History on the Move: Historical Peoria Bus Tours

Throughout spring, summer and fall, our History on the Move Historic Bus Tours provide the unique opportunity to view many of the historic homes and venues in the Peoria area. Expert guides provide fascinating stories and information.

Certified PHS guides lead historical bus tours from June through October on Friday and Saturdays. Custom ("Step-on") tours with a PHS-certified guide can also be arranged for organizations who provide their own private transportation. The customized historic tour can also be combined with a tour of one or both of the historic house museums. Tour themes are listed below.

Notable Peoria Women - New Tour starts in August!

Peoria has a rich history of fascinating women who have made their mark on the city. You will learn about three Peoria women inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as discovering other women who impacted education, business, medicine, and the lives of those less fortunate.


Roll Out the Barrel Tour

Peoria once featured a riverfront lined with breweries and distilleries, and thus came to be known as the Whiskey Capital of the World.

From 1850 to Prohibition, the volume of whiskey distilled, aged, and bottled in Peoria led to great fortunes being made and to the birth of equally prosperous secondary industries. Discover why Peoria was the perfect place for all of these industries to be born.


Naughty to Nice Tour

This tour traces triumphs through time from the 1920’s to the present.  Tales of gambling and mobsters, including the site of Peoria’s most notorious crime – the Bernie Shelton murder, provide a fascinating look into this era.  Also, discover why Peoria has won the prestigious
All-America City Award four times. 
Note: Tour is not appropriate for children.


River City Tour

The Native Americans, the French, the whiskey and earthmoving capital of the world and the grand mansions – the River City Tour has it all. You will view the stately homes along High Street, Moss Avenue, Glen Oak, and Grandview Drive. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Illinois River during this tour.


Grandview Drive & Springdale Cemetery Tour

Enjoy spectacular views of the river from the world’s most beautiful drive while seeing elegant homes of past and present Peorians. Continue with a tour of the oldest chartered cemetery in the state of Illinois, which features 255 acres of tree-lined roads.


Abraham Lincoln & the Civil War Tour

Learn about Lincoln’s many visits to Peoria & the Civil War troops that trained here. Visit the final resting place for many brave veterans in Springdale Cemetery.


Haunted Peoria Tour

Explore the darker side of Peoria! Discover the stories behind the ghostly appearances that have startled and puzzled Peorians through the years. Curses, graves, legends and spooky sightings!


Art & Architecture Tour - Renewed 

Have you ever wondered about the story behind this stunning statue?  You’ve likely driven by it countless times but never stopped to think about it.  You’ll leave this tour with a newfound sense of pride in the fascinating sights downtown, in the Randolph-Roanoke area, and in the Warehouse District.  Once you stop to look, you realize the art & architecture in Peoria is quite extraordinary.


Peoria was settled as a French fur trading outpost in 1691 under the direction of the French explorer Henri de Tonti. The first Americans settled here in 1819. The village was first officially incorporated as a town on July 18, 1835. At that time, the settlement looked much like this view which was originally drawn in August 1831 by John M. Roberts. This colored reproduction was created later by Charles Overall.

Peoria was settled as a French fur trading outpost in 1691 under the direction of the French explorer Henri de Tonti. The first Americans settled here in 1819. The village was first officially incorporated as a town on July 18, 1835. At that time, the settlement looked much like this view which was originally drawn in August 1831 by John M. Roberts. This colored reproduction was created later by Charles Overall.