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Best Things to do in Iowa City [Guide]

Best Things to do in Iowa City [Guide]

Iowa is a modern-day city with a German heritage located in the Midwestern part of the US and the center of the country.

Iowa City was formed through an act of Legislative Assembly of the Iowa Region on the 21st of January 21, 1839, in fulfillment of the wish of Governor Robert Lucas to transfer the then capital from Burlington and nearer to the region’s center. 

Iowa City is located in Johnson CountyIowa, United States. The city is the home of the University of Iowa and the seat of Johnson County cited at the hub of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. There are tons of great things to do in Iowa City should you decide to visit.

The population of the city as of 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau is 76,290. This makes Iowa City the fifth biggest city in Iowa State. The municipal area comprises Johnson and Washington counties and together they have a combined population of more than 171,000.

Iowa City was the second capital of the Iowa Territory and the primary capital city of the State of Iowa. Iowa is a city with a rich art scene. Its citizens have a special love for nature and camping outdoors.

Iowa has a lot to entertain, educate and enlighten visitors with its rich cultural heritage. There are a lot of different types of activities to suits different categories of visitors ranging from art galleries, museums to theaters.

There are sufficient activities to keep everyone entertained. Iowa’s city parks are filled with beehives of activities extending across all the four seasons of the year featuring golf, baseball, ice hockey and more.

Not interested in the peaceful and relaxing main streets, the city equally has a lot to offer to outdoorsy visitors amidst its gently rolling hills and extensive countryside.

So, whether you’re more interested in whitewater paddling, hiking into caves, ziplining, riding roller coasters or embarking on long-distance biking, Iowa has a lot to offer to adventurists. The city equally serves as the top producer of corn in the country.

Things To Do In Iowa City: Why you need to Visit!

Things To Do In Iowa

Iowans welcome visitors with distinctive Midwestern hospitality and attraction that is second to none. The City offers visitors and tourists with the most stunning and spectacular attractions and a lot of things to do while on a visit! 

The University of Iowa Art Museum and Plum Grove, the home of the Robert Lucas, the first Governor of Iowa, are some of the city’s tourist attractions. 

Iowa City was rated as the second-best small metropolitan area for business to thrive in the US by Forbes magazine in 2008. Iowa has a lot to entertain, educate and enlighten visitors with its rich cultural heritage. 

There are a lot of different types of activities to suits different categories of visitors ranging from art galleries to museums and theaters. The city’s National Historic Landmark, the Old Capitol building is located in the core of the University of Iowa campus. 

There are sufficient activities to keep everyone entertained. Iowa’s city parks are filled with beehives of activities extending across all the four seasons of the year and featuring golf, baseball, ice hockey and more. 

While visiting the state, you can visit tourist’s attractions like the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium to educate you, explore many parks in the state to satisfy your adventurous mind and enjoy a lot of scenic sceneries to stimulate your creativity.

Whether you want to make Iowa your next permanent abode or you want to make the city your next vacation destination, there are many spectacular things you want to do in Iowa to keep you sufficiently entertained. Let’s explore these a bit more in details:

1. Outstanding Roadside Attractions

Iowa Outstanding Roadside Attractions

The roads of IOWA have a lot to offer to all whether you want to explore the biggest, the tiniest, tallest, broadest and creepiest roadside attractions. You can take a selfie with the world’s biggest concreted bull, longest corn stalk, largest Swedish coffee pot, most gigantic strawberry, a massive popcorn ball and the biggest cemented concrete fairy. 

You can overcome your fear of heights by cruising around on a train crosswise the world’s tallest and lengthiest dual-track railroad channel or go on a tram ride on top of the shortest and steepest railway in the world.

2. Pop Culture and Historical Benchmarks

Iowa is a home for the renowned Robert James Waller’s sheltered bridges of Madison County. Also, the Field Of Dreams baseball diamond that was in the Keven Costner film of 1989 is located in Iowa. 

You can book for a room reservation at the Historic Park Inn Hotel, which is only the lingering Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the world. Besides, you can visit the hometown and presidential library of the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover. 

3. Shop and savor in Homemade Flavors

Iowa is part of the Midwestern states in the US known for its rich agricultural heritage, fertile countryside, and energetic foods. You can get collections of flamboyant fresh farm produce from the Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market.

If you don’t want to go for the fresh produce, you can dash into the Gathering Table at Wallace House in Orient for a choice of menu items prepared with fresh ingredients harvest earlier the same day. Iowa is also a popular pork producer.

