“The world’s most beautiful drive.” That’s how Grand View Drive is described. It was first coined by President Teddy Roosevelt after he’d had the pleasure to take a slow drive up and down the road. It’s been on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1996.

Grand View Drive is two and a half mile long scenic road in Peoria, Illinois. It offers views of local parkland and as well as the Illinois River. You can also see a number of stately and historic homes as well. 

Makes you want to jump right in the car and head there, right?

We thought so!

In this post, we’re going to share what makes Grand View Drive so spectacular, and why it’s a must-see for any road trip fan. 

Enjoying the Drive

west highland white terrier with goggles on riding in a car with the window down through an urban city neighborhood on a warm sunny summer day toned with a retro vintage instagram filter

Even though this road has a double yellow line, don’t expect to tackle it at high speeds. It’s best to go slow and meander through the curves that are first covered by trees.

The good news is pretty much everyone else on Grand View Drive is also there to take in the views, so you won’t find many complaints!

Along the way, you’ll notice a few places to pull in or pull over to take photos safely. A few of these areas will serve as little parks with benches or scenic overlooks.

What to See

purple flowers in full bloom in Illinois

You wouldn’t think a stretch of road has that much to see, but that’s where you’re underestimating Grand View Drive!

There are two things most people enjoy during the ride; beautiful scenic views and the stately homes that dot the street. If you love both, well, you’re certainly in luck!

Family spreading the picnic blanket in park

Terrace Park, Woods Park, and Hillside Park are two green areas that attract many locals and visitors alike for walking, bike riding, and small picnics. 

Grand View Drive is also home to The Country Club of Peoria with its golf course, pools, and tennis courts. 

One of the big draws is Soderstrom Castle. It’s recognizable by its small stone bridge walkway in the front yard. This has been home to some families from the area over the years.

But, of course, that isn’t the only fancy home you’ll find on this drive. If you love all sorts of early to mid-1900’s architecture you’ll be in heaven!

How to Get There

Peoria pinned on a map of Illinois, USA

Grand View Drive is just north of the downtown Peoria. It can be accessed from Routes 29 and 150. It’s an hour and a half from Davenport, Iowa and Springfield, Illinois and just under three hours from Chicago.

If you’re making the trip from across the country, East or West, Interstate 74 is your best bet. 

Whether you’re making a special trip to Grand View Drive or you live in the area and want to check it out, you won’t regret it. After all, this drive got its famous name for a reason! For the best hotel deals in the area, take a look at our sister site, HotelCoupons.com.   

If you want to see more stuff in Illinois, consider Springfield, or Rockford. Or, on your way out of Illinois, and into Indiana, there is another scenic drive you can do. Take a look.