charming East End Historic District of Quincy. The Quincy Art Center, which focuses on modern Midwestern art, has a long history dating back to 1923, as well as an excellent location in a renovated carriage house on a vast estate.
The structure was built in 1887, and a modern wing was added in 1990. More than 400 works in drawing, painting, sculpture, posters, and prints by national and regional artists are included in the permanent collection.
Short-term exhibits, an exciting mix of solo and themed shows, the yearly Members’ Exhibit, and the Biennial Quad-State Exhibition all feature works from this collection.
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10. Log Cabin Village
A surviving set of log buildings dating back to the Lincoln era can be found on Quinsippi Island, just upriver from the Quincy Bayview Bridge.
These were built in the first half of the nineteenth century and moved to the island in the 1960s and 1970s.
A booklet for a self-guided tour of the hamlet, which consists of four log homes, a log church, a stone smokehouse, and a corn crib, is available for download.
There are regular open days or you may schedule a guided group tour online if you want to see the interiors.
11. All Wars Museum
The historic Illinois Veterans’ Home, constructed after Reconstruction Era, is well worth visiting on Quincy’s north side. This facility, which dates back to 1886, is one of the country’s oldest and largest of its sort.
The Illinois Veterans’ Home has been dubbed the “city inside a city” because of its size, and it still has its own bank, post office, cemetery, chapel, and even a television station.
The All Wars Museum, which has been open for more than 30 years and houses thousands of objects ranging from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism, is another reason to pay a visit. You’ll witness preserved uniforms, field equipment, trucks, artillery, small guns, blades, posters, flags.
12. Bill Klingner Trail
For a proper walk in the woods, you don’t have to travel far from Quincy. From near Bob Bangert Park beside the Mississippi to North 24th Street, this trail travels west to east for about 2.5 miles.
The Bill Klingner Trail, named for a long-serving Park District Engineer, winds through Quincy’s northern suburbs, following the green corridor that runs alongside Cedar Creek.
The path could be a wondrous community effort, guiding you through idyllic land while additionally providing access to amenities sort of a playground and disc golf links. It’s appropriate for walking, jogging, and cycling and is free from motorized traffic.
13. Indian Mounds Park
This park, located just yards from the Mississippi River, provides an engrossing, albeit somber, glimpse into western Illinois’ Native American legacy.
Indian Mounds Park, along with the nearby Woodland Cemetery, contains some of the best-preserved Native American burial mounds anywhere in the United States.
These mounds are marked with a series of panels that detail the Potawatomi nation’s history and culture, as well as Quincy’s role in the Trail of Death (1838), during which a large number of Potawatomi were forcibly relocated from Indiana to a reserve in Kansas.
The park also has a popular outdoor public pool with slide and spray equipment, as well as views of the lake on occasion.
14. Quincy Community Theatre
A community theatre company with a long history is based at the Oakley-Lindsay Center, just south of downtown. The Quincy Community Theatre has been presenting seasons of dramas, comedies, musicals, and mysteries at the Illinois Veterans Home since 1923, and is a beloved artistic outlet for the city.
Since 1995, the group has been housed at the Oakley-Lindsay Center’s state-of-the-art 500-seater theatre, which it moved there from the Trinity Parish Hall in 1964.
Frozen, Mamma Mia, Anne of Green Gables, Sweeney Todd, and Lady Windermere’s Fan was among the productions featured.
15. Scotties Fun spot
This iconic family amusement area in Quincy’s eastern suburbs offers a wide range of activities as well as a surprisingly long history.
Albert R. Scott (Scottie) opened a skating rink in Carthage, Illinois, in 1936, which became Scotties Fun Spot. The current location opened in 1979 and has been steadily turned into a multi-attraction complex since the 2000s.
Laser tag, mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, an arcade, mini-lane bowling, an interactive indoor playground, and of course, roller skating are all available at Scotties Fun Spot.
The Winners Grill is also nearby, with a menu of crowd-pleasing comfort cuisine such as burgers, pizza, pretzels, tenders, and nachos, as well as soft-serve ice cream.
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Five Fun Things You Can Do For Free In Quincy
When it comes to finding exciting things to do, you don’t always need to take out a modest loan to cover the cost of entrance, meals, and other miscellaneous.
Here are five exciting things to do and places to visit in Quincy that are completely free:
1. Blues in the district
From June to September, Blues in the District is a famous summertime music series at Washington Park that features Blues artists.
2. Midsummer Arts Faire
The Midsummer Arts Faire, another Washington Park event, takes place in June. This juried fine arts exhibition also includes live entertainment such as musicians and dancers. The Quincy Art Center also sets up a fantastic section for kids with a variety of free activities.
3. Illinois Veterans Home
The Illinois Veterans Home is a must-see attraction. Not only are there residential accommodations for veterans on the grounds, but there is also an All Wars Museum and a Deer Park.
Around the 200-acre site, there are various pieces of ancient military equipment on exhibit. In September, the Tri-State Lugnuts auto club organizes its annual Endless Summer Car Show, which is a fantastic time to visit the Veterans Home.
4. The Quincy Park District
The Quincy Park District manages almost 30 parks throughout the city, providing residents and visitors with a variety of free activities and facilities. The annual Fishing Rodeo takes place at Moorman Park during Illinois’ Free Fishing Day, and the Quincy Park District also hosts free events such as a summer concert series in Madison Park and an outdoor movie series.
5. Quincy Public Library
The library isn’t simply for reading books (though getting free books isn’t a bad deal either). Business and personal development programs, movie screenings, kids’ events, arts and crafts classes, and the yearly Big Read for students and adults are just a few of the free activities offered by the Quincy Public Library.
Frequently Asked Question About Quincy Illinois
Why is Quincy Called the Gem City?
Quincy has been described as “a gem of a city” by visitors. Flour and sawmills thrived because the fertile land produced great grain crops; the game was plentiful; oak, hickory, and walnut lumber were plentiful from the forests that were cut down to make space for the growing community; and trade thrived.
What District is Quincy Illinois
The 18th congressional district of Illinois encompasses all of Jacksonville and Quincy, as well as portions of Bloomington, Peoria, and Springfield. It is presently represented by Republican Darin LaHood, who was elected in a special election in September 2015.
Is Quincy Illinois a Good Place To Live In
Quincy is a medium-sized Midwestern town with a diminishing population and business. Despite this, it is still a relatively safe place to start a family and settle down. Quincy, Illinois is a wonderful place to live. There are so many things to do in this town.
What is it like living in Quincy
Quincy residents enjoy a minimal suburban vibe, and the majority of residents own their homes. There are numerous bars and parks in Quincy.
Plan Your Trip To Quincy
The list of things to do in Quincy, Illinois, is long, making it even more important to plan ahead of time so you don’t miss out on any attractions that you and your family could enjoy together.
You may plan your itinerary to incorporate a fair balance of adventure and activities that are all different from one another, as well as those that offer gorgeous vistas.
Illinois is a modestly sized state with a diverse range of attractions. Hidden jewels abound in this lovely city, just waiting for you to discover them. In the city, there are many fantastic activities to do and sites to see.
You’ll come across amazing art galleries, farmers’ markets, delectable delicacies, wines and beers, theaters, gorgeous vistas, parks, outdoor and indoor games for all ages, architectural buildings, jewelry, furniture, presents, apparel, footwear, museums, mansions, and much more.
So, begin planning your next vacation to the lovely city right now, as the places we’ve highlighted will lead you to the best sites to visit.
Do you have any further suggestions that we didn’t cover? Please share and comment.
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