If you are foodies who love pork meat, you’ll find the breaded pork tenderloin which is a special meal in the region exhilarating. If that is not enough things to do in Iowa, you can visit the Iowa dairy farms and old-fashioned soda shops for freshly produced cheese and ice-creams.

Alternatively, you can order a beer at Toppling Goliath Brewery, one of the world’s most popular breweries. You can equally go for a slow-sip at Prohibition-era Templeton Rye Whiskey distillery.

4. Visiting Parks

Iowa Visiting Parks

Iowa has numerous parks with distinctive charms. Some of these parks are under the supervision and care of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

Iowa City Parks commonly have a square block meant to serve as picnic shelters, used to house playground equipment and also provide public restrooms.

Some parks that are government-owned offer activities like fishing, hunting, trapping, and hiking. You equally have locations where you can stay to get a good view of Iowa fall greenery color changes. 

So, if you’re outdoor enthusiasts, there are hundreds of parks to entertain and engage your minds while in Iowa.

A few outstanding examples of parks in IOWA include:

  • Hickory Hill Park is a big forested park in the northern region of the city.
  • There is equally a City Park sited across the river from the northern part of Dubuque Street. The park is composed of walking trails, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and one outdoor pool complex.
  • The Hubbard Park is exactly opposite the southern part of the Iowa Memorial Union building. It is an expansive green area used by a lot of students for group activities and events.
  • Thornberry Dog Park is sited towards the eastern part of the river and halfway between two turns in the river which the builders called “the peninsula” upstream of the City Park. This region is equally the abode of a minor Frisbee golf park commonly which is often water-logged.
  • The College Green Park is situated two blocks exactly directly north of Burlington Street and two blocks on the eastern part of Gilbert Street. The park commonly hosts an annual gay pride parade during the spring or summer.
  • Mercer Park is sited on the southeastern part of the city directly close to South East Junior High off of 1st Avenue. It is made up of play equipment, baseball diamonds, and an indoor pool and recreation complex.
  • Scott Park is located in the east-central part of the city along Scott Boulevard in the eastern part. It’s a big park region with soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and plenty of green space where several dog owners walk their dogs.

There are lots of different types of activities in Iowa City parks that you can include among your list of things to do in Iowa. These can include activities like boating, swimming, cooking-outs, camping, bird watching, and nature photography. 

5. Cycling

things to do iowa city - Iowa Cycling

There are organized cemented bicycle paths, particularly along the Iowa River. A few of the main roads as well have stipulated bike lanes or sharrows like Jefferson Street, Market Street, and College Street. In 2017, Iowa City and the University of Iowa already received ‘silver’ rating for being a bicycle-friendly municipal and university, separately, by the Association of American Bicyclists.

For example, the RagBrai and Register’s yearly Great Bike Ride celebrated in late July across Iowa is a yearly celebration of Bike ride all through Iowa. The event is held 7-days and involves five hundred miles bicycle ride all through the state. The event is the most antique and biggest bicycle tour ride globally. It follows a different touring route every year. 

6. Visiting Museums

The entire cities in Johnson County including Iowa City have a minimum of one historical museum. Some of the museums in Iowa are representation of one particular ethnic group in the state. The rest museums are established in honor of popular figures in the state.

There are equally museums in Iowa that are devoted to popular Iowa figures. Besides museums dedicated to public figures and ethnic groups, you also have some museums dedicated around themes.

A lot of houses are conserved as museums and fitted out with furniture in existence when they were originally constructed. An instance of this is the Plum Grove Historic site. A collection of Iowa City’s Museums include the following:

  1. The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
  2. Old Capitol Museum
  3.  The Iowa Children’s Museum  which is dedicated to kids and features tools and gears that encourages children to play. You can contact the museum with the phone number-(319) 625-6255. The museum is located at 1451 Coral Ridge Avenue.
  4. Antique Car Museum of Iowa. This museum is a great place to visit if you are enthusiastic about visiting a site with many unique cars produced between 1899-1950s. It is located at 860 Quarry Rd and can be contacted with the phone number:(319) 351-5738
  5. Plum Grove Historic Site which a fun-filled spot for a quick pop in while in Iowa.
  6. Johnson County Historical Society Museum.  It is located at 1030 Carroll St and can be contacted with the number -(319) 351-5738.
  7. The 1876 Coralville Schoolhouse located at 310 5th St and can be contacted on (319) 351-5738
  8. University of Iowa Museum of Art located at 150 N Riverside Dr and can be contacted with the number- (319) 335-1727
  9. Museums At the University of Iowa

7. Visit Entertainment centers

Iowa Visit Entertainment centers

As early as 1800s, majorities of towns in Iowa owned performance homes dedicated to plays, dances and musical entertainment. Some of these entertainment centers have subsisted and were refurbished. The Chautauqua pavilions that were constructed for social activities and educational assemblies in a few towns during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the 20th century are stall existing today. 

