I did a summer road trip around Iowa, and our first stop was Cedar Rapids! We had a day to explore and got to see some historic sights and eat some delicious food. If you’re looking for things to do in Cedar Rapids, here are some fun places to go in one day!
6 Things to Do in Cedar Rapids in One Day
Tour Ushers Ferry
Ushers Ferry Historic Village is an open air museum to show what a small town in Iowa was like at the turn of the century. There are historic houses and shops from 1890-1910 that you can tour and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. And it is kid friendly if you’re looking for things to do with your family. There were a few elementary school groups on field trips while I was there, and it sounded like they were having a blast.
Do some shopping in the Czech Village
The Czech Village is an area in downtown Cedar Rapids with lots of restaurants, shops, and bakeries, and it’s a great place to walk around. I also loved how well-maintained the historic buildings are, it’s such a quaint area!
Visit the National Czech and Slovak Museum
The National Czech and Slovak Museum is right in the Czech Village, so you can easily walk there after doing some shopping. The museum covers the history of the Czech and Slovak people in the US over the past few centuries. They have lots of historic artifacts and artwork celebrating the culture, and it was really interesting to learn about.
Central Europeans began immigrating to Cedar Rapids in the 1850s, and a lot of the culture and food in the area is influenced by them. So if you want to learn more about the town’s history and culture, visiting the museum is one of the top things to do in Cedar Rapids!
Grab some Czech food
After learning about Czech culture, you should grab some Czech food! There are different restaurants you can visit for some goulash, and Sykora Bakery is an Eastern European bakery in the Czech Village where you can get some pastries and cakes.
Walk around New Bohemia
New Bohemia is in the same district as the Czech Village, so you can easily walk to both. New Bohemia has lots of stores and restaurants, and there were some pretty cool Victorian and art deco style buildings. If you are looking for restaurants, we went to Brewhemia and The Map Room and both were great!
Brucemore is an estate from the 1880s in Cedar Rapids that you can tour. The actual house wasn’t open on the day we went, but you can visit the beautiful gardens for free!
Brucemore was built by Caroline Sinclair as a country home for her six children. Years later, the Douglas family moved in and expanded the estate and gave it the name Brucemore. And then in the mid-1900s, the Hall family lived there with their pet lions! It has a pretty interesting history and beautiful gardens, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
So those are my top 6 things to do in Cedar Rapids if you just have a day to explore! It’s a fun city to visit with a quaint downtown, and I love how they keep their history alive in so many different ways.