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About Peoria, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois is a Great Place to Live, Work, Play, and Raise a Family!

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Settled in 1680, Peoria was the first community to be established in Illinois. It is also the largest city on the picturesque Illinois River. Peoria is a four-time winner of the “All America City Award” (including 2013!) and has a famous reputation as the average American city. Its demographics and mainstream Midwestern culture contribute to this reputation, making Peoria an excellent place to pilot new products and services. Thus, the well-known phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?”, implies that if something succeeds in Peoria it would succeed anywhere.

Located approximately halfway between Chicago and St. Louis, the Peoria metropolitan area has a population of 370,000 people. Towns and suburbs include: Bartonville, Bellevue, Brimfield, Chillicothe, Creve Coeur, Dunlap, East Peoria, Edwards, Elmwood, Eureka, Germantown Hills, Groveland, Marquette Heights, Metamora, Morton, Pekin, Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pottstown, Princeville, Rome, Tremont, Washington, and West Peoria.

Homes in the Peoria area appeal to all tastes and price-ranges, so you can find the home of your dreams! From stately mansions to modest starter homes, townhomes and condominiums. From brand new construction featuring the latest designs to historic old-world Victorian and Queen Anne homes with character and stories to tell. From fully developed communities with neighborhood sidewalks and adjacent neighbors to homes with many acres of private land. From downtown urban lofts to fully wooded yards, homes overlooking the beautiful Illinois River, and homes with private lake views, Peoria has it all!

The Peoria climate offers a little something for everyone, too. In Peoria, you’ll get to experience all four seasons – from beautiful spring blooms to summer sun and fun, from stunning fall foliage to rich winter wonderlands.

Peoria is big enough to have most big-city amenities, yet small enough to make big-city traffic congestion, long lines, sold-out tickets, and other hassles largely a thing of the past. Peoria offers a perfect combination of a bustling cosmopolitan lifestyle with the slower-paced tranquility of nature. Your life in Peoria can be as event-filled or as low-key as you want it to be!

If you desire all the excitement the city has to offer:

If you seek the tranquility and beauty of the outdoors:

  • Enjoy our abundance of hiking and biking trails throughout the area, including 9,000 acres of parks in the Peoria Park District, the first and still largest park district in Illinois.
  • Experience the breathtaking panoramic views of the Illinois River Valley from Grand View Drive, called “the world’s most beautiful drive” by President Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Take a swing on one of our nearly 30 golf courses, including five public courses in the city of Peoria such as WeaverRidge Golf Club, voted #1 in the state by Zagat.
  • Explore the Peoria Zoo.
  • Take a nature walk at the Forest Park Nature Center.
  • Visit several Peoria-area wineries.
  • Watch the buffalo (and other indigenous animals) roam at Wildlife Prairie State Park.
  • And more!

The Peoria Riverfront combines downtown, cosmopolitan activities with the Illinois River as a beautiful backdrop.

  • Enjoy a variety of arts, dining, and entertainment options.
  • Experience a myriad of live bands, festivals, and concerts.
  • Cruise aboard the authentic paddleboat, “The Spirit of Peoria”.
  • Watch a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks presentation – the largest in the state of Illinois.
  • Ride on a horse-drawn carriage through the city streets.

The Peoria area offers a good mix of job opportunities for its residents, including white collar, blue collar, retail, public-sector, private-sector, small businesses, and large corporations. Peoria is home to many global businesses and is the world headquarters for Caterpillar, Inc. With three major hospitals providing excellent emergency and trauma care, the healthcare industry accounts for over one-fourth of Peoria’s economy. Peoria International Airport, located just 15 minutes from downtown and featuring a new state-of-the-art terminal in 2011, offers convenience to both business and leisure travelers.

With so many activities, beautiful scenery, first-class medical facilities, award-winning schools, many houses of worship, and Midwest values, Peoria has it all! We trust you’ll find it to be a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Join us to play – and live – in Peoria!


Bartonville is a village of more than 6,000 residents, located just southwest of downtown Peoria and near the Peoria International Airport. Bartonville public schools include: Bartonville Grade School,Monroe School (K-8), Oak Grove School East (K-5) & West (6-8), and Limestone Community High School.

Bartonville residents enjoy various festivals and events; the Alpha Park Public Library; the beautiful and challenging Coyote Creek 18-hole championship golf course, with numerous lakes and creeks, stone bridges, and waterfalls; and a variety of recreational options through many acres of parks, including Mendenhall Park, a must-stop for nature enthusiasts along the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway.