You can equally find many amusement parks in Iowa. For example, you can visit the Riverview Park located in Des Moines County. The park was among the best things to do IOWA during the middle part of the 20th century.

Some of the old established parks that are still popular till date are the Adventureland located in the eastern part of Des Moines, and the Arnolds Park amusement park. 

8. Magnificent Buildings

Another thing you could do in Iowa is take a tour to historical and magnificent buildings in Iowa. Both IOWA visitors and tourists from other states visit these historical landmarks. You can see a lot of nineteenth century building in the towns and cities lengthwise the Mississippi River.

Besides these, there are many more things you can do when in Iowa. Some of these include the following:

Things to do In Iowa: Arts & Culture

Iowa’s art includes creative activities like graphic art, music, and literature whereas Iowa’s culture includes the beliefs, customs, and way of life different ethnic groups that make up the state. The art and culture of the people complement each other. The arts of the people of the community are a representation of their rich cultural identities. 

Iowa’s art and culture are popular in the country and around the world. Part of the culture of the people of Iowa is depicted in their struggle for civil rights. The culture of the people is equally reflected in other ways which include the religion of the people, their tourist attractions, community festivals, and political events. 

Also, the culture of Iowa can be seen in the means of communication the locals used in the past, in the present and their prospective forms of communications. Sports tournaments in Iowa and how the natives love to spend their spare time is a true representation of the culture of the people.

The arts of the people include the broad selection of artistic expressions like painting, architectural design and the beadwork of Native Americans. The arts of the people equally include concerts, music shows, dances, and movies.

It equally includes books and literary works which are represented through the Iowa literary walk.

Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

Many Iowans are talented poets, playwrights, novelists, and journalists. The Iowa Avenue Literary Walk marks the lives and works of forty-nine authors who are connected to Iowa in one way or the other in some way. 

The walk trails a collection of bronze panels that articulate quotes from literary works of different authors and the name of the authors. The path equally contains many more quotes about books and writing inside the footpath. 

The sidewalk is equally made up of a section dedicated to authors. The author section displays facts about all the authors with the explanation of the connection between the authors and Iowa. Visitors can buy manuals for the Literary Walk at Iowa Book & Supply or Prairie Lights Bookstore.

Things To do in Iowa: Cultural Events and Festivals

Besides museums devoted to different ethnic groups, the natives of Iowa celebrate their multiethnic culture with a lot of events and festivals that stretch all through the year. 

You can experience some of the best US Events that are tourist attractions by witnessing some of the events and festivals of Iowa during your visit. 

Whatever inclination you have, music, fashion, crafts, beer or fine art, you’ll also find a suitable festival for you in Iowa City and its inquisitive communities. 

The most preferred festivals in the community are their annual festivals. These festivals are when individuals with a shared passion gather together to rejoice and summon others to take part in the events.

Some Iowa communities have annual events and celebrations they use to mark their ethnic heritages.

Iowa City’s events range from author readings and workshops to musical concerts and athletic competitions. Many of the events in the locality are family-friendly and entirely free.

Iowa City has a strong literary history and is the home-base of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where John IrvingFlannery O’ConnorT.C. Boyle and a lot of other famous authors in the US graduated from. 

It is also the home to a top US Non-Fiction Writing Program; the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop; the Iowa Summer Writing Festival; and the International Writing Program, an exclusive residency program that has hosted writers over one hundred and twenty countries. Iowa City is equally the sponsor of a lot of events in the summer of the Arts program. 

Some of these events include the Iowa City Jazz Festival which is popular all-round the country, Iowa Arts Festival, open-air summer movies series known as Saturday Night Free Movie Series and open musical concerts that take place every Friday night in the pedestrian mall referred to as the Friday Night Concert Series.

The Iowa City Book Festival started as a yearly summer event in 2009 under the sponsorship of the University of Iowa Libraries. In 2013, it was re-scheduled for October when it began operating under the management of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature. The event involves readings from popular authors and literature themed events.

The Iowa Biennial Exhibition [TIBE] was launched in 2004 to serve as a global survey of modern-day small printmaking during the primary presentation at the University of Iowa. The 2006 presentation was 2007 nominated for the award by the ICKY Visual Arts Program from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance for its display during the University of Iowa’s Project Art Gallery. 

Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance

In 2007, the Landlocked Film Festival was established as a standalone organization under the sponsorship of many organizations including the summer of the Arts. 

