From John Deere combines and Segway tours, to studio production and cell phone tours, the Quad Cities offer an array of guided and self-guided tours that provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the region's history, explore manufacturing, and to get an insider's view of some of the area's unique attractions.
Tours offer a personalized, informational, and fun way to gain insight into an area's history. They also provide opportunities to learn about little known facts. The Quad Cities is steeped in history because of its location along the Mississippi River. The area attracted Native American Indians, settlers, and immigrants due to its close proximity to the river. The contributions of these early residents lead to the development of bustling riverfront cities, and created the stories that will be retold for generations to come.
Manufacturing & Production Tours
Isabel Bloom Studio Production Tour
For more than fifty years the sculpture of Isabel Bloom has found its place in homes and gardens throughout the United States. She studied under Grant Wood and her artistic subjects range from playful children to friendly creatures of the air, land and sea. Cast in concrete and hand-finished to resemble weathered bronze garden sculptures of the Victorian era, the work of Isabel Bloom has made her a Quad Cities' icon.
Today, the creation of Isabel Bloom sculpture rests in the talented hands of designer Donna Young, Isabel's protege and artistic collaborator since 1986. She has preserved the unique style that has survived Isabel's passing in May 2001.
The Isabel Bloom Studio Production Tour is a free, one-hour-and-fifteen minute guided tour with behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. Visitors can even offer opinions on future sculptures, and purchase exclusive sculptures available only to tour guests.
736 Federal Street, Davenport, Iowa
Tours offered by appointment
Free tour and 10% off in the gift shop
John Deere Combine Factory Tour
See a John Deere Combine manufactured right before your eyes when you take a 1 1/2 hour tour of Deere & Companies largest combine factory and visitors center at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois.
Watch employees assemble these customized, amazing combines from beginning to end. See them dipped in enormous vats of the traditional green paint, detailed, and rolled onto the production floor to await the turn of the key. If you are lucky, you might just be there when the owner arrives to start up the engine.
All guests must wear closed-toe-shoes, and the minimum age requirement is 13. Tours are guided aboard golf cart-style vehicles. Tours are subject to availability and factory production schedules.
110 13th Avenue, East Moline, Illinois
Mon-Fri when factory is in production; call ahead for availability
Boetje's Mustard Tour
See a John Deere combine manufactured before your eyes during this 1-1/2 hour tour in a comfortable motorized cart. Tours subject to availability and factory production schedules.
Available for groups of 20 or more, the Boetje's Mustard Tour is a short but very interesting production tour. The simplicity of this production tour, along with the small staff that keeps things going, will amaze you. Especially when you consider that this mustard is made, bottled, and delivered across the United States from this small manufacturing facility. Did you know that Boetje's Mustard has been created for over 100 years in Rock Island, and that it won the 2008 World Wide Mustard Festival - beating out Grey Poupon?
2736 12th Street, Rock Island, Illinois
Call ahead to arrange a tour
Lavender Crest Winery Tour
Wine lovers will enjoy Lavender Crest Winery! Just a short drive from the Quad Cities, Lavender Crest features wine production, a wine tasting room, gift shop, banquet center, an espresso bar, and lunches. If you are interested in knowing how wine is made, tours are just $5 per person and reservations are required. Group rates for 10 or more people are also available.
401 US Highway 6, Colona, Illinois
$5 per person, reservations required
Creekside Vineyards Winery & Inn Vineyard Tour
Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine during this outdoor vineyard tour, available May through October. Creekside is the newest winery to open in the Quad Cities and also includes a bed & breakfast. Vineyard tours are available by appointment.
7505 120th Avenue, Coal Valley, Illinois
Call ahead to arrange a tour
Mississippi River Distillery Tour
New on the Quad Cities' tour circuit is the Mississippi River Distillery. The new distillery gives you the exciting opportunity to see vodka, gin, and bourbon whisky made from local grains. You can also learn about the craftsmanship that goes into each bottle. Watch how the grain is ground, cooked, fermented and then distilled, blended, and bottled. From grain to the glass you'll enjoy this tour which ends in the grand tasting room!
303 North Cody Road, LeClaire, Iowa
Daily 12pm-4pm on the hour
Free tour and tasting
Get the opportunity to see vodka, gin, and artisan spirits made from local grains. Free product sample in the beautiful tasting room.
Historic Home Tours
Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House Mansions
The beautiful mansions that once belonged to John Deere family descendants are open for tours by appointment and are located in the historic Overlook District of Moline. Both homes offer a look into the family-life of the Deere family and the beautiful mansions they called home.
In 1872, John Deere's son, Charles, built the Deere-Wiman House for his wife, Mary Little Dickinson Deere, and their daughters, Anna and Katherine. The family named their Swiss Villa-style residence Overlook because of its desirable hilltop location above the growing city of Moline, Illinois, and the family business, the John Deere Plow Works.
In 1892, Charles Deere, built Butterworth Center a block from his own home as a wedding gift for his youngest daughter Katherine and her husband William Butterworth.
Both homes feature beautiful gardens that are open for viewing during daylight hours. Tours of the homes are available by appointment and on Sundays in July and August at 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Also check their website for seasonal events.
11th Ave. & 8th St., Moline, Illinois
Tours available by appointment
Free, donations appreciated
Colonel Davenport House
(May - October)
Another interesting home to visit is the Colonel Davenport House. Located on Rock Island Arsenal, this was the home of Colonel Davenport, one of Davenport, Iowa's founding fathers.
