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The Celebration Belle offers a Mississippi River view. Photos by Cynthia Calvert

Situated along the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities line the riverbank. With Iowa on one side and Illinois on the other, the Quad Cities consist of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Ill. While each city is unique in its own right, they come together to make a magnificent union.

John Deere Pavilion
Now one of the oldest, continuously-operating companies in the United States, John Deere has made its mark. But it all started in Moline, Ill., when John Deere went looking for a better way to plow the sticky soil of the Midwest. Today, visitors can get the full John-Deere experience at the John Deere Pavilion.

The John Deere story is fascinating.

Reopened in February of 2012, the John Deer Pavilion boasts both antique tractors and modern-day marvels. At the John Deere Pavilion, visitors can take a seat behind one of three simulators to experience what it might be like to be in charge of one of the amazing yellow and green machines. The simulator tells the operator how much dirt theyre moving and even calculates the dollar amount of damage done if the operator hits something along the way. As one of the top tourist attractions in the state, the John Deere Pavilion is a must-see! For more information, visit deere.com.

Lagomarcino's Soda Fountain and Deli
At Lagomarcino's its a family affair! The recipe used for their famous hot-fudge sauce comes straight from Italy and has been handed down from generation to generation. Visitors come from far and wide to satisfy their sweet tooth. The most popular item on the menu is the Green River a delicious drink served Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit lagomarcinos.com.

Don’t miss the hot fudge at Lagomarcino’s.

Mississippi River Cruise
All aboard the Celebration Belle for a riverboat cruise you won't soon forget! Celebration River Cruises (celebrationbelle.com.) offer a variety of cruises. Opt for the four-hour scenic cruise for casual sightseeing or enjoy one of their all-day cruises featuring onboard meals and entertainment. They also have a great gift shop.

Figge Art Museum
Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the Figge Art Museum ( figgeartmuseum.org) was reconstructed in 2005. Not only is the museum an architectural marvel, but the Figge is home to the second largest collection of Haitian art, a renowned Mexican Colonial collection, a Midwest regionalist collection and more. The museum also sees traveling exhibitions throughout the year.

Hotel Blackhawk
The Hotel Blackhawk is both hip and historic. This iconic hotel, found on the list of the National Register of Historic Places, recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. With a spa, cafe, restaurant and bowling alley The Hotel Blackhawk hasn't skipped a beat. Loved the flat-screen, hidden TV inside the bathroom mirror amazing. To book a stay in this stunning hotel, visit hotelblackhawk.com.

Adler Theatre
A trip to the Adler Theatre is like traveling back in time as the art-deco style of this beautiful, historic theater has been preserved. Marble detail, crystal light fixtures and a gold leaf ceiling are reminiscent of its younger years. Home to Broadway shows, ballets and more, the Adler Theatre provides various opportunities to enjoy an evening out on the town. For more information, visit adlertheatre.com.

Freight House Farmer's Market
What a delight! This year-round farmer's market is home to more than 200 regional vendors. Strolling through the market you will find heirloom tomatoes, foot-long zucchini squash, green beans, plump beets and more a true testament to the bounty of the area. You can hear the boat whistles from the Mississippi saluting the shoppers while you dine in one of the charming restaurants or sip a craft beer. For market hours or to learn more, visit freighthousefarmersmarket.com.

The Farmer’s Market offers a bounty of fresh produce and flowers and a tree shaded patio to have a glass of wine or meal.

Segway Tour
What better way to see the sights than via Segway? Fun for one or the whole family, this guided Segway tour will take you along the banks of the Mississippi. With just 10 minutes of easy instruction, riders are off in no time. Take advantage of the beautiful bike trails along the river stretching 62 miles in Illinois and 13 miles in Iowa. For pricing or more information, visit quadcitysegway.com.

There is much more to see and do in the Quad Cities! There is golf; taking in a game at Modern Woodmen Park, voted the "Best Minor League Ballpark" in the country; a zoo; a family museum; a botanical garden and a casino. Research the options at visitquadcities.com.

The Hotel Blackhawk is the area’s iconic place to stay.

Tied up to the docks in Davenport was a large barge, filled to the brim with trash. Chad Pregracke, an East Moline native and the man behind the barge, is now a national hero. Fifteen years ago, he dedicated his life to cleaning the Mississippi River and other U.S. waterways. As a teenager, Pregracke worked as a commercial shell diver and, inspired by the vast amount of trash in the Mississippi, began with a modest project to clean it up; the effort has grown into a multi-state, year-round project. Tens of thousands of volunteers have pitched in, collecting more than 7 million pounds of trash, most of which is recycled. He has launched a floating classroom barge and implemented a program to plant 1 million trees along river shorelines to protect and restore the natural environment. Pregracke was recently named the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year for his efforts.