A lot of Landlocked Film Festival events take place at the famous Iowa City Englert Theatre, Local performance arts center and historic theater. 

The Englert Theatre hosts Mission Creek Festival during the springtime with a focus on public events, concert, and literacy program that features more than 100 writers every year. 

The Witching Hour event occurs every fall and concentrates on the exploration of the unknown while carrying out the discussion of the creative procedure and awarding fresh work.

The Arts Festival takes place during the summer in the pedestrian mall with the neighboring streets. It involves music, and free meals provided by the locals. The event takes place all weekend.

The Iowa Arts Festival has won an award as a community event and features more than one hundred and ten local and national visual artists. High school and college artists get featured on Saturday and Sunday under the Emerging Artist Building. 

Besides, there are music shows, kids’ entertainment, and creative and educational activities, food sellers that serve both local and cultural meals. The Iowa Arts Festival truly deserves a place in your list of things to do while in Iowa. 

Another great destination are the Amana Colonies for authentic German influenced culture. Amana Colonies top events (can’t miss) are the Prelude to Christmas (authentic German style Christmas markets), Oktoberfest, and Maifest (May festival).

The best part about the Amana Colonies is that they bring German traditions, but mixed with American interpretations and some specific flavors unique to when the bulk of German migration to Iowa happened historically. 

C: Things to do in Iowa: Go Shopping

One of the things you want to do while in Iowa is to shop in one of Iowa Cities. Doing so will additionally reveal the creativity and the passion of the people to you. 

From the small shops in downtown Iowa City, there are collections of products that are bound to fascinate you. Iowa has plenty of shopping malls and retail outlets that will satisfy your shopping spree whether you want to get a perfect gift for your spouse or a small retail therapy. 

You can buy different types of materials including modern tech items, home decoration items, designer clothing, and many more. When you shop in any of the shops, you will be happy to know that you are contributing to the purse of a community that prides high on local collaboration. 

So, if you fancy shopping while in IOWA, check out any of the Iowa City’s shopping streets and marketplaces and Shopping Malls. For example, you can visit the Iowa City Marketplace, the Coral Ridge Mall or the Iowa City farmers market and more to satisfy your shopping spree.

The Iowa City Marketplace, Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City Marketplace, Iowa City, Iowa

The Sycamore Mall or the Iowa City shopping complex is one of the well-respected shopping complexes in Eastern Iowa. The center harbors both retail shops owned by the locals and ones owned by other country nationals including Hobby Corner, Petland and Panera Bread. The center equally houses a movie theater.

Coral Ridge Mall, Iowa 

The Coral Ridge Mall was the previous largest shopping mall in Iowa before the Jordan Creek Town Center became the largest in the state. Coralville’s Coral Ridge Mall was the state’s largest. 

Today, it is the second-largest mall in the state and the largest shopping mall in Eastern Iowa. The Coral Ridge mall houses retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hot Topic, and a kid’s museum or ice arena with an indoor ride.

The Iowa City Farmer’s Market

Iowa City Farmer's Market

The Iowa City Farmer’s Market opens during the summertime and operates at two different centers in the city many days in a week. The market provides different types of native, seasonal fruits and vegetables together with home-made baked foods. Also, local craft-producers sell their products.

The market equally offers a space for consumers who want to study about local products and learn about top-quality foods grown in the locality. The market hosts a lot of family-friendly events all through the year.

A few examples of events held at the market in the past are tasting events, children’s days, and live musical concerts. The Iowa farmers market equally hosts indoor holiday markets and events during the holiday season. The market runs at 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, Phone: 319-356-5000.

E: Things to do in IOWA: Visit the Best Tourists Attractions in Iowa

The locals of Iowa and tourists from both within the country and outside the country love it in Iowa due to its several attractions which include natural and man-made attractions. A lot of the sites of attractions in Iowa are exclusive to the state. There are plenty of interesting things to see around every corner of the state.

Tourist’s attractions in the city range from historic settlements, water parks, outdoor and indoor adventures. With plenty of things to do in Iowa round the year, the state is a good destination for your family vacation.

Iowa City provides visitors with exceptional eateries, a rich cultural heritage, and a lot of fascinating activities. The small downtown is packed with plenty of restaurants and bars and this makes Iowa City an electrifying small settlement.

You can visit the pedestrian mall located near cars which are jam-packed anytime the college term is open. The center hosts show every Summer Friday and Saturday evenings. It equally hosts festivals on weekend days. There are also a lot of things for individuals who want to indulge in a shopping spree.

