The territory that now encompasses Bettendorf was opened to white settlement following the Black Hawk Purchase of 1832. The first European-American settlers established a village which they called Lillienthal, after an early tavern and dance hall. The village of Gilbert developed alongside Lillienthal in 1858, honoring Elias Gilbert, who platted the original site. At that time, the residents were predominantly German immigrants and worked as farmers, skilled laborers, and small business owners. The two villages eventually combined to become the town of Gilbert. The town gave William and Joseph Bettendorf 70 acres along the riverfront on the condition that they move their iron wagon business from Davenport to Gilbert. In 1903 the town petitioned for incorporation and requested that its name change to honor the brothers whose factory was a major economic influence in the early development of the city. The first modern-day riverboat casinos in the United States were launched in Bettendorf on April 1, 1991 by local businessman Bernard Goldstein. He went on to found the Isle of Capri Casinos. According to the 2010 census Bettendorf is home to 33,217.
Most people arrive using Interstate 74, the easiest route if arriving at Quad City International Airport. The exits are also the primary entry points from Davenport. Grant and State Street (US Route 67) are one-ways in the downtown area that originate from River Drive on the west side that connects with downtown Davenport. Middle Road connects with Locust Street and Kimberly Road-Spruce Hills Drive intersection (US Route 6) straddles the border between the two cities and Spruce Hills Drive travels though the north side. The 53rd Street exit is completely in Davenport and becomes 53rd Avenue in Bettendorf.
Many visitors who arrive via Interstate 80 will exit onto I-74 as they enter Bettendorf. Middle Road also has an exit and US Route 67 at the Mississippi River Bridge in Le Claire also provides an entry point.
- Quad City International Airport, (IATA: MLI) 2200 69th Ave, Moline (enter the city via I-74 West), ☎ . , Administrative Office Hours: M–F 8AM–4:30PM; Closed from 12PM–1PM, and all major holidays. The airport in Moline serves the regional Quad City area. Currently, four airlines offer non-stop flights to major markets primarily in the Midwest, the South and Southwest United States. Major rental car companies serve the airport and there are also taxi and shuttle companies available. There is generally not a line of taxis at the airport, but there is a list of taxi companies, as well as shuttle services, associated with the airport on the Ground Transportation page of the airport's website. It is best to make arrangements before arrival. MetroLINK Route 20 bus, also known as Route 20 Blue, makes two stops an hour at the terminal near the baggage claim area. It connects with Bettendorf Transit Route 1 at Centre Station in downtown Moline.
- Allegiant with direct service to: Las Vegas, Orlando-Stanford, Phoenix-Mesa, St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- American Eagle with direct service to: Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth
- Delta Connection with direct service to: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul
- United Express with direct service to: Chicago, Denver
- Davenport Municipal Airport, 9230 Harrison St. (I-80 East to I-74), ☎ . Private planes and small private jets.
There is no interstate bus terminal in Bettendorf, however there are two in the Quad Cities with public transit connections to Bettendorf. Both locations are served by Greyhound and Burlington Trailways.
- The Charles J. Wright Ground Transportation Center is located in downtown Davenport. CitiBus Route 10 connects to Bettendorf in the downtown area and at Duck Creek Plaza.
- Centre Station in downtown Moline is connected to Bettendorf by Bettendorf Transit Route 1.
As of 2014 there is no Amtrak service to the Quad Cities. The closest station is in Galesburg, Illinois. However, there are plans to inaugurate Amtrak service in 2015 with direct service between Chicago and Moline, Illinois.
Bettendorf is generally an easy city to navigate, but it has a couple of quirks. The city streets are basically laid out in a grid pattern, especially in the older part of town. Some of the newer residential sections of the city do not follow a grid, however. For the most part, east-west streets are named and the north-south streets are numbered starting at the border with Davenport. There are a couple of exceptions. Devils Glen Road is a north-south Street on the east side of town and 53rd Avenue is an east west street on the north side that connects with 53rd Street in Davenport. Middle Road is a major thoroughfare through the middle of town as the name suggests. However, it defies the grid pattern as it travels northeast from Locust Street in Davenport before it heads north to I-80. Addresses on east-west streets are numbered from the west at the border with Davenport, and on north-south streets from Mississippi River toward Interstate 80.
The Quad Cities has a wayfinding color code system for signs that direct people to various venues and attractions in the area. The area is divided into quadrants with their own colors and identifying headers on direction signs have the appropriate color for each quadrant so that travelers know, by color, which quadrant you are in and to which color you will have to travel to reach other attractions. Bettendorf is in the northeast quadrant and its attractions are on signs that use the yellow color in the header. The northwest quadrant (Davenport) is green, the southeast quadrant (Moline-East Moline) is blue and the southwest quadrant (Rock Island) is red.
Public transportation is operated by Bettendorf Transit. There is a connection with the Illinois Quad City's MetroLINK from downtown to Centre Station in downtown Moline (Route 1). There is also a connection with Davenport's CitiBus in downtown Bettendorf and at Duck Creek Plaza (CitiBus Route 10).
The LOOP is a riverfront circulator bus that crosses two bridges in two states and services downtown Moline, Rock Island, Davenport and Bettendorf. Ride for $1 per trip, during these hours: Thursday - Saturday 5PM-1:30AM; Sunday 11:30-6PM. Buses run approximately every 20 minutes.
The Riverfront Parkway follows the Mississippi River and connects with the trail in Davenport. It is part of the larger multi-state Mississippi River Trail. The Duck Creek Parkway is a second trail that runs through the middle of the city from Duck Creek Park in Davenport on west to its terminus along US Route 67. In time it will connect to the Riverfront Trail.
