What to See and Do: 15 Things to Do in Iowa City

When people think of Iowa, they often think of cornfields and small towns. However, Iowa City is a bustling city with plenty of things to see and do!

From museums to parks to restaurants, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are 15 things you won’t want to miss when you visit Iowa City!

Very serene views! Photo: Yuk L.

The Terry Trueblood Recreation Area is one of the most popular parks in Iowa City.

This beautiful park offers something for everyone, including a playground, a pond, and a nature area. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day!

This park is a great place for a walk or a picnic. It’s also home to Sand Lake where many do water activities like paddleboarding. When it freezes in the winter, you can also go ice skating or ice fishing.

Top Review: “This is a beautiful recreation spot in Iowa City. I have attended several weddings hosted here and it is serene and peaceful. Great for an actual workout or recreational chat with friends.”Erin M.

4213 Sand Rd SE Iowa City, IA 52240

Photo: Yuk L.

Hickory Hill Park is another one of Iowa City’s popular parks.

This park is known for its beautiful gardens and its hickory tree, which is the largest in the park. There are also a playground and a pond in the park, making it the perfect place to spend a day with the family.

You can find it on the north side of town and spans 180 acres. This area is filled with a network of walking and hiking trails that are popular with photographers and casual hikers.

A nearby attraction, if you’re interested, is a historic cemetery called Oakland Cemetery.

Top Review: “This park is a beautiful place to explore, I count myself very fortunate to live a few blocks away from such beautiful trails. I have been taking my dog on daily walks, and it’s always clean and easy to get around. There are several great, easy trails to explore for hours”Travis T.

800 Conklin Iowa City, IA 52240, (319) 356-5000

Coralville Reservoir

The Coralville Reservoir is a beautiful spot for a day out in the sun. This man-made reservoir is a great place to go fishing, swimming, or boating. It’s also a popular spot for hiking and biking trails. It’s a forested shoreline so you can do a number of activities, depending on what you’re into.

Its main purpose is to control floods and water flow from the Iowa River. For the locals, this is the place to be active and enjoy fun activities with the family.

Some nearby attractions you can also visit our Turkey Creek Day Use Area and Lake MacBride State Park.

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University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular museums in Iowa City. This museum is home to a variety of exhibits, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Its collection spans Iowa’s history in terms of culture, geology, and of course, ecology.

This museum is perfect for anyone who loves learning about nature and the history of our planet. It’s also great for kids, as they can learn through interactive exhibits.

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Stanley Museum of Art

The Stanley Museum of Art is a must-see for art lovers visiting Iowa City. This museum is home to a variety of art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles. It also has a large collection of American Indian art. The museum’s selection has over 15,000 pieces of art and items.

You can also find the museum inside the University of Iowa campus. You can head in here after the Museum of Natural History for a cool museum hop.

This museum is a great place to learn about art. It’s home to a variety of art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles.

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The Old Capitol

The Old Capitol is a must-see for history lovers visiting Iowa City. This building was the original capital of Iowa and is now a huge part of the University of Iowa campus. This area of the university is frequented by students and student activities with lots of green spaces.

You can also find the Old Capitol Museum here. It’s home to a variety of exhibits, including the history of Iowa, the state government, and the American West. This museum is a great place to learn about Iowa’s history.

Aside from this, they also celebrate the Fourth of July fireworks display here.

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Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack is a restaurant in Iowa City that is known for its delicious ribs. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and is perfect for a date night or dinner with friends.

The ribs are definitely the star of the show here, but the menu also includes things like sandwiches, salads, and desserts. You can choose from either a half or full slab of ribs, and there are plenty of sides to choose from.

Some of the most popular sides include things like mac and cheese, green beans, and mashed potatoes. They also have a variety of sauces to choose from, including things like barbecue sauce and honey mustard sauce.

It’s got a fun, laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for groups.

