Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino is one of the finest ways to discover paradise when you’re in East Peoria, Illinois. But if you’re in the area for an extended stay, you need to go beyond what you will find at the casino. There’s so much more to enjoy other than gambling in Illinois.
Today’s post covers a few cool vacation spots in East Peoria. And like most vacation spots in small towns, they boast a unique flair. You won’t find any huge chains or resort spots in the area other than what you will find at 21 Blackjack Boulevard.
But you will find odds and ends attractions to frequent, take a selfie with, and explore local history.
If the above statement sounds good to you, read on. These are excellent vacation spots you don’t want to miss out on when you take your trip to East Peoria.
1 – Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge is one of the top points of interest in the area. Sure, the “Bridge Between the Cities” of Peoria and East Peoria is a great landmark to take a photo of from different angles. And if you’re up to it, take a selfie with it! The surrounding scenery is impeccable.
A trip to the Murray Baker Bridge is really what you make of it. You can take a quick break from the slots and tables at Par-A-Dice Casino and snap a quick photo. Or you can spend some time at the park and take a couple of hours off.
The choice is yours! But over in East Peoria, the Murray Baker Bridge has continued to attract tourists given its architecture, location, and scenic views.
2 – Rooster in a Top Hat
Rooster in a Top Hat is one of those roadside attractions that, like the Murray Baker Bridge, is what you make of it. This hot vacation spot also qualifies as a small-town gem. Something you expect to see in a town of roughly 24,000 residents.
But is the Rooster in a Top Hat the only real attraction that would draw you?
Hey, it makes for a fantastic attraction to take a selfie with in America’s heartland, but you will have more of a reason to come over with more than the goal of capturing a cool selfie.
The attraction sits in front of Carl’s Bakery and Restaurant, and it’s the perfect place for breakfast if you’re looking for something outside the casino.
Locals on TripAdvisor rave about the bakery’s donuts, and it’s one of those small-town mom and pop businesses that has stood the test of time as a business.
So, come on out, take a selfie with the giant, 10-foot-tall rooster, and be sure to grab some breakfast and donuts in one of small-town America’s finest mom and pop outlets. It’s the unique outlet you won’t find in the big city, so don’t pass it up.
3 – ROC Ice Cream and Golf
Up for ice cream and mini golf?
Your kids probably are, and that’s especially true if you’re frequenting the area with them. While they won’t be able to head into Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino, ROC Ice Cream and Golf is a fantastic consolation. So, if you’re on kid-watching duty while others from your travel group are in the casino, head over to ROC Ice Cream and Golf.
While the game may not be as adrenaline-pumping as those table games (or whatever your preference), a few hours at ROC Ice Cream and Golf are well worth going on kid watch given the great-tasting ice cream and endless fun you will have at the course.
4 – River Trail of Illinois
Looking for an excellent spot for a hike? The River Trail of Illinois is the perfect place to embark. One of the state’s most recognizable trails, you can hike, walk, go for a run, or even a long bike ride, and explore the area’s stunning and breathtaking scenery for yourself.
So, take some time off from Par-A-Dice Casino and catch breathtaking scenic views the Midwest offers.
Given its 10 reviews on TripAdvisor, River Trail of Illinois is one of those more obscure hidden gems in the area. But if you’re a nature lover or if you’re just up to burn some calories on the hike, this location should be right up your alley.
And given all of its illustrious scenery, you will be glad you took a few hours off from the casino games.
5 – East Peoria River Front Park
East Peoria River Front Park is another one of those hidden gems. And as with the River Trail of Illinois, it’s yet another option in the area if you’re looking for a bit of nature to add to your trip to the American Midwest.
Catch further views of the river front and take yet another hike into the Midwestern wilderness. This place is brimming with nature at every turn, and it’s great to pair with the River Trail of Illinois. In fact, you can even catch the River Trail on one day, then head over to the River Front Park on the next.
It’s up to you, but both options give you fantastic vacation spots to further explore the wild American Midwest. An epic show of scenery and forests await when you venture off to yet another diamond in the Illinois rough. And your mind and eyes will thank you.
6 – Pleasant Hill Antique Mall
Pleasant Hill Antique Mall is a great place to find some hidden treasures. So, we talked a bit about the outdoor gems in the area. But Pleasant Hill Antique Mall gives you a hidden gem full of hidden gems.
If you won a few bucks at Par-A-Dice Casino or if you were lucky enough to hit the jackpot, make the Pleasant Hill Antique Mall your next location and pick up something that you see of value when you venture over.
Given the fact that East Peoria is a small town, Pleasant Hill Antique Mall is one of few reviews. But those who have taken time to visit the excellent vacation spot rave about the obscure location. Now, I won’t lie, this is a place full of antiques, hence the name. So, brace yourself to take a step back in time before your visit.
Reviewers have referred to the place as “old school,” and they comment on the mall’s large size. Yes, it can qualify as a mall, so you can place a winning bet as to what the overall selection looks like over here. If that describes your interest, take time to head on over.
This enormous place isn’t for you if you’re not into antiques. But if you collect, you have a gold mine of hidden treasures at Pleasant Hill Antique Mall.
7 – Country Saloon
The finest thing about small town America, and especially the heartland, are all those fine small business outlets that you won’t find in the bigger cities. Or if you do, they’re rare gems. But out in a place like East Peoria, they run rampant.
Country Saloon is one of those places and it’s a fine place to find hot local drinks and home cooked food from scratch. Reviewers on TripAdvisor can’t get over the excellent service here, and they have commended the burgers, fried chicken, and tenderloin.
Reviewers have also commended the owner—one of those people who goes out of their way to introduce themselves to customers—and the locals have stated it’s one of the greatest bars in the area, if not the greatest.
It’s an extra special place for bikers, as several taken time to post their review on TripAdvisor. So, if you’re looking for a place with a bit of a biker atmosphere, Country Saloon is a good one to try after a day of gaming at Par-A-Dice Casino.
So, there you have it. There are your seven excellent vacation spots near Par-A-Dice Casino. As you can see, nature and obscure gemstones dominate the landscape. But that’s the case in any smaller town in America. Brace yourself to experience uniqueness when you venture out here.
But they have enough gems in the area that may coax you into taking at least a day and perhaps two days off from the slots and tables at Par-A-Dice Casino. And it proves that no matter where you are in America, you can take a fine vacation.
Have you been to Par-A-Dice Casino? If so, did you visit any of the spots listed in East Peoria? Let us know in the comments and tell us where you visited. We are looking forward to reading the stories.