Our bucket list for all there is to experience in Iowa City’s Curious Communities could span several pages, but here is a start for some of the locals’ favorite things to do in the spring months.
1. Watch the Old Capitol Criterium
On Sunday, April 30th, for the 40th year running, Old Capitol Criterium racers speed around the course, creating an exciting atmosphere in the heart of downtown Iowa City. With categories from beginner to professional (featuring national champions), you’ll have the chance to watch in amazement as racers glide down Washington Street and climb the Jefferson Street hill again and again in a continuous loop surrounding the Old Capitol. The hay bales on the street corners are sure signs that you’re in the right place.
2. Walk the trails near Coralville Lake
After a long season spent indoors, spring is the ideal time to venture out on the scenic walking trails. Woodpecker Nature Trail and Squire Point Trail are easily accessed from North Dubuque Street and offer fantastic views of the lake. Visit the Devonian Fossil Gorge before crossing the Dam to the Veterans Trail, a quarter mile looped trail on East Overlook. This outdoor oasis is perfect for an afternoon with the family or the individual traveler.
3. Visit local farmers markets
Iowa City’s markets open for the season on Wednesday, May 3rd and Saturday, May 6th. With live music, fresh vegetables, locally sourced ingredients, and hand-crafted products, it’s a great way to support the community as well as come home with something new. The Coralville Farmers Market begins its season Monday, May 8th.
4. Tune in to live music
Visit one of many venues offering free live music in the area. Cedar Ridge Vineyards in Swisher, just a 20-minute drive to the north, hosts a solo musician or band Friday nights in its outdoor space along with food and wine for purchase. You can also check the schedule for other local restaurants including Big Grove Iowa City, 30hop, or Mosley’s for upcoming performances.
5. Park yourself on a bench
Bring a favorite book along and relax as you enjoy the simple things. Find your favorite painted bench in Iowa City’s Pedestrian Mall or overlooking the river on the west side of the Old Capitol. To make it even sweeter, pick up a cupcake at Molly’s Cupcakes to take along with you.