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Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies are a must-see for anyone visiting Iowa City. These villages were founded in 1855 by German Pietists and are now a huge tourist attraction. There are a number of things to see and do in the Amana Colonies, including things like tours, shopping, and dining.

One of the most popular things to do in the Amana Colonies is to go on a tour. There are a number of different tours to choose from, including things like brewery tours, arts and crafts tours, and history tours.

Most tours start from the Amana Heritage Center. It’s also a great place to start since it details everything you need to know about the community and its history.

You can also find a number of shops and restaurants in the villages. The Amana Colonies are the perfect place to go shopping for things like quilts, furniture, and handmade items.

You shouldn’t miss any of their events or festivals if you happen to catch them.

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Gaslight village

Gaslight Village is a historic district in Iowa City that is known for its Victorian-era homes. This district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and is now a huge tourist attraction.

This charming village was built in the 1800s, and it features beautiful homes such as Victorian-era homes and rustic California-style homes. You’ll also find shops and restaurants in the area.

One of the most popular things to do in Gaslight Village is to go on a walking tour. This is a great way to see all of the beautiful homes and shops. It’s a free thing to do and perfect for you if you like old houses.

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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Iowa City. This library is home to a variety of exhibits and is dedicated to the life and presidency of Herbert Hoover. It features a variety of exhibits on his life and career, including the American West.

This museum is also home to a variety of things like paintings, sculptures, and textiles. It’s a great place to learn about American history and the Hoover presidency.

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Lake MacBride State Park

Lake MacBride State Park is a beautiful park located on the shores of Lake MacBride. This park is known for its lakes, forests, and hiking trails.

One of the most popular things to do at Lake MacBride State Park is to go fishing. The park features a variety of fish, including things like bass, catfish, and trout. You can also go swimming, boating, and kayaking in the lake.

The park is also home to a variety of different plants and animals. You’ll find things like deer, raccoons, and owls in the park. It’s also home to the Lake MacBride Nature Center, which features exhibits on the park’s wildlife and ecology.

The park is perfect for a day trip or an overnight stay. There are a number of different campsites available, as well as cabins in the area.

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Plum Grove Historic House

The Plum Grove Historic House is known for its beautiful architecture and furnishings. Visitors can take tours of the house and learn about its history.

This historic house was built in the 1800s, and it features beautiful Victorian-era architecture. It was the home of the first governor of Iowa and features a large orchard with plum trees aplenty.

The Plum Grove Historic House is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about Iowa City’s history.

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Wilson’s Orchard

If you’re looking for a place to go apple picking, Wilson’s Orchard is the perfect place. This orchard is located just outside of Iowa City and is known for its delicious apples.

They are also known for their pumpkin patch. This is the perfect place to go in the fall if you’re looking for a pumpkin to carve. The orchard also features a corn maze and a haunted house during the fall.

Wilson’s Orchard also has a gift shop, where you can buy delicious apple pies, jams, and more! It’s the perfect place to go for a day trip.

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FilmScene

The Iowa City FilmScene is a nonprofit organization that celebrates and promotes film in the city. The FilmScene is a popular cinema in Iowa City. This cinema features a variety of independent and foreign films, and it’s the perfect place to catch a movie while in town.

This single-screen local theater opens more than 200 feature films each year. They also do workshops, film series, panel discussions, and more! It’s a cool place to hang out if you’re a film lover.

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Farmer’s Market

The Farmer’s Market is a popular spot for locals and tourists in Iowa City. This market features a variety of fresh produce, flowers, and baked goods. It’s the perfect place to stock up on groceries or pick up a souvenir!

The Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from May to October. You’ll find things like sweet corn, tomatoes, and peaches at the market. It’s also home to a variety of local businesses, including restaurants and cafes.

If you’re looking for a taste of Iowa City, be sure to check out the Farmer’s Market!

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The things to do in Iowa City are endless. You can visit the many museums, parks, and historic houses in the city. You can also go apple picking, see a movie at FilmScene, or get your groceries at the Farmer’s Market. No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have a great time in Iowa City!