Book is a bucket list for visitors, locals

Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner

Jonathan Turner’s compact but mighty “100 Things to Do in the Quad Cities Before You Die” is rather ominously titled for such a sunny tour through some of the top sites, sounds, places and activities in the region.

Extensive detail crammed into short fact-filled entries shared by a respected longtime QC journalist — turned travel guide — are what makes “100 Things” a great read for visitors and native Quad Citians. Indeed, even after 35 years in the QC, this writer and former colleague of Mr. Turner found overlooked gems to add to her must-do list and a reminder to revisit old favorites.

Mr. Turner said Visit Quad Cities recommended him to pen the book for St. Louis-based Reedy Press, publisher of the popular and heavily formatted “100 Things” travel guides. (You can find its lengthy catalog at

He proved to be the right choice for Visit QC’s President and CEO Dave Herrell. “It was a pleasure working with Jonathan on this book although we all know there are a lot more than just 100 things to do in the QC,” the tourism leader said. “The book captures some great examples and puts it into a consumable package for visitors and locals as they work through their QC bucket list.”

No, it’s not comprehensive. But overall Mr. Turner has created a rich and diverse roster of wonderful offerings that blanket the region. 

It’s also a fast read and a handy reference guide. If you’re looking for, say, a new place to eat, the book’s clearly defined chapters ­— Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, Sports and Recreation, Culture and History, and Shopping and Fashion — make it easy to quickly find a variety of recommendations.

There also are many more than 100 things to do here. “I was honored to take on this assignment, to help promote all the great things to do in the QC, according to five major categories,” Mr. Turner said. “Because I was able to include tips and related lists for some items, the index at the end of the book has a total of 200 places!” 

He added: “There’s no reason for anyone to say there’s nothing to do in the Quad Cities, and my wife Betsy and I have found it a phenomenal place to raise a family, make friends and enjoy so many places in the area since we moved here in fall 1995.”

Mr. Turner’s love for the area and his long experience as a Quad Cities entertainer and entertainment writer are apparent throughout his book. In all, Mr. Turner’s “100 Things to Do Before You Die” is a great guide for living it up in the Quad Cities.

100 Things to Do in the Quad Cities Before You Die

by Jonathan Turner
Reedy Press, $17.99
146 pages
To purchase the book, email or visit

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