Things to Do in Quincy Illinois

Uncover the Hidden Gems: 10 Exciting Things to Do in Quincy, Illinois

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois

Things to do in Quincy Illinois: Explore top attractions and hidden gems for an unforgettable visit!

Ever wondered what it’s like to step into a town where history whispers from every corner and the mighty Mississippi rolls by? Welcome to Quincy, Illinois. This charming riverside city is packed with surprises that’ll make you wonder why you hadn’t visited sooner.

Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, Quincy is a treasure trove of historical sites, outdoor adventures, and small-town charm. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a unique getaway, Quincy’s got something up its sleeve for you.

Ready to dive into the top things to do in Quincy Illinois? Let’s hit the road and uncover what makes this town a must-visit destination.

Basic Information

  • Population: Approximately 40,000
  • Elevation: 568 feet (173 meters)
  • Zip Code: 62301
  • Geographical Location: Quincy is located in western Illinois, along the Mississippi River.

Proximity Details

Closest Cities:

  • St. Louis, MO: 130 miles south (2.5-hour drive)
  • Springfield, IL: 110 miles east (2-hour drive)
  • Kansas City, MO: 260 miles west (4-hour drive)

Closest Airport: Quincy Regional Airport (UIN): 10 miles east of downtown

Nearby Small Towns:

  • Hannibal, MO: 20 miles south
  • Pittsfield, IL: 40 miles south
  • Macomb, IL: 60 miles northeast

Quincy IL History

Quincy’s story begins in 1818 when John Wood, who later became Illinois’ 12th Governor, settled in the area. The town was officially founded in 1825, named after President John Quincy Adams.

Quincy played a significant role in the underground railroad, earning the nickname “Little New England” for its strong abolitionist sentiment. The city’s strategic location on the Mississippi River made it an important transportation hub during the 19th century.

Today, Quincy stands as a testament to small-town resilience, blending its rich history with a forward-thinking approach to community development and tourism.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Main Attractions

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois - Main Attractions
  • Villa Kathrine – This Moorish-style castle overlooking the Mississippi is a must-see architectural wonder.
  • Quincy Museum – Housed in a stunning Victorian mansion, it offers a deep dive into local history.
  • All Wars Museum – Located in the Illinois Veterans Home, it honors veterans from all American conflicts.
  • John Wood Mansion – Tour the home of Quincy’s founder and Illinois’ 12th Governor.
  • Quincy Art Center – Enjoy rotating exhibits of contemporary art in this beautiful beaux-arts building.
  • Washington Park – The heart of downtown, perfect for picnics and people-watching.
  • Dr. Richard Eells House – A key stop on the Underground Railroad, now a museum dedicated to this history.
  • Quincy Memorial Bridge – Take in stunning views of the Mississippi from this historic bridge.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center – Learn about the famous 1858 debate held in Washington Park.
  • Clat Adams Bicentennial Park – Enjoy riverside views and catch a summer concert at this waterfront park.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Outdoor Activities

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois - Outdoor Activities
  • Quinsippi Island – Explore nature trails, fish, or enjoy a picnic on this Mississippi River island.
  • Bill Klingner Trail – Bike or walk along this scenic 5-mile trail through the heart of Quincy.
  • Siloam Springs State Park – Just 25 miles east, enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping in this beautiful park.
  • Mississippi River Boat Tours – Take a scenic cruise on the mighty Mississippi.
  • Gardner Park – Play a round of disc golf or enjoy the playground and walking trails.
  • Fishing on the Mississippi – Cast a line for catfish, bass, and other river species.
  • Bob Mays Park – Enjoy the lake, playground, and sports facilities at this community park.
  • Wakonda State Park – Just across the river in Missouri, this park offers swimming, fishing, and hiking.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Cultural Experiences

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois - Cultural Experiences
  • Blues in the District – Enjoy free outdoor blues concerts in Washington Park during summer months.
  • Quincy Community Theatre – Catch a live performance at this highly regarded community theater.
  • Quincy Symphony Orchestra – Experience classical music performed by talented local musicians.
  • Historic Architecture Tours – Take a self-guided tour of Quincy’s beautiful historic districts.
  • Quincy Preserves – Join one of their tours to explore Quincy’s architectural treasures.
  • Quincy Public Library – Check out local history exhibits and attend community events.
  • Great River Grape Escape – Sample local wines at this annual September festival.
  • Q-Fest – Enjoy this summer street festival featuring art, music, and food.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Food and Drink

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois - Food and Drink
  • The Maine Course – Savor upscale dining in a historic downtown building.
  • Tiramisu – Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere.
  • Thyme Square Cafe – Start your day with farm-to-table breakfast and lunch options.
  • Underbrink’s Bakery – Indulge in pastries from this historic bakery, operating since 1929.
  • Revelry – Experience creative cocktails and small plates in this trendy spot.
  • Quincy Brewing Company – Sample craft beers in this local microbrewery.
  • The Pier Restaurant – Enjoy riverside dining with panoramic views of the Mississippi.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Shopping

  • The District – Explore unique shops and boutiques in Quincy’s historic downtown.
  • Yellow Kiss Boutique – Find trendy women’s clothing and accessories.
  • Quincy Books – Browse a great selection of books in this independent bookstore.
  • Kirlin’s Hallmark – Shop for gifts and collectibles in this longtime Quincy business.
  • Prairie Barn – Discover unique home decor and antiques.
  • Second String Music – Musicians will love this local instrument and music shop.
  • Quincy Mall – For familiar retail chains, head to Quincy’s main shopping center.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Family-Friendly Activities

