From Itineraries Midwest Spring Issue 2010
Plan your next trip to Cedar Falls, Iowa, one of the National Historic
Trust’s 2010. Dozen Distinctive Destinations, a two time Iowa
Tourism Community of the Year, and the state’s first Bicycle Friendly Community. The staff at the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau stands ready to prepare an itinerary customized just for you. Here’s a sampling of what you might consider…
Arrive at our Visitor Center, located near the intersection of Highway 58/218 and Highway 20 (exit 224), to stretch your legs, browse our gift shop and enjoy refreshments on our shaded patio shop and enjoy refreshments on our shaded patio overlooking the lakes and prairie landscaping peppered with the silhouettes of prairie animals.
Head downtown to the newly restored Ice House Museum, the “coolest museum in Iowa.” This unique and round brick structure is one of the only a handful left in the country. Ravaged by the 2008 floods, the museum’s been completely restored with exhibits depicting the role that the Cedar River played in the settlement of the area, iceharvesting, early farming and homemaking and more.
Enjoy lunch in our Distinctive Downtown. Choose from a loose meat sandwich and pie picnic in the park, catered by the local Maid Rite shop, or a private dining experience in the elegantly appointed ballroom of the historic Cedar Falls Woman’s Club. Other choices include New Orleans-style dining at Bourbon Street, Soho’s sandwich and sushi bar, Los Cabos Mexican restaurant and a number of sandwich shops.
Take a behind the scenes tour of the Oster Regent Theatre, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2010. Learn the fascinating history about the building as it started as a live performing artstheatre in 1910, adapted to the big screen when live performances struggled and was again renovated to serve as a live theatre.
Enjoy some free time in downtown Cedar Falls and discover why it’s been named a Distinctive Destination. Savor wine and chocolate at Indulgence or coffee at Cup of Joe. Browse over 26 locally owned shops loaded with clothing, shoes, purses, antiques, hobby supplies, gifts and knickknacks, or stroll along the trail overlooking the Cedar River.
Check out your sleeping arrangements at the AmericInn, Wingate by Wyndham, or one of several other great Cedar Falls hotels. Take a break and freshen up for an exciting evening of dining and entertainment.
Dinner choices abound with unique offerings at local favorites like my Verona, Ferrais, Montage and the Brown Bottle.
Enjoy a performance at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus or the Oster Regent Theatre in downtown Cedar Falls. Offerings range from opera to Broadway productions to community theatre to free student and faculty performances.
Visit the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center where you’ll learn about Iowa’s native landscape and stroll through demonstrations areas planted an maintained by area experts.
Board the coach and take a quick five minute ride to the outskirts of town to Barn Happy where you’ll enjoy lunch in a rustic and delightfully renovated barn. The gift shop is filled to the rafters with Iowa products and antiques.
Choose from a visit to the University Museum, Hansen’s Dairy Barn, Iowa Veteran’s Museum, Phelps Youth Pavilion, Hearst Center for the Arts and Sculpture Garden, John Deere Tractor Tours, barn quit tours, Heartland Acres Agribition Center and more.
Visit www.cedarfallstourism.org or call the Cedar Falls Visitor Center to request a Group Tour Guide or to customize an itinerary.