Welcome To Town
Whether you have come to see us at Antique Archaeology LeClaire before or are coming to see us for the first time, we want to say, ” Welcome!” and we’re honored to have you in town. We’ve created a LeClaire travel guide to help guarantee that you don’t miss a moment, experience, or bite of all that this town has to show you. We hope you have good walking shoes on!
LeClaire, Iowa is a treasured town for many reasons. More than a century ago, fearless river pilots helped bring LeClaire to life, establishing it as a bustling river town on the Mississippi River. It’s also the city where Mike Wolfe began to discover his passion for the preservation and community by saving LeClaire’s historic riverboat homes, finding his voice on the city council, even serving as a volunteer firefighter for a time! There’s something in their river air that puts wind into the sails of anyone looking to inspire and create.
Main Street Is On The Mississippi River
Nothing beats a walk down LeClaire’s Main Street, Cody Road. This is a five-block stretch where you’ll find many incredible small businesses and restaurants that make our town unlike any other. (We love how the historic riverboat homes have been transformed into small businesses!)
LeClaire is one of the few places along the Mississippi River where you can walk right up to the river without interference. This also gives locals and visitors a full view of The Riverboat Twilight. Folks have been taking a sightseeing cruise aboard this triple-decker, Victorian-era 126ft steamboat for decades. It’s one of our favorite ways to learn about LeClaire’s river history, see some wildlife, and get photos of the beautifully preserved riverfront homes. (If you have the time, book tickets for the two-day cruise for an overnight experience!)
Also down on the waterline, is the levee. Not only is it the perfect spot to lay a blanket down and have a riverside picnic, but it’s also a popular location for many town events, like the Kid Pickers Flea Market. Once you’re done soaking in the view, you’re just a quick stroll to shops, restaurants, and of course, Antique Archaeology!
If you’re on the hunt for seasonal accents, art, mirrors, furniture and more, duck into Dwellings Home Decor. We’d describe their inventory as timeless and transitional. We love that it’s located in a beautifully renovated house! If you’re looking for something a bit more historic and rusty, dive into Decades Antiques to discover what is old is new again.
Look for the large green house on the hill and you’ve found Grasshoppers! There are many levels to this shop (like a wine cellar in the basement) with home decor and jewelry throughout. One of our favorite details is that the house itself is historic! It belonged to Captain John McCaffery, a river pilot in the late 1800s.
Fans of American Pickers travel from every corner of the globe to visit the original Antique Archaeology in LeClaire. This is your chance to get an up-close look at popular picks from the show like Laurel and Hardy, the buried Indian, Phillip Morris, and more! Mike designed the layout so customers are able to experience the shop as equal parts, museum, and retail space. Make sure you take the time to read the tags attached to the antiques to learn more about each item’s history and where it was picked. Find a piece of history to take home or a souvenir to remember your visit. No visit is complete until you’ve taken a photo with the Nash car out front!
Treat Yourself To Something Sweet and Unique
Beat the summer heat with a treat from Here’s The Scoop. Newly opened in LeClaire this family-owned ice cream shop creates small-batch handcrafted gourmet treats just for you! No matter if you enjoy a scoop of Black Forest with Roasted Cherry and Brownie Bites or the White Chocolate Raspberry Wine out of a homemade waffle cone or bowl, your sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied.
All the confections at The Shameless Chocoholic are handmade by Rebecca Burns who has spent the past 20 years perfecting her recipes. Dig into her 120 varieties of delicious homemade bonbons, fudge, truffles, bark, buttercreams, and more. (This chocolate shop is located in the original LeClaire “Green Tree Grocery” dating back to the late 1800s!) Pick up some of your favorite nostalgic candy, gifts, and even ship your favorite treats to your house!
When you’re in need of some caffeine, pop into Cody Road Coffee! Since LeClaire is the birthplace of Buffalo Bill, the owners are paying tribute with Wild West-inspired decor, cutout cookies, portraits of Buffalo Bill, and more. Make sure you try their signature Buffalo Bill Butterscotch Latte or a Giddy Up energy drink. These guys are walking distance from Antique Archaeology, making it a go-to coffee run for the crew!
Don’t forget to “pop” on over to Kernel Cody’s Popcorn Shoppe to sample more than twenty varieties of popcorn. Favorite flavors include Lonestar Steamer Puff, (hulless corn covered in caramel), the LeClaire mix, (cheese and caramel mixed), Tootie Fruity, and Snickers. Fill up a bag or collective tin with your favorite flavor as well as nostalgic candy and gifts.
There’s still SO much to experience. Why not make your visit an overnighter? Let’s show you how to make the best of a weekend in LeClaire in Part II of our travel guide HERE.
Images courtesy of LeClaire Tourism