  • Scotties Fun Spot – Enjoy bowling, laser tag, and arcade games at this family entertainment center.
  • Indian Mounds Pool – Cool off at this public pool with water slides and a splash pad.
  • Quincy Children’s Museum – Let kids learn through play at this interactive museum.
  • Quincy Raceways – Catch some high-speed action at this local racetrack.
  • Moorman Park – Enjoy the playground, miniature train rides, and batting cages.
  • Quincy Park District Events – Check their calendar for family-friendly activities throughout the year.
  • Adams County Fair – Enjoy rides, exhibits, and entertainment at this annual summer event.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Hidden Gems

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois - Hidden Gems
  • Dick Brothers Brewery District – Explore the remnants of this historic brewery complex.
  • Log Cabin Village – Step back in time at this collection of 19th-century log structures.
  • Cedar Creek Trails – Hike or bike these scenic trails just outside the city.
  • Bob Havens Birthplace – Jazz enthusiasts can visit the childhood home of this famous trombonist.
  • East End Historic District – Wander through this neighborhood filled with beautiful Victorian homes.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Annual Events and Festivals

  • Dogwood Festival (May) Celebrate spring with parades, art shows, and community events.
  • Great River Grape Escape (September) Sample wines from regional vineyards in a beautiful outdoor setting.
  • Q-Fest (June) Enjoy this summer street festival featuring art, music, and food.
  • Early Tin Dusters Color Run (October) See hundreds of classic cars cruise through Quincy.
  • Christmas Historic Home Tour (December) Tour beautifully decorated historic homes during the holiday season.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Where to Stay

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Travel Tips

  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer mild weather and beautiful scenery. Summer is great for outdoor activities and events.
  • Transportation: Having a car is ideal for exploring Quincy and surrounding areas.
  • Downtown Parking: Most downtown parking is free, but pay attention to time limits.
  • River Levels: Check Mississippi River levels if planning water activities, as they can fluctuate.
  • Seasonal Activities: Many outdoor events are seasonal, so check availability in advance.
  • Historical Sites: Many historical attractions have limited hours, so plan accordingly.
  • Bring Your Camera: Quincy’s historic architecture and river views offer plenty of photo ops.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois – Famous People and Organizations

  • John Wood: Founder of Quincy and 12th Governor of Illinois.
  • James Woodruff: Architect who designed many of Quincy’s notable buildings.
  • Mary Astor: Oscar-winning actress born in Quincy.
  • Jonathan Baldwin Turner: Education reformer who advocated for land-grant colleges.
  • John “Bud” Ward: World War II flying ace born in Quincy.
  • Quincy University: Founded in 1860, this private Franciscan university is a major presence in the city.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois Conclusion

Quincy, Illinois, is more than just a dot on the map – it’s a vibrant slice of Americana that punches well above its weight. From the rolling Mississippi River to the charming historic districts, this riverside city offers a surprisingly rich tapestry of experiences.

Whether you’re exploring the Villa Kathrine, strolling through Washington Park, or savoring local flavors downtown, Quincy has a way of surprising and delighting visitors. It’s a place where history comes alive, where natural beauty is on full display, and where the warmth of Midwestern hospitality shines bright.

What truly sets Quincy apart is its ability to blend its rich past with a vibrant present. While honoring its historical significance, the town doesn’t shy away from modern attractions and events that keep it relevant and exciting for today’s travelers.

So, whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or just someone looking for a unique getaway, Quincy deserves a spot on your travel list. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of small-town America and a reminder that sometimes, the best adventures are found off the beaten path.

Pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the charm of Quincy for yourself. Who knows? You might just find yourself planning your return trip before you’ve even left town.

Things to Do in Quincy Illinois FAQs

Q: How long should I plan to stay in Quincy, Illinois? A: While you can see the main attractions in a day or two, a long weekend would allow you to fully experience Quincy and its surroundings.

Q: Is Quincy, Illinois, suitable for family trips? A: Absolutely! With its parks, museums, and family-friendly events, Quincy offers plenty of activities for all ages.

Q: What’s the best way to get around Quincy? A: While downtown Quincy is walkable, having a car is ideal for exploring the wider area and reaching some attractions outside the city center.

Q: Are there any famous movies or TV shows filmed in Quincy? A: While not a major filming location, Quincy’s historic architecture has occasionally been featured in period films and documentaries.

Q: What’s the weather like in Quincy? A: Quincy experiences all four seasons. Summers are warm (avg. 86°F/30°C), winters are cold (avg. 33°F/0.5°C), with mild springs and colorful falls.

Q: Is Quincy expensive to visit? A: Quincy is generally an affordable destination. Many attractions, like parks and some museums, have low or no entry fees.

Q: Are there any annual events I shouldn’t miss? A: The Dogwood Festival in May and the Great River Grape Escape in September are popular events. Q-Fest in June is also a highlight.

Q: Is Quincy wheelchair accessible? A: Many attractions in Quincy are wheelchair accessible, but some historic buildings may have limited accessibility. It’s best to check in advance for specific sites.

Q: Can I see everything in Quincy without a car? A: While you can explore downtown Quincy on foot, having a car is recommended to fully experience Quincy and reach attractions outside the city center.

Q: What’s the best souvenir to buy in Quincy? A: Local artworks, books about Quincy’s history, or specialty foods from local shops make great souvenirs that capture the essence of Quincy.

We hope you enjoyed this guide to things to do in Quincy, Illinois! Have you visited Quincy before? What was your favorite experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below and help other travelers discover the charm of this unique city!

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