Muscatine might be an unusual stop, definitely off the beaten touristy track and not on many guidebooks; but if you are on the way from Chicago to somewhere in (southish) Iowa, is a great place to stop over for the night and have a taste of the real small town America (as described by Bill Bryson in his childhood memories). You probably haven't heard of it before (neither had I until it was chosen as a Motel night destination) but there are some interesting facts that might make you remember Muscatine:
-Its name is unique, as it isn't used anywhere else in the US (and that's unusual, apparently!) and it is supposed to come from the name of a Native American tribe who lived locally.
-Mark Twain once said the best sunsets in the world were here (by the mighty Mississippi River)
-It was once the Pearl Button Capital of the World (no less!), as clams were harvested in the Mississippi to manufacture clam shell buttons. (Nowadays there is a museum in town and a hundred things with the name 'button' in it but not many signs of real clam shell buttons anymore).
And don't be fooled, behind the huge The Button Factory name hides a cafe/restaurant.