So, you’ve decided to spend the weekend in LeClaire. Great idea! Let’s help you find a place to hang your hat, where to make a dinner reservation, and connect you to all the best locals shops. First things first — let’s get you something to drink.
Raise A Glass To History
First stop is Green Tree Brewery. The “Green Tree” was a well-loved meeting spot, located under a giant Elm tree, where river workers found work and townsfolk had picnic lunches. In fact, a piece of this tree is well-preserved in the Buffalo Bill Museum! Ask for a pint of their green brew and grab a seat on their outdoor patio. The owners, Dr. Richard Day & Denise Day don’t think of it as a bar but more of a gathering place, much like their namesake, “Green Tree”. Drop by and stay awhile or order food to go!
The crew at Mississippi River Distilling Company is an authentic grain-to-glass distillery owned and operated by brothers Ryan and Garrett Burchett. These Iowa natives have mastered gin, vodka, single barrel whiskey, liqueurs, curbside cocktails, and most recently — hand sanitizer! (We use their sanitizer at our shop to keep things clean for our customers and crew) They’re all about the story and detail behind every step of the process – like sharing the origin of their grains, and handwriting batch numbers on the neck of each bottle. Take a free tour and enjoy a drink in the cocktail house.
What all started with Dorothy O’Brien playing with a variety of grapes in her kitchen has grown into a business that sells more than 85,000 bottles a year! Wide River Winery has expanded its family-owned business to three Eastern Iowa locations. (Mike previously owned the building that houses their LeClaire location.) The winery got its name from the widest part of the Mississippi River — almost 11 miles! Grab a bottle and relax with a view of that same river via their courtyard.
Take A Bite Out Of The Midwest
When the original owner’s Steve and Nancy Rosetti first came to town, it was only as a pit stop. They had no idea they’d end up sticking around for more than 30 years and opening the restaurant, Faithful Pilot! At the time, their young dishwasher, Robert Day was an aspiring chef with big dreams to run his own kitchen. He grew up learning all he could from Steve and Nancy about the business, community relations, and cooking which inspired him to earn his culinary degree in Chicago. When Robert had a new vision for the restaurant, the couple gave him the keys to the Pilot making him the new Owner/Executive Chef.
Chef Robert freshened up the place with white table cloths, live music, and a fine wine list, but he continued their passion for Midwest hospitality. The Pilot has been a special place for the Wolfe’s — especially for Mike’s daughter, Charlie, who always gets cotton candy from Chef Robert! Locals enjoy dining on his creative spins to some classic dishes like salmon gnocchi, fried ravioli, mushroom bacon burgers, and more. (Plan accordingly dinner service only.)
Happy Joe’s Pizza has been serving up the best pizza in the Midwest since 1972! Order the sauerkraut & Canadian bacon pizza… trust us. Big Dave and Holly’s is a no-frills burger house that’s open for lunch and dinner. Order your breaded pork tenderloin sandwich to-go, (theirs was voted best in the state!) and head to the river for an impromptu picnic.
You have a range of options when it comes to places to hang your hat in LeClaire within walking distance of Main Street. Check out the Grasshopper Guesthouse. This rental is within walking distance from Antique Archaeology (literally across the street). It’s located in a colorful renovated 1880 Stucco home that is convenient to all the bustle and charm of downtown LeClaire.
If you want to really treat yourself and your family, book the River View Lodge. Amenities include a whirlpool tub, flat-screen TV, — even access to a walkout balcony looking over the Mississippi River. Also, take a look at The LeClaire River Loft located above Cody Road Coffee with direct access to all the best of LeClaire’s Main Street!
There’s always something happening in LeClaire so be sure you’re following @visitleclaireiowa on Instagram. Another excellent resource for town news and events is the LeClaire Tourism calendar. We’re looking forward to your visit!
Images courtesy of LeClaire Tourism
Meet your new go-to coffee cup featuring a nostalgic road trip scene and one of our favorite sayings “Pickin’ America”. SHOP NOW