Monday, November 21, 2016

Good reasons to visit LeClaire, Iowa

The city of LeClaire, Iowa is named for Antoine LeClaire. He was important in developing the area where he maintained a sandstone quarry. The city is located just a few miles from the Quad-cities on a bend in the Mississippi, River and is known for its yearly Tug Fest which is a tug of war across the river with the town of Port Byron, Illinois.

LeClaire is probably best known today as the home of “The American Pickers”. Their shop is in the downtown area and is a major tourist attraction. On the day we were in LeClaire, there was a steady stream of visitors to the alley where the shop is located.

The main street in LeClaire is a shopper’s paradise. An eclectic array of shops offer everything from popcorn to upscale fashion. Additionally there is a wine tasting room and a distillery as well as restaurants for every taste.

For lovers of American history, LeClaire is also the hometown of Buffalo Bill Cody. One of the attractions in this friendly city is the Buffalo Bill Museum.

Buffalo Bill Museum

Your visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum begins with an 8 minute film that will give you’re the background that you need to really enjoy this museum. It is eclectic and probably not exactly what you may be expecting. While Buffalo Bill certainly is the raison d’etre for the museum there is a lot more to it including a river boat that is completely inside the building. It is an interesting place to visit and one that the kids will enjoy as well.


Mississippi River Distillery Tour

If you are interested in seeing how fine spirits are distilled, the Mississippi River Distilling Company offers free tours daily on the hour between 12 noon and 4 p.m.. Included with the tour is a tasting so that you know exactly which ones you would like to purchase in their retail store. It is a fascinating tour that gives you a lot of information. You don’t move around much so this is perfect for just about anyone. One fact that I took away is that Bourbon can only be made in the United States. Who knew? 

Antique Archeology

There is hardly a person in this country who hasn’t heard of “The American Pickers” and their shop, Antique Archeology here in LeClaire has become must visit place for fans of the show. If you want to purchase souvenirs with their logo on it, you have come to the right place. Don’t expect to see the owners or Danielle for that matter and shop to looks smaller than on TV. You will know you are there when you see the vintage car parked in front of the shop with their name on it. 

Wide River Winery

Located in a historic 19th century building, the Wide River Winery Tasting Room has been open in LeClaire for two years. You can enjoy a wine tasting, buy a bottle of wine and bring your own food to dine on in the Courtyard Garden. Live entertainment is also offered on Friday evenings.

If you happen to be visiting the Quad-Cities area, LeClaire is just a short drive away and well worth the effort to visit. We certainly enjoyed our day there. 

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