Situated on a stretch of the mighty Mississippi River, Davenport, Iowa, forms a quarter of the Quad Cities area which spreads across two states. Like much of the Quad Cities, it’s a laid-back, artsy town with a slight bohemian flavor. Galleries, theaters and music venues are dotted throughout the city with more continually springing up; each show and community workshop more inventive than the last. There are excellent cycling facilities and plenty of boating and walking routes on and alongside the green Mississippi. Davenport has a small-town, family friendly vibe which is sharpened by an funky edge, giving visitors plenty of scope to design their own vacation experience.
Housed in one of Davenport’s most striking buildings, with wide views of the Mississippi riverfront, the Figge Art Museum is at the heart of the city’s cultural world. Its collection is broad, with a core of 18th to 19th Century European and American art but much else from around the world, including superb Mexican Colonial and Haitian collections. One can’t-miss gallery is their space devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright interior design furnishings. Thoughtful temporary exhibitions change frequently. The museum also hosts studio space, classes, lectures and workshops for universities and colleges, along with many other community initiatives.
Floating on the Mississippi River, Rhythm City is a riverboat casino with a fun and lively atmosphere. Over 850 games are spread across 14 tables, and there are about 900 slot machines on which to try your luck. However, as those who frequent casinos know, what makes a good casino isn't just the gaming floor. Their live stage features local musical acts, and the Hit Parade restaurant features classic country cooking and barbequed goodies.
This large riverside building brings together a museum, classrooms, studios, a coffee shop and a flexible performing space hosting rock gigs and jazz clubs. It is the musical hub of the Quad Cities, bringing in live acts from across the United States and putting on a wide range of educational programs. The space opened in 2004 and has been an immense success, helping new musicians and audiophiles alike explore every facet of music making, like audio engineering, songwriting, and playing in the style of the great Mississippi. The River Music Experience invites one and all to combat the winter blues with some winter blues.
There’s a lively Jazz Age elegance to the Front Street Brewery, located in a former garage and warehouse on the banks over the Mighty Miss. It has a decent menu of burgers and other pub favorites. But really it’s all about the beer, for which the place is famous: not only do they offer German-style wheat beers, bitter English ales, fruity cherry and apricot beers, and frequent fresh inventions, they can serve them in half gallon Growlers for your party.
The sleek and recently renovated Blackhawk is a historic hotel with deep roots in Davenport. Opened in 1915, it has hosted many of the most famous visitors to the Quad Cities. It has lots of ornate and luxurious extra rooms and areas to discover, and is perfectly amenable for conferences and meetings. This large hotel complex also houses a luxury all-service spa, a bowling alley, fitness room, two lounges (one upscale with a bistro and the other late-night adjacent to the bowling lanes) and a gourmet donut house, and 10,000 feet of event space.