You have plenty of water and amusement parks scattered throughout the state. You can equally spend your time while in Iowa engaging in other activities like doing Iowa’s agricultural tourism, visiting historical sites, or engaging in plenty of outdoor activities. The eastern part of Iowa has a fun college town with an artistic feel.

Visitors can gain a lot of cultural experience by touring the university’s art and natural history museums and also by exploring the delightful literary walk. Iowa is known as a UNESCO City of Literature and the city has a lot of famed authors partly because of the fantastic writing program offered by the university.

Below are top attractions in Iowa and some of the best 13 things to do in Iowa.

Best 13 Things To Do In Iowa

1: Iowa State Capitol 

Iowa State Capitol 

The Old Capitol Building is the earlier location of the main seat of the state government of Iowa. It is currently standing as a landmark and core of the University of Iowa campus. The building was nicely renovated and is currently been utilized as a place for carrying out an exhibition and learning program. 

Some of the things to do while here include visiting the Hansen Humanities Gallery, the Senate Chamber, and the Supreme Court Chamber. The museum hosts multiple free provisional exhibitions and events. While here you will be taken on a guided tour through the building. If you want to be part of the free public tours, private tours, and special events, you need to make reservations to secure a place. 

Although some online pictures and videos help you to tour the city, you want to have a better feel of the beauty of the museum by paying a physical visit. It is one the best sites you don’t want to miss while in including its large 23-karat golden dome and other smaller domes that are easily noticeable from any part of Des Moines. The city capital is located at 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

2. Gaslight Village

The Gaslight Village is a historic milestone in the northern part of Iowa City. It has various types of different apartments and rentals. The village was set up to serve as an exciting living abode offer at a low price.

The Gaslight Village is an exclusive historic Iowa City milestone located on nearly two estates of mountainous, woody grounds on Brown Street. It is an essential fragment of the Historical Northern part of Iowa City. Sits various exclusive apartments and rooms are housed inside four buildings that make up the Village.

Two of the four structures are Victorian buildings. The oldest of them is built in 1860 and Charles Berryhill Castle cataloged on the National Registry of Historic Places. The other two structures are characteristically rustic due to the creative architecture existing in northern California in the 1940s.

The Gaslight Village was established in the earlier part of the 1950s by Henry Black, an unconventional visionary. Henry desired to develop a shelter and refuge for writers and artists. The former inhabitants of the Village were popular writers while Kurt Vonnegut inhabited the net door towards the east. 

The actor Gene Wilder formally inhabited the net door towards the western side. Also, Roth and John Cheever were former residents of the Village together with other prominent people like Cherry Muhanji, Chris Offut, Anthony Swofford, and Jessica Anthony.

The Village aims to provide an exceptional living environment at an affordable rent and in a noiseless, private atmosphere. Roughly 50 percent of the village dwellers are graduate students or college graduates. The Village is constructed on a mountain with a lot of trees and neighboring forested gorge.

The housing units feature wooden floors, tall ceilings, and bulky windows. Cat owners can live in the village. The village has laundry facilities and the village dwellers can park their vehicles off-street for free. It is located roughly five blocks from downtown and this makes a convenient living environment for those who want an exclusive quiet and calm atmosphere.

The Village comes with a distinctive setting that not everybody will fancy.

It is located at 426 Brown Street, Iowa City, IA 52245 and closed to Gilbert and Brown corners. Visiting the village briefly will give you a better feel of the settings and environment. However, the Village spreads the northern side up the mountain and above it to the Berryhill house where you would see the dual rustic buildings. You can contact the museum with the Phone number: 319-430-0736.

3. Hickory Hill Park

Hickory Hill Park

Hickory Hill Park is an extensive park located in the northeastern part of Iowa. The park is made up of 190 acres of uninhibited fields, forests, grassland and swamplands which surrounds Ralston Creek and a few more streams. The park is an abode to a lot of amenities that include many picnic shelters; eat al fresco tables, grills, washrooms, water fountains, and multiple utilizable tracks.

The park is accessible to the general public for recreational purposes. If you have a special love for nature, you’ll love it at Hickory Hill Park. It is a good recreation ground for those who love to enjoy the outdoors. You can learn about nature or engage in running or hiking the trail. 

The Hickory Hill Park is open during the four seasons of the year including the winter. During winter examples of activities, you can engage in include sledding and cross-country skiing. Pet lovers will love it because the trail inside the park is equally open to pet-lovers who visit with their dogs.

