Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Cedar Rapids? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Cedar Rapids, Iowa?”
Technically the nickname of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the City of Five Seasons, though it’s more commonly known as the City of Five Smells. That’s because of the huge General Mills and Quaker Oats processing plants located downtown, which make Cedar Rapids one the most prolific cereal processing centers in the world. While the air does sometimes smell of Crunch Berries, Cedar Rapids isn’t just a grain town.
Just 30 minutes from the home of the Iowa Hawkeyes and one of the state’s most happening college towns, Cedar Rapids sits at the juncture of the beautiful bluffs of the Cedar River Valley and the rolling prairie. The city has deep cultural roots shaped by generations of immigrants and Americans, an impressive arts scene and an increasingly dynamic culinary landscape. Explore its Czech influence through museums, restaurants and more, and check out the home and studio of famed artist Grant Wood as well as one of the oldest restaurants in the state.
This guide will take you to some of the best spots the city has to offer. Just keep your fingers crossed that you get to smell Cookie Crisp wafting through the city.