21 Fun Things to Do in Burlington (Iowa)

In addition to being a great place to live, there are plenty of things to do in Burlington, Iowa.

Various activities and events are designed to keep you busy while in Burlington, Iowa, including free community celebrations and sports tournaments.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening out with the family or a fun way to get active, Burlington, Iowa, has something for everyone. 

The article covers some of the amazing tourist attractions in Burlington, Iowa. It also delves into some of the histories of this enchanting city.

Let’s get started!

Where is Burlington, Iowa?

The city of Burlington is located in Des Moines County, Iowa. According to the 2020 census, the population of this area was 23,982. 

It is a micropolitan area that includes the towns of West Burlington and Middletown, as well as Gulfport, Illinois. 

There is also a street called Snake Alley that is located in this area.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson invited two groups of explorers to map the area known as the Louisiana Purchase. 

One was the Lewis and Clark expedition, while Lt. Zebulon Pike led the other. 

In 1805, Pike raised the U.S. flag at the bluffs below the village of Burlington. But unfortunately, his recommendation for a fort was never implemented.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Fort Madison (Iowa)

Fun Things to Do in Burlington, Iowa

Here are the best things to do in Burlington, Iowa, for families, kids, adults, couples, and for the weekend!

1. Snake Alley

Photo by Thebox1985 via Wikimedia

In the 1890s, the natural amphitheater in downtown Burlington had to be replaced with a more creative solution.

As a result, a portion of 6th street was transformed into what is now known as the most crooked street in the U.S. to link the area with Heritage Hill.

The design was inspired by the paths found in France and Germany. 

Three German immigrants created Snake Alley, which features a curved limestone surface and locally-fired bricks. 

This unique feature still has the same curved curbing and locally-made bricks.

The design of Snake Alley spans over 270 feet. It’s a one-way street, and all traffic moves in the same direction. 

Address: This attraction is located at Snake Alley, Burlington, IA.

2. Downtown Burlington

The heart of downtown Burlington is filled with shops and restaurants designed to reflect the 21st century. 

This area is also known as a U.S. Historic District. This renaissance started in the 1990s and continues to grow.

The large buildings in downtown Burlington were constructed during the 20th century when the area was a significant transport hub. 

It was also a gateway to the Chicago and the nearby Quincy Railroad.

Address: Downtown Burlington is located in Burlington, IA.

3. Burlington Bees

Photo by Brodnax via Wikimedia

The baseball team known as the Bees was founded in 1889. For most of their history, they have been in the Midwest League of Minor League Baseball. 

They were also in the collegiate wood-bat league until 2020 when they were relocated. 

Some prominent individuals who have played for the team include Billy Williams, Paul Molitor, and Larry Walker.

The Community Field, constructed in 1947, can hold over 3,200 people. 

It was renovated in 2005 and has been named one of the best facilities in the Midwest. 

Address: The Burlington Bees Stadium is located at 2712 Mt Pleasant St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

4. Fun City

The complex is off U.S. Route 61 in the northwest part of the city, known as the Catfish Bend Casino. 

Various family-friendly attractions can be found at FunCity. 

One of these is the Harbor Water Park, which features a variety of water slides and other outdoor and indoor elements. 

The complex features a variety of family-friendly attractions, such as an indoor karting track, a bowling alley, a laser tag arena, and a massive arcade. Kids can also enjoy the park’s giant Ballocity indoor playground.

Address: Fun city is located at 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601.

5. Crapo Park

The park, referred to as a “Kray-poh,” is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

It’s believed that the American flag was raised on Iowa soil in 1805. The facility was named after Philip Crapo, a prominent local businessman. 

It was opened in 1895 as part of the city’s semi-centennial celebrations.

The park features an extensive collection of trees and shrubs. 

It also has a variety of picnic shelters and an ornamental lake. It also has a cave that’s named after Zebulon Pike. 

