Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, Burlington, Iowa, is a charming city that boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and a plethora of activities for visitors. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or someone who appreciates cultural experiences, Burlington has something to offer for everyone. In this guide, we’ll delve into the diverse array of things to do in Burlington, Iowa, making it an ideal destination for your next adventure.
- Heritage Hill Historic District: Stepping Back in Time
Start your journey through Burlington by exploring the Heritage Hill Historic District. This district is a living testament to the city’s rich history, featuring well-preserved Victorian homes and buildings. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets and marvel at the architectural gems, such as the Phelps House and the Starr’s Cave Nature Center. Guided tours are available, offering fascinating insights into the stories that shaped Burlington.
- Snake Alley: The Crookedest Street in the World
No visit to Burlington is complete without a trip to Snake Alley, often touted as the crookedest street in the world. This winding, cobbled street descends at a sharp angle and is adorned with beautiful gardens and unique boutiques. Challenge yourself to navigate the twists and turns, and don’t forget to capture the picturesque scenery.
- Outdoor Adventures at Crapo Park: Nature’s Haven
For nature lovers, Crapo Park is a haven of outdoor activities. Spanning over 85 acres, the park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River. Take a scenic drive along the park’s winding roads or embark on a hike to discover the hidden gems, such as the Lily Pond and the historical Crapo Mansion.
- Burlington Bees Baseball: A Grand Slam Experience
Sports enthusiasts will find a home at the Burlington Bees’ Minor League Baseball games. The team’s home, the Community Field, provides an intimate and exciting atmosphere to catch a game. Cheer for the home team, indulge in classic ballpark snacks, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow fans.
- Art and Culture at Art Center of Burlington
Immerse yourself in the local arts scene at the Art Center of Burlington. This cultural hub showcases a diverse range of visual arts, including paintings, sculptures, and crafts created by local and regional artists. Attend workshops, exhibitions, or simply explore the galleries to appreciate the creativity that flourishes in Burlington.
- Steamboat Days Festival: Celebrate the River Heritage
Plan your visit to coincide with Burlington’s annual Steamboat Days Festival, a celebration of the city’s river heritage. This lively event features parades, live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as the community comes together to honor Burlington’s connection to the Mississippi River.
- Museum Madness at Des Moines County Historical Society:
Explore the intriguing stories of Burlington’s past at the Des Moines County Historical Society. The museum houses artifacts, documents, and exhibits that chronicle the city’s history, from its early days as a bustling river port to its present identity. Engage with interactive displays and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage that shaped Burlington.
- Fun on the River with Mississippi River Distilling Company:
For a unique and flavorful experience, visit the Mississippi River Distilling Company. Take a tour to witness the craft of distilling in action and learn about the art of producing handcrafted spirits. Tasting sessions offer a chance to savor locally crafted whiskeys and spirits, adding a touch of sophistication to your Burlington adventure.
- Burlington’s Farmers Market: Fresh and Local Delights:
Immerse yourself in the local food scene by visiting Burlington’s Farmers Market. Held regularly, the market showcases a variety of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and handmade crafts. Engage with local farmers and artisans, and treat yourself to the flavors of Burlington’s vibrant culinary scene.
- GEEKtoberfest at Geek City Games:
If you’re a board game enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, time your visit with GEEKtoberfest at Geek City Games. This annual event celebrates all things geeky, featuring board game tournaments, cosplay contests, and a lively atmosphere. Join fellow enthusiasts in embracing your inner geek and enjoy a weekend of fun and games.
- Paddlewheel Potluck Cruise: A Culinary Adventure on the River:
Embark on a Paddlewheel Potluck Cruise for a delightful dining experience on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a scenic boat ride while indulging in a potluck-style feast. This unique dining event allows you to savor delicious homemade dishes contributed by fellow cruisers, creating a communal and unforgettable meal.
- Burlington’s Public Art Scene:
Discover the city’s vibrant public art installations scattered throughout Burlington. From murals depicting local history to sculptures that celebrate the spirit of the community, each piece tells a story. Take a self-guided tour to appreciate the creativity that adorns the streets and adds a touch of color to your exploration.
- Biking along the Riverfront Trail:
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Riverfront Trail offers an excellent opportunity to explore the beauty of Burlington on two wheels. Rent a bike and pedal along the scenic trail, which winds along the Mississippi River. Enjoy the fresh air, picturesque views, and the serenity that comes with a leisurely ride through nature.
Burlington, Iowa, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, offering a delightful blend of history, nature, and culture. Whether you’re meandering through the historic streets, navigating the twists of Snake Alley, or immersing yourself in the local arts scene, Burlington provides a memorable experience for every traveler. Pack your bags, set out on an adventure, and uncover the treasures that await in this charming Mississippi River city.