As the temperatures begin to drop along with the leaves, many young people are concerned about where to take the yearly sweater weather pictures. Here are The Scout’s picks for the five best places in Peoria to capture those autumnal vibes:
Laura Bradley Park
Named for university founder Lydia Moss Bradley’s third daughter, Laura Bradley Park provides trees amongst open grass for a classic outdoor photoshoot experience. The centerpiece of the 140-acre park is the intricate Japanese-inspired bridge. Crossing the Dry Run Creek, the bridge offers flawless views of the sunset on the water. If you want to include the bridge as a backdrop, there’s another bridge close by, but be sure to watch for passing cars.
Named “the world’s most beautiful drive” by former President Theodore Roosevelt during a 1910 visit, the northern Peoria road overlooks the picturesque Illinois River Valley. The photo opportunities do not stop there. Not only does it boast beautiful nature scenes, but Grandview Drive also shows off the stately homes of some of the city’s more affluent residents.
Forest Park Nature Center
Where better to watch the leaves change than Forest Park Nature Center? The expansive 500-acre preserve is sure to have many serene spots to capture a more quiet, contemplative moment. With seven miles of hiking trails, Forest Park is a great place for the fitness-focused as well.
For those wanting to take in some of the city’s history while also taking the perfect spooky picture, Springdale Cemetery is for you. The final resting places of Lydia Moss Bradley, Bradley’s first African American professor Romeo B. Garrett and other Peoria luminaries lie a 15-minute drive away from campus on Prospect Road.
This place has everything. Take a break from posing by vintage warehouses and old railroad tracks and warm up with a seasonally appropriate drink from the local coffee shops. While you’re there, let everyone know where you’ve been taking all these great pictures by standing in front of the “Hello Peoria” mural on SW Adams Street. If you can’t think of any clever captions on an empty stomach, grab a bite to eat at one of the many bars and restaurants.
NOTE: The Bradley Scout is not responsible for any interactions you may have with homecoming groups from local high schools.