The park is also equipped with various features such as a bandshell, a fountain, and a cave dedicated to Chief Black Hawk.

Address: The Crapo Park is at 2800 Madison Ave, Burlington, IA 52601.

6. Des Moines County Heritage Center Museum

One of the most prominent buildings in downtown Burlington is the former Public Library, which was constructed in 1898. 

Philip Crapo funded it. The building was designed with various red sandstone blocks and featured an Italian-style design.

The facility was immediately moved to its current location. The Des Moines County Heritage Museum features three levels of compelling exhibits that detail the region’s history. 

The building’s original interior design is also a part of the joy. It features a leaded glass skylight that can be seen in the dome.

Address: This attraction is located at 501 N 4th St, Burlington, IA 52601.

7. Art Center of Burlington

The Art Center of Burlington has been a fixture in the city’s cultural scene since 1966. 

It’s in the heart of downtown and features a variety of local and regional art pieces. In addition, this is a great place to meet and discover other artists.

The center also hosts an annual event known as the Snake Alley Art Fair, a Father’s Day tradition in the city for more than half a century. 

It features over 80 artists and various activities for kids. In addition, the Art Center is profoundly involved in the community and regularly organizes multiple art classes for children.

Address: The Art Center of Burlington is at 301 Jefferson St #1, Burlington, IA 52601.

8. Garret-Phelps House Museum

The top of Snake Alley is a beautiful six-floor mansion built for William Garrett in 1851. 

It was initially a nursing school and hospital, and it was the home of his descendants until the 19th century. Eventually, the property was purchased by the Phelps family. 

The story of the mansion’s history is told through the museum, which the DesMoines Historical Society runs. 

It features a variety of decorative arts and furnishings from the 18th to 19th centuries. 

In addition, one of the rooms features a display case with artifacts from the Presbyterian Hospital.

Address: This attraction is located at 521 Columbia St, Burlington, IA 52601.

9. Capitol Theater

Photo by Brent Moore via Flickr

The Capitol Theater was a prominent building in the city when it opened in 1937.

It was an entertainment center in the town until it closed in 1977. It was a popular spot for residents and visitors until a theater eventually replaced it.

After it closed in 1977, the building was unused for almost four decades. 

In 2012, it was renovated and transformed into a performing arts venue. The Capitol Theater features a seating area ideal for people to watch various types of films. 

It’s also a great spot to watch comedians and recording artists perform.

Address: The Capitol Theater is at 211 N 3rd St, Burlington, IA 52601.

10. Mosquito Park

This small park features a massive view of the Mississippi River. It’s on the bluff above the Great River Bridge. 

From here, you can enjoy a wide-angle view of the river. There’s also a free tower viewer that you can use to take in the panorama.

It’s a popular location for wedding photos during the warmer months. The park is also a great spot to watch bald eagles in the winter.

Address: The Mosquito Park is located at 300 Franklin St, Burlington, IA 52601.

11. Burlington Memorial Auditorium

The city of Burlington purchased the building in 1939. It was constructed as part of a Works Progress Administration project. 

Initially, the facility was used as a training center for the U.S. Navy. It’s now an excellent venue for live entertainment.

It can accommodate various events, such as concerts, dances, talks, and magic shows. 

The arena floor has a 6,000-square-foot capacity. It’s also a great spot to watch sports action and Halloween haunts.

Address: The Burlington Memorial Auditorium is at 200 N Front St, Burlington, IA 52601.

12. Dankwardt Memorial Park

One of the city’s most popular parks is located near Crapo Park. 

It’s named after Lydian Dankwardt, who donated it in memory of her family. This park features various recreational facilities.

In addition to the park, you’ll also find a variety of recreational facilities, such as a skating park, tennis courts, and a disc golf course. 

The sewer trail is additionally a great way to explore the city. If you’re looking for a unique view of the Cascade Bridge, a historic Baltimore structure, look at the sewer trail.

