15 Best Things to Do in East Moline

This manufacturing city is located in the Quad Cities, just across the Mississippi River from the Illinois/ Iowa border.

East Moline is home to the John Deere Factory Works. This facility is cutting-edge and on an almost impossible scale.

Take a guided tour for free and then head to the John Deere Pavilion in Moline.

Other parts of East Moline have seen heavy industry decline. One riverside location, The Bend is now an events and exhibition center. It is served by a Hyatt apartment and hotel.

Nearby is the Rust Belt. This old auto factory is now the second-largest venue for live music in the Quad Cities. There are also a number of bars and restaurants nearby.

1. John Deere Harvester Work Factory Tour

John Deere

John Deere’s huge, high-tech combine harvester plant is East Moline’s largest employer.

This facility, which has been in operation since 1913, covers 90 acres (4 million square feet) and is all housed under one roof.

Three free guided tours are offered each day from Monday through Friday. They last 90 minutes.

You’ll learn about the enormous machines that make harvesting easier and see the cutting-edge, painting, and assembly processes that transform rolls of steel into some of the most advanced combine harvesters in the world.

2. John Deere Pavilion

John Deere Pavilion

This amazing museum is ten minutes from downtown Moline, where you can continue your John Deere experience.

Company retirees work at the John Deere Pavilion, and they are delighted to guide visitors around the museum and share their unique perspective on the company.

Exhibits show the evolution of John Deere’s tractor designs starting with the 1918 Waterloo Boy. You can also compare the early antique models to the modern machines the company makes today.

You can also find exhibits that show the evolution of crops such as cotton and apples from seed to market. The Future predicts technological advancements that will transform farming over the next decades.

3. Great River Trail

Cycling

East Moline can be found on the route of an incredible bike trail that runs more than 60 miles and tracks the Mississippi River in northern Illinois from Rock Island to Savanna.

The Great River Trail runs along an old spur of the Chicago St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Pacific Railroad. Once you leave the Quad Cities, you’ll find yourself in rural areas with little towns and sand prairies that depend on the river for their existence.

The trail runs up the levee in Moline and East Moline. It offers great views of the skyline of the Quad Cities and bridges along the Mississippi.

4. Rock Island Arsenal Museum

East Moline is just ten minutes away from another of the Quad Cities’ top attractions. Rock Island Arsenal, which was established in 1862, is today the largest federally-owned weapons manufacturing facility in the United States.

Since the 1880s, military equipment and ordnance has been made here. The Arsenal also houses the U.S. Army’s only active findry.

The museum was established in 1905 and provides information about the history, processes, and output of Rock Island Arsenal.

The museum has a large collection of small and large firearms. Many of these were used in the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876). One of the last remaining M65 atomic cannons is located outside the museum building.

5. Campbell’s Island State Memorial

Campbell’s Island State Memorial

Campbell’s Island is an unincorporated community that is connected to East Moline via a bridge. It has many interesting stories. It was a vibrant resort area that was connected by streetcar to the Quad Cities in the first half 20th century.

A streetcar company bought the entire island to make it into an amusement park. However, this idea never came to fruition.

This was where the Civil War of 1812 began a century ago, when the Battle of Rock Island Rapids took place on July 19, 1814.

The battle ended in American defeat. It was fought by Illinois Rangers and regulars from the 1st Infantry Regiment and British-allied Sauk Fox, Kickapoo and Fox under the command of Chief Black Hawk.

In a small park near the river, there is a plaque and a memorial that was dedicated in 1908.

6. The Rust Belt

The Rust Belt

A vast area of riverside former industry was given a new lease on life west of John Deere Harvester Works. The “The Bend” includes an apartment complex, expo centre, and events building. A new Hyatt hotel is also located right next to the water.

Just a stone’s throw from the venue is a brick-built industrial complex that dates back to the early 20th Century. It has been transformed into a live entertainment venue with restaurants, cafes, and a craft brewery.

Rust Belt is the main venue, with a capacity of nearly 4,000. This venue has quickly become the Quad Cities’ go-to place for concerts, festivals and stand-up comedy.

7. TPC Deere Run

Golf

This championship course is located on the outskirts East Moline and hosts the John Deere Classic PGA Tour event in July.

TPC Deere Run was established in 2000 on a beautiful plot of land along the Rock River. The 385 acres are rich in history, including being the site of a cattle ranch, a coal mine, and Native American settlements.

