15 Best Things to Do in Davenport, Iowa

15 Best Things to Do in Davenport, Iowa

A diverse city at the heart of Iowa, Davenport is the County Seat of Scott County in Iowa. The city has a standard population of around 99000 people approximately, making it Iowa’s second most populated city.

Hence you can expect a great deal of lively and frolic humdrum in the city life. It is situated approximately in between Chicago and Des Moines.

Davenport is one of the Quad Cities and on the east borders it is on the banks of the loved Mississippi River, which caters to some of the most gorgeous locations and scenic spots for travellers and visitors.

The city was formed officially in 1836 so there is quite some history and regalia to unravel and discover.

Davenport is also extremely famous for the yearlong festivities it organizes like the Mississippi Valley Fair or their Jazz Festivals.

Believe it or not, a scenically prime location to travellers, Davenport has more than fifty parks and some of the highest areas of trails, biking and walking so you would not run out of locations to roam.

There are some nationally acclaimed museums which contain works from as early as the 1th century! The Quad Cities were called the most affordable metropolitan areas by Forbes, so travelling through Davenport would not burn a hole in your pocket.

The Mississippi makes the city naturally more beautiful. The Sky Bridge is a treat to the eyes, so are the numerous heritage centers and the historic Village of East Davenport.

Walk Into the Magical Vander Veer Botanical Park

Fountain in Vander Veer Botanical Park
Farragutful, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The Vander Veer Botanical Park can be easily called a true assorted piece of heaven on earth. It is located at the West Central Park Avenue.

This park can also be called an indoor garden, more like a cornucopia of beautifully decorated varieties of species of plants shrubs and flowers.

As you get in the very entrance has a beautifully architecture brick styled cottage like aesthetic structure or doorway which will make you feel like you are in the world of Narnia or Snow White!

The entire garden is like a maze of tulips, carnations, breathtaking shrubs and every step you take will increasingly make you feel like it is a little dream world you have visited.

The outdoor too has a huge gardens and a massive walking area with the canopy of tall trees in order, you will definitely take your cameras with you.

There is also beauty added in the form of water falls and fountains, little brooks and ponds. Needless to say, the varieties of plants, shrubs and flowering species you find here is quite thrilling and pleasing.


An Amazing Day at The Figge Art Museum

Figge Art Museum
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The most prestigious museum in Davenport and certainly even the entire Iowa, the Figge Art Museum is located at the Second Street.

This huge museum has some of Iowa’s most precious art and memorabilia. There are free admissions for seniors on some days too.

There is also a view of the Mississippi River from this place, an added bonus.

There are paintings from the brightest artists like Rose Frandsen’s “Portraits of Maquoketa” and other artists, there are equipment  from the World Wars, royal furniture, significant pictures from American history, and certain memorabilia date back to as old as from the 1th century!

The collection keeps on changing hence every time you visit there will be something new up for you.

Stroll Around the Freight House Farmer’s Market


This is the heart of Davenport, so a true traveller would not like to miss out on mingling with the beautiful marketplaces and energize while shopping and learning about the locals.

The Freight House Farmer’s Market is a community area kind of with all types of goods and services you can possibly ask for.

There are lavish and cozy restaurants, cool and friendly cafes and bars; there is also the traditional market place where you can shop for the most fresh veggies and fruits of Davenport.

The variety and range is cool from raspberries, peaches and blueberries to melons and fresh garden picked tomatoes.

There is also a little flower corner. This place also excels at presenting food trucks with lit up canopies at night to give a warm ambiance.

Visit the Putnam Science Center


Children, youngsters, adults or senior citizens, take anyone to this place and show around, they are bound to have an unforgettable day.

You connect to history by not only being presented objects but also engaging through many activities like events and special classes.

There are the drums Beatles played! There are numerous lifelike stuffed statutes of animals like bears and foxes.

There is a forensic exhibit and believe it or not there is a tomb of one of the corpses of mummies from Egypt. There are structures of dinosaurs too. There is a ship anchorage and a mini space station.

Take a Perfect Sip at The Great River Brewery


An exciting trip needs a proper energizing break and what better place than a brewery! The Great River Brewery is located at the 2nd Street.

It is hands down one of the regulars of locals due to the gorgeous décor and delicious beer and food they serve.

Therefore visitors must keep this place in their checklist. Driving along the river, stopping here by the downtown is a perfect way to take a break.

They give tours, and this place is pet friendly and has a bike station. To top all this live music is often performed here at Great River.

A Whirlwind of Fun at The Rhythm City Resort and Casino

Rhythm City Resort and Casino
Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


This is for the ones asking about nightlife and the party fever in Davenport, looking for real fun and frolic.

The Rhythm City Resort and Casino presents loads of things to do and enjoy to your heart’s content.

For example, there is the casino with around 1000 gaming options! Also, because it’s a resort there is a huge stage where live music shows and events are held.

