Located in central Illinois, Pekin is a community filled with great spots for a fun weekend getaway. Conveniently located between the cities of Chicago and St. Louis, Pekin offers visitors a unique selection of shopping, activities, and sites. While the annual Pekin Marigold Festival is the city’s biggest tourist attraction, there are attractions year round to make a visit to Pekin always enjoyable. Here are 10 great activities to get you started on planning.
1. Check the time at the World's Greatest Sundial
One of the most unique attractions in town is the Pekin sundial. Known as the World’s Greatest Sundial, the attraction was built by Henry Cakora in the Sunken Gardens of Mineral Springs Park and is actually a combination of three different sundials. Together, the sundials tell the time and date, as well as the sun’s position and other facts. While the sundial may not be the largest or tallest in the world, residents claim that the burnished steel structure is the most accurate.
World's Greatest Sundial
Address: 1410 Park Ave, Pekin, IL 61554
Website: World’s Greatest Sundial
2. Hit the trails on horseback
Make your way through beautiful meadows and wild fields with the riders of Rockin’ P Public Riding Ranch as your guides. On the back of your horse, you will cover the trails of McNaughton Park, home to over 80 types of birds, 15 species of wildlife, and a wide variety of wildflowers and other plant life. With over 20 horses on their equine staff, you can be matched with your perfect riding partner to take you through the woods and over creeks. The friendly team at Rockin’ P Ranch also offers horse-drawn hayrack rides, horse lessons, boarding, and pony-on-a-lead experiences for children.
Rockin' P Public Riding Ranch
Address: 217 McNaughton Park Road, Pekin, IL 61554
Price: From 24 USD
Website: Rockin’ P Public Riding Ranch
3. View local masterpieces at Speakeasy Art Center
Our Woofbass has his paintings all set up for tonight at the Speakeasy Art Center on Court St. in Pekin. Come on down,...Posted by Corn Wolves on Friday, 24 July 2015
The Speakeasy Art Center is a unique Pekin venue. Enjoy the distinctive architecture of the building, which was once a speakeasy during the Prohibition, as you take in the works of local artists. Stroll through the galleries while bands take the stage during the art openings. You can even sign up for a class in printmaking, spoken-word poetry, music, clay, or painting.
Speakeasy Art Center
Address: 353 Court St, Pekin, IL 61554
4. Find a new (old) treasure while antique shopping
Pekin is home to its fair-share of antique shops. With an antique mall in town and shops dotting downtown, the town is an antique-lover’s dream. Scour stores like Derby Street Antiques for collectibles to add to your home or head over to nearby Pleasant Hill Antique Mall and Tea Room in Peoira to continue your search. Over 200 dealers contribute to the antiques housed here, making it the perfect venue for treasure-hunting.
Pleasant Hill Antique Mall
Address: 315 S Pleasant Hill Rd, East Peoria, IL 61611
Facebook: Pleasant Hill Antique Mall
5. Grab your skates for fun at Planet X Roller World
There is fun for everyone at Planet X Roller World. With free skate rentals, you can be zooming around the rink in no time. If you work up an appetite, stop by the concession stand for a snack before heading over to the M-4 SX Personal Motion Theatre. This 360-degree motion simulator offers five adventure rides to choose from, and whichever one you choose is filled with action. Arcade games are also on-site for even more fun for the whole family.
Planet X Roller World
Address: 2075 Edgewater Dr, Pekin, IL 61554
Website: Planet X Roller World
6. Boating on the Lagoon at Mineral Springs Park
Mineral Springs Park is located in the heart of Pekin and is the perfect place to enjoy the scenic views of the town. Spend a leisure-filled day strolling through the Sunken Garden, cycling along the Pekin Park bike trail, or enjoying the beauty of the man-made lagoon. Beat the heat in summer by renting a pedal boat, kayak, dragonboat, or aqua trike for a relaxing afternoon. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere around the lagoon when you stop at one of the picnic areas for a scenic BBQ or make the half-mile (805 m) trip around the lake.
Mineral Springs Park
Address: 1701 Court St, Pekin, IL 61554
Website: Mineral Springs Park
7. Satiate your sweet tooth at Maurie's of Pekin
Head downtown to stop in at Pekin’s sweetest icon. Maurie Smith opened up her sweet shop in the heart of Pekin in 1941, and the business remains a much-loved establishment within the city. Maurie’s classic candy recipe is still being served up as well as other tasty treats like caramel apples, cupcakes, and pastries. Take home a scoop of your favorite candy, or pick up a scoop of Uncle Bob’s ice cream from the ice cream and coffee shop next door. With a menu filled with delicious items, a selection of magazines and books available to peruse, and a variety of new and traditional treats, Maurie’s of Pekin is a community hub for locals and visitors alike.
Maurie's of Pekin
Address: 522 Court St, Pekin, IL 61554
Website: Maurie’s of Pekin
8. Beat the heat in DragonLand Water Park
There is no better place to celebrate summer that DragonLand Water Park. Located in Mineral Springs Park, the water park is a family friendly way to spend the day. With water slides and waterfall geyser features, you can beat the heat splashing in the multiple play areas. Sandy play areas and volleyball courts bring the beach to Pekin Park District. A lighted, heated pool and an adults-only patio create spaces within the park for everyone to enjoy.
DragonLand Water Park
Address: 193 Red Bud Memorial Dr, Pekin, IL 61554
Price: from 5.50 USD
Website: DragonLand Water Park
9. Go golfing at one of the four golf courses in Pekin
Some of the highlights of Pekin are the four golf courses located within the town’s city limits. Whatever your skill level, the beautiful courses in the area offer a chance to hone your skills on fantastic turf. For recreational play, head to Parkview for a few relaxed rounds. If you fancy a challenge, the varied terrain of Sunset Hills provides plenty of opportunities for a test of your skill. Pekin Country Club and Lick Creek golf courses offer stimulating challenges for golf enthusiasts. Lick Creek is considered one of the best courses in Central Illinois and provides competitive-level play. The courses here have a reputation for being the best in the area, so test them out to determine which one is your favorite.
Golfing in Pekin
Website: Golfing in Pekin
10. Practice your aim at Pekin Paintball Park
Fun abounds on the ten acres (4 hectares) of Pekin Paintball Park. Choose your adventure on the Call of Duty Firing Range field, The Wild West, Little Pekin, The Castle, The Trenches, or the Astro-Turf for unique playing experiences no matter your group size. The park is open seven days a week so you can squeeze in a game no matter your schedule.
Pekin Paintball Park
Address: 14444 Towerline Rd, Pekin, IL 61554
Website: Pekin Paintball Park
Enjoy a pleasant stay in Pekin
Escape the big city for a welcoming, small town atmosphere. From paintball to picnics in the park, a weekend in Pekin is a leisure-filled time. No matter if you crave some outdoor adventure or some retail therapy, the sites of Pekin offer you countless opportunities.
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