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Iowa City Trip Guide

The University of Iowa anchors the state’s original capital, where the old statehouse, a vaudeville-era theater and eclectic dining enliven a stay.
The Iowa City Pedestrian Mall
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Backpocket Brewing Company
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Do

Coral Ridge Mall An indoor ice arena, carousel and children’s museum amp up the fun among the more than 120 shops and restaurants. coralridgemall.com

The Englert Theatre Catch a reading, musical, play, dance performance or concert at the 1912 former vaudeville theater and opera house. englert.org

Haunted Bookshop It’s still supervised by two cats, but the tidy shop selling books, toys, gifts and cards has moved to the historic Wentz house on North Gilbert. (319) 337-2996; thehauntedbookshop.com

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site It’s worth the 11-mile drive east on I-80 to see the birthplace cottage, library, museum and burial site of the first U.S. president born west of the Mississippi. (319) 643-5301; hoover.nara.gov

The Iowa City Pedestrian Mall Abutting the University of Iowa campus, the brick-paved Ped Mall is home to 30 restaurants and shops. (319) 354-0863; downtowniowacity.com

Old Capitol Museum Retrace the footsteps of the state’s founding fathers in Iowa’s original capitol. Lectures and concerts entertain in the Senate Chamber.  (319) 335-0548; uiowa.edu/oldcap

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Learn about Iowa’s 500 million years of history, see 1,000 birds on display, and say hi to Rusty the giant stuffed sloth. uiowa.edu/mnh

Eat

A and A Pagliai's Pizza Using a northern Italian family recipe dating back to 1914, A and A Pagliai’s provides Iowa City with a taste of old-world pizza. (319) 351-5073; pagliaisic.com

Atlas Dine on artfully presented dishes like Thai chicken satay salad with skewered grilled chicken, peanut sauce, organic greens and rice noodles. On the northern edge of the Ped Mall. atlasiowacity.com

Backpocket Brewing Company Outdoor seating, craft beer and thin-crust pizza make this a popular spot to gather near the Iowa River on summer nights. backpocketbrewing.com

Bluebird Diner Savory sausage and excellent hollandaise elevate breakfast standbys. (319) 351-1470; thebluebirddiner.com

Blackstone American-style dishes sizzle with Mediterranean and Asian influences. Brandy-doused flaming cheese creates a scene. (319) 338-1770; blackstone-ic.com

Devotay With shareable small plates and tapas-style fare, cozy and eclectic Devotay makes meals fun and tasty. (319) 354-1001; devotay.net

Hamburg Inn A burger specialist comes in at 4 a.m. daily to make the patties for this downtown diner that opened in 1948. (319) 337-5512; hamburginn.com

Heyn's Ice Cream For more than two decades, Heyn’s has been dishing up Iowa City's favorite ice cream in nearly 40 flavors. (319) 354-1981; heynsicecream.com

Iowa River Power Restaurant In a former power plant, enjoy expansive views of an Iowa River dam and cooked-to-perfection prime rib. (319) 351-1904; iowariverpower.net

Leaf Kitchen You can still get high tea at this tearoom, but also eggs Benedict or quiche for breakfast and a grilled vegetable panini for lunch. (319) 338-1909; leafkitchen.weebly.com

Molly's Cupcakes Devour a created-to-order cupcake or three while hanging out in floor-to-ceiling swings. (319) 333-1297; icmollys.com

Stay

Brown Street Inn The six-bedroom 1913 mansion in a leafy neighborhood feels serene but is close to downtown. (319) 338-0435; brownstreetinn.com

HotelVetro Sleep on pillow-top mattresses in chic, ecofriendly rooms and take in city views from the huge third-floor patio. (800) 592-0355; hotelvetro.com

For information: Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 283-6592; iowacitycoralville.org

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