Hickory Hill Park is owned and managed by the city assisted by the Friends of Hickory Hill Park.  It is located at 800 Conklin, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States. You can contact the park with the phone number: +1 319-356-5000                

Hickory Hill Park is mostly made up of strictly upset woodland pasture which is gradually recovering. In a few places, this reclamation is almost far-reaching, and apart from the diversity it lacks, the park looks like a healthy and well-established forest. On the other side of the park, the retrieval process is at its nascent stage. Cattle grazing persisted in the northern side of the park until the early part of the 1990s!

The northern branch of Ralston stream flows through the park while the offshoot streams flow through the park from the north. Lengthwise the stream, you will find tiny floodplains. Towards the end of the park from the north side, you’ll find an undersized structure of swamplands. The area equally contains a dam and the stormwater maintenance basin is towards the eastern side of the park. The basin was constructed in the 1980s for flood control along the Ralston stream. The basin at the back of the dam is commonly dry. However, during a storm, the dam backs up an equally large short-term lake.

A small beavers’ population sometimes goes up Ralston Creek and enters the park. This is evidenced by “Beaver chews” trees that have been gnawed on or cut down. Besides a few beaver dams along the creek, the majority of the log dams you’ll find along the Ralston Creek include “debris dams”, heaps of sticks and branches that are water lodged during flooding. 

Hickory Hill Park is a good place to be if you love bird watching. It is a haven for municipal deer. It contains an impenetrable trail system. While some were carefully planned, others were generated through frequent trampling. It is not easy to preserve the latest trail chart of the park and it is pretty easy to get lost inside the park.

The best time to Visit Hickory Park

The best time to Visit Hickory Park Iowa

Hickory Hill Park provides substantial rewards for tourists and visitors all through the four seasons of the year. During winter when snow is not prohibitive, it serves as an admirable cross country skiing location.

During the springtime, it is a haven and place of rest for migratory birds while during the summertime, the sheltered tracks alongside the creek and which runs across the woods provide a lovely welcomed alternative to the neighboring urban area.

The fall color nicely shows in the park. During spring and fall, the park harbors different types of mushrooms. The Hickory park is under the management of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, (319)356-5110. To make a reservation for the Picnic shelters, you can call the number, 356-5100.

The park has an entrance from the north located at 800 Conklin Street and an entrance in the south located at 1439 Bloomington Street. It covers 185 acres of land purchased in 1967.

The North Hickory Hill Park comes with the following features: 

  • Walking and running trail paths.
  • One Picnic shelter, Picnic tables, grills for cooking, water, lavatories, and Nature study.

South Hickory Hill Park amenities:

  • One picnic shelter with electrical outlets, picnic tables, grills for cooking, water, hiking, and jogging trails.
  • Nature study

4. Lake Macbride

Lake Macbride Iowa

Lake Macbride State Park is the biggest state park in Iowa covering 2,180 acres of fun space. The park hosts a lot of outdoor activities like boating, swimming, fishing, camping, and hiking. The park has servable picnic shelters and a camp house. The Lake Macbride has an attractive beach with a specific swimming area and refreshment stands.

It contains a circling of five-mile trodden limestone trail along the shoreline. Extra limestone trails and six long-lasting Volkssport paths offer visitors extra opportunities for fun activities. The lake contains boat ramps together with boat rentals and offers visitors a lot of opportunities to experience the park from the water.

It is located at 3525 Highway 382 NE, Solon, IA 52333. You can make enquires or reservations through phone number: 319-624-2200.

5. Plum Grove Historic House and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Plum Grove is the previous home of Robert Lucas who was the first Governor of Iowa. The house was equally eventually the birthplace and childhood abode of author Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd. When Robert lived in the house, a plum orchard was located close to the home which is how it got the name, Plum Grove.

The home currently sits on four acres of the original property and with furniture that replicates the designs used between the 1840s and 1850s which is the period the former president Lucas and his family lived in the plum grove.

Visitors tour the home for free and can equally take a tour through the historical vegetable and flower gardens. The plum Groove is located at 1030 Carroll Street, Iowa City, IA 52240 and you can contact the management of the home with the phone: 319-337-6846.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum Iowa

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and funeral location of Herbert Hoover who was the 31st US President. The library and museum are sited at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.

The museum narrates the life story of Herbert Hoover and has a temporary gallery with alternating exhibits. The nearby park grounds are the birthplace cottage, the gravesite of home to President Hoover’s with many antique buildings of his time.

It is located at 210 Parkside Drive, West Branch, IA 52358. The Phone number of the museum is 319-643-5301.

6. Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack

Dinners served can include pulled pork, smoked turkey and chicken, beef brisket, or vegetarian smoked Portobello. You can equally combine any of those with named brands of Supreme sandwiches and sampler platters.

