Living in the Heights


What exactly is it that is “Happening in the Heights”?

There are good reasons why people like to linger in “the Heights.”

Peoria Heights stands apart from your typical town. There’s something special here. A vision for     the future. A foundation in history. And a current scene that’s as diverse as it is delightful.

Peoria Heights is a place with a distinct atmosphere. Loaded with opportunities for all to fulfill their dreams and ambitions, from families and singles to businesses and career climbers.

The Heights is happening now:

  • Businesses that provide that local flavor and outstanding “small town” personal service.
  • Shopping — ladies’ fashions…steaks for the grill…gourmet olive oils and balsamics…progressive gifts…new and used books…screen printed tee shirts…flower arrangements…specialty coffees…custom frames…flags and party supplies…and much more.
  • Dining — from local pizzerias and sandwich shops to fine cuisine and elegant feasts.
  • Starting a new business — many have found that listing their business as “in the Heights” lends a patina of prestige.
  • Raising a family — with a fantastic grade school and high school, a substantially lower than national median crime rate, and a well administered village government, Peoria Heights is a beloved spot for making a home in a peaceful and beautiful environment.
  • History — legendary leadership in a variety of fields gives Peoria Heights a stamp of distinction.
  • Tourism — including two historical observation towers, a castle, bike trails alongside an old train track, a spectacular view of Illinois Lake, and the legendary Grand View Drive with its elaborate mansions and public picnic area.

The Peoria Heights Chamber is deeply committed to progress not only in business growth, but also in the expanding awareness of Peoria Heights as a forward-thinking community.




Spun from a web of fascinating facts, the legacy of Peoria Heights is something of which one can rightly be proud.

  • Began as Prospect Heights Land Company in the 1890s, but was changed to Peoria Heights when it was discovered that there was already a Prospect Heights suburb of Chicago.
  • Prospect Heights Hotel was a favorite hangout. A Hungarian orchestra played every night as the house band until the hotel  burned down in the summer of 1894. Some feel the evocative strains of that beautiful music still linger somehow from the pavilion that no longer exists.
  • Alfresco Amusement Park (built in 1906) offered a lot of fun rides and a giant ferris wheel, but was closed down after World War 2 due to problems with flooding, as it was located near the Illinois river.
  • Rouse, Hazard & Company bicycle manufacturer (1896) built high quality bikes sold throughout the world in the heyday of Peoria’s internationally acclaimed bicycle race track and champions.
  • Peoria Rubber & Manufacturing produced the Duryea automobile, the first gasoline powered car.
  • President Teddy Roosevelt upon beholding the view of Illinois lake from Grand View Drive, called it the “world’s most beautiful drive”.  A local radio station took its call letters from this phrase: WMBD.
  • Pabst Brewing Company had its world headquarters and bottling plant in the Heights.
Prospect Heights Hotel on fire 1899.
Prospect Heights Hotel destroyed by fire in 1899. PHOTO: Mrs. E.J. Brayton.



Things to Do That Are “Happening in the Heights”

Looking for things to do? Peoria Heights offers unique events and scenic views that are sure to please your whole family.

Something is going on all year round. Whether you like art, music, parades, picnics, or just strolling in beautiful areas of town, Peoria Heights is the place to be.

Enjoy Family Oriented Activities in Peoria Heights

Some of the things you can get involved in, as a participant or spectator, include:

  • Peoria Heights Community Band concerts (practices held at Peoria Heights Congregational Church).
  • Free outdoor music performances by outstanding artists.
  • Tower Park Music Fest — a free concert series every August.
  • Veterans Day Parade.
  • Picnics, sand volleyball, hiking, and a baseball diamond at Grand View Drive Park, part of the Illinois River Road.
  • Where’s Waldo? — a Shop Local game.
  • Forest Park Nature Center— a 540-acre nature preserve with 7 miles of hiking trails, a natural history museum, and bird observation room.
  • Country Club of Peoria— established in 1897, rebuilt in 1920 after a fire, with a championship 18 hole par 72 golf course that hosts that Maui Jim Invitational and the Grand View Invitational tournament.


Peoria Heights offers many site-seeing opportunities including:

  • two historical observation towers
  • a mysterious castle
  • bike trails alongside an old train track
  • a spectacular view of Illinois Lake
  • the legendary Grand View Drive with its elaborate mansions and public picnic area.





Peoria Heights is famous for great places to eat. Talk about variety of restaurants, the Heights has it all:

  • Sports bars
  • Steak and seafood
  • Pizzerias
  • Coffee shops
  • Ice cream
  • Sandwiches

Come See What’s “Happening in the Heights!”

Once you visit Peoria Heights, you won’t forget it.

You’ll sense an ambiance and mood that is quite extraordinary. You immediately feel and see why so many are enchanted with this village and its people. It’s hard to think of a more pleasant place to shop, raise a family, or start a business.

When you say, “We’re located in Peoria Heights” or “Hey, let’s try that new place in Peoria Heights,” people like hearing that.

Those who live near Peoria Heights pursue any opportunity to enter its cozy environment — full of interesting stores, fun nightlife, spectacular restaurants, intriguing landmarks, and friendly people.

Stroll. Shop. Sit. Savor. Enjoy the Mystique of “The Heights.”

Soak up that unusual aura.

It’s entirely possible, and not merely conjectural – you just might decide to stay.

CONTACT US today with your questions, comments, requests, news, anecdotes, or just to say “hello.”