RV Rental Peoria, IL

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Peoria RV Rentals

Peoria is a quaint city in central Illinois that sits serenely on the scenic bluffs of the Illinois River. It has a long history that dates back to the earliest European settlers in the 1600s, but Indian artifacts and burial mounds in the area indicate that it was a hub of Native American population going as far back as 10,000 B.C.

Set right in the center of the large prairie state, Peoria offers much in the way of seasonal enjoyment and its nearby towns with their different personalities and attractions are the ideal place to grab an RV rental in Peoria and explore all the region has to offer. The area is very family-friendly and has multiple well-appointed campgrounds with amenities like free WiFi, swimming pools, laundry services, and more. If you’re looking to plan your next RV road trip, check out all that Peoria has to offer.

Popular RV Destinations in Peoria

The Spirit of Peoria

Located on Northeast Water Street, right on the shores of the Illinois River, you’ll find the authentic paddlewheel boat, the Spirit of Peoria. A replica of the famous boats that so often transported tourists and revelers up and down the shores of many rivers across the US, the Spirit was built in 1988 and is 160 feet long and 47.5 feet high with the capacity to hold 487 passengers on its four decks. This paddlewheel replica is unique in that it is actually powered exclusively by the paddle wheels, using no auxiliary thrusters or propellers.

You can enjoy one- to five-day cruises on the Spirit of Peoria as it makes its slow and languid way up and down both the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. In fact, you can ride this boat all the way to St. Louis and back if you’d like. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can also enjoy a fun-themed cruise, like the Riverlife, the Fireworks, the Zombie, the Moonlight, and more.

Wildlife Prairie Park

Located just minutes outside of Peoria, Wildlife Prairie Park is a destination that you won’t see just anywhere. It’s a drive-through park that showcases wildlife and animals native to Illinois in their natural, minimally adapted habitats. The Adventure Trek tour allows you to meander your vehicle through the bison and elk pasture and also observe bears, otters, bobcats, coyotes, eagles, and more. Wildlife Prairie Park has a longstanding history of building its man-made features with recycled materials to minimize environmental impacts long before environmental protection concerns were so common.

After the drive-through portion of the visit is complete, you can also check out the park's multiple playgrounds, an interesting and visually-appealing sculpture walk, the Prairie Park Railroad, and more. Kids and adults alike will enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing throughout the park as well. The park even boasts a championship level 18-hole disc golf course, so be sure to bring your frisbees.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

The Peoria Riverfront Museum stands as one of Peoria’s top tourist attractions, and with good reason. This art, science, and technology museum is located, as you might expect, on the banks of the Illinois River in downtown Peoria and is home to a planetarium, a sculpture museum, and a theater with a massive screen for viewing educational films and documentaries, 3D movies, and even film festivals. 

The museum is home to rotating galleries that include internationally touring exhibits from the Smithsonian Institute and include everything from lessons on aquatic nature to Da Vinci installations. This eclectic museum also features a towering statue of Abraham Lincoln, the Peoria Holocaust Memorial, and plenty more to educate and entertain you.

Luthy Botanical Garden

Founded in 1951, the George L. Luthy Memorial Botanical Garden and conservatory is a stunningly landscaped 4.5-acre horticultural enthusiast’s dream. Located near the Peoria Zoo in Glen Oak Park, the botanical center boasts more than 15 themed gardens that contain a wide variety of roses, perennial flowers and plants, an herb garden, a children’s garden, an all-season garden, and more. 

Inside the 2,500-square-foot conservatory, you can take in the sights and smells of exotic plants and flowers, such as numerous cacti, lilies, hardy hostas, and dainty orchids. You can also enjoy seasonal displays that rotate frequently. The annual orchid show is a big hit, and with free admission, it’s definitely a stop you don’t want to miss.

Caterpillar Visitors Center

The impressively large and modern Caterpillar Visitors Center is located adjacent to the downtown Riverfront Museum. Its 50,000 square feet is dedicated to educating the public about the Peoria-based world headquarters of the construction equipment and mining mogul, Caterpillar, Inc., which was founded in 1886 when the first combined harvester was built by Benjamin Holt. Today, the company is a magnate that manufacturers all sorts of tractors, farm implements, construction equipment, and massive mining machinery that is used all over the world, including notable work on the Panama Canal and the Apollo 11 space mission.

This enthralling museum and visitors center features eight galleries that focus on exhibits illustrating the past, present, and future of Caterpillar, Inc. You can even climb aboard different models of construction and mining machinery built over the years, allowing you to get a first-hand feel of what it might be like to operate heavy equipment. Kids and adults alike will be impressed by the experience.

Events and Entertainment in Peoria

Steamboat Days

Traditionally held over Father’s Day Weekend each June, Peoria’s Steamboat Days is a multi-day festival held on Peoria’s riverfront that combines a huge carnival with lots of rides, amazing food and drink vendors, talented live entertainment, and a cornerstone running race known as “The Steamboat Classic.” This family-friendly event really does have something for everyone.

