The best place to visit in Iowa City IA
Tourist Attractions

15 Best Places to Visit in Iowa City IA

Iowa City IA is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. With so many amazing places to choose from, it can be hard to know where to go. To help make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Iowa City IA based on traveler ratings and reviews. So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway spot or an adventure playground, there’s something for everyone in this metropolis!

The Best Place to Visit in Iowa City IA

Maquoketa Caves State Park

  • Address: 9688 Caves Rd, Maquoketa, IA 52060, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2413)
  • Phone: +1 563-652-5833
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Thursday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Friday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Saturday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Sunday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
The best place to visit in Iowa City IA
The best place to visit in Iowa City IA

5 Replies to 15 Best Places to Visit in Iowa City IA

  1. Love this park! The campground is small and shady with nice spots. The hiking is great and the caves a must see. We have three elementary age kids who loved exploring the caves and tromping through the creeks. Bring your head lamps and shoes that do well in the mud and water for the full cave experience. However, it’s not required for a nice hike on the main trails.

  2. Really nice caves and paths through them really cool that you can basically take your own tour through a cave. There are some holes in the cave that you can go into that are off the path they are really cool to look through with a light, so make sure you bring one. Stunning scenery too of the caves with the forest greenery around it. There are bathrooms out at the entrance of the trail and a pavilion, good for bringing a dinner or lunch there for eating with your family. Highly recommend!

  3. Great time exploring the trails and caves. Lots of stairs and inclines, definitely was a leg work out.

    We went in August and the mosquitoes weren’t too bad, but lots of huge millipedes on the trails.

    No trash cans, which is fine.. .. Carry in, carry out.

    Bathrooms throughout the park. My only issue was it was hard to find the trailheads where we first parked. ( Which was where Google maps routed us).

  4. Went here with my sons Cub Scout group and had a blast. Definitely coming back again to venture off into some of the different caves. We had a full day of walking, hiking and climbing. The caves were awesome and many were easy to get into. Others you will need a smaller body and comfortable with tight spaces…which I’m not.

    They have a little shop/picnic/bathroom area right in the middle of the caves. Clean area and polite staff made this little shop and rest area. Highly recommend!

  5. Even with a little rain and mud we had a blast exploring the caves and God’s natural creation.

    You will want to have either boots or shoes that can be worn in water but grips definitely help. As well as head lamps. The caves are a little cooler but over not bad temp. On a hot day they feel great inside.

    There is a restroom at the entrance and a wash off area. On the weekends there is a little concession stand and a park ranger there. Several parking areas and picnic shelters.

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Top 15 Tourist Attractions in Iowa City IA

The best place to visit in Iowa City IA
The best place to visit in Iowa City IA

Amana Colonies

  • Address: 622 46th Ave, Amana, IA 52203, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (2348)
  • Phone: +1 319-622-7622
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    We visited this lovely little town Sunday afternoon, and there were not too many visitors. So we took our time to visit each of the stores, each of which has its own uniqueness and is fun to explore.

    Unlike many other historical places, this place has not become a tour trap but still pretty much keeps an atmosphere that is one of the kind. We really enjoyed it!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chang-Tsan Lu (9 months ago)
    Beautiful community. Not extremely pricey but it will add up fast. 100% worth every penny. The food and shops is amazing!!! 90% of everything there is local made or produced.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Melissa Crain (3 months ago)
    These communities are beautiful. People there are so polite There is a lot of memory in their minds And they might tell you a story or 2. So many things to do from dining to walking, antiques, history You name it. Most definitely a must see and wonderful place to visit.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By David Hecker (2 months ago)
    What a fun place to visit! A short drive from Iowa City/UIowa (by Midwest standards). Great family owned restaurants. Wineries and breweries featuring local fare. Cute shops for all ages. Plenty of well marked parking area in Amana! Be ready to ‘get your steps’ though.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Sean Walton (7 months ago)
    Must see to appreciate the organized shops and restaurants in a small clean community. You get decorative items made of natural stones, gems, rings, necklaces. Yummy cookies and ice cream. Micro brewary is the icing on the cake. Lodging is available with few motels in the Colony.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Anil v (4 months ago)

Lake Macbride State Park

  • Address: 3525 Hwy 382 NE, Solon, IA 52333, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (1682)
  • Phone: +1 319-624-2200
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Thursday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Friday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Saturday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Sunday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
  • Reviews:
    Living so close by has me visiting Lake Macbride every chance I get. Whether it’s kayaking on the lake, hiking the numerous trails, biking along the northern pea gravel trail, or camping/cooking out with friends in one of the many spots throughout, this place has my heart. Highly recommend going on a trip here if you aren’t from around the area. And if you are in the area, know that you have a gem of a park in your backyard.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alex Ledger (a month ago)
    Lake Macbride is a long-time favorite for hiking and boating. We enjoy the hiking trails that wind around the permitter of the lake. The scenery and experience changes with the seasons. If you like nature photography, you will find some nice wide open spaces and close-up photos of the surroundings. Included with this review are some photos from summer as well as fall when the leaves are changing color.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Greg Johnson (9 months ago)
    We came at the perfect time of year for the spillway! The waterfall was beautiful! My children absolutely loved it. The park was clean and well cared for.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Laura B (8 months ago)
    The Lake Mcbride Spillway is really cool. We did a quick stop with 2 toddlers and 3 dogs. It was rainy and chilly but still we had a ton of fun at this beautiful location. We walked to the little island with the waterfall and climbed all over and found a few fossils too! We would have done more but we weren’t dressed well enough to go wading through the waterfall to the other side. Wear your rubber boots!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Mary Jo Cannon (6 months ago)
    Very nice place for a relaxing hike. We hiked from the dam to the beach. The beach was good too. Try the raptor project to looks at eagle, owl, vultures etc. Recommend this place to all.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Dheepak Guruswamy (a year ago)

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

  • Address: 110 Parkside Dr, West Branch, IA 52358, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (1051)
  • Phone: +1 319-643-2541
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    There are not many Presidential Library museums, and this one is a little off the beaten path compared to most. It is almost a campus with an eclectic grouping of buildings, statues, a visitor center, and the museum all somewhat spread out.

