, made up of the original communities of Stephenson and Farnamsburg, is home to 40,000 residents and tied for second place as one the best mannered cities in the United States. Rock Island received the prestigious City Livability Award - along with Davenport, Iowa in the Quad Cities - by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Rock Island is known for its strong historic neighborhoods, and its exciting new neighborhoods. The city is surrounded by two great rivers, the Mississippi and the Rock River. These rivers support many leisure activities in the area and have beautiful scenic views. Rock Island is home to Augustana College
Choose Rock Island for the fun of it, and discover so much more to life. It's the vibe of downtown - everything from arts and culture to a rockin' nightlife to delicious dining options. Spend one weekend in Rock Island, and you will understand why we are the pulse of the Quad Cities area.
is known for its festivals. The season starts with the Quad Cities Criterium bicycle races on Memorial Day. June brings Gumbo Ya Ya-Mardi Gras in The District, featuring Cajun and zydeco music and New Orleans style food. August features Ya Maka My Weekend with reggae music and Jamaican food. During Labor Day weekend, America's largest go-kart street race, the Rock Island Grand Prix, provides fast-paced professional go-kart races. The Irish folk festival is also in September. A children's costume contest and scavenger hunt is featured during Fright Night. Twice per year, Gallery Hop! showcases the arts in galleries, studios, restaurants, and shops.
The District is known for great annual festivals and events, like the Rock Island Grand Prix - one of the largest go-kart street races in the country.
In addition, the QCCA Expo Center
offers a variety of trade shows and special events throughout the year including Bald Eagle Days, Quad Cities Home & Garden Show, Outdoor Shows, Antique Spectacular and more.
Choose Rock Island as your own personal playground! Hit the links at either of Rock Island's two rolling golf courses - Saukie
and Highland Springs
. Enjoy nature, hiking through miles of trails in Black Hawk State Historic Site
. Grab your bike and enjoy the beautiful riverfront trails that are part of the Great River Trail that begins in Rock Island and ends 62-miles later in Savanna, Illinois. Also, be sure to wander through Lincoln Park and enjoy the beautiful views or take in the tropical plants and waterfall at the Quad City Botanical Center.
During the summer months, cool off on the waterslide at Whitewater Junction
, take a stroll along the riverfront, or enjoy Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Shows
at Ben Williamson Park.
Black Hawk State Historic Site
The Backwater Gamblers offer a free water ski show on the beautiful Rock River every Wednesday and Sunday evening during the summer.
, a 204-acre wilderness park and home to the Hauberg Indian Museum
, has more than four miles of hiking trails and plenty of picnic areas. This area was once the home site of the Sauk and Fox tribes who settled in the area in the late 1700s and early 1800s. For the history buffs, there are many places to explore! Chippiannock Cemetery
, which was established in 1855 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides an opportunity to learn about the locals.
Black Hawk State Historic Site has more than four miles of hiking trails and plenty of picnic areas, plus historical sites and an indian museum.
The Downtown Architectural Tour
covers a six-block area in the core of Rock Island's downtown and features 37 structures. Rock Island's downtown is the most walkable in the Quad Cities and many of the historical buildings remain in tact.
The Broadway Historic District
, a grand Victorian neighborhood is the premier historic area in Rock Island, where old houses are regarded as treasures. Great architecture, constant restorations, and a first-rate neighborhood association have made this area the place to be in the Quad Cities for old home lovers. More than 550 homes make up the Broadway collection, which features Queen Anne, Italianate and Colonial Revival architecture.
gains its special ambience from outstanding architecture and the beauty of original brick streets. Collectively, Highland Park homes make up one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Rock Island. Individually, each home is an architectural gem.
The Road to Perdition novels and movie have made the characters and exploits of John Rooney and Michael Sullivan well known. What you might not know is the inspiration for John Rooney came from a true Rock Island gangster, John P. Looney. This is the story of John Patrick Looney, the leader of vice, gambling, prostitution, and murder in Rock Island in the early 1900s, as told through our buildings and sites.
Consider this insider trading - here are some places that Rock Islanders enjoy
When people come back to Rock Island to visit, one of the first stops is to satisfy their hunger pains. Here are the tempting treats people miss when they're not in Rock Island: Whitey's Ice Cream
, Jim's Rib Haven, Happy Joe's pizza
, and Harris Pizza.
If you've got company coming, there are some things it seems everyone should do. Gamble at Jumer's Casino & Hotel
. Tour the Quad City Botanical Center
. Gaze at the Mississippi River. Take a drive through our historic neighborhoods. Watch the sunset at Sunset Park & Marina