Nearly 2,000 people reside in the village of Bellevue, which is located just north of the Peoria International Airport.

Norwood School District #63 has a student performance in the upper 1/3 of the state, yet an expenditure per pupil ranking in the lower 1/4 of Illinois school districts. The district is comprised of Norwood Primary School for grades Pre-K to 4thand Norwood Elementary School for grades 5 to 8. Bellevue high school students attend Limestone Community High School.


The village of Brimfield is located northwest of the city of Peoria, about 20 miles from downtown. Brimfield School District #309 has a grade school servicing grades K-8 and a high school for grades 9-12.

In addition to city amenities in nearby Peoria, Brimfield residents enjoy their own public library and various outdoor recreational opportunities at nearby Jubilee College State Park.


Situated on the Illinois River and home to about 6,000 residents, the city of Chillicothe is located toward the northeast end of Peoria County, about 15 miles north of downtown Peoria.

Chillicothe is served by Illinois Valley Central School District #321, which has one primary school, two middle schools, and one high school.

Chillicothe residents enjoy facilities from the Chillicothe Park District; multi-use recreational complex, Pearce Community Center; community events at Three Sisters Park, their own public library; and the Chillicothe Optimist Town Theatre.

Creve Coeur

Creve Coeur, a village of more than 5,000 residents, lies south and across the river from downtown Peoria in Groveland Township in Tazewell County.

Creve Coeur School District 76 is comprised of LaSalle Elementary School and Parkview Middle School. Most high school students in Creve Coeur attend East Peoria Community High School, with a small percentage attending Pekin Community High School.

Residents enjoy Fort Crevecoeur, which was established in 1680, and its 89-acre park dedicated to the education and preservation of the French heritage of Central Illinois.


The Village of Dunlap is located just north of the city of Peoria, about 15 miles from downtown. It has approximately 1,400 residents and is a growing suburb of Peoria.

Dunlap Community Unit Schools District #323 is one the finest school districts in Illinois, having won many awards over the years. The district currently has four elementary schools, one new elementary school under development, two middle schools, and Dunlap High School, which is on the southeast edge of the village and also serves many residents of the northern areas of Peoria.

East Peoria

Located in Tazewell County, just across the Illinois River from downtown Peoria, East Peoria is home to over 23,000 residents. East Peoria is also the campus location of regional community college, Illinois Central College.

East Peoria has three school districts, one high school and two elementary. East Peoria Elementary School District 86 has six elementary schools, as well as Central Junior High School. Robein Grade School (K-8) is its own district. East Peoria Community High School, District 309, serves 9th-12thgrade students from East Peoria.

Visitors come to East Peoria from miles around to visit the Par-A-Dice riverboat casino and Bass Pro Shops. Both visitors and residents alike enjoy Eastside Centre, one of the Midwest’s premier athletic facilities that hosts tournaments on the national, regional and local levels, as well as Splashdown, a 3-acre water park.

Shopping and dining opportunities abound in East Peoria, which has been transforming its 400-acre downtown urban area with national retailers like Super Walmart, Lowe’s and Kohl’s, as well as restaurants such as Chili’s, Panera, Logan’s Roadhouse, and Granite City. These are in addition to the recently opened Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.

The next phase of this “new downtown”, known as The Levee District, will feature over 86 acres including 500,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, as well as office, hotel and multi-family residential units. Retail tenants include Target, Costco, ULTA Beauty, Gordman’s, Ross Dress for Less, and Red Robin. The area will also have a civic plaza and new state-of-the-art Fondulac District Library.

The Festival of Lights, East Peoria, Illinois (known as FOLEPI) begins each year with a three-mile Parade of Lights. These same lighted floats, along with many other lighted displays, are showcased from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve at the 2-mile Winter Wonderland drive-through display, which has made the list of top bus tour attractions in the country.


Edwards is an unincorporated community in Peoria County, located about 10 miles northwest of downtown Peoria. It is located in Kickapoo Township.

Edwards students attend Dunlap, Elmwood, or Brimfield public schools, depending on their residential location.


The city of Elmwood is located in western Peoria county about 30 miles west of downtown Peoria. Elmwood offers its over 2,000 residents the benefits of a peaceful country setting with easy access to Peoria.

Residents and visitors enjoy Elmwood’s historic homes and buildings, various community events and festivals, and the Morrison and Mary Wiley Library.

Elmwood Community Schools are ranked in the top 5% of schools statewide. Elmwood Community Unit School District #322 is comprised ofElmwood Elementary School (PreK-6thgrade) and Elmwood Jr/Sr High School.


