Day Trips from Cedar Rapids
The area boasts thriving suburban communities including Marion, Hiawatha and Mount Vernon.
With nearly 200,000 residents, Linn County is the second most populous county in the state of Iowa. There are 18 incorporated communities and 11 villages. The urban center is located in the southern part of the county and encompasses the city of Cedar Rapids, and the smaller communities of Marion, Hiawatha, and Robins. The County manages over 25 parks, preserves and historic sites.
Marion is one of the Midwest’s fastest growing cities – and one of the youngest. Located just minutes north of Cedar Rapids, Marion prides itself on being the best place in Iowa to raise a family and grow a business. Reach higher and achieve more in Marion.
Hiawatha has emerged as one of the fastest growing communities in Iowa. Located north of Cedar Rapids, along the Avenue of the Saints (Interstate 380), the town has become a pristine “hot spot”, both for residential developers as well as businesses looking to expand. The location provides easy access and travel times to jobs, events and school activities in the area. This growth continues today as the city expands to accommodate the businesses that see opportunities here and the families that are attracted to area. Come and visit Hiawatha and see what it has to offer.
Experience the charm of two historic communities in a one day trip to historic Mount Vernon and Lisbon, Iowa. Your experience starts at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway and the Old Military Road (or Dillon’s Furrow), and will include distinctive, nationally recognized restaurants, art galleries and studios, antiques, specialty shops and bed-and-breakfast inns. Take walking tours of Mount Vernon’s three registered national historic districts, including the entire Cornell College campus, the downtown shopping district and a charming neighborhood of restored Victorian homes. Tour the Lisbon History Center, take a walk through Palisades-Kepler State Park, or attend one of 14 annual festivals and find out for yourself why Budget Travel Magazine voted Mount Vernon one of America’s 10 Coolest Small Towns.
The Amana Colonies located just 20 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids, are Iowa’s largest National Historic Landmark. The Colonies comprise 26,000 acres of lush, rolling farm ground, Iowa’s largest private forest and the beautiful Iowa River Valley. The Colonies date to 1855 when a group of German pietists established a communal lifestyle in seven villages; this communal way of life would last until 1932, making it one of the most successful communal societies in the world. Today you will find historic buildings, businesses and crafts, along with contemporary art, wineries, Iowa’s oldest microbrewery, championship golf, and their famous family-style dining. Seven heritage sites tell the story of the communal era, along with Iowa’s only operating textile mill and other attractions.
Iowa City / Coralville
As North America's only UNESCO "City of Literature," Iowa City offers a cultural experience unlike any other. It features amenities typically only available in larger cities, yet is just minutes away from the peace and quiet of rural countryside. With high-end restaurants, renowned museums, a vibrant Downtown District and everything that comes with being home to the University of Iowa, this community is a destination for anyone. In Coralville, the Iowa River Landing is home to restaurants, shopping and hotels.
Home to the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School for the Blind founded in 1853 and made famous in the Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Vinton is an eclectic mix of historic infused with modern and artistic experiences. Take the time to discover the chainsaw trail, a walkable tour of unique chainsaw carvings created from several historic trees downed by the Derecho Windstorm of 2011.
Eastern Iowa Tourism Association
Eastern Iowa invites you to follow our highways and venture off the beaten path to see the beauty, sample the fun, and enjoy it all. As you travel one of our Scenic Byways or Historic Routes you’ll see the beauty of meandering streams, the mighty Mississippi River, rolling hills, towering limestone bluffs, patchwork countrysides, unexpected wildlife, and quaint villages. Stop along the way to sample the fun of memorable festivals, top-notch stage performances, unique shopping, year-round outdoor recreation, adventurous dining, unique attractions, and romantic riverboat cruises.
State of Iowa Tourism
Contact the Iowa Tourism Office for a free Iowa Travel Guide. The Iowa Travel Guide is Iowa’s comprehensive trip-planning publication with listings from more than 800 attractions, 575 hotels, 165 bed and breakfasts and 480 campgrounds in addition to information on state parks, trails and scenic byways.