Address: This attraction is at 2305 Madison Ave, Burlington, IA 52601.

13. North Gorge Trail

In addition to these recreational facilities, you’ll also find a variety of natural attractions in the city. 

One is the North Gorge Trail, a multi-use trail system near the Flint River. 

It’s a great way to get in some quality time with nature. The trail, completed in 2016, has been open to mountain bikers and hikers.

The North Gorge Trail allows hikers to explore the dramatic terrain through wooden bridges. 

In addition, there are various points where you can take a dip in the river to cool off during the summer season. 

Address: North Gorge Trail is located at 9668 Golf Course Rd, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

See Also: Best Things to Do in Davenport, Iowa

14. Catfish Bend Casino

The adjoining FunCity casino was first opened in 1994 and moved to its current location in 2007. 

It has over 650 slot machines and a variety of table games. In addition, the gaming area at the Catfish Bend Casino features a poker room and a sportsbook.

Aside from the casino, the complex also features a variety of other facilities, such as a spa and two hotels. 

Several restaurants, such as Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen, can be found throughout the area.

Address: Catfish Bend Casino is located at 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

15. Port of Burlington Welcome Center

The old municipal docks in the city are on the river’s south side. 

These were constructed in 1928 and were designed to haul coal from southeast Iowa to the barges on the Mississippi.

The Port of Burlington Welcome Center is located inside the former docks. It features a variety of information about the state of Iowa and other local attractions.

The center also has a variety of free maps and brochures. In addition, its staff members can help you navigate the area and find various local attractions.

Address: The Port of Burlington Welcome Center is located at 400 N Front St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

16. Great River Road National Scenic Byway

The Mississippi River crosses through Iowa’s northern and southern borders. You can explore beautiful river towns, world-class views, and limestone bluffs. 

The Great River Road is a National Scenic Byway that spans the river length from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. It connects various counties and federal, state, and county roads.

The views of the river are constantly changing as you travel through Iowa. 

One of the most familiar stories you’ll hear as you travel the route is about the Mississippi River and how it helped build the nation.

Address: The Great River Road National Scenic Byway is located in Iowa 52601, USA. 

17. Flint River Trail

The trail will connect various areas in the city of Burlington, including the Port of BURL, Riverside Park, Starr’s Cave Park, and the Historic Zion School. 

It will also extend to Big Hollow Recreation Area.

The trail is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2018. It features a seven-mile section from Flintbottom Road to Big Hollow.

Address: The Flint River Trail is located in Iowa 52601, USA.

18. Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial

The Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 2015, was constructed to honor all veterans in the region.

It features artistic scenes depicting the various branches of service and their contributions to the peacetime world. 

In addition, over 2,200 veteran names are engraved on the memorial’s reverse side.

Address: This attraction is located at W West, 405 Division St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

19. Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course

Flint Hills is a well-designed municipal golf course that features a variety of water hazards and varying topography. 

It is located north of Burlington. The course is ideal for players of all levels. A fully-equipped pro-shop is also situated in the facility.

Address: The Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course is located at 12842 102nd Ave, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

20. Harper-Eskdale House

The Good Restaurant is located in the heart of downtown in the Harper-Eskdale House. 

This historic house was built in1852 and is the oldest structure in the city of Burlington. 

It was purchased and restored in 2018. The restaurant was opened in August of that year.

Address: This attraction is located at 423N 3rd. St. Burlington, IA 52601, United States.

21. Field of Dreams

About a few miles outside Dyersville is the Field of Dreams baseball field. It was built for the movie “Field of Dreams,” released in 1989.

It has become a popular tourist destination. The baseball diamond was constructed on the family farm of the owner of the property, owned by the Lansing family.

Address: The Field of Dreams is located at 28995 Lansing Road, Dyersville, IA 52040.

Burlington, Iowa, is a town bustling with several activities. There is so much to do in this beautiful city.