6 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cedar Rapids
The second largest city in the state of Iowa, just behind the state capital of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids is packed to the brim with interesting things to do throughout the year. From the historic Brucemore estate to the expanded collection of Grant Wood paintings and others at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and the many trails and ecosystems at the Indian Springs Nature Center, it's easy to find something to stimulate your interest. Whether you visit Cedar Rapids for a weekend or longer, you'll find plenty to explore in this Midwestern gem.
See also: Where to Stay in Cedar Rapids
1 National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Featuring permanent and rotating exhibits that shed a light on Czech and Slovak culture found in Iowa and beyond, the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library strives to expose all members of the community to this storied heritage. The National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library is open seven days a week, and while touring the many different artifacts, photographs, and living history by yourself is worthy of a trip, the Czech & Slovak Museum and Library also offers guided tours to enhance your experience.
Address: 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids
The Brucemore Estate started its saga as a family mansion in the mid-to-late 19th century, and over the next 100 years, different influential families moved in and out of the mansion and the 26-acre estate, enhancing the property and adding touches of their own. In 1981, the last resident of Brucemore bequeathed the property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and since then, Brucemore has served as a community cultural hub that invites locals and tourists alike to tour the mansion and surrounding gardens. Brucemore also has quite the reputation in Cedar Rapids for hosting exciting events, giving special tours, and providing the perfect place to unwind and appreciate the beauty of things collected from decades past.
Address: 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids
3 Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Established in 1905 and centrally located in the downtown district near the Cedar Rapids Public Library, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art provides endless outlets for cultural exploration and art appreciation. The museum features constantly rotating exhibits plus permanent collections, including the world's largest collection of work from the Iowa-native Grant Wood. With more than 60,000-square feet to explore, plus the nearby historically preserved Grant Wood Studio, managed by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and open to the public for tours, you may want to organize multiple visits to this top Cedar Rapids attraction.
Address: 410 3rd Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids
4 Iowa Masonic Library and Museum
Serving as a community symbol for freemasonry, not only in Iowa but across the world, the Iowa Masonic Library and Museum hosts one of the largest collections of Masonry reading materials and artifacts in the nation. Whether you are a dedicated researcher who wants to comb through the 15,000 plus volumes of rare Masonic books or you are an interested observer wanting to check out the many Masonic and non-Masonic museum offerings, there is plenty to see here, and museum staff happily share the wealth of knowledge with visitors.
Address: 813 First Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids
5 African American Museum of Iowa
Open Monday through Saturday, the African American Museum of Iowa strives to highlight, embolden, and illustrate the continuing history of African American culture in the United States and abroad. Featuring rotating and permanent exhibits dealing with prominent points in African American history, ranging from its origins in West Africa to present times, the museum offers much to absorb, and guided tours are available to help put it all in perspective. The experience doesn't stop with guided tours; the African American Museum has a constant stream of events, speakers, and community classes that can help enrich your knowledge of the world around you.
Address: 55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids
6 Paramount Theatre
On the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount Theatre brings the past and present together with first-class performances in a restored, grandiose theater setting. Originally constructed in the 1920s as a movie palace and vaudeville performance space, the theater has seen some renovations and repairs over the years, especially after the devastating floods of 2008. Presently, it has been restored to its original grandeur and welcomes all sorts of live performances, including Broadway plays and community concerts. It's also home to Orchestra Iowa, the state's definitive source of orchestra music. Whatever event brings you to the comfortable seats of the lavish Paramount Theatre, you'll see for yourself how this classic venue really adds to your entertainment experience.
Address: 123 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids
7 Indian Creek Nature Center
Featuring a wide network of nature trails, a community gathering place, and plenty of room to roam and explore the outdoors, the Indian Creek Nature Center doesn't just help educate the public about different outdoor ecosystems, it provides them. Whether you're interested in learning more about woodlands, wetlands, prairie environments, or wildlife, the Indian Creek Nature Center has you covered. You can explore the different landscapes alone or join a guided tour or special event. Encouraging people to enjoy and connect with the natural world, is Indian Creek Nature Center's main mission.
Address: 5300 Otis Road, Cedar Rapids
Where to Stay in Cedar Rapids for Sightseeing
We recommend these great hotels in Cedar Rapids, with easy access to shops and town:
- The Hotel at Kirkwood Center: mid-range boutique hotel, professional service, original art collection, excellent restaurant.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex: 3.5-star hotel, central location, indoor pool, fitness center.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Cedar Rapids - North: affordable rates, heated pool, modern decor, complimentary breakfast.
- Days Inn & Suites Cedar Rapids: budget hotel, near shops, clean rooms, swimming pool.