Peoria is located in the heart of Illinois, about 160 miles from both Chicago and St. Louis. It sits on the banks of the Illinois River and at the southern edge of Peoria Lake .
It was Groucho Marx who coined the term 'Will it play in Peoria?' in the early days of the last century, pointing what a test case for mainstream preferences might be. Since than Peoria has been used as a test market for everything from consumer products to entertainment to political campaigns. While both Peoria and America have changed through the years, Peoria still is a very, very American city – in the past 50 years it has been awarded the 'All American City' award three times.
The city itself is home to over 100,000 people and is the center of a thriving metropolitan area with more than three times that number. It is home to the headquarters of Caterpillar Inc. the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, to the highly acclaimed Bradley University, and to OSF St. Francis Medical Center, one of the largest Catholic hospitals in the nation.
Main visitor attractions include Glen Oak Zoo and Tower Park Observatory, the Peoria Civic Center, Apollo Theatre and riverboat gambling. For a unique view of Peoria, visitors are encouraged to drive through Grand View Drive in Peoria Heights - a drive President Teddy Roosevelt described in 1910 as the world's most beautiful drive.
Peoria offers visitors a host of dinning and accommodation options, which are located both in the downtown area and along the main traffic arteries. All hotels and motels in Peoria are within 10 miles of downtown, the river and the Greater Peoria Regional Airport.