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by Jessica Waytenick •

Address: LeClaire is located just 30 minutes north from themetro Quad Cities on the Mississippi River, at the intersection of Highway 67and Interstate 80. 

Phone: 563-289-4242, ext. 1135

Web Site: www.visitleclaire.com 

Media Contact: Cindy Bruhn, Tourism Manager, 563-449-9958 or info@visitleclaire.com

LeClaire, Iowa, is a quaint little river town located just north of the Quad Cities at the intersection of Interstate 80 and the Mississippi River. This beautiful little town is full of historical surprises and unique shopping and restaurants.

LeClaire is the birthplace of the famous Buffalo Bill Cody and features a museum in his honor. It was also the place the river pilots waited to steer the steamboats downstream through the dangerous Rock Island Rapids on the Mississippi River for the inexperienced captains.

LeClaire's historic bond with the river and the bold men who tamed the Upper Rapids is still visible in the homes and buildings they left behind. Their homes have been recognized as part of the nine-block Cody Road Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes are located along Cody Road and Second Street with a few between Wisconsin and Dodge Streets. There is a LeClaire River Pilots’ Homes Self-Guided Tour.

On the second weekend of August, the Mississippi closes toriver traffic for the ultimate tug-o-war across the river between LeClaire,Iowa, and Port Byron, Illinois, at the annual Tug Fest.  LeClaire has many popular events throughout theyear, including Market Days in May, Garage Sale Days in June, Witches Walk inOctober, and Christmas in LeClaire in December.

And if you would like to cruise the Mississippi, hop aboard the Twilight.  This wonderful riverboat features overnightcruises from LeClaire to Dubuque, Iowa.  Orplay a round of golf at Pebble Creek.

The downtown is filled with antique and unique shops sure tosatisfy any shopping adventure.  In August2011, President Obama decided to take a tour of LeClaire himself.  Many of their restaurants have a river viewand feature items from gourmet coffees and pastries to casual dining to finedining.  Take a free tour of the new Mississippi River Distilling Company. Using only local products, it is only one of three distilleries in Iowa.

In July 2008, RAGBRAI (The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride AcrossIowa) ended in LeClaire.  It was thefirst time in 26 years that RAGBRAI ended in ScottCounty – last time was Davenport in 1982.  It brought over 150,000 cyclists to LeClairein one day for a successful celebration.

In September 2008, the new River Pilot’s Pier addition tothe Buffalo Bill Museumwas dedicated.  Now the Lone Startowboat, which worked on the river for almost 100 years, is sheltered from theelements in a new steel-and-glass pavilion. The boat is the last wooden-hull working class boat of its kind.  It was constructed in 1869, and features acondensing engine, twin tubular boilers, 5-foot stroke, mud drum, steam-poweredwinch and dredging equipment.  Ratherthan move the historic boat, the new structure was built around it.

In January 2010, a new History Channel program called American Pickers premiered with LeClaire’s own Mike Wolfe – owner of Antique Archeology – and his buddy Frank Fritz as thehosts.  “American Pickers” follows these antiquers as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements,garages and barns, and the people they meet along the way.

 

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