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The Illinois River: Paddleboats, Canals and Treasured State Parks

Program Number: 4267RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/13/2013 - 10/16/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Peoria, Illinois
Price starting at: $675.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 9; 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

When you make your way along the Illinois River and its shorelines, a treasure trove of history appears — from the stories of early Native Americans to the nostalgic era of the 19th century and back to modern day. Step back in time with a day onboard the “Spirit of Peoria,” a 19th-century replica paddleboat as it explores the waters of the Illinois River from Peoria to Utica. Visit Starved Rock State Park for an immersive look into the history of Woodland Indian tribes. Finally, learn how the Army Corps of Engineers maintains Starved Rock Lock as you meet the rangers, and hear how “Wild” Bill Hickok once drove mule teams along the Illinois & Michigan Canal.




Highlights

• Learn about the history and ecology of the river as you spend a day on board the paddleboat “Spirit of Peoria,” — then enjoy an evening talk led by “Mark Twain.”
• Delight in an opportunity to learn about the raptors that make Illinois their home during a live birds of prey demonstration.
• Discover the I & M Canal as you ride along by mule-drawn replica packet boat, and learn how this route changed American travel and commerce.



Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Peoria, Ill., 1 night; travel onboard the “Spirit of Peoria” en route to Utica, 2 nights; coach to Peoria, departure.



Coordinated by Illinois Valley Community College.




Peoria

This Illinois River community is at the heart of central Illinois' many riches, including Native American history and culture, unique river ecology and wildlife, and the magnificent Starved Rock State Park, Illinois' premier state park known for its canyons and waterfalls.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotels throughout; 1930s-era stone-and-log lodge at the park.
Meals and Lodgings
   Four Points by Sheraton
  Peoria, IL 1 night
   Starved Rock Lodge
  Utica, IL (Starved Rock State Park) 2 nights
 Four Points by Sheraton
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 500 Hamilton Boulevard
Peoria, IL 61602 USA
phone: 309-674-2500
web: www.fourpointspeoria.com
  Room amenities: Bathroom: Grab Bars In Bathroom Accessible Shower and/or Bathtub Signature Bath Amenities Hairdryer Room Features: 100% Non-Smoking Guestrooms Cable/satellite TV Iron/ironing board Individuall controlled air conditioning/heating Work desk with lamp
  Facility amenities: Room Amenities & Services Free daily newspaper (Local) Iron/ironing board Radio/alarm clock Internet Access Wireless high speed Internet access (Free) Indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna Health/fitness center on-site
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Starved Rock Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located within Starved Rock State Park, Illinois' premier state park.
  Contact info: PO Box 570
Rt. 178 and 71
Utica, IL 61373 USA
phone: 800-868-7625
web: www.starvedrocklodge.com
  Room amenities: DVD player.
  Facility amenities: Historic building with modern amenities include an indoor pool and on-site restaurant and lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-In begins at 3:00 PM at hotel in Peoria, IL. You will be staying at Four Points by Sheraton that night.
  End of Program:
2:30 PM at hotel in Peoria, IL. You will be staying at Starved Rock Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Completed health form returned to coordinator prior to arrival. Valid photo ID such as driver's license.
  Parking availability:
There is a free on-site parking garage at the hotel in Peoria. Your vehicle will remain here for the duration of the program. Passengers need to have their parking ticket validated at the front desk of the hotel at check-in.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Peoria, IL
  Nearest city or town:  Peoria
  Nearest highway: I-74
  Nearest airport:  Peoria Airport (PIA)
  From End of Program
  Location:  Utica, IL (Starved Rock State Park)
  Nearest city or town:  Utica
  Nearest highway: I-74
  Nearest airport:  Peoria Airport (PIA)
Travel Details
 

Peoria International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Four Points by Sheraton
phone: 309-674-2500

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Hotel shuttle is complimentary for hotel guests but must be arranged in advance.
Prices are subject to change.

   

You will need to call ahead to the Four Points by Sheraton to request your complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport.

 
Driving Directions
  From eastbound I-74 Take Exit #92 Follow Fayette ST to Madison AVE. Turn right onto Madison AVE. Main entrance is on the right. *Please obey the speed limits on I-74 since cameras are being used to monitor speeding.
  From westbound I-74 Take exit #93/US-24/IL-29 toward JEFFERSON ST. Turn left onto Jefferson (a one-way street).Turn right onto Hamilton ST. Turn right onto Madison AVE (main entrance is on the left). Directions to the Four Points by Sheraton in Peoria. *Please obey the speed limits on I-74 since cameras are being used to monitor speeding.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Sunday, October 13)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in in Peoria.
 Dinner: At hotel banquet room, short walk within the hotel.
 Evening: Dinner, followed by a brief orientation, and a program on "River Ecology" begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton. "River Ecology" will be presented by Brian Fox Ellis, Riverlorian for the Spirit of Peoria.
   
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2:
(Monday, October 14)
   
 Breakfast: Onboard the Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat
 Morning: Hotel shuttle from hotel to waterfront to board the Spirit of Peoria paddleboat is available. Morning sessions on river history and lore. On board music.
 Lunch: On board the Spirit of Peoria.
 Afternoon: Afternoon presentations such as river ecology and an old-time sing along. Watch for the white pelicans along the river, listen to the caliope.
 Dinner: On board the Spirit of Peoria.
 Evening: Motor coach transfer from the dock to the lodge, hotel check-in. Evening presentation by "Mark Twain".
   
Accommodations: Starved Rock Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
(Tuesday, October 15)
   
 Breakfast: At Starved Rock Lodge.
 Morning: Learn about the history of the park and the surrounding bluffs and the river. Take a walk to the "Top of the Rock".
 Lunch: At Starved Rock Lodge.
 Afternoon: Learn about the native peoples of the area, conflicts with other tribes, and native traditions and culture.
 Dinner: At Starved Rock Lodge.
 Evening: Evening presentation on Birds of Prey. Learn about the American Bald Eagle and other Illinois raptors.
   
Accommodations: Starved Rock Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Wednesday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: At Starved Rock Lodge.
 Morning: Board motor coach for the I&M Lock and Dam. Presentation about the Army Corp of Engineers maintenance of the lock and dam and river channel. Afterwards, motor by coach to Lock 16 for a canal boat ride on the Illinois & Michigan [I & M] Canal. The full sized replica of an 1848 canal boat will be pulled by a mule as participants enjoy the scenery, history and fun on this historic waterway that changed the face of the nation.
 Lunch: Lunch en route back to Peoria at Lock 16 Visitor's Center
 Afternoon: Arrival back at hotel in Peoria. Departure.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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