Standard southern-style of meals offered here includes baked beans, coleslaw, and the restaurant’s named honey-buttered cornbread.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack is rated by Yahoo and as the best barbecue in Iowa. It is made up of two centers one sited in Iowa City while the other cited in North Liberty. The two centers were opened by two childhood best friends Jack Piper and Jimmy Adrian.

Besides offering typical barbecue styles of Kansas City, the centers also offer mouthwatering sandwiches. It is located at 1940 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, IA 52240 and the direct phone number to contact the center is 319- 354-7427.

7. Wilson’s Orchard

Wilson's Orchard Iowa

Wilson’s Orchard is an orchard and nature park sited on the two sides of the Rapid Creek basin. Wilson’s Orchard is a family-friendly tourist attraction with activities like tractor rides and a random sample of different types of freshly cooked foods like apple turnovers and fresh apple cider.

The orchard contains different types of apple trees bearing enormous different classes of apple. The orchard equally contains multiple varieties of pumpkins.

Visitors can select any apple or pumpkin of their choice. If you want to pick your apple, you can first take a tour of the barn to taste the different types of apple available and get the maps of the orchard and a taster.

It is located at4823 Dingleberry Rd NE, Iowa City, IA 52240. If you want to make an inquiry, you can contact the management on the phone: 319-354-5651.

8. FilmScene

FilmScene is a condensed movie theater that hosts exhibitions of first-run films, standard movies, movie series, and workshops. The theater is sited in the pedestrian mall located in the city center. It equally contains a cafe and a rooftop courtyard for fun relaxation. It is a nonprofit theater with an annual small, single-screen theater shows featuring over 200 films.

Besides the exhibition of films, a lot of the shows provide opportunities to communicate with the producers of the films. There are equally panel talks and so on which visit the center exciting experience for film fans, FilmScene generated funds is offered to the community. The center provides support to many organizations and equally hosts a lot of community events all through the year.

It is located at 118 E College Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. You can call the center for inquiry on the phone number: 319-358-255.

9. Coralville Lake

Coralville Lake was originally established for flood prevention. Nevertheless, it equally contains a lot of recreational activities with its five hundred campsites amidst three campgrounds.

Some of the recreational activities to engage in while here include fishing, lake’s hiking, and mountain biking trails, swimming, volleyball courts on the sand, and a few picnic areas. You can readily gain access to the lake from I-80. This makes the site a suitable location for spending one day or two during your visit to Iowa.

It is located at 2850 Prairie Du Chien Road NE, Iowa City, IA 52240.  You can contact the center directly on the phone number: 319-338-3543.

10. The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

The University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History is a museum sited on the campus of Iowa University. The museum was set up in 1858 and occupies a broad collection of mammals and birds together with local American artifacts.

The museum trails roughly five million years of Iowa’s history and makes research on geology, culture, and ecology. The Mammal Hall contains exhibits of the evolution, edition, and varieties of nearly every species of mammal.

There are many reasons why you want to visit the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. Some of the reasons include McBride Hall, sited on the University of Iowa campus which shelters an admirable natural history museum.

The Iowa River divides the east and west parts of the beautiful University of Iowa campus. The majority of the trails are lined with granite buildings with stone columns.

The University of Iowa is the anchor of the state’s original capital, which is home to the old statehouse; a vaudeville-era auditorium and eclectic dining where you can visit to brighten your stay.

Likewise, the Hall of Birds involves the exhibition of over one thousand specimens of the bird. If you want to be taken on a guided tour through the museum, you need to make a reservation before time. Self-guided tours are commonly possible during opening hours.

11. The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is home to one of the top universities of art exhibits in the US. The museum is made up of roughly 15,500 objects and collections of art with a lot of diverse backgrounds. The art emanates from almost all medium which includes portrait, statue, cartoon, cinematography, textiles, ceramics, and silver-works.

A few of the conspicuous art collections contained in the museum comprise the Elliot Collection. This is an assemblage of post-impressionist European art and the Stanley Collection of African Art consisting of over two thousand objects of African art.

You can take a tour through the museum’s extensive collection of art and artifacts. Special group and lesson tours can as well be organized. There are numerous short-term gallery boots on campus and everywhere in the state which is cataloged on

12. Iowa City Farmer’s Market

Iowa City Farmer's Market

The Iowa City Farmer’s Market functions during the summertime and takes place in two locations in Iowa City many days every week. The market provides a lot of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. You will equally find a lot of home-baked pastries. Also, local craft-makers have products that interested visitors can purchase.

