Things To Do in Iowa: Burlington

Lori Erickson
| February 18, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
Aerial view of a winding road in the middle of a residential and commercial district. Courtesy of the Greater Burlington Partnership

Bicycle races, baseball and dolomite bluffs are just three reasons to plan a visit to Burlington, Iowa.


Snake Alley

Built in 1894 to connect a residential district at the top of a bluff with the commercial district below, Snake Alley (above) has been called “unbelievably crooked” by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Made of limestone and locally fired bricks, its five half-curves and two quarter-curves rise for 58 feet at a 21% grade. The alley, whose design was inspired by the vineyard paths of France and Germany, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Each Memorial Day weekend, this picturesque thoroughfare is the site of the Snake Alley Criterium, a bicycle race run on Burlington streets. On Father’s Day, its winding curves are filled with the bustle and color of the Snake Alley Art Fair.

Baseball players celebrate a victory on the field. Courtesy of the Greater Burlington Partnership

Burlington Bees Baseball

Enjoy some old-fashioned fun at Community Field with the Bees (above), a collegiate summer baseball team in the Prospect League. Check the schedule for special promotions and themes, from toga parties to dog nights.

A man stands in the mouth of a cave, looking out into the sunlit woods. Chris Lee

Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve

This state nature preserve and park (above) includes 184 acres of woods, bluffs and prairie. Hike on the Flint River Trail that runs through the property, marvel at the many fossils embedded in its limestone and dolomite bluffs, and tour Crinoid Cavern. Don’t miss Starr’s Cave Nature Center, which sponsors environmental programs and guided hikes.


Patrons enjoying the outdoor section of a downtown restaurant. Jim Jennison

The Drake

Savor hearty comfort food in this downtown restaurant (above) with scenic views of the Mississippi River (if the weather’s nice, grab a seat on the patio). On many weekends, live music mellows the mood.

Fried chicken meal on a table Good Restaurant + Lounge /

Good Restaurant + Lounge

In the Heritage Hill District, this restaurant occupies a beautifully restored 170-year-old stone house. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch, Good specializes in expertly prepared dishes (above) using the freshest ingredients, from chicken roulade and Thai tofu green curry to Beef Wellington and pan-roasted rack of lamb. After dining, enjoy board games in the lounge or conversations around an outdoor fire pit.

Marriott lobby with large seating area and fireplace Marriott

Fairfield Inn & Suites Burlington

This AAA Three Diamond hotel (above) has 60 rooms, with amenities that include an indoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center and a complimentary breakfast.

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