There are bars, lounges, buffets, pools, spas and much more to relish. The entire area is decorated with the coolest lighting to lift up your spirits and give you the young night vibe.

A Trip to The Historic Village of East Davenport

Shops and restaurants at Village of Eastern Davenport
Kepper66, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Be thoroughly moved and touched by the old time charm of this Village of Eastern Davenport. It is calm and well decorated and architecture, gives off a soft core 1960s aura, is beside the river, it has cool cottages and houses.

What else could one ask for? It is about 150 years old.

This town has unique, stopped in time bars and restaurants, cruises and ships to ride on, riverside trailing areas and gardens, miniature lighthouses and monuments, wine tasting and vineyards, lots of countryside festivals and beautifully systemized scenic spots.

The houses look like doll houses from old times.


Fun Time at The Modern Woodmen Park

Modern Woodmen Park
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Who doesn’t love sports and especially if it is in a sports complex or stadium! The Modern Woodmen Park is located at the S Gaines Street.

If you visit Davenport, this is one of the most joyous places to be at with the outburst of roaring cheers of the crowd.  

Games like baseball and others are played thoroughly but there are different things to do like gaming and eating your favorite snacks.

The view of the Mississippi River from here is enigmatic. There is an amusement park beside the gallery and there are rides like the Ferris wheel to enjoy.

The Mystical Davenport Skybridge

Interior of  Davenport Skybridge
Brad Isbell, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


This is one of the most scintillating destinations in Davenport and Iowa in general. The Skybridge is a bridge built on top of the Mississippi River.

This location is sure an architectural paradise in Iowa, for the entire bridge is made up of glass walls on your sides which give you a safe yet gorgeous bird’s eye view of the entire city of Davenport.

The entrance has many restaurants and food hubs. Make sure you visit the bridge at night, because at night the entire stretch of the glass structure is decorated with thousands of beautifully colored LED lights.


Tour the German American Heritage Center


Located at the 712 W 2nd Street, the German American Heritage Center is an extremely interesting spot to spend a day at.

It covers the earliest of history from Iowa and Davenport, stretching all the way to the World Wars. There are multiple exhibitions held like the Freedom Struggle in Eastern Europe.

Artifacts of the German heritage relating to American history are also to be found here. There are even unique and heritage movies in regular display which you can enjoy.

The German immigration to America is extremely well covered here which the tourists with inter cultural interests can learn.


Spend Some Quality Time at The West Lake Park


On a soft free evening, you can yourself go or take your family to the West Lake Park to spend some quality time.

There are loads of things to be done like picnicking with your loved ones sitting by the green playgrounds or gong for a soft jog or trailing through the woods.

It has a nickname of “Lake on the Hills” which is true due to the gorgeous views it presents.  Another fabulous activity you can enjoy is camping on the camp grounds!

Beside this there is a lake that will give the perfect atmosphere for you to enjoy.


Engage in A Fine Show at The Adler Theatre

Adler theater
Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Located at 136 E 3rd Street, the Adler Street should be your next stop to go the perfect live show entertainment feel of Davenport.

The exteriors are gorgeous giving the perfect Broadway feel while the interior has cozy warm interiors with a gallery system equipped to take in hundreds of audiences.

The range of shows performed here range from a huge variety of Greek classics to post-modernist shows.

Apart from this there are musicals performed as well as musical live shows of artists from local and national areas. Take your family and enjoy the warmth of live performances and dramas.


Enjoy the Scenic Views of The Centennial Park

Centennial Park
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This gorgeous park is located at the Marquette Street. It is located just beside the river and has the Centennial Bridge beside it.

This round designed bridge has oval formations and makes for an amazing view. There are gazebos and picnicking areas, benches and the shore of Mississippi to sit by with your loved one or just by yourself in beauty and peace.

The Centennial Park is famous for biking. In fact regional biking shows are held here. On any particular day visiting this place will make you see energetic bikers biking their way through the beautifully cemented large paths.


Visit the Peaceful Credit Island

Bridge in Credit Island
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After all that biking and trailing one should make it a point to visit someplace quiet, pretty and utterly unique.  

The Credit Island at the W River Dr. is technically a natural park but truly much more than that. It is actually situated on the little island that dates back to the 1800s.

Presently efforts are taken to maintain the beauty of this unique island. There is a very long bridge over the river, there is An 1812 War Memorial, and there are loads of structures and statues built around the serene shores. You can go fishing, swimming or picnicking.


A Soulful Visit to The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cathedral Complex

Sacred Heart Cathedral
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To get touched by the true soulfulness of Davenport, come pay a visit to the fine Sacred Heart Cathedral. It is located at the 10th Street and a walk around the structure will give you an idea of how ancient the Cathedral truly is.

The interiors are golden lit with some of the most precious paintings of The Virgin Mary and Christ.

You can sit on the huge hall area and soak in peacefully the silent hymns of spirituality at this place evoking from every corner of the cathedral whether it be the paintings, the statues, or the tinted windows.