The carnival runs Thursday through Saturday with the Steamboat Classic taking place on Saturday morning. The race is an equal-opportunity athletic event that openly welcomes walkers, joggers, runners, and people of all ages and abilities. Choose from easier 2- and 4-mile races or test your athletic prowess in the rigorous 15-mile race that takes you through some of the hilliest terrain in the city; just be careful not to tie it on too tightly at the festival the night before.

Unity Point Red, White, & Boom

If you happen to be vacationing in Peoria over Independence Day, you’ll want to see the biggest fireworks display in the state at Unity Point Red, White, & Boom. You can sit on either side of the Illinois River and have the perfect seat for a truly magical fireworks display that you will remember for years to come. Red, White, & Boom is actually termed a “pyromusical”, which is a fun and energetic blend of fireworks synchronized with a booming patriotic musical soundtrack.

This modern and high-tech take on the traditional July 4th fireworks display has been held annually for more than 30 years and is held on a huge barge that sits in the middle of the Illinois River just for this purpose. Patrons are encouraged to bring radios and portable speakers to tune to one of the numerous media stations that plays the music during the show. Don’t worry if you forget your radio, though; one of your neighbors will likely be playing it loud enough for you to hear.

Taste of Peoria

Held in August each year, the Taste of Peoria charges minimal admission to this huge community event that showcases all the best food and beverages the city has to offer. It’s a one-day celebration held outdoors in the spacious parking lot of the Northwoods Mall and offers complimentary shuttle service.

Featuring well-known local restaurants, bakeries, sweets, and more, you’ll definitely get your fill and then some from the generous samplings at each booth. Of course, there’s live entertainment and music to set the proper atmosphere while you’re trying to work off your food coma and make room for more. Proceeds from the admission to the event go to help fund the city’s annual Santa Claus parade.

Morton Pumpkin Festival

If you’re looking for a truly unique event that you won’t find anywhere else, you have to check out the annual Morton Pumpkin Festival which is held every September. For more than 50 years, visitors have flocked from all over to the tiny town of Morton, just minutes outside Peoria, to immerse themselves in all things pumpkin. As the home of the Libby’s Pumpkin factory, Morton affectionately refers to itself as “The Pumpkin Capital of the World”, and if you come to visit in September, you will definitely see why.

Fill your belly with pumpkin-flavored ice cream, donuts, sweets, carnival food, and so much more while you enjoy plenty of live music and entertainment, relax at the always-popular beer garden, or take in one of the numerous competitions and events. Check out the pumpkin decorating contest, the pumpkin recipe challenge, the pumpkin weigh-off, the pumpkin pie eating competition and so much more. Whatever you do, plan to take in the iconic “Punkin Chunkin Contest”, in which competitors enter homemade contraptions and marvels of engineering that are designed to launch pumpkins across a field farther and higher than ever imagined; it’s definitely a sight to behold.

East Peoria Festival of Lights

If you’re brave enough to plan an RV road trip to Peoria between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the East Peoria Festival of Lights is a holiday wonder that enthralls people of all ages. The festival runs nightly from Thanksgiving weekend through early January and it’s guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. The festival kicks off on Thanksgiving night with the highly anticipated Parade of Lights, which features dozens of intricately designed and impressively lit parade floats that travel along a 2-mile parade route.

After the parade, the floats all congregate at Folepi’s Winter Wonderland, where they will sit on a nightly display in the park so you and your family can leisurely drive through and take in all the sights of these amazingly and cleverly lit displays. The festival even has a dedicated radio station that plays seasonal Christmas music that you can tune to during your drive through the wonderland.

FAQs:

Q: What are RV rentals?

RV rentals work much like any other vehicle rentals. You pay a daily or weekly rate. You can expect these rates to fluctuate based on the time of year and the geographic location that you're renting. Naturally, rates tend to increase during peak season. You can get an RV for a certain period and enjoy all its benefits while traveling without the hassles and large cost of owning your RV. It’s also a great way to try out some different RV models if you’re considering purchasing your own.

Q: How much are RV rentals?

A: RV rentals in Peoria can range between $75 and $150 per night for most small to moderately sized trailers and campervans. Larger RVs and travel trailers can cost from $100 to $250 per night, depending on the season and the RV’s year, make, and model. Some companies offer a discount if you rent for longer than a week.

Q: Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Peoria?

A: While most states require you to be at least 25 years old to rent an RV, the legal age to rent one in Illinois is 18. This may not be the policy of your RV rental agency, however. Most companies require you to be at least 25 to rent.

Q: Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?

A: Yes, you'll need insurance to rent an RV in Peoria. It's meant to cover the vehicle in case of an accident and is mandatory in most states. Most rental companies will have RV-specific insurance that you can purchase.

Q: Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?

A: This policy varies among rental agencies, but most RV rental facilities in Fairbanks will expect you to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. At the very least, the fuel should be at the same level as when you picked up the vehicle.

Q: Are RVs pet-friendly in Peoria?

A: Many RV and camper rentals in Peoria are pet-friendly, and there are even vehicles specially designed for accommodating animals. Still, it’s important to double-check the policy with your chosen rental agency before renting a particular vehicle.