The city of Eureka is the county seat of Woodford County, about 25 minutes east of downtown Peoria, with a population of more than 5,000 residents. Students are served by Congerville-Eureka-Goodfield Community Unit School District No. 140 and attend Davenport Elementary School,Eureka Middle School, and Eureka High School, which has an award-winning marching band.

President Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College, which makes Eureka one of the towns along the Ronald Reagan Trail, a self-driving tour of Illinois towns that shaped the President’s life. As the largest collection of Reagan memorabilia outside of the Reagan library in California. The Ronald Reagan Museum at Eureka College is a popular tourist attraction.

Eureka residents also enjoy Lake Eureka Park, with its 36-acre lake and 240 acres of parklands, as well as 9-hole Kaufman Park Golf Course.

Germantown Hills

With a population around 3,400 residents, the Village of Germantown Hills is a growing bedroom community about 8 miles northeast of downtown Peoria in Woodfield County. The village is connected to Peoria via four-lane divided highway, Illinois State Route 116, which runs through the center of the village.

The area was primarily agricultural until 1954, when the Village of Oak Grove Park was incorporated. Its name was changed to Germantown Hills in 1967.

There are two schools in Germantown Hills School District 69– Germantown Hills Elementary School for K-2 and Germantown Hills Middle School for Grades 3-8. In 2008, the middle school ranked 15 out of the 1357 Illinois middle schools by results of the ISAT (Illinois Standards Achievement Test). Ninth through 12thgraders in Germantown Hills attend Metamora Township High School in neighboring Metamora.


Groveland is an unincorporated community with about 1,400 residents in Tazewell County, about nine miles SSE of downtown Peoria. Several Groveland neighborhoods are situated on lakes, making for beautiful lakefront home views. Groveland students attend Morton public schools.

Marquette Heights

The city of Marquette Heights has a population of more than 3,000 people. It is located in Tazewell County, about nine miles south of downtown Peoria.

The community is served by North Pekin – Marquette Heights School District #102, which includes Rogers Elementary School, Marquette Elementary School, and Georgetowne Middle School. High school students attend Pekin Community High School.


Located in Woodford County, the Village of Metamora had a population of over 3,600 residents in 2010, which represented a 34.7% growth rate from 2000. This fast-growing community is known for its small town, friendly atmosphere; excellent schools; and local neighborhood parks.

Metamora has two public school districts –Metamora Grade School District 1 for grades K-8 and Metamora Township High School District 122 for grades 9-12, which also serves nearby Germantown Hills and Spring Bay.

Residents enjoy Metamora Fields, a beautiful 18-hole golf course with a world-class clubhouse; Saturday night cruise-ins; Old Settlers Days; and farmers markets on Saturday mornings July-September. Built in 1845, the Metamora Courthouse is preserved as an Illinois state historic site, as it is one of only two surviving Illinois circuit courthouses where future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln practiced law.


The Village of Morton is located in Tazewell County, about 11 miles from downtown Peoria and approximately halfway between Peoria and Bloomington-Normal. It is a growing community of almost 17,000 people.

According to the Village’s website, “Morton prides itself on being a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The Village offers excellent schools, a well-established and growing network of parks, a thriving downtown community, attractive housing, low crime rates, and access to high quality medical care.”

The local public school district is Morton Community Unit School District 709. It has four elementary schools, one junior high, and one high school, Morton High School.

The home of Libby’s Pumpkin, Morton is called the “Pumpkin Capital of the World”, as it is claimed that Morton produces over 80% of the world’s canned pumpkin. Morton holds an annual Pumpkin Festival the second week of September, which welcomes about 70,000 visitors.

North Pekin

The Village of North Pekin is located in Tazewell County about seven miles south of Peoria and has a population of more than 1,500 people.

The community is served by North Pekin – Marquette Heights School District #102, which includes Rogers Elementary School, Marquette Elementary School, and Georgetowne Middle School. High school students attend Pekin Community High School.


Located on the Illinois River ten miles south of Peoria, Pekin is the county seat for Tazewell County, as well as the county’s largest city, with more than 34,000 residents. Homes in Pekin range from modest starter homes to historic homes to new high-end residential developments, and Pekin has one of the the lowest property tax rates in the Peoria area.

Pekin is home to many professional, industrial and manufacturing jobs, many at nationally and regionally known companies. Pekin also has its own hospital, Pekin Hospital, as well as other top-notch healthcare offerings.

