I love going to Iowa City. It’s not far from where I live but has tons of cool things to do. Each time I go I find something new to do, but I also return to some favorites. Hopefully my favorites become your new favorites, but either way, here are some things that you have to check out when planning a trip to Iowa City!
Your New Favorite Things to do in Iowa City
210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240
This is a fun and hip area full of restaurants, bars, and shopping. A lot of the places I mention in this post are around here, making this one of the top things you have to do in Iowa City!
This place would really shine in the spring or summer when you can sit outdoors on the restaurant’s patios under the twinkly lights. Though you can still do things in the winter, I just think you’ll get a lot more out of it when warmer weather hits!
Cortado Coffee & Cafe
26 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Start your morning off at Cortado for a perfectly styled oatmeal and a frothy cappuccino. I love the little white espresso cups and their almond croissants are super yummy. This place has stools that look out the front window for people watching, giving me Chicago vibes.
Whether you’re here for studying, gabbing, or a quick bite, it’s a fun place!
Basta Pizzeria Ristorante
121 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240
I love this restaurant for either lunch or dinner. For lunch, especially early on, it’s pretty empty and I like to enjoy a nice meal while pretty much getting the place to myself.
At night, this turns into a very romantic and chic spot to eat. Or somewhere classy to get drinks at the gorgeous bar.
Though whatever time of day you decide to go, you can’t beat the whole atmosphere of this place. Such as detailed floors, cafe-style chairs, marble tables, a classy bar, and a big wood fire oven. Pretty much #interiorgoals. What’s not to love?
Get the porchetta for lunch and fettuccine alfredo for dinner! My Margherita pizza was a little burnt (bummer) so I don’t know if I can recommend that or not.
14 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240
After dinner, head over to Molly’s Cupcakes for a dessert and sugar high. Oh so fresh and oh so good. Though the place is small, it has a fun atmosphere with swings and games. The flavor cupcakes change, but I love s’mores and tiramisu! I have my eye on the mini cheesecakes for next time. Or maybe I’ll try out a customized one.
Get one for the road! Or two. Maybe three. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything 😉
219 N Gilbert St, Iowa City, IA 52245
I had to check this place out for the story. Turns out, it’s named after a book and there was never a story about it being haunted. But there are so many books in such a small place it’s pretty cool and different. I don’t think it’d interest you if you’re not a bookworm, but definitely go if you like used book stores!
117 E College St, Iowa City, IA 52240
This is an amazing place to shop. It’s a mix of vintage and new and everything is really unique. I could easily spend a lot of money here but left with just some sunglasses instead. Yes, you’re gonna spend more than average thrift store prices, but it’s perfect for finding a “new to you” item that not everyone has!
If you haven’t yet, check out the video! You can see all these places in a different way!