31 Things That Make The Quad Cities Great
So you're new to the Quad Cities. You're thinking to yourself, "this place is great. I wonder what makes is so special?" Well new friend...I'm here to help.
1. The Quad Cities is a misnomer. There are actually five cities: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois.
2. Between Davenport and Rock Island is Arsenal Island, which houses the Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturer in the entire United States.
3. The notorious lawyer-turned-gangster John Looney’s huge mansion in Rock Island still stands to this day on 17th Avenue.
4. The book “Road to Perdition” and the movie of the same name are based on John Looney’s life.
5. Ronald Reagan began his radio career in Davenport.
6. Walt Disney applied for his first job in Davenport… and was turned down.
7. Cooking school students get to have it all in Illinois. If you’re under 21 you can drink legally if you’re involved in a culinary program.
8. In the Illinois cities of the Quad Cities, you can be charged with a felony for eavesdropping—if that isn’t weird enough, there’s more. The crime is eavesdropping on your own conversation.
9. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the unique Quad City-style pizza. With spicy tomato sauce, the toppings under the cheese, and a nutty-flavored crust, just try to have one strip—yes, it comes in strips, not slices.
10. Don’t even try ice skating on Moline’s Riverside pond in June or August—as if that’s even possible—because it is prohibited.
11. Davenport’s Figge Art Museum has some of the country’s best and largest collections of Midwestern, Colonial Mexican, and Haitian works of art, with pieces by Grant Wood, famous for his “American Gothic.”
12. You know those fun fuzzy dice you like to hang from your rearview mirror? While Iowa’s Quad Cities contingent can let them fly, they’re not allowed in Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline.
13. Every year the PGA Tour stops in the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic. So major golf names such as Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh have played a round in the area.
14. Ever tried sweet potato beer? It’s just one of the delicious concoctions brewed up by local Quad Cities breweries, Front Street Brewery in Davenport, Blue Cat Brewpub in Rock Island, and Bent River Brewing Company in Moline, which is famous for that potato pint.
15. You’ve never seen a bridge quite like the Davenport Skybridge. It’s a pedestrian cable bridge fully equipped with kaleidoscope lighting that really stands out against the night sky.
16. You can thank Quad Cities for all of your John Deere equipment, because Moline is home to the John Deere World Headquarters as well as the John Deere Pavilion, a museum dedicated to the company’s history.
17. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra has been operating since 1916, and the area’s Handel Oratorio Society dates back to 1880, making it one of the first of its kind in the whole country. Not to be outdone, Augustana College’s Augustana Choir is one of the leading college choirs in the United States.
18. In Davenport and Bettendorf, bar or restaurant owners that can legally sell alcohol are prohibited from drinking any alcohol in that establishment after it’s closed.
19. The Drake Hotel in Chicago may have the big name, but the Adler Theatre in Davenport was beautifully designed by the same talented man. The theatre hosts both the symphony and the ballet, and it showcases several Broadway-touring plays throughout the year.
20. The twin towers of the Interstate 74 Bridge represent the two states of the Quad Cities
21. Hollywood stars Laura Flynn Boyle and Mary Beth Peil are both from Davenport.
22. Looks like you should carpool when in the Quad Cities. There is a ban on unnecessary repetitive driving, but only on Avenue of the Cities.
23. Representing the five cities, there are five arches along the Rock Island Centennial Bridge, built to celebrate Rock Island’s 100th birthday in 1940.
24. Quad Cities locals are seriously talented in the arts. Jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and theatre pioneer Susan Glaspell were both born in the Quad Cities.
25. The Quad Cities is a popular place for short film shoots, and they often win major awards. These award-winners include several shorts by students of Augustana College, such as “The Yuppie,” “The Real World,” and “Norma Jean,” which earned nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
26. Bettendorf liquor stores are prohibited from placing beer advertisements outside of their establishments.
27. Take that, Hoover. Quad Cities’ Lock and Dam No. 15 is the longest roller dam in existence, and it stretches between Arsenal Island and Davenport.
28. Make sure you’re always carrying a few bucks in Illinois; you can be arrested for vagrancy if you don’t have at least one dollar bill on your person.
29. The Rock Island Auction Company might look familiar. It was featured on the Discovery Channel show “Ready, Aim, Shoot.”
30. The Putnam Museum in Davenport isn’t just a world-class museum of history and natural science, it also has the biggest movie screen in the entire state at a whopping 57 by 70 feet.
31. Modern Woodmen Park isn’t just the home of the Quad Cities Bandits, it’s practically a carnival unto itself. It was named by “USA Today” as one of the top 10 ballparks to take a baseball pilgrimage, and that’s probably because it has a zip line, rock climbing wall, bounce house, and a 110-foot Ferris wheel inside.
Welcome to our home.