Bettendorf, Iowa

You'll discover fun on a "learning vacation"

Bettendorf, Iowa is located on the eastern border of Iowa where the Mississippi River meets Interstate 80. Originally named Lillienthal in 1840, the city changed its name to Bettendorf in 1903 when the townspeople were so impressed by a recently attracted business called the Bettendorf Company, an iron wagon (railroad) manufacturer run by the Bettendorf brothers. Overall, Bettendorf is about youth and family. Growing nicely since 1950 with 5,000 residents, it reached 31,275 in population in the 2000 Census. Bettendorf has a high proportion of residents with college degrees (38.8%) which is 50% higher than the national average. CNNMoney.com recently rated Bettendorf as the #10 Best City in the nation for affordable homes, and Family Circle Magazine selected Bettendorf as one of the "10 Best Towns for Families" in the United States in August of 2010. Bettendorf was selected based on affordability of homes, green spaces, schools and giving spirit.

You've gone to the beach and put your toes in the sand, you've risked your life on the ski slopes, how about getting away from it all on your next vacation by giving your mind something new and interesting to think about. Bettendorf, Iowa offers you a tremendous number of ways you can have fun by learning. Just do not tell your family it's educational, they'll never know, they'll be having too much fun.

Allow your children's (and your own) imaginations to be swept away to the land of creativity... and you will all learn and have fun at the same time! Have a blast with Kidtastic events at the Family Museum designed just for you with interactive children's music concerts, storytellers, and science demonstrations. Four permanent hands-on exhibit galleries, and outdoor playground and special traveling exhibits throughout the year confirm you can play and learn at the Family Museum! To extend the fun and learning, the Family Museum's Corner Store which offers unique toys, games and gifts, perfect for all ages.

Right next door to the Family Museum, immerse yourself in Chinese culture by attending programs on calligraphy, food, history, music, customs and martial arts at the Bettendorf Library. Attend a Halloween Poetry Jam for Adults where award-winning authors read their scariest poems and invite you to do the same. Get your reservations in for the Annual Celebrity Doodle Day event where you can bid on the entertainment industry's most well known celebrities and authors "doodles" which are publicly auctioned. Woody Allen, Paul Anka, Jim Belushi and Yogi Bera are just a few of the artists that have been publicly auctioned. This is no ordinary library. Come on in and learn what it's all about. While you are there, enjoy Dewey's Cafe at the Library. It's a gathering place for writers, readers, artists, and poets. Order your favorite coffee drink, a sandwich, soup or indulge in fresh baked delicacies.

Learn to play the hottest poker game in the nation, No-Limit Texas Hold-em, by entering in a weekly tournament in the Poker Room at the Isle Casino Hotel. There is a small entry fee to play where Bernie Goldstein, often referred to as the Father of Riverboat Gaming, opened the nation's first riverboat casino on April 1, 1991. Have a seat at any of the table games also offered such as Blackjack or Craps or discover the luxury hotels, marina, restaurants even rent a bicycle and enjoy the beautiful view of America's longest river, the mighty Mississippi.

Bring your conference to the recently constructed 50,000 square foot Bettendorf Event Center which is accessible by skywalk to the largest hotel complex in the State of Iowa owned by the Isle of Capri. Have fun at the end of your conference schedule, all right at your fingertips, or venture out to the rest of the Quad City Regions amenities including the Figge Art Museum, the Quad City Botanical Center or see nationally known entertainers or professional sports at the award winning i wireless center.

Visitors and Bus tours are welcome at Wallace's Garden Center not just for the wonderful shopping but for the many interesting topics they present in their newly constructed Ginkgo Room. Have you ever thought about growing your own veggies and herbs to make salsa or cool mojitos with fresh mint? Nothing delights a gardener more than a visit from a hungry hummingbird or a majestic Monarch. Join experts in learning the best plants and gardening techniques to make your garden a popular hangout for our fluttering friends.

The Bettendorf Hy-Vee Club Cooking and Lifestyle School provides a wide variety of classes ranging from health and nutrition, and kid's cuisine, to wine tasting and gourmet meals. Learn to prepare all types of food and have fun in the process. Classes take place in the beautiful Hy-Vee Club Room, which features a full kitchen. From any seat in the kitchen, you will see what the chef is preparing through a special mirror above the center island. Guest chefs offer culinary stops from around the world, so do not miss these high-energy presentations.

Chocolate Manor offers one hour tours of their artisan, hand-crafted chocolate shop. Up to 30 people at a time enter the kitchen where they experience hand dipping of seasonal confections and watch chocolates being made. In the second half of the tour they learn about chocolate and how chocolate is made. Sampling from their cases is included. Their English Toffee is superb and their soft butter caramel is even better. Learning is not only fun, it tastes good too.

Never golfed before or wanting to improve your game, Palmer Hills PGA professionals offer both group and private lessons. When you're done with your lesson you can stop by the pro shop to pick up some necessities or dine at the Palmer Hills Grill. The award winning 18-hole golf course and driving range provides a great escape for everyone from the age of 8 year olds through adult years. Register online and receive a free green fee on your birthday.

Cool off from your learning adventure and bring the entire family to Splash Landing and enjoy two zero depth pools which include water geysers, a kiddy slide, two flume slides , a drop slide and a diving board. The toddler area offers a slide, numerous spray features, a sand play area and ample deck and shaded area for lounging. The concession area serves everything from hot dogs to the best gyro sandwiches in the Quad Cities.

Tennis anyone? The Life Fitness Center offers tennis lessons for everyone five years of age or older. Also, enjoy the 8-Lap Mile Indoor Track (Largest in the QC Area), three indoor tennis courts, lap pool, air conditioned cardio room, and two basketball courts. Cybex and free-weight equipment along with personal trainers will also help design a program tailored specifically for your needs. Fitness classes, with certified class instructors, are available for water aerobics, karate, yoga, Pilates, weight management and athletic conditioning. In town for a one night stay or longer, the Life Fitness Center offers daily and monthly passes.

Take advantage of the self-guided Tree Walk contained within the Duck Creek Recreation Trail. Pick up a booklet at City Hall which includes information on the most commonly found tree species in Bettendorf and where to view them. Hopefully you've brought your bicycle and can enjoy not only the Duck Creek Recreation Trail but 120 miles of bike paths contained within the Quad City Region. If you're really adventurous you can continue on by connecting to the nationally acclaimed American Discovery Trail and the Mississippi River Trail, both of which traverse through the region.

For more information on business, housing, recreation, schools, and the city of Bettendorf visit www.bettendorf.org. For information from the Chamber of Commerce visit www.quadcitieschamber.com.

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