Peoria has a montage of great stores, restaurants, OSF Saint Francais Hospital-probably the best Hospital in the state, but is dangerous. Even the nicest, most expensive stores are full of people just waiting to rob and kill anybody who looks at them funny. The worst place with crime is the Northwoods Mall-never go there without a gun! It is absolutely terrifying in there.
It is sad that Peoria has been going down hill so much. Peoria was a great town just a few years ago. With all of the jobs leaving, all of their workers leave, also, leaving houses readily open to scum! If you need something that is only available in bigger areas, then go to the Quad Cities. The Quad Cities is not much better, but their malls are not overflowing with criminals who want to rob and kill you!
I moved with my family to Peoria, Illinois when I was a teenager with my family and ended up living in the city for about 10 years. Being the largest city in Illinois, there definitely is a lot to do but it can be pretty boring at times. The best food places are on the Rivermont but they can be kind of pricey. The only other real forms of entertainment would be the museums which are good but highly unlikely you will actually visit it every time you are bored because it gets old after a while. The best part would probably be the Civic Center because a few big names do come to play at the venue every couple of months are so. The shows are great and a lot of fun. Even the night scene is only really live on the weekends. As for physical activity, Forest Park is a great place to do some nature activities such as biking, hiking, and so forth. The view is beautiful and not flat so you get a great workout while also getting a good view. It is not overly crowded either which can make your workout more fun.
Other than fun, however, the quality of living in the city is not too expensive. The taxes are moderate and price of living is relatively low. As for places to live, anything north of War Memorial Drive was considered to be nice; the community, people, crime, and so on. It is smart to invest in a car but for short-term things you can walk around pretty easily.
I have lived in Peoria for over 11 years now in three different places. By far the Bobbitt Historical Quarter are the worse landlord I have ever dealt with. Throughout the three years I have lived here they have shut my air off three times (I pay my own cilco/air), very rude phone calls when I need something fixed, would come into my apartment without notice and when I decided to move out, which i gave over 30 day notice, they were so rude and disrespectful! I had actually locked myself out that same evening that I gave my notice and went to a build next to me and asked if they could call the landlord to let me in. We were on speaker phone, which landlord did not know, and she says " after the message she left that she was leaving I am not doing anything for her". I have never had a older person be so rude to someone who had done nothing but keep to themselves and pays rent on time.
Their build stands empty and I can only image why.
if you're rich white and don't make waves this place is for you. just be careful because the constitution means jack here and will make up false accusations to get to you. recently the mayor and police have went on a spree of home invasions and accusing a man of child pornography and heroin distribution because they didn't like him making fun of him on twitter. In my opinion this is corruption and abuse of the system at its best. I have been to peoria a few times and its a shame to know that you cant trust the police force to help you. my suggestion is to keep on driving.
I grew up just outside Peoria, Illinois. Although my hometown was actually considered East Peoria, Peoria was the place in which we traveled to shop, eat, and have fun. I think the thing that surprises people the most about the city of Peoria, Illinois is that many expect it to be a small city in the middle of cornfields. Although when traveling to Peoria you will pass many cornfields, Peoria is actually a nice size, booming town, right on the Illinois River. In fact, the downtown area is quite nice with many fantastic restaurants and areas on the riverfront.
Peoria also has a nice zoo, a minor league baseball team, the Peoria Chiefs, with a fantastic field, and two great malls, one being indoor and one being outdoor. There is a large Civic Center, which brings in many big named stars and concerts. Basketball is a big deal in Peoria, and March Madness is experienced at many levels, including the Illinois High School Tournament being held there. If you are a fan of Caterpillar, the world headquarters are also in Peoria, and a Caterpillar museum is in the process of being built. There is an old saying that goes "It'll play in Peoria." I've found that is still true today!