Take a minute and check out the Old Capital building. It caught fire several years ago and has since been remodeled. The capital was built in 1842, then the capital was moved to Des Moines in 1857.
It's a nice setting. The building is west of the main downtown area on the Pentacrest. It is surrounded by four large buildings used for classes and other U of Iowa functions.
The Old Capital adds a lot to the downtown atmosphere.
If you own a boat and love to fish, dock your boat at many ramps along Iowa's Eastern shores. The Mississippi River is great fishing.
We have caught tons of great Walleye and huge catfish.
Of course always the many other varities of fish too.
A nice campground is Sugar Bottom in Bellevue, Iowa. There is a boat ramp right there and is easy to get boat in and out of this ramp if not a yacht!
You can go many miles up shorelines and relax or fish your heart out.
Worms, great bait as always. Early morning best results of course.
A half hour drive north on Highway 1 is a fun afternoon evening excursion. The Lincoln Cafe is a very popular restaurant for the entire Eastern Iowa area, but is often very busy and they rarely accept reservations. This shouldn't be a deterrent though, because there is plenty to do in the uptown area while you wait. The restaurant doesn't serve alcohol, but diners can definitely bring in their own bottle of wine or beer. The menu changes nightly, with a few simpler items always available. The Silver Spider next door is one of many gift shops on main street and there are also antique shops open in the afternoon. The World Bistro and Chameleon's Pub are a few doors down and both offer simpler fare for those who don't want to wait.
Mount Vernon is also home to Cornell College which is a very pretty campus with nearly all of the buildings on the National Historic Register.