DAVENPORT, Iowa – Driving over the Mississippi River at night is truly something, as you leave Illinois, arch up and over the blackness and to the lights of Davenport, Iowa. The lights from the other side give glimpses to the water below, jumping off the ripples and then disappearing like fireflies.
During the day it's just as majestic, its sheer size and power moving beneath you in the opposite direction.
It's a great scene setter once you get into Iowa, where I made my way to the historic Hotel Blackhawk. Built nearly 100 years ago in 1915, it's one of the country's historic hotels and has been recently renovated by the hotel restoration company Restoration Saint Louis.
It's a must-stay if you find yourself traveling to Iowa, or to the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic PGA Tour event July 9-15 in nearby Silvis, Ill.
It's a good year to make the trip considering there are no regular PGA Tour events in Wisconsin or Illinois this year, and tickets to the PGA's Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago have long been sold out.
Madison resident Steve Stricker is also going to attempt to make history at the JDC as he vies for his fourth consecutive title at TPC Deere Run, a feat accomplished only by Tiger Woods, Young Tom Morris, Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen.
In a crowded marketplace for visitors, Hotel Blackhawk sets itself apart thanks to not only the historic, old-time feel but all of the first world amenities we expect – and some we don't.
The hotel offers a free WiFi connection, which is a huge plus, along with a bowling alley. Yes, bowling alley – the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge. There is no better nightcap for the nightcap than bringing it downstairs and knocking down a few pins.
The lobby is spacious, luxurious and runs seamlessly into a renovated bar and restaurant area. Workout facilities and Spa Luce are on-site, and there's access to area golf clubs (if you're not out watching the professionals, that is). If you decide to visit around tournament week, the hotel can help arrange tee times on the tournament course, as well as Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club.
I've been fortunate enough to stay in some nice places over the years in my travels covering sporting events, and usually the resort facilities top the list – after all, everything is on site. But few rooms can stand up to Hotel Blackhawk, sharply decorated and designed.
The in-room appliances are all modern, including a television built into the bathroom mirror to enjoy while in the hot tub.
They've also done a nice job in color selection in making the rooms look sleek, but keeping that historic feel.
If you are planning a visit to see Stricker, Madison resident Jerry Kelly and Menomonee Falls native Mark Wilson contend for the title at the John Deere Classic, be sure to book a room in Davenport soon.
Despite being, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere, the John Deere Classic a well-attended event which draws crowds from Iowa, Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. The field is also gaining strength as players will attempt to qualify for the next week's British Open, as well as rack up points for the Ryder Cup.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published June 12, 2017
A golf course is a living thing, with insects, grasses and trees all affecting how it plays on a given day. All of those things, and a host of others, must be managed daily by that course's superintendent to make it playable for the golfer. It's a long day, with a lot of duties and I gave it a try.
Published April 27, 2015
Tyler Thornburg has been pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2012, but last year was to be his first as a full-time reliever. He started well, but was then lost for the year with an elbow injury. He is back and healthy at the start of 2015 and hopes to prove, again, that he belongs in the majors.
Published April 23, 2015
Some many call him a question mark in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup, but Khris Davis was feeling confident about himself and the team as the 2015 campaign got underway.
Published April 21, 2015
As the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to lock up a playoff berth in the final few games of the year, second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is proving to many that he can be a force to be reckoned with. You see the action on the court, now, but it was the lonely hours in the gym before his family arrived from Greece last year that laid the foundation.
Published April 17, 2015
It was one year ago today that former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl introduced Wes Edens and Marc Lasry to the city of Milwaukee as the new owners of the Bucks franchise. The pair would not, formally, be considered the owners by the league for a few weeks yet - but the press conference on April 16, 2014 signaled the start of a new era. A lot has happened in 365 days. Read on for some of the big moments.
Published April 15, 2015
Jabari Parker hasn't played a game for the Milwaukee Bucks since Dec. 15, 2014, and he may not play another one until that date later this year. Or maybe slightly before. Or after. It's the great on-court unknown for the franchise. But what if he didn't get hurt? It's possible that his injury affected more than just the team - it could've swayed public sentiment regarding the arena.
Published April 13, 2015
As the spotlight widens on the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and politicians around the state regarding the construction of a new Downtown arena, the Milwaukee Admirals have been left in the shadows. As of now, there are no plans to have the Admirals as a part of the new multi-purpose arena.
Published April 10, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com Sports Editor Jim Owczarski is taking off on a new adventure, leaving the Cream City after over three years. It's been fun, very memorable, and full of fun people, places, drinks and food. On his way out, he shares with you some of his favorites in all of those categories.
Published April 9, 2015
Believe it or not, we are now closer to a decade removed from Tiger Woods' last major championship than we are to his last run of sustained dominance in the game. The greats, always, lose their edge and become shadows of what they were. But Woods' decline was so sudden, the game hasn't quite yet recovered.
Published April 8, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks aim to create a true urban plan around its new Downtown arena, and the billion dollar concept could have far reaching effects. Read on to see how some in the community feel about the project.