Quincy, Illinois is a rare Midwestern find. The Mississippi River town holds all the hospitality for which this section of the country is known, with a profile of cultural and culinary wonder.
The city’s river roots and surrounding fertile farmland provide the natural basis for two popular trails: The Tri-County Catfish Trail and the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail. The Catfish Trail launches each year in time for Lent, incorporating three counties and 50 heartland eateries. Each stop prepares the fish uniquely, from deluxe to down-home styles. The trail leads foodies from quaint cafes off the beaten path to swanky downtown Quincy lounges. There’s even a fun prize at the end. Pictured: Crispy catfish with Cajun seasoning, malt vinegar and caper sauce.
Mississippi Valley Wine Trail
With its premier location on the Great River Road, Quincy is the central point of the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail. Seven family-owned wineries are represented from Nauvoo to Rockport, Illinois. The wineries and vineyards each hold distinctive stories and timelines. The oldest winery in Illinois, Baxter’s Vineyards, was founded in 1857 and heads the trail today, rubbing shoulders with a fresh tasting room offering exquisite sunsets, 57&Vine. To top off the spirit of the trail, signature t-shirts or wine glasses are awarded to participants over 21 who complete the Trail Blazer Challenge.
Washington Park anchors Quincy’s historic downtown, a place where groundbreaking speeches were proclaimed, and significant events occurred. Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas here in 1858 and the first Underground Railroad stop east of the Missouri stands just a few blocks away. Today, the park is the hub of Flavor Tours, the Saturday Farmers Market, and free summer Blues concerts.
Flavor Tours are walking eats & sips adventures guided by an entertaining food ambassador. The three-hour tours visit five locally owned venues where chefs prepare seasonal brunch and lunch fare each Saturday, all summer long. Guests enjoy learning of downtown Quincy’s colorful past, seeing incredible architecture and artistic murals, and tasting creative menus, house-roasted coffee, refreshing cocktails, and local micro brews. Flavor Tours are limited to the first sixteen reservations.
The Maine Street Mile
The southwest corner of Washington Park also marks the beginning of The Maine Street Mile. Quincy’s most notable thoroughfare connecting the city’s two oldest parks. The original Romanesque style public library is the first stop, now home to The History Museum complete with a stained-glass gallery. Another architectural standout is St. Boniface Church, a 1962 Mid-Century Modern masterpiece. The church is on the Most 150 Significant Structures in IL list and was the Mass site of Father Tolton, the first Black priest in the U.S. Further down Maine stands a 20,000-sq-ft mansion, originally built for Richard Newcomb. One of four millionaires in Quincy at the time of his death in 1904. It’s now the Quincy Museum and open for tours. Locally owned boutiques, eateries, bars, plus an intergalactic ice cream shop and a tiny popcorn store dot the way along The Smile Mile.
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For more travel inspiration, download or request the 2023 SeeQuincy Travel Magazine. Explore Themed Itineraries, Local Love, Green Quincy, and Food & Wine. The itineraries offer adventures in architecture, nature, and history. Catch our contagious Local Love as two Quincyans share their favorite things to do. And experience the city’s trail system, 30 parks + free bike rentals & Tesla Charging Stations.
Visit SeeQuincy.com to see 25 Guides + 8 Self-Guided Driving Tours or call for your copies today.
Flavor Tours are Saturdays, June-Aug and require 24-hour advance reservations.
800.978.4748 | seequincy.com