The market equally offers an opportunity for visitors to study about local products and top-quality locally cultivated food. The market hosts a lot of family-friendly events all through the year.

A few examples of previous events organized in the Iowa farmers market are tasting events, children’s days, and live musical concerts. During holiday periods, the farmer’s market organizes indoor holiday markets and events.

The market is located at 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. You can contact the management on the phone number: 319-356-500.

13. Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

The Terry Trueblood Recreation Area is a 152-acre park with a variety of recreational activities and amenities. The park features several trail routes that can be used for walking or running. Other activities include fishing, birdwatching, and hiking.

The park features three picnic shelters and seasonal rentals of ice skates, kayaks, canoes, and other rentals are available. Terry Trueblood Recreation Area’s Park Lodge is a nearly 6,000-square-foot venue that can seat 150 guests.

The facility is available for rent for weddings, parties, and other private events. The lodge includes amenities such as tables and chairs, a full kitchen, and a patio that overlooks the lake.

It is located at 579 McCollister Blvd, Iowa City, IA 52240 and you can contact the center directly with the phone no: 319-356-5100.

FAQs about Things to do in Iowa City

1. What is the culture of the people of Iowa?

Iowa’s culture is mostly based on Agriculture. The primary settlers who can to Iowa in the 1830s were farmers. Up till now, farming is still one of the main sources of revenue in the state. 
Apart from small groups of urban civilization in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa states are mostly dominated by farmland. The culture of Iowa equally incorporates the belief systems traditions and way of life of the different ethnic nationalities that make up the state.

2. Is Iowa city an interesting place to be?

While exploring Iowa, you can find attractions like the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium to enrich your knowledge; numerous state parks, like Maquoketa Caves, for an adventure; and plenty of scenic landscapes, such as The Bridges of Madison County, to inspire your more creative side.

3. What is Iowa city popular for?

Iowa City is one of the top public research universities in the United States of America and is famed for its concentration on the arts, sciences, and humanities. It is equally known as the seat of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, which provides an admirable two-year Master of Fine Arts residency program. It equally offers a program during the summertime.

4. How Rich financially is Iowa?

Iowa is the twenty-second state with the largest Gross Domestic Product per capita income in the US.

5. What is the major religion of the Iowans?

Just like most US states, most of the residents of Iowa are Protestants. The biggest protestant denomination in Iowa is the Methodist church. The next largest religious community in the area is the Roman Catholic Church. There are equally other religious groups and a few groups of Iowans that don’t belong to any religion.

6. What is a distinctive feature of Iowa?

Iowa is the singular US state completely covered by water in the eastern and western borders. The state’s Kate Shelley Bridge located in Boone is the loftiest two-track railroad bridge in the world. 
Iowa is the only US state with a name that starts with two consecutive vowels. The Winterset Iowa is the home of the popular actor, John Wayne. 

7. What are 5 interesting facts about Iowa?

Ripley’s referred to the Burlington’s Snake Lane as the most warped path in the world.
Sabula is the only city in Iowa located on an island.
An Iowan from Davenport is the first originator of sliced bread.
There are more golf courses in Iowa per head than all the other US states.
The Iowa Strawberry Point houses the biggest strawberry globally.

8. Is Iowa Safe?

The safest place to live in Iowa is Johnston. It has a safety rating of 86.81. There are equally safe places to live in Iowa, including many places around Des Moines with good safety ratings such as Ames with 80.75 safety ratings and West Des Moines with safety ratings of 79.31.

9. What is the richest city in Iowa?

The richest city in Iowa is the Johnston, Iowa with an average household earning 95,565 dollars annually. This is roughly 5,000 dollars above the average incomes of families in the next wealthiest city in the state, Asbury.

10. What is the climatic condition in Iowa?

The weather in Iowa during summer is humid and hot. The daytime temperature can range to as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) From time to time; the temperature rises to as high as over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The average temperature in Iowa during winter is below the freezing point which can occasionally drop lower than −18 degrees Fahrenheit (−28 degrees Celsius).

Conclusion: Best Things to do in Iowa City

We have provided in this guide extensive lists of the things to do in Iowa. Iowa City has enough to satisfy everyone who visits no matter your personality and taste.

Going through these lists, you’d have by now gathered a list of things you fancy to do when Iowa. 

Share with us; let’s know what topmost in your list. Equally, include other things we have not mentioned in this post if you find any interesting. Although we tried to provide an extensive list, this list is not exhaustive. 

So lets us know what your lists are. Equally, share with us what you found most interesting in Iowa if you have visited Iowa. We’d love to hear!

Further Reading: