Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center, Peoria: Hours, Address, Caterpillar Visitors Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
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About
The Caterpillar Visitors Center is a fascinating look at the company, the iron and the people making sustainable progress possible around the world. From the humble beginnings of the first tractor to the company's present-day leadership in building infrastructure and powering the planet — it's all right here on Peoria's beautiful riverfront. We invite you to experience Caterpillar like never before and plan your visit today.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
445 reviews
Excellent
248
Very good
135
Average
46
Poor
7
Terrible
9

travelerhugh
Belleville, IL55 contributions
Great introduction to the Caterpillar history, research and development beginning in San Leandro California with the Holt and Best Tractor companies through the current international heavy equipment providing electrical generation, railroad locomotives, construction equipment, etc. There are interactive activities reflecting use of equipment as well as scientific details leading to the current products, some appropriate for children with an interest in technology, engineering, science, math (STEM). Though obviously a place for the company to highlight itself, it also provides good understanding of the evolution of the various facets of Cat's world. Easy access near the Peoria Riverfront.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bill B
43 contributions
Family
One of the best “Earth Moving” equipment that I’ve experienced. By contrast I’ve visited the John Deere Visitors Center in nearby Quad Cities and there’s no comparison if your are a youngster or a youngster at heart.
The CAT experience includes a faux ride in the dump of the biggest hauler of them all comparable to a Disney theme park ride. On occasion visitors can make arrangements to visit the nearby Cat Proving grounds.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Irina
United States10,116 contributions
Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria IL is a perfect place for visitors to get proper knowledge and understanding of the achievements of Caterpillar, Inc. (founded in 1925), that nowadays has 110 manufacturing facilities, employing over 100,000 people world-wide. For this mega corporation, it all translates into $53,8 billion revenue and the net income of $6,09 billion - both numbers are for the year of 2019.

In Peoria metro area there are four major CAT plants , employing now about 12,000 people.

Opened in 2012, the impressive 50,000 sq. ft. Caterpillar Visitors Center presents the vast data on the development of the company and all its products -- machinery, engines, financial products -- using the printed , audio and video means of information, as well as the machinery exhibits, that can be "tested" and "practiced" by visitors on guided simulators. It is almost like a first-hand experience, operating an excavator!

Although Caterpillar Visitors Center is now temporarily closed for visitors, one can get the info through virtual tours, organized by the center.

Caterpillar Visitors Center certainly has the best location downtown -- close to the historic districts, the picturesque Riverfront, various businesses, attractions, hotels and restaurants. The scenic views from the elevated, exquisitely and tastefully landscaped grounds, where the center is located, are just wonderful.

Parking is ample, both onsite, on the streets, and along the attractive Riverfront part of the city.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marguerite a
Ohio344 contributions
The Caterpillar Visitors Center is filled with dated films (2017, 2019), some machinery (which is beautiful) , and descriptions of products I had no idea Caterpillar manufactures. They had some antique Caterpillar equipment that was museum quality. They also had a Caterpillar time line that made the center a bit like a museum. Men seemed to love the simulators where they could try operatine a back hoe (and the like.) However, most of the exhibit was an advertisement for Caterpillar: how many salesmen and repairmen they have in the world...how they "just want to help people" ... how various customers love their Caterpillar customer representatives, etc. There is nothing wrong with advertising, and what the company advertises may well be true. Caterpillar should not have charged admission to give the visitor one ad after another.
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Josh1125
30 contributions
Don't waste your time. Cat visitors center is over priced and not geared to the General public or children. It is only aimed for customer service and sales. The 3-D sulators where ok, but that was about it. Don't expect to see classic equipment, it's only all new tractors, no classic.
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Holly
1 contribution
Family
I really wanted to give this experience 5 stars but unfortunately I would give it 0 if possible. After paying 7 dollars per person we expected to be able to entertain our 3 boys for more than an hour but there was only one level of things to look at and do. The first thing we heard was one of the employees literally hollering at a boy who was walking fast..not even running..toward the equipment because he was excited to see it all. The mom was right there and she could have obviously said that herself if she felt like the boy was causing trouble of any sort.. but he wasn’t.
There are displays of equipment that can be climbed in which was nice but if you have children be prepared to be hawk eyed and scowled at by the employees. My 4 year old was trying to touch the fake dirt that the equipment was sitting on and the lady said “umm, excuse me you can’t touch that.” I could appreciate that comment if this place was an art museum or something of that nature but please don’t invite the general public to your building and expect children to not be curious. I could also see her saying that if my children were running around acting crazy with no adult supervision but I was literally standing right there next to him. I was even about to touch it myself just wondering if it was real or fake.
I feel like if you are a customer wanting to purchase Caterpillar equipment this would be the right place. Between the movie and the information scattered around the displays it just felt like I was with a Caterpillar dealer having to hear them brag about the company. It felt VERY commercialized.
We originally came into this establishment excited to learn about the equipment and how it all works but sadly we walked out having a negative view of Caterpillar and the values that they stand for. I feel like they should have a sign that says “No children allowed. If you want your family to have a good time go to Moline Illinois at the John Deere Museum (for free) where you won’t feel like the employees are Nazis to anyone shorter that 4 feet.”
Written December 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephen G
Davenport, IA163 contributions
Family
OK what is a company visitor's center. It is where they show off their products. (John Deere has one in Moline.) This makes it a large advertisement for the company. Fine. I see no reason to pay $7 to see the same thing you could see at any caterpillar dealership. (John Deere's is free.) Don't forget the cost of parking. The movie was fine... the big truck was neat... the computer simulations were unavailable because people were lined up 5 deep to try them out. The gift shop was overpriced. I was disappointed to see NOTHING about Caterpillars used during WWII. The guides were good but too often talking to each other instead of the tourists.
Written July 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are sorry to hear that your experience at the Caterpillar Visitors Center was unsatisfactory. We appreciate your feedback and have shared it with our team. Your valuable input will help with the planning of future exhibits. If you have any questions, please contact us at CaterpillarVisitorsCenter@cat.com.
Written August 7, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pete7919
Doylestown, PA389 contributions
Solo
This was a neat attraction and I'm glad I went, but I really don't think it's appropriate to charge money to see it. It's basically one big ad for Caterpillar. I'd say it's 25% history and 75% look at us and how great the company is! It's OK but the John Deere Pavilion is the same thing and that's free. They shouldn't be charging people for the privilege.

I really enjoyed reading about the early history of the company. The design is very well thought out but what it has in cool factor it lacks in actual usefulness. The layout was confusing and the characters who created the company were never introduced so I'm still not sure how Caterpillar came to be.

There are several different videos shown throughout the center but they all used the same footage of the same people. I saw the tree harvest in Russia, the marble blocks, the mine, and the Chinese gas plant in each video. There is a lot of design that went into the museum, but it seems like they cut some corners on the content. There is a lot that could be added to make it more valuable such as info on the manufacturing process as well as educational content for students to discuss the physics of the machines. I really liked the time lapse videos of how some of the machines were built.

The simulators were neat and I would've liked to spend more time there but they were extremely limited in what they'd allow you to do. There were 2 types and both only let you do 1 scenario.

I was also very disappointed with the store. Everything seemed way overpriced. There wasn't really anything special. I would've liked to see some merchandise that is exclusive to the store that you can only get there. Specifically, I would've liked a book that shows the visitor's center in pictures and shows some of the manufacturing process and history. I was going to buy a die cast model for one of my kids, but they were so expensive and I think I could buy the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

Overall, it's a unique place to visit but they need to add more substance and it should be free. Don't get me wrong, kids will go nuts for this place if they are into machines.
Written October 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Pete - We appreciate you taking the time to experience the Caterpillar Visitors Center as well as the candid feedback you provided. We use comments like yours to provide a better experience for our patrons. One of the primary reasons why we charge admission is to provide a better overall experience for our visitors. This includes being able to update our exhibits and product floor. The admission fees also allow us to be a community partner with things like our field trip program, which allows students of all ages to have to the opportunity to see the Visitors Center. Again, thank you for the feedback and for making the trip to see us.
Written October 17, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KmomChicago
Kankakee, IL192 contributions
Family
Caterpillar is one of the most enduring companies in Illinois history, started with humble beginnings in Peoria, IL, and still headquartered there after all this time. The dazzling Visitor's center is a celebration of that success. It takes an hour or so to experience the center and it is right next door to the Riverfront Museum, so you can park to experience both, as well as the restaurants along the vibrantly redeveloped RiverFront area.

I suppose you need to determine whether the subject matter suits your interests - a small but very nicely done museum explaining how a local tractor company grew to become the world's premier manufacturer of heavy construction equipment, including the gallery of CAT vehicles to climb around in and "man the controls."

The vehicles on display are not mock-ups but the real thing, full of buttons and knobs that are pushable and turnable, though of course the vehicles themselves do not start, move or allow you to start demolishing their home. Simulators are provided for those who need more action. We enjoyed climbing in the huge scoop at the front of one, waiting for Daddy to "scoop us up!" Instead he just snapped a pic, which was enough adventure for us.
Written May 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Toddsbc383
Hannibal, MO185 contributions
Couples
This place is easily one of the worst "visitor's centers" I have ever seen. After paying $7 a person to get it, to something that doesn't compare to John Deere in Moline for FREE, is ludicrous.

The fantasy of CAT being in the Peoria area for much longer is nothing more then a pipe dream, didn't they promise a new World HQ downtown for years bilk the City out of money for years only to leave? CAT isn't staying in IL, anybody with half a brain knows this..I am wondering what the City of Peoria's investment in this is that will be lost..

The exhibits are dull and drab to say the least, you can see better at an equipment dealer for FREE and be treated better.

I would feel sorry for anybody caught in this area after dark.

Wake up Peoria, your Riverfront is terrible and this place makes it worse.
Written October 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center is open:
  • Tue - Fri 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM