Disclaimer: This was a sponsored trip by Visit Quad Cities. All of our opinions are our own.
If you’re seeking a romantic escape that combines small-town charm with big-city amenities, the Quad Cities has all that to offer and more! What cities are in quad cities? It consists of Moline and Rock Island in Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, a hidden gem on the banks of the Mississippi River. This vibrant region boasts a rich history, a thriving arts scene, world-class dining, and an abundance of outdoor activities. The Quad Cities has everything you need to create an unforgettable couples getaway. So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and get ready to fall in love all over again in this picturesque Midwest destination.
Places to Eat
When it comes to dining out, the Quad Cities area is home to an impressive selection of restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes and budgets. From quaint cafes and diners to upscale fine dining establishments, the Quad Cities has it all. The area’s unique blend of Midwestern charm and urban sophistication has helped to create a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that attracts foodies from all over the country. Whether you’re in the mood for classic American comfort food, international cuisine, or farm-to-table fare, you’re sure to find a restaurant that will satisfy your cravings in the Quad Cities. With so many great options to choose from, it’s no wonder that the area has become a popular destination for food lovers looking for a memorable dining experience.
Armored Gardens is a trendy gastropub located in the heart of downtown Davenport, offering a unique and memorable dining experience. The atmosphere is lively and modern, with a chic industrial decor and an outdoor patio that offers stunning views of the Mississippi River. The menu is diverse and gives a food truck feeling when you order the food. The restaurant offers 100 beers on tap and a row of TV screens with the names, the type of brew, and how much was left. You call at the number you want, and the bartenders bring it right to you. If you don’t want beer, they also offer cocktails.
Stella couldn’t help herself and get a Pineapple Tiki Punch in a pineapple yarder! For food, they feature American bar food. Aaron got the Nashville Hot Chicken, and Stella got the Philly Cheesesteak. Both were amazing and very well filling. Throughout the meal, the service was excellent, with friendly and knowledgeable staff who were happy to offer recommendations and answer any questions. The beer selection is also impressive, with a wide variety of local and regional craft beers on tap.
If you’re looking for a delicious meal and a fun atmosphere in the heart of downtown Davenport, look no further than Cavort. This charming and colorful eatery offers a unique dining experience that will transport you to a sunny beach in the South Pacific.
The dishes here are inspired by Polynesian cuisine, and the drinks are over the top with tropical flavor. For drinks, Aaron opted for the Blue Hawaiian, and Stella got the Pink Drank. Both were absolutely fantastic. For dinner, we got the Crying Tiger Filet and Chicken Piccata. The presentation of the plates was beautiful as it prepared for a taste of the tropics. We highly recommend checking out Cavort. It feels like a beach party that you need to go to!
Mac’s Tavern is a popular neighborhood bar and grill located in Davenport, Iowa, known for its casual atmosphere and affordable comfort food. The interior of the tavern has a cozy, rustic feeling, with dark wood paneling and memorabilia adorning the walls. The menu features classic pub fare, such as mouthwatering burgers and the best wings in the Quad Cities. The bartender we had was the owner and was extremely friendly with us. He could tell that we had a long day driving from Chicago and taking pictures and was very attentive with us and would even crack jokes to us to get us in a talking mood.
The overall atmosphere of Mac’s Tavern is perfect for a casual night out, and it’s clear that the restaurant has put a lot of thought and effort into creating a space that feels comfortable and welcoming. Whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or having a leisurely dinner, the atmosphere of Mac’s Tavern is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Things to Do
Freight House Farmer’s Market
Freight House Farmers Market is a beloved local market with dozens of local artisans and fresh produce. They have an indoor market open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays and have an outdoor market from May to October. When we visited, the outdoor market was not open just yet, however, we’ve gotten the chance to get some real kombucha and learn a bit about the process from Renegade Kombucha. The vendors pride themselves on sustainability and local sourcing, as many are small-scale farmers and food producers who prioritize sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in their operations. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in the high quality of the products on offer, as well as the overall community ethos of the market.
They also have restaurants on-site to check out and a brewery to check out. As Midwesterners, we pride ourselves in strongly supporting locally grown food, and if you are looking to save on groceries, we absolutely suggest visiting this farmers market and adding this to your list to get a truly local experience. With its welcoming atmosphere, a diverse range of vendors, and commitment to sustainability, the market is a true gem of the Quad Cities area.
Wide River Winery
On a hill overlooking the Mississippi River, this family-owned winery is just 30 minutes from Davenport in Le Claire County. Wide River Winery offers visitors a cozy, friendly atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Starting our wine-tasting journey, we each had four tastings paired with a sausage and a cheese plate. Locally sourced from Illinois and Iowa, this winery is truly making the best of the Midwest. A fun fact about the owners is that they were a lawyer and judge, so they really got creative with the drink titles, such as the Catawba – So Sue Me Sue and the Tempranillo – Cody Road Felony. Aside from its wine, this winery also has a few Airbnbs to stay at a few of their locations, such as the Wide River Inn and The River Lodge. This is an absolute must-see on your Quad Cities itinerary.
Figge Art Museum
The Figge Art Museum is located right at the heart of downtown Davenport, Iowa, with stunning glass walls and a view of the Mississippi River. The Figge Art Museum also hosts different temporary exhibitions throughout the year, such as Sporting Fashion that we saw. The exhibit showcases women’s fashion from 1860s to 1960s, highlighting evolution and generational significance. Museum exhibits feature Haitian art and Midwest regionalist art, showcasing history through photography and American Gothic styles.
One of the beautiful things we got to experience in this setting was watching the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) women in music. This was a celebration of extraordinary female instrumentalists and composers throughout musical history. The QCSO hosts many events in the museum that you can experience as well. Look through the event page of the museum to see any upcoming performances here or at the orchestra’s event page here.
Where to Stay
The Current Iowa
While there are many hotels in Quad Cities to choose from, we highly recommend The Current Iowa. Current Iowa: Stylish boutique autograph hotel showcasing contemporary art, conveniently located near local attractions. Nevertheless, the hotel has two restaurants on site: City Loafers & Sky Bar and offers. They also have free parking, which is something you will have to worry less about. From the moment you check in to the moment you check out, the staff are very friendly and helpful. We strongly recommend starting off at the City Loafers and heading upstairs to their rooftop bar to enjoy the view.
As our time in the Quad Cities comes to an end, we left with a sense of awe and admiration for this hidden gem of the Midwest. The region’s natural beauty, with the Mississippi River and lush greenery, captivated us upon arrival.
The Quad Cities stands out with its rich cultural heritage and diverse experiences. Discover historic sites, vibrant arts, and culture in the Quad Cities—an area with something for everyone to enjoy.
We were particularly impressed by the food scene in the Quad Cities. Indulge in a variety of dining options, from classic Midwest cuisine to international flavors. Don’t miss the chance to try the local craft beer and wine produced by excellent breweries and wineries in the area.
Grateful for unforgettable experiences, we pack our bags, cherishing Quad Cities memories as we depart. It truly is a special place, and we encourage you to add this destination to your weekend getaway list!