Nestled along the banks of the picturesque Cedar River, Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a charming Midwestern gem waiting to be explored. From its vibrant cultural scene to its natural beauty, this city offers a plethora of activities for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or foodie, Cedar Falls has something special for everyone. In this guide, we’ll uncover the top things to do in Cedar Falls, ensuring you make the most of your time in this welcoming community.
- Explore the Cedar Falls Historical Society: Start your journey by delving into the rich history of Cedar Falls at the Cedar Falls Historical Society. Housed in the Victorian-style Snowden House, this museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that bring the city’s past to life. Learn about the pioneers who shaped the region and gain a deeper understanding of Cedar Falls’ evolution over the years.
- Stroll through Overman Park: For a relaxing day outdoors, head to Overman Park. This green oasis in the heart of the city features walking paths, beautiful gardens, and a charming gazebo. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or simply unwinding amidst nature. Keep an eye out for community events and concerts that often take place in this scenic setting.
- University of Northern Iowa’s Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center: Embrace the vibrant cultural scene of Cedar Falls by attending a performance at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. This state-of-the-art venue hosts a diverse range of events, including concerts, Broadway shows, dance performances, and more. Check the schedule to catch a live performance that suits your taste.
- Experience the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum: Agriculture enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. Explore the history of this iconic brand, discover the evolution of farming equipment, and get a close-up look at vintage tractors. Engaging exhibits and interactive displays make this museum a captivating experience for visitors of all ages.
- Cedar Falls Recreation and Fitness Center: Stay active and have fun at the Cedar Falls Recreation and Fitness Center. With its indoor and outdoor facilities, including pools, basketball courts, and fitness classes, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just looking for a place to unwind, this center has you covered.
- Dine at Main Street’s Culinary Delights: Cedar Falls boasts a diverse culinary scene, especially along Main Street. Explore local eateries offering a range of cuisines, from farm-to-table to international flavors. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the welcoming atmosphere of cafes, bistros, and restaurants that contribute to Cedar Falls’ vibrant food culture.
- Hike at Big Woods Lake Recreation Area: Nature lovers will find solace at the Big Woods Lake Recreation Area. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, this park offers hiking trails, fishing spots, and serene lakeside views. Pack a picnic and spend a day surrounded by the beauty of nature in this expansive recreational area.
- Cedar Falls Waterfalls: Witness the beauty of Cedar Falls’ natural landscape at the Cedar Falls Waterfalls. Located near downtown, this scenic spot is a peaceful retreat for nature lovers. Take a leisurely walk along the trails, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the soothing sound of cascading water. It’s an ideal spot for photography and quiet contemplation.
- Hearst Center for the Arts: Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Hearst Center for the Arts. This cultural hub features rotating exhibits, workshops, and events that celebrate visual arts, sculpture, and more. Check the schedule for gallery openings or art classes, and let your creative side flourish in this welcoming space.
- Cedar Falls/Waterloo Symphony Orchestra: If you have a passion for classical music, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a performance by the Cedar Falls/Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra, comprised of talented musicians, regularly hosts concerts that showcase a diverse range of classical and contemporary compositions.
- Antique Shopping on Main Street: Take a step back in time by exploring the antique shops scattered along Main Street. Uncover unique treasures, vintage collectibles, and one-of-a-kind finds that tell stories of the past. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just enjoy browsing, the antique shops in Cedar Falls offer a delightful shopping experience.
- Ice House Museum: Dive deeper into the city’s history by visiting the Ice House Museum. Located in an old icehouse, this museum provides insights into the local ice harvesting industry and Cedar Falls’ development over the years. Explore the exhibits and learn about the innovative methods used in the past to keep things cool.
- Paddle the Cedar River: For outdoor enthusiasts, a paddling adventure on the Cedar River is a must. Rent a kayak or canoe and navigate the gentle currents as you take in the scenic surroundings. The Cedar River offers a peaceful and refreshing way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
- College Hill Arts Festival: If your visit aligns with the right timing, make sure to attend the College Hill Arts Festival. Held annually, this event showcases the work of talented artists and craftsmen, featuring a variety of mediums, from paintings to sculptures. It’s a great opportunity to support local artists and add a unique piece to your collection.
- College Square Mall: Indulge in some retail therapy at College Square Mall. This shopping destination features a mix of popular retailers, boutiques, and dining options. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, home decor, or a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, College Square Mall has you covered.
Cedar Falls, Iowa, may be a hidden gem in the Midwest, but its attractions are anything but hidden. From its historical sites to its natural wonders and vibrant cultural scene, this city invites you to explore and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Cedar Falls has a charm that will leave you enchanted and eager to return for more. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and immerse yourself in the warmth and hospitality of Cedar Falls, Iowa.