Pekin residents enjoy the 5th largest park district in the state; four championship golf courses, including Lick Creek Golf Course, which has been nationally recognized as one of the best public courses in America; 3-acre DragonLand Water Park; a variety of community events; a variety of outdoor recreational activities; and many dining and retail options in town and nearby.

The Pekin Public School System consists of six elementary schools, two intermediate schools, two junior high schools, one high school, and the Pekin Technical Education Center. District 108, which serves PreK through 8thgrade on 11 campuses, has received multiple awards and accolades and is acknowledged throughout the state as a high-quality school system. Covering Pekin and some nearby areas, the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) District 303 campus is considered one of the premier school facilities in the Midwest, and the school has received national recognition in band, choral music and speech/debate


The city of Peoria is the county seat of Peoria County and the largest city on the Illinois River, with a population of approximately 113,000. Peoria Public Schools District 150 serves the majority of students who live in the city of Peoria. The district has dozens of primary and middle schools, as well as three public high schools: Richwoods High School, known for its academic excellence and which hosts the competitive International Baccalaureate Program of study; Manual Academy; and Peoria High School, the oldest high school in Illinois and the 17tholdest high school in the nation, founded in 1856.

Many higher education options are also available in the city of Peoria, including Bradley University,Midstate College, Methodist College,Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Illinois Central College’s Downtown and North Campuses, and the Peoria location of Robert Morris University.

Peoria Heights

About 6,500 people live in the Village of Peoria Heights, 2.65 square miles of land surrounded by the city of Peoria and Peoria Lake, which is a wider section of the Illinois River. Peoria Heights has its own school district, District 325, which has two schools: Peoria Heights Grade School (Pre-K through 8thgrade) and Peoria Heights High School (grades 9-12). The Heights is known for its quaint streets with hip restaurants and specialty shopping.

Peoria Heights is also known for Grand View Drive, a long residential street along the top of the Illinois River bluff that is adjacent to the private Peoria Country Club and lined with luxurious homes, panoramic look-outs, and a park with breathtaking panoramic views of the Illinois River and river valley. During his visit to Peoria in 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt called Grand View Drive “the world’s most beautiful drive.” Peoria radio station WMBD got its call letters from this expression.


Pottstown is an unincorporated community in Peoria County, located west of the city of Peoria, with a population of over 1,700 residents.


The Village of Princeville is 15 miles NW of the city of Peoria and about 24 miles from downtown Peoria. Princeville has an active and prosperous downtown, while maintaining its small-town charm and sense of family and community. Residents enjoy two parks, the Princeville Aquatic Center, and the Princeville Heritage Museum.

Princeville Community Unit School District 326 offers Princeville Grade School for PreK through 8thgrade and Princeville High School for 9th-12th. Some students in Princeville attend Dunlap schools, depending on their location of residence.


Rome is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) in Peoria County with a population of more than 1,700 residents. Rome is located about 15 miles NNE of downtown Peoria, south of Chillicothe.

Students in Rome attend public schools in Illinois Valley Central School District #321.


The Village of Tremont is located about 15 miles SE of downtown Peoria in Tazewell County.

The village itself has a population of more than 2,200 people, but there are about 5500 residents in its entire population including the village, rural subdivisions, and agricultural areas.

The award-winning Tremont District 702 is comprised of Tremont Grade School (K-5), Tremont Middle School (6-8), and Tremont High School (9-12). Some Tremont students attend Mackinaw or Pekin public schools.

Residents enjoy amenities from the Tremont Area Park District, the Tremont District Library, and the annual summer Tremont Turkey Festival, which draws 20,000-30,000 people into the village for the weekend. Known for its turkey sandwiches and strawberry shortcake, the festival features a variety of events and entertainment, craft and antique vendors, country store, carnival, pageant, and parade.


Located in Tazewell county about 10 miles east of downtown Peoria, the city of Washington is home to over 15,000 residents. Washington has been one of the fastest growing communities in central Illinois in the last 10 years, with a 40% growth in population, 1,500 new houses, and about 900,000 square feet of new commercial construction. Washington has four school districts comprised of four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

A new community center, Five Points Washington, opened in October 2007. It’s a 136,000 sq ft multi-purpose facility with a 1000+ seat performing arts auditorium; a state of the art recreation, wellness and fitness area; a public library; an aquatics center; and a banquet center.

West Peoria

As its name indicates, the city of West Peoria is located on the western end of Peoria, just minutes from downtown. West Peoria is situated between Madison Golf Course and Newman Golf Course.

West Peoria has a population of more than 4,400 residents. Students in West Peoria attend schools in Peoria Public Schools District 150.

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