Top Things to Do in Waterloo, Iowa
This former manufacturing town (population: 66,600) is a destination for history buffs. But families with youngsters will find plenty to fill a weekend, too.
Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.
What to do
Bluedorn Science Imaginarium Build a robot. Make a hot-air balloon rise. Learn how cold it is on Pluto. There's plenty of science to explore here. groutmuseumdistrict.org
John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum (Currently closed due to the pandemic; check website for latest information) Kids will love climbing up a tractor. Tours can be self-guided or led by staff. deere.com
Lost Island Water Park Kids will love riding a water coaster or plunging down Lost Soul Falls. thelostisland.com
Rensselaer Russell House Museum Take a step back to the Victorian Era on a guided tour of this restored 1861 house. groutmuseumdistrict.org
Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum See the stories of America's wars through the lens of Iowans, such as the five Sullivan brothers who died when their ship was torpedoed in World War II. groutmuseumdistrict.org
Waterloo Center for the Arts Go beyond Grant Wood's art by exploring this compact museum's collection of Haitian art, one the United State's largest. The Phelps Youth Pavilion's activities inspire creativity in kids. waterloocenterforthearts.org
Where to eat
The Brown Bottle In the historical Russell Lamson Building since 1974, this eatery is known for its pasta and extensive wine list. brownbottlewaterloo.com
Newton's Paradise Cafe This busy corner cafe serves comfort food in an 1870s building in the heart of the business district. newtonscafe.com
Singlespeed Brewing Company Excellent beers and some of the area's best eats, such as Iowa flatbread with sweet corn, are produced in a former Wonder Bread factory. singlespeedbrewing.com
Where to stay
Isle Casino and Hotel The large rooms are modern and comfortable, and it's convenient to the Lost Island Waterpark and the Crossroads Center mall. islewaterloo.com
For more information visit experiencewaterloo.com
Extend Your Stay: Cedar Falls
Sharing a metro with Waterloo, Cedar Falls—home of the University of Northern Iowa—offers shopping and dining on historic Main Street, as well as museums that tell the story of small-town life. Try a raspberry mojito along with Iowa chops at Montage or, at Whiskey Road, a brisket sandwich and (naturally) the whiskey selection. The round Ice House Museum on the Cedar River once stored ice cut from the river; learn about the history of ice harvesting. Step back in time as well at the 1909 Little Red Schoolhouse and the Victorian Home and Carriage House. Museum. The historic Black Hawk Hotel, with 43 rooms, is close to both the Cedar River and UNI.
For more information visit cedarfallstourism.org