Built in 1833, guided tours of this furnished home will reveal interesting facts about Quad Cities' history, the famous people that visited the home, and the tragic ending for Colonel Davenport who was murdered by river bandits.
Rock Island Arsenal
May-Oct: Thu-Sun 12pm-4pm
Adults $5; Seniors/students $3; Family $10
B.J. & Mabel Palmer Mansion
Built in 1833, this historic, furnished home originally belonged to Colonel George Davenport. Learn interested facts about Quad Cities' history, the famous people that visited the home, and more.
You will be amazed by the sights to be seen inside the B.J. Palmer mansion. This unique property once belonged to the founder of Chiropractics, B.J. Palmer.
Situated on the campus of Palmer Chiropractic College this is a tour you won't soon forget. From amazing chess sets, Asian art and artifacts, to a one-of-a-kind organ (still in working order), and rooms that will leave you asking even more questions, this tour is something you will tell your friends and family about for years to come.
808 Brady Street, Davenport, Iowa
$5 per person
History, River Ecology, Bald Eagle Watching
Lock & Dam 15 Tour
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
Don't miss a fun and educational tour of Lock & Dam 15! These guided walking tours take you right out on the Lock & Dam, and up close to one of the largest roller dams in the world. You will learn about the lock and dam, the purpose of the roller dam, and the history behind the Government Bridge - only one of two bridges in the world whose span turns 360 degrees to allow barges to lock through.
Rock Island Arsenal
Jun-Aug: Sat & Sun at 11am and 2pm (reservations required)
Channel Cat & Riverine Walks
To learn more about the river, and the region's ecosystems try RiverAction's Channel Cat & Riverine Walks. Available only during the summer months, these guided tours offer a variety of educational and environmental tours aboard the Channel Cat Water Taxi and at various parks and locations around the Quad Cities.
Bald Eagle Safaris
Get a guided tour aboard the Channel Cat Water Taxi. Learn about the river and the region's ecosystems from local experts.
(December - February)
From late December through early February, the Quad Cities welcomes an annual visitor to the banks of the mighty river, the bald eagle. Learn more through about these magnificent birds of prey through a Bald Eagle Safari!
Bob Motz, a retired schoolteacher, hosts each bald eagle safaris. Tours run 2 to 3 hours in length and run a flat rate of $20.00 per hour for up to four people. Tours take place in the warmth and comfort of a van. Larger groups in buses can be accommodated for $40.00 per hour.
During the safaris, high-powered spotting scopes, connected to the car window, provide excellent viewing. The spotting scopes are powerful enough to see the gold of the eagle's eye, the nostrils in its beak, and the black talons extending from its toes. Eagle sightings are guaranteed or your money back.
By appointment only
$20 per hour up to 4 people
Rock Island History, Architecture and Neighborhood Tours
Learn about the city of Rock Island through a variety of self-guided tours in a variety of formats. Discover the cities' colorful past, the beautiful neighborhoods, and interesting architecture!
The John Looney Legend Tour
This tour will intrigue you as you discover the history of the gangster for which the comic strip novel Road to Perdition was written and the movie by the same name was produced.
Broadway Historic District
Drive through the historic Broadway District to see beautifully restored homes and to learn about the history of each home and the people that built it. Audio tours are available. The CD audio option is available free with brochure at Rock Island City Hall, or free downloads of .MP3 files are available from the city website.
1528 3rd Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois
Historical Highlights Augustana College Walking Tour
Additionally, Rock Island offers an Augustana College Historical Highlights Walking Tour that explores the rich architectural history of the college campus, and the neighborhood buildings that are steeped in the college's heritage.
Gold Coast & Hamburg Historic District Walking/Driving Tour
In Davenport, enjoy a self-guided walking/driving tour through the Gold Coast & Hamburg District. The Hamburg Historic District lies north of downtown Davenport and encompasses over 25 square blocks. A mixture of elegant mansions and simple homes, many of the original owners were first- or second-generation mid-19th century immigrants from Germany and Schleswig-Holstein.
Historic Moline Centre Architectural Walking Tour
Completed by the Moline Historic Preservation Commission and the 150th Anniversary Committee, this tour encompasses Moline's historic downtown, spanning three periods of downtown development. The brochure includes a map and is a self-guided tour. Copies are available at the Moline City Hall at 619 16th Street.
City Hall, 619 16th Street, Moline, Illinois
A Walk Down Henry Street: Moline's Fifth Avenue
This booklet highlights the history of Moline's Fifth Avenue or "main street," originally known as Henry Street. This well-researched publication details the histories of the structures on Fifth Avenue, highlighting their architectural and social significance. Composed by the Moline Preservation Society, this guide is available for purchase at Model Printers at 310 15th Street.
Model Printers, 310 15th Street, Moline, Illinois
Historic Eleventh Avenue Walking Tour
This booklet guides visitors through some of Moline's grandest historic estates that line the edges of the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Home to John Deere and other important magnates, the stories of the families that built and lived in the historic homes that line Eleventh Avenue is a veritable "who's who" of Moline's development. Composed by the Moline Preservation Society, this booklet includes a map for self-guided tours and is available for purchase at Model Printers in downtown Moline at 310 15th Street.
Model Printers, 310 15th Street, Moline, Illinois