Discover LeClaire, Iowa: the Perfect Day Trip from Rock Island Arsenal

Looking for a fun and easy getaway? A day trip to LeClaire, Iowa, just 25 minutes from Rock Island Arsenal, offers delicious food, unique shops, and scenic river views. This charming town is perfect for a delightful day trip.

Stacey LeClaire Iowa winery

Looking for a fun and easy day trip? A day trip to LeClaire, Iowa, just a short drive from Rock Island Arsenal, offers a perfect mix of food, fun, and river views. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, LeClaire, Iowa, is a charming town just a quick 25-minute drive from Rock Island Arsenal. LeClaire is an ideal day trip destination known for its rich history, vibrant shopping scene, and picturesque views.

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Lunch at What BBQ & Bar

Our first stop was What BBQ & Bar, where we indulged in a shared bowl of macaroni and cheese topped with brisket. We lucked out because tgey were out of almost everything non-pork related. But it was really good. Imagine your mom’s creamy, cheesy goodness mixed with your dad’s tender, smoky brisket. It was home cooking comfort food at its finest, and the cozy, welcoming atmosphere made it even better.

Address: 106 S Cody Rd, Le Claire, IA 52753

Mon: 4–7 PM
Tue: Closed
Wed-Thu: 11 AM–7 PM
Fri-Sat: 11 AM–8 PM
Sun: 11 AM–3 PM

Phone: (563) 729-1136

Green Tree Brewery

While Steven spent a few hours at Green Tree Brewery, Kamren and I explored the town. Steven loved the craft beer selection, with each brew offering something unique. The brewery had a laid-back vibe, perfect for relaxing and sampling new flavors.

Address: 309 N Cody Rd, Le Claire, IA 52753

Mon: 12–8 PM
Tue-Thu: 12–10 PM
Fri-Sat: 12 PM–12 AM
Sun: 12–8 PM

Phone: (563) 729-1164

Sweet Treats at Here’s the Scoop

Kamren and I headed to Scoops, a charming ice cream shop just two blocks up the hill. On our day trip to LeClaire Iowa, the homemade ice cream was a delightful treat on a warm day. I got one scoop of coffee with toffee and Kamren naturally had two scoops of cake batter. You can’t go wrong with either one. Shockingly they had no sprinkles. But Kam endured and we enjoyed our cones while strolling along the main street. Cody Road is lined with quirky retail stores, inviting restaurants, and fun souvenir and thrift shops. Each shop had its own personality, making our walk even more enjoyable.

We bought a few things, including this little preschool type book about the life of Beyonce, for her biggest fan– my daughter Ashley. We talked travel for 20 minutes with the couple who owned Aunt Hattie’s Fanciful Emporium (love the name). And if you close one eye and squint just right with the other, it kinda sorta looks like the Queen Bee. Trust me. Ashkey will love it anyway.

Address: 204 Jones St, Le Claire, IA 52753

Mon: Closed
Tue-Thu: 2–9 PM
Fri-Sun: 12–9 PM

Phone: (563) 289-1905

Browsing the American Pickers Store

A trip to LeClaire wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the famous American Pickers Store (or Antique Archaeology). During our day trip to LeClaire, Iowa, we felt like treasure hunters, browsing through the unique Americana finds. The store is filled with antiques and collectibles featured on the TV show, making it a must-see for fans. I found a pair of vintage sunglasses that fit me perfectly.

Address: 115 Davenport St, Le Claire, IA 52753

Mon-Sat: 10 AM–6 PM
Sun: 11 AM–4 PM

Phone: (563) 265-3939

Relaxing by the Mississippi River

With the sun high and temperatures rising, we needed a break. We found a grassy area behind the Buffalo Bill Museum, offering a perfect view of the mighty Mississippi River. The sight of riverboats docked and the gentle breeze made it a peaceful and refreshing relaxing spot. We sat there, bonding over a soon to be banned activity in the land of the free– laughing at funny TikTok videos on our phones. Anyway, we sat there for longer than I planned because the grass was plush, the breeze in the shade was pleasant and it was a nice vantage point people (on boat) watch.

Cruising Down the Mississippi

From May to October, LeClaire offers historical cruises down the Mississippi River. We hopped on a 1.5-hour cruise that provided fascinating insights into the river’s history and local lore. The Riverboat Twilight operates these cruises, offering both one and two-day options from LeClaire to Dubuque, adding a touch of adventure to our day. The Riverwalk and adjacent park is a nice place to watch the speed boats speeding up and down the river. Check out the art piece called Freedom Rock near the levee.

Address: Front St, Le Claire, IA 52753

Mon-Fri: Closed
Sat: 9 AM–5 PM
Sun: Closed

Phone: (800) 331-1467

Shops with Hops Event

We were lucky to catch the Shops with Hops event, where 12 stores featured local breweries. We enjoyed tasting craft beers while browsing through charming shops. The event’s proceeds benefited Getting Heroes Home, an organization that helps reunite service members with their families during emergencies and special occasions. It felt great to be part of something that supported such a meaningful cause.

Wrapping Up the Day

All in all, LeClaire was a delightful mix of yummy food, unique shopping, and beautiful river views. The friendly people, town’s charm and various activities made a day trip to LeClaire, Iowa, a perfect day trip from Rock Island Arsenal. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking to relax by the river, LeClaire has something to offer everyone. We left with full hearts, satisfied appetites, and a promise to return for that macaroni and brisket.

For more information, stop by the visitors center at 117 South Cody Rd, 563-289-4242 ext. 61135,

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