By GREG CARTER
Local Q blogger
This week marked the end of my second full academic year of college, and I am quickly approaching my second anniversary of moving to Quincy. In the spirit of sharing good fun, I thought I might suggest a list of 50 things everyone in the region around Quincy should do at least once, based on my experiences since moving here.
Some of them you will find suggested elsewhere. For instance, you will find a few listed on the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website. Others I found through The Local Q or The Herald-Whig. Still a few more are strictly from experience or learned by word of mouth. I have not completed everything on the list, so I need you to comment on this article. Tell me where to find a few of these things. Also, feel free to compare your experiences with mine and share them!
1. Blues in the District. My hometown has a similar program, but Quincy’s Blues in the District music nights are more fun, in a nicer atmosphere, and safer! Spend an evening once, and you will go again and again.
2. Romantic dinners out. I like the Pier, Tiramisu and the Elkton for these, and I recommend them all. Sprout’s burned down before I had a chance to go there, but I am waiting for them to re-open so I can add their restaurant to this list.
3. Trap or skeet shooting. You can shoot trap or skeet in West Quincy or at one of the many leagues in Adams County and the immediate surrounding area. Even if your feelings are on the fence about guns, I recommend giving this a chance. I never tried before coming to Quincy, and now I love the sport.
4. Walk the island from end to end. You know the island I mean: Quinsippi Island. From the north dunes to the flagpole on the south tip, Quinsippi Island has no less than five distinct micro-environments, ranging from swamp to arid brush reminiscent of southern Africa. Bring a hiking stick, sturdy footwear, bug repellent, water, and your camera. Park on the mainland, walk across the bridge, then go whichever way you fancy. You will be out all day and never know a city was just 500 yards to the east.
5. Fish. Quincy is surrounded by water teeming with fish, turtles, and who-knows-what else. Grab a pole (and a license), and head out. I grew up with grandparents who fished for musky, the only fish in the world you never catch. By age 14, I was not interested in fishing anymore. Quincy, however, has changed my mind. This summer I will be out there again. Do you have any recommendations on where I should go or what bait to use? I could really use some advice.
6. Take a class. By this, I mean further your knowledge. Within a 30-minute radius there are five colleges offering higher education. You can also take courses in art at the Quincy Arts Center and attend workshops of all kinds in the area. With this much convenient access to fine higher education, everyone should do this at least once.
7. The big parks. So far I have found two parks in the Quincy area that blow away almost anything in my home area: Siloam Springs State Park in Illinois and the Cannon Dam/Mark Twain Lake recreational areas in Missouri. I know they get a bit “touristy” in the summer and fall, but they are beautiful places to visit.
8. Take in the “must-eats.” My favorites so far, that I recommend to everyone I meet, are simple. You must eat (see how this goes?): the fried chicken at Mr. Bill’s, the onion rings at Elders, the gator eggs at the 18-Wheeler, the lobster mac-and-cheese at the Pier, the biscuits and gravy breakfast at Quincy University’s Hawks Hangout, brisket and beans at Fatback’s, an “egg salad, thick” from Winkings Market, and so on. Everyone in Quincy has a favorite, so compile a list from people you meet and run them down one at a time. Have some favorites you think everyone should try? Post a comment below and let’s exchange restaurant tips.
9. Concerts at the O-LC. Make sure to take in a concert or other event at the Oakley-Lindsay Center. Quincy is very fortunate to have an event venue of this size and quality, and not taking advantage of the variety of events scheduled there is almost criminal!
10. Buy local. Quincy has some of the best locally-owned establishments I have ever seen. No matter what you may need, the chances are you can find it without visiting the chain stores that cover so much of Broadway and the east end of Quincy. You can find bquality jewelry at Sturhan’s, accessories at Premier Diva and Asian food at One Restaurant, and never have your money leave the local area.
Well, I think that is enough for now. More to follow shortly.
— Gregory Carter
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