“Waterloo? Nope, never been there.” I’ve heard that numerous times before.
However, if I’m honest, most of my friends in the Midwest indeed have been to Waterloo (or Iowa itself) at some point. It’s my friends in other parts of the country that haven’t been there.
Full disclosure: before this past weekend, I hadn’t explored much of Iowa myself. My husband and I were guests at our friends’ wedding. They’re Waterloo area natives. I’ve really only been to the Quad Cities area (had to see the world’s largest truck stop in person!), and Lebowski’s Bar & Grill in Robins.
Since I finally spent more than a few hours in Iowa, I decided to write about the charms of Waterloo – and some helpful tips to keep in mind while you’re visiting.
If you ever find yourself in the Waterloo, IA area, here’s some things to know.
- Their riverwalk is gorgeous: This bridge overlooks the Cedar River, and it’s beautiful this time of year. Take a walk and enjoy it!
- You probably won’t find Corey Taylor or Ashton Kutcher there often: Don’t worry, I tried looking for them for you. They must’ve been somewhere else. You’re better off going to a bar and getting stories about them if you’re curious.
- Just about everything is within walking distance: The wedding we attended had their reception at Black’s Sky & Tea Room. If you’re looking for fun things to do in downtown Waterloo, make that’s your central point for two reasons; it’s got a huge Black’s sign on top of it that you can use as your “north star” for navigation, and it’s central to a variety of restaurants in town.
- Waterloo has museums out the WAH-ZOO: Ever been to a city that has a wrestling museum? Didn’t think so. You can find more museums in Waterloo here.
- Check out the architechture: Waterloo had a very “pioneer” and “plains” feel to me. While it’s got modern qualities, the architechure of its buildings seemed to take me back to 1850 or 1860. I love that about this city. Take a walk and just look at how cool the buildings are.
As a bonus tip, I should mention that my husband and I felt fairly safe while walking the streets back to our hotel room late at night. We noticed patrols, and the sheriff’s office wasn’t far away. I’d tell any traveler to never travel alone in an unfamiliar city, but if I had to I felt like I could in Waterloo.
Now, tell me, would you travel to Waterloo?