Attractions December 20, 2018
You’ll Fall In Love With This Quiet Iowa Town That Has More Books Than People
When you travel out of state and talk about Iowa, many people assume that we’re all just corn farmers. When we talk about our cities, it seems to catch people by surprise! And when we mention that the literature capital of America is right here in the heart of the Hawkeye State, well, you should see the looks we get. If you’ve never spent time in Iowa City, carve out a weekend and explore this book lovers’ paradise, where you’ll find more books than people.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
Iowa City is the only North American city to have earned the honor of being named a UNESCO City of Literature.
This small Midwestern city is known for being a college town, but over the decades, it has truly cemented its legacy as the American capital of creative writing, historic book stores, publishing, and literature.
The most famous bookshop in the state is right here, at Prairie Lights.
Prairie Lights has been an iconic bookshop since 1978, and it moved to its current location in 1982. Now, this three-and-a-half story literature mecca is full of titles from local authors as well as the largest names in writing.
That extra "half floor" is dedicated to a cafe. Here, you'll find plenty of space to thumb through potential purchases or cozy up with your favorite book and a hot cup of coffee.
Address: 15 S Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Several blocks away, you'll find another legendary Iowa location — the Haunted Bookshop.
The Haunted Bookshop was established in 1978 and has changed locations a few times in the past. Currently, it's located in a beautiful home that was built in 1847. They carry more than 45,000 titles and maintain 80 different sections. You won't find new books here, just well-loved used books looking for their next home. The shop is curated by two cats — Logan and Nierme — alongside their people. Oh, and about the ghosts? Rest assured they won't bother you! The Haunted Bookshop is named after the book by Christopher Morley.
Address: 219 N Gilbert St., Iowa City, IA 52245
If you're looking for something unique, stop by Daydream Comics, the best comic book shop in Iowa.
You'll find thousands of comic books, manga, and hero-themed gifts here. There's always something new and unusual in stock, and it's a great shop for anyone seeking the perfect gift for any special occasion.
Address: 21 S Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Iowa Book is another literature-themed place that's so worth stopping to see.
The University of Iowa Bookstore is home to all things Iowa. They've got sweatshirts, pint glasses, hats, and other souvenirs, and many people stop by to pick up some swag. Don't forget, though, that at its core, this is a bookstore! Thousands of titles are available for you to look through, many of them written by University of Iowa professors.
br>Address: 8 S Clinton St., Iowa City, IA 52240
There's one last "must-see" location in Iowa City for book lovers, and that's Uptown Bill's Coffee House.
Not only is Uptown Bill's one of Iowa's finest coffee houses, offering Cafe del Sol brews, 20 varieties of tea, and a huge selection of soda pop, but they support the community wholly. Order a sandwich and feel good about supporting a coffee house that's truly a community center, dedicated to helping Iowans with developmental disabilities live life to the fullest. Try a shake or a sundae from the old Pearson's Ice Cream counter and enjoy the live entertainment all around you. Each Wednesday night, stick around for Spoken Word. Thursdays is Open Mic night, so gather round to support local voices. On Saturdays, join Uptown Bill's for concerts put on by local and nationally touring groups. There's always something happening here!
Address: 730 S Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240
While visiting Iowa City any time is a great idea, at least once in your life, make time to attend
This One-Of-A-Kind Festival In Iowa Is A Book Lover’s Dream Come True.