    Everyone on the property was courteous and helpful. There may have been 10 visitors total the day we visited, so there were no lines and we were able to tour through everything at our own pace.

    We started in the Visitor Center with a shirt film, walked the campus for a few minutes and then toured the museum. It is pretty much what you would expect in small town Iowa. Kudos to President Hoover and all of what he overcame to rise to the presidency.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chris Rehberg (2 weeks ago)
    I didn’t know much about, Mr. Hoover…but now I do! Very cool place to visit! You get to see the small town he lived in, including his home, old school house, & an active blacksmith shop! The staff was amazing! Chelsea, was very informative on what it takes, being a blacksmith! This is a must visit, for any fan of American history! Very cool! The video in the welcome center was very informative! Here’s some of my pics!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Richey (4 months ago)
    Historic site for the USA. The birthplace and first years of President Hoover’s life. Everything around is neat and tidy thanks to the work of the National Park Service rangers. So if you are on the I-80, I recommend you get off the highway and take your time to visit this place. It’s worth it.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Rich KR (9 months ago)
    This is a really neat historic place. Crazy how a poor orphaned boy in the middle of nowhere Iowa could become president. The presidential library was really neat as well. It’s definitely a step into the past. You need to reserve tickets online to get in, but when I was there you could also just walk in and buy them. If you go in February expect no higher than 14F temps and a cool breeze.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Henry Marks (8 months ago)
    Fantastic little stop off I-80. The Park Rangers are super-friendly, especially Chelsea who was giving blacksmith demonstrations on-site. The movie on President Hoover and his time in West Branch was very informative. The preserved area of West Branch during Hoover’s time there is worth the walk. Also, worth a visit to his gravesite as the grounds are immaculate.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kaleb Huffman (4 months ago)

The Iowa Children’s Museum

  • Address: 1451 Coral Ridge Ave, Coralville, IA 52241, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (912)
  • Phone: +1 319-625-6255
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    My kiddos absolutely loved this place. Beautiful place with fun and learning activities for the kids. We love coming here for a little adventure. The staffs here are friendly and hardworking. They are always disinfecting everything and that’s a plus. We had a blast and can’t wait to visit again.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Thelma Zinnah (10 months ago)
    I have ages 12 to 2 and they absolutely love this place. They learn so much through play. There is so much more than what I shared in these pictures and each time we go, we spend time in different rooms. The only downfall is having a store that kids can run into right by the entrance/exit. My 3 year old has a hard time understanding why I can’t purchase a $40 box of magformers each time we go. I love that there are some reasonable priced items but it’s not helpful when I would rather get my children into the learning section of the museum. This is a big struggle for us. Still, what a great learning center for the kiddos. I recommend purchasing a membership.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jennifer Franklin (3 months ago)
    My kids loved this museum! So much to do to keep them occupied. We spent about 4 hours there. Can’t wait to go back again!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Brittany Suttie (5 months ago)
    All of my kids love coming here! We have ages 2-14 and they all have a good time. We got the family membership that I would recommend to anyone, when you have a large family and frequent this place as often as we do, it’s an amazing deal. I love all the hard work the staff puts into keeping this place clean and nice, and they are always friendly and helpful if we have any questions. I recommend coming here to anyone with kids! It’s great that it’s also in the mall so we can swing right over to the food court and grab a bite to eat after we are done or I can head over to the target right in the mall and grab anything I might need before heading home, so the location is also convenient.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Heather Martin (a month ago)
    Provided 5 hours of fun!! We were able to get marks on our hands to come back in after we ate our packed lunches! You can eat within the mall too. They constantly walk around cleaning up (bless them for this!), and disinfecting highly touched areas. Daughter loved that the bathroom had a sink her size! Such a great experience for all ages!!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Carol Hightower (The Hightowers) (4 months ago)

Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

  • Address: 579 McCollister Blvd, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (689)

Devonian Fossil Gorge

  • Address: 2850 Prairie Du Chien Rd NE, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (591)

The Englert Theatre

  • Address: 221 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (468)

Prairie Lights Books & Cafe

  • Address: 15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (418)

Pedestrian Mall

  • Address: 210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (369)

Hickory Hill Park

  • Address: 1439 E Bloomington St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (340)

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

  • Address: Macbride Hall, 17 N Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (326)

Old Capitol Museum

  • Address: 21 N Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (250)

Worlds Largest Wooden Nickel

  • Address: 3246-3248 Iowa River Corridor Trail, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4 (68)

Coralville Lake Visitor Center

  • Address: 2850 Prairie Du Chien Rd NE, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (51)

Mormon Handcart Park

  • Address: The University of Iowa, Hawkeye Ct, Iowa City, IA 52246, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (40)

Although Iowa City IA is a large state with many amazing places to visit, these 15 locations stand out as the best according to traveler ratings and reviews. Did your favorite spot make the cut? Let us know in the comments above!