By water taxi
A unique way to see the Quad Cities is from the Channel Cat Water Taxi, an open air boat that transports people and bicycles to the Iowa and Illinois shorelines. The four stops are located at the Celebration Belle and at John Deere Commons in Moline, the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf and the Village of East Davenport. It operates in the summer months.
- Family Museum of Arts and Science, 2900 Learning Campus Dr., ☎ , fax: +1 563 344-4164, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 9AM-8PM, F-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Exhibits and programs are designed for a primary audience of children ages eight years of age and younger and their adult caregivers. Ages 2-59 $7; Seniors and 1-year old children $4; Active military personnel, their spouse and children residing in the household $4; Free for visitors under age one and all Family Museum members.
- Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center, 2021 State St., ☎ , toll-free: . Facility provides meeting and banquet space that also hosts a variety of functions and performances.
- Isle of Capri Casino, 1777 Isle Parkway, ☎ , toll-free: . Open 24 hours. More than 1,000 slot machines and video poker machines ranging in denominations from one cent to $25. There are also 20 table games including live video poker.
- Palmer Hills Golf Course, 2999 Middle Road, ☎ . Established in 1974, Palmer Hills is an 18-hole public golf course designed by William J. Spear. It features 100 year old oak trees, rolling hills, creeks and a pond coming into play on 11 holes.
- Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Dr., ☎ , fax: +1 563 344-4185. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Scott Community College A two-year school it is part of the Eastern Iowa Community College District.
Bettendorf has several areas that have stores. The small downtown area is along State and Grant Streets from I-74 east where the two streets merge. The intersection of Kimberly and Middle Roads has three shopping centers with a combination of big-box stores and smaller shops. Cumberland Square Shopping Center is at the intersection of 18th Street and Spruce Hills Drive. A final shopping section is at the intersection of Middle Road and Devils Glen Road.
- Farraday's, 1777 Isle Parkway, ☎ . Tu-Th 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Fine dining in the Isle of Capri Casino complex. $10-38.
- Harris Pizza, 2520 18th St., ☎ . Quad City-style pizza
- Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor, 2430 Spruce Hills Drive, ☎ . M-Sa 7AM, Su 8AM. A Quad City original. Pizza, sandwiches, pasta, ice cream, buffet, carry-out and deliveries. Sunday Brunch
- The Hungry Hobo, 2320 Spruce Hills Drive, ☎ . M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 11AM-8PM. A Quad City original. Sliced and grilled-to-order sandwiches, baked potatoes with a variety of toppings, chef-prepared soups, shredded-lettuce salads, and desserts from The Hobo Bakery.
- The Lodge, 900 Spruce Hills Drive, ☎ . Located in The Lodge Hotel. Prime Rib, pastas, seafood, traditional German fare, daily house features and luncheon specials. Sunday Brunch.
- Red Crow Grille, 2504 53rd Avenue, ☎ . M-Th 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Don't let the strip-mall setting fool you, this is one fine restaurant. The food and the service are excellent. $23-41.
- Red Ginger Sushi Bar & Grill, 793 Middle Road, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM. Sushi rolls, sashimi and hibachi. $4-29.
- Trattoria Tiramisu, 1804 State Street, ☎ , fax: +1 563 323-2989. Lunch: M-F 11AM-2PM, Dinner: M-Th 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Authentic Italian cuisine in a comfortable setting. $8-16.
- Waterfront Deli, 1020 State Street, ☎ . The Waterfront Deli serves sandwiches on bread they bake themselves plus freshly-prepared salads.
- Courtyard by Marriott, 895 Golden Valley Drive (I-74 and the Spruce Hills Drive exit, turn right. At the next intersection (Utica Ridge Road) turn left and then left at Golden Valley Drive), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Hotel features a meeting room, indoor pool and Bistro.
- Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, 890 Golden Valley Dr. (I-74 and the Spruce Hills Drive exit, turn right. At the next intersection (Utica Ridge Road) turn left and then left at Golden Valley Drive), ☎ , fax: +1 563 355-0039. Check-in: After 3PM, check-out: Before 11AM. Hotel features free wireless high-speed Internet access, indoor pool, sauna and game room.
- Hilton Garden Inn, 909 Middle Road (I-74 and Middle Road exit). Under construction. It is scheduled to open in the Autumn of 2014.
- Isle of Capri, 1777 Isle Parkway, toll-free: . Hotel is part of the Isle of Capri Casino complex and is connected to the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center.
- The Lodge, 900 Spruce Hills Drive, ☎ , toll-free: . A full service hotel that features a restaurant, lounge and an indoor pool in a German-inspired castle setting.
- Ramada, 3020 Utica Ridge Road, ☎ , fax: +1 563 355-1305. Check-in: After 3PM, check-out: Before 12PM. Hotel features a business center, meeting rooms, indoor pool and recreation center.
- Super 8, 890 Golden Valley Dr. (I-74 and the Spruce Hills Drive exit, turn right. At the next intersection (Utica Ridge Road) turn left and then left at Golden Valley Drive), ☎ . Check-in: After 1PM, check-out: Before 11AM. Hotel features a business center, Internet, indoor pool and gym.
- Le Claire, just northeast of Bettendorf with quaint shops and home of Buffalo Bill (and a museum devoted to showcasing his life).
|Routes through Bettendorf|
|END ←||N S||→ Moline → Peoria|
|Des Moines ← Davenport ←||W E||→ Le Claire → Chicago|
|Des Moines ← Davenport ←||W E||→ Moline → Joliet|
|Clinton ← Le Claire ←||N S||→ Davenport → St. Louis|