D. A. Weibring (an Illinois native) designed the course. He made the most of the rambling landscape with its old hardwood trees, surprising elevation changes, and original hardwood trees.

Open to all, the course has reduced rates for Quad City residents. You may be able to recall Jordan Speith’s shot from the bunker that won the 2013 John Deere classic.

8. Adolph’s Mexican Foods

Enchiladas, Mexican Food

This family-owned Mexican micro-chain was established in East Moline by Adolph Perez and Louise Perez in 1952. It is a Quad Cities icon. The couple took a huge risk by trying Mexican cuisine at that time.

Adolph’s has been a remarkable company that has remained strong and has always reinvented itself to keep up with the times.

There are many options for burritos and fajitas as well as taco salads and quesadillas. Adolph’s has some great deals if you are looking for Taco Tuesday in the Quad Cities.

9. Midwest Ale Works

The Rust Belt is not the only thing that has opened in this converted factory. A craft brewery also opened in this same complex in 2019. The Midwest Ale Works taproom has the same minimalist, post-industrial design with large patio and a variety of beers.

The brewery specializes four main styles: Kolsch (crispy and hoppy), IPA with a variety of flavor combinations, Porter (roasted malt beer with coffee or chocolate notes), and Red Ale (malty with caramel and biscuit flavors).

Jennie’s Boxcar is the perfect accompaniment for those who need to eat. It’s right next door and serves up delicious, hunger-stomping food.

10. Skate City QCA

Roller Skates

The classic indoor roller skating rink is located at 1140 Avenue of the Cities. It’s also complemented by other attractions.

Skate City QCA offers a schedule of public skating sessions throughout the week. There are bargain skate sessions on Sundays, and extended hours on Wednesdays. Fridays, Saturdays, and Saturdays.

There is also a arcade, a laser tag area, and a pro-shop. The rink is a popular venue for birthday parties and offers many packages in two-hour slots, either during public or private hours.

11. Empire Park

Playground

One of East Moline’s new parks is a great place to relax along the Mississippi. It faces Campbell’s Island, which is on the Great River Trail.

You can launch a boat from the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are many spots to sit down and take a break or have shady picnics. Empire Park’s main playground is made entirely of wood and has a smaller, metal-based playset nearby.

Picnic shelters can be rented with grills and outlets. There is also a rolle bolle court and an 18-hole disc course.

12. Rock Island County Fair

Fair

The Rock Island County Fairgrounds, East Moline, host a wide variety of festivals and markets throughout the year.

The Rock Island County Fair is the largest of them all, and it takes place over five consecutive days in late July.

This is organized in a way that resembles the best county fairs. You’ll find livestock shows, a petting zoo, carnival rides and games as well as monster trucks, carnival rides, and all your favorite fair foods, such as corn dogs and funnel cakes.

13. Niabi Zoo

Amur Leopard

Just a short drive from East Moline is the Quad Cities Zoo, which boasts more than 600 animals and 40 acres of parkland.

The Rock Island County Forest Preserve district runs Niabi Zoo. It has a history that dates back to the 1950s.

From April to October, you can visit the park. You will find many species, including the Burchell’s Zebra, Amur leopard and snow leopard, as well as the reticulated piython and ostrich and bald eagle.

The Niabi Zoo Express train passes many habitats. There’s also a playground, carousel, and a schedule with zookeeper chats.

14. Factory of Fear

Haunted

A former factory located close to the Rust Belt and the Bend XPO has been converted into one of Illinois’ most haunted homes.

Factory of Fear is a Quad Cities Halloween staple that has been around since 1994. It continues to grow. More than 12 new rooms have been added to the Factory of Fear, as well as 14,000 square feet of scare area.

This attraction is packed with scary sets, ambient sounds, and dedicated performers wearing convincing makeup.

15. East Moline Speedway

Speedway

Motorsports enthusiasts will be happy to know that there is a 1/4-mile track with steep banks at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds. This track hosts action-packed stock car racing throughout the summer.

These races are usually held on Sundays. You can catch MCA Late Model and IMCA Sport Mod, IMCA Hobby Stock and IMCA Modified as well as Street Stock, Street Stock, and Mod Lite races.

East Moline Speedway is a great place to watch a race. There’s a lot of noise and dust, and a strong smell of rubber and gas.

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