Why Peoria

Peoria, IL…Naughty But Nice

Simantel proudly calls Peoria, IL our home. Nestled beautifully along the Illinois River, more than just water has flowed through our fine city over the years. As a matter of fact, Peoria was known as the “Whiskey Capital of the World.” Before Prohibition, Peoria’s tax collection accounted for nearly half of the federal government’s entire revenue. That’s a lot of booze (and quite a few gangsters, too!) We had 24 breweries and 73 distilleries at one time because of our unique supply of grains, spring water and access to dependable fuels and transportation. Even though Prohibition changed all that, Peoria found a way to still roar in the 1920s with the growth of manufacturing.

Today, we are a much more diverse economy boasting not only world-class manufacturers like Caterpillar and Komatsu, but also outstanding healthcare systems, the largest USDA research facility, technology start-ups and an arts community that rivals that of cities four times our size. But don’t worry, we still like our booze. You can find plenty of unique microbreweries around the city, and a couple of new distilleries are popping up downtown. Whether you’re working or playing, Peoria will not disappoint with its interesting options and unique take on Midwestern charm.

The Arts are Alive and Kicking It in Peoria

You simply wouldn’t believe the amount of cultural experiences you can have right here in a city of just over 115,000 people. We enjoy our Smithsonian-affiliated Peoria Riverfront Museum with its top-notch exhibits, an incredible Planetarium and a giant-screen theatre. Get yourself gussied up for an evening with Heartland Festival Orchestra or The Peoria Symphony Orchestra…yep, we have two outstanding orchestras right here in our area. There’s a nationally ranked Fine Art Fair that calls Peoria home, as well as numerous performing arts groups like The Peoria Ballet that bring in some of the best local and national talent. Concerts large and small have a home here, too, as the Peoria Civic Center brings in top names from all over the world, while other mid-size and smaller venues allow for more intimate entertainment options. And if you just want to see some awesome public art, take a walk around Downtown Peoria and enjoy the sculptures and murals that continue to proliferate and make our city even more special.

Recreation Abounds All Around

If you hike or bike, you’re going to be blown away by the options you’ll have for awesome outdoor experiences. The Peoria Park District, the largest park system in the state of Illinois, has over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy. If wildlife is what you’re looking for, then just venture out to Wildlife Prairie Park and experience animals in their natural habitats. A trip to Peoria Zoo will have you feeling like you’re on an African safari, and a quick walk next door from there to The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum will make for a full day of fun for the whole family.

Recreation Abounds All Around

If you hike or bike, you’re going to be blown away by the options you’ll have for awesome outdoor experiences. The Peoria Park District, the largest park system in the state of Illinois, has over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy. If wildlife is what you’re looking for, then just venture out to Wildlife Prairie Park and experience animals in their natural habitats. A trip to Peoria Zoo will have you feeling like you’re on an African safari, and a quick walk next door from there to The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum will make for a full day of fun for the whole family.

Wine and Dine and Unwind

Simantel is so lucky to call Downtown Peoria our home. Our offices are located right along the Illinois River, and, not coincidentally, so are quite a few restaurants and pubs that we love and one of the best outdoor markets in the entire state. As a matter of fact, the Peoria Riverfront, Warehouse District and West Main Street areas all have so much to offer in the way of food and drinks. On occasion, we even venture out of our neighborhood to experience a little corner of culinary excellence in Peoria Heights. Regardless of the place you choose, you will get awesome food and friendly service wherever you go (except that one place…we’ll just let you find it on your own).

The Cost of Living…It Up!

You won’t come across a place with more affordable, beautiful housing options than the Peoria area. With the average home price at 31% below the national average, you can really live it up here without the stress of a huge mortgage. And if you are looking for a rental, you‘ll save about 22%. There are gorgeous historic homes, trendy downtown apartments and lofts, and quaint and friendly neighborhoods all around the area. As a matter of fact, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Peoria’s Grandview Drive the “world’s most beautiful drive.” There are so many options to live it up in Peoria, and they are all just minutes away from everything. And speaking of minutes, if you like a long commute then Peoria is definitely not for you. (But really, who likes a long commute?!) You won’t have to waste precious minutes (or hours) of your life in the car because you can get just about anywhere in Peoria in less than twenty minutes.

The Cost of Living…It Up!

You won’t come across a place with more affordable, beautiful housing options than the Peoria area. With the average home price at 31% below the national average, you can really live it up here without the stress of a huge mortgage. And if you are looking for a rental, you‘ll save about 22%. There are gorgeous historic homes, trendy downtown apartments and lofts, and quaint and friendly neighborhoods all around the area. As a matter of fact, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Peoria’s Grandview Drive the “world’s most beautiful drive.” There are so many options to live it up in Peoria, and they are all just minutes away from everything. And speaking of minutes, if you like a long commute then Peoria is definitely not for you. (But really, who likes a long commute?!) You won’t have to waste precious minutes (or hours) of your life in the car because you can get just about anywhere in Peoria in less than twenty minutes.

A Community That Cares

We could go on and on about the places you could go and the unique experiences you could have here in Peoria. Really, we could. But if you truly want to know the one thing that makes Peoria unique, it’s the people. Hearts are huge here and we make a difference in this world with our involvement and giving. Just ask Susan G. Komen Memorial. The original “Race for Cure” started here and breast cancer research has benefited from our efforts. Or ask St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Our community rallies around the fight against childhood cancer like no other in the country. Even kids in Haiti have felt the compassion of Peorians through Friends of the Children of Haiti. We have an amazing infrastructure of community service organizations to help those in need. It doesn’t matter if it’s next door or the other side of the world, Peoria and its people make an impact. We are so very proud of that.

Don’t believe us? Check out what others are saying about Peoria:

  • Four-time All-America City Winner (National Civic League)
  • Top 10 Best Towns for Families (Family Circle)
  • Top 10 Best Art Fairs in America (ArtFairCalendar.com)
  • Best Children’s Hospitals (U.S. News & World)
  •  Top 10 Best Cities for Starting a Business (Forbes)
  •  Top Performing Healthcare Systems (Truven)