I went back out to Iowa City, Iowa last weekend. I have visited so many times and while some things are traditions it’s still fun every time. I am a huge Iowa Hawkeye fan so a campus stop is a must. Honestly if you’re not a hawkeye fan I think everyone should visit. The campus is really cool and you can see lots of awesome things. My Dad was born at the University Of Iowa Hospital so he has always said they injected Hawkeye blood into his veins. His family moved out to Indiana.
Dad would take us out to Iowa a lot to see some family members, visit the campus, and just enjoy being in Iowa. There really is nothing like an Iowa blue sky. I’m sharing some of my must stops on this blog post today.
Kalona is small town about 30 minutes away from Iowa City. This is where my family grew up and where some of our relatives live. They had the best cheese curds here and you could see them make it! They shut down for a while and some new owners took over. While it’s not the same it’s still a good stop! The cheese curds were really squeaky! (which means they are really good). I also got to try out the “Kalona Crunch” Ice Cream. It was vanilla with butter pecan and something else maybe toffee? I forget but it was so good and fresh! They have fudge too!
If you go visit Kalona you need to stop at the Kalona Brewing Company! It’s right downtown and they have little antique shops and boutique stores along those lines. I usually get the brat w/ flatbread and peppers but they didn’t offer it this time. So I ventured out and got a new to me item on the menu called Turkey Melt. The best part is they have gluten free things! This bun was SO good and it was gluten free! I haven’t been able to find a good homemade gluten free bun since I went gluten free. The sweet potato fries there are so good and the dip/ sauce to put on your sandwich is amazing.
This is the Old Capitol Building located in the center of the campus. It’s really pretty during the spring/summer when the grass is green and there are some flowers around. This is Clinton Street and the Ped Mall is so close. Clinton street is where you can find some Hawkeye apparel. Iowa Book (one of my favorites) is on this street. You can’t miss it as the outside of the building has these little squares that stick out alternating black and gold. The Ped Mall is something you should experience. It’s mostly a brick walkway. It’s actually called the Pedestrian Mall but many people refer to it as the Ped Mall. You can find fun restaurants, some hotels, shopping – it’s really fun to just go and explore because there isn’t any traffic at the Ped Mall.
Another thing to do is catch a game in Carver Hawkeye Arena! There is truly no bad seat in this arena. The atmosphere is so crazy! Even if you’re not a Hawkeye fan go when they play your team! It’s an awesome experience. Plus they sell ice-cream during the game! I’m talking the chocolate vanilla swirl.
The football games at Kinnick are nothing short of incredible. The picture in the middle was from 2016 and they have made some renovations and updates as you can tell from the picture on the far right. All around the stadium they have the big posters up like the one pictured on the left. It’s usually a mix of former players and sometimes bowl wins. They had a Hayden Fry one up as well. You can see parts of the stadium if you walk up to the gate.
The best view is now in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. They have part of the 12th floor open to the public during regular business hours. I’ve been up there 3 times now. The left is looking at Carver Hawkeye Arena (yeah it’s the building with the weird metal things on top). The middle is a view from one of the windows in the Hospital it’s not showing up on pictures but you can see the football practice field also. The one on the right overlooks the campus a little bit. Recently they added the Tiger Hawk to the water tower. The views up here are incredible. There is also something special about being up there knowing that on game day all the fans are waving at the kids here.
Just more pictures from the 12th floor. The Iowa sky was so perfect that day! Such a blue sky not a grey sky like at home right now. It’s so cool to be up there and see Iowa City.
Also make sure you pay attention wherever you are in Iowa City. One of my Dad’s cousins wife took us out thrifting for some awesome Hawkeye gear. After lunch we went back and happened to stop at a Goodwill and that’s where we ran into CJ Fredrick! (for those that don’t know he is a basketball player for the University of Iowa). That was such a cool moment and it’s the first time I’ve ever met a Hawkeye athlete.
I know I say Indiana has beautiful sunsets but there is nothing like a sunset in Iowa City. I hope you make a trip out to Iowa City sometime! It’s such a fun place to visit.