Looking for a fun way to spend a day? We suggest a tour of one of these 10 beautiful and historic neighborhoods in Iowa. Spend the day shopping, eating, exploring, and soaking up the local history. From east to west, here are 10 must-see historic neighborhoods in Iowa:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Village of East Davenport, Davenport
One of Davenport's oldest neighborhoods, the Village of East Davenport is full of small specialty shops and was used as parade grounds for Civil War soldiers from Camp McClellan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and it was roughly defined as the area between the Mississippi River, Spring, Judson, and 13th Streets, Kirkwood Boulevard and Jersey Ridge Road. While you're there, we recommend dinner at 11th Street Precinct.
2. Historic Fourth Street District, Sioux City
The Fourth Street Historic District in Sioux City consists of a concentration of 15 late-nineteenth-century commercial buildings between Virginia and Iowa Streets that date from 1889 to 1915. Many of the buildings are significant for their elaborate Romanesque Revival architecture. The area is now a hub of restaurants, bars, and specialty shops. While you're there, be sure to check out the Diving Elk for a delicious meal and a cold brew.
3. Haymarket Square Historic District, Council Bluffs
Haymarket Square District is a historical retail area located in the central business district of Council Bluffs. There are many unique businesses in the district, from custom printing to collectibles. One particularly fun place to check out is Drips Art Gallery & Coffee Shop.
4. Czech Village, Cedar Rapids
The Czech Village, also known as New Bohemia, will give you a full dose of Czech culture. While you're there, be sure to visit the National Czech & Slovak Museum, pick up some fresh baked goods at the Sykora Bakery, and do some shopping at Czech Village Antiques.
5. Cathedral Historic District, Dubuque
Cathedral Historic District is a 32-acre historic district in Dubuque that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It features 96 historic buildings, including St. Raphael's Cathedral, an 1833 Catholic cathedral that is oldest congregation of any Christian denomination in the state of Iowa. While you're here, be sure to check out Cable Car Square, and take a ride on the Fenelon Place Elevator Car.
6. Highland Park Historic Business District, Des Moines
The Highland Park Historic Business District at Euclid and Sixth Avenues is located in the north-central section of Des Moines, on the border of the Oak Park and Highland Park neighborhoods. The commercial historic district has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998. The district is home to some beautiful architecture, including many High-Victorian style buildings.
7. East Village, Des Moines
Historic East Village Des Moines is a great place to visit if you can't make it to the East Village in Manhattan. The area is full of history, culture, and plenty of unique things to do and see. From funky shops such as Uglytree and Raygun, to unique eateries such as Zombie Burger and Tacopocalypse, East Village Des Moines offers all the best parts of East Village Manhattan right here in Iowa.
8. 100 Block of West Broadway Historic District, Council Bluffs
The 100 Block of West Broadway is a historic district in Council Bluffs that features many fun and unique businesses. One must-visit place is a restaurant called Dixie Quicks, which serves up some mean Southwest style soulfood.
9. Old Main Historic District, Dubuque
The Old Main district is a gateway to downtown Dubuque with a mix of retail and entertainment uses, including specialty retail stores and services, local bars, restaurants, fast food, and live music venues. While you're there, do not miss the chance to see a show at the Five Flags Event Center, a beautiful theatre built in 1910.
10. Cody Road Historic District, Le Claire
Cody Road Historic District in Le Claire includes 60 structures along a nine-block stretch of U.S. Route 67, Cody Road, the primary street through town. The district, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, contains Le Claire's main commercial district on the south side and a residential area on the north. While you're there, catch up on your Iowa history at the Buffalo Bill Museum.
Have you been to any of these neighborhoods? What are some places you would recommend visiting? Share your thoughts with us!