Waterloo Travel Guide

  • Waterloo on the Cedar River
    Waterloo on the Cedar River
    by atufft
  • Waterloo Nature Trail
    Waterloo Nature Trail
    by atufft
  • Buddy, Katy and Gunner looking out the window!
    Buddy, Katy and Gunner looking out the...
    by mikehanneman

Waterloo Things to Do

  • Grout Science Museum and Statue of...

    The Grout Science Museum, on 4th street near the river, is a well endowed touch and experience museum that unfortunately was closed when I arrived. It is actually part of 4 museums in Waterloo's Grout Museum District. The Boys Scouts erected a painted concrete replica of the State of Liberty in a plaza on the west side if Cedar River.

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  • Classic Waterloo Residential...

    Waterloo was never a wealthy city, so the evidence of wealth in residential architecture is significantly less than it's wealth of architecture in the town's churches. However, scattered here are there are some interesting specimens of wealth from days gone by. Only a few have been restored to their former glory. The residential section of town is...

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  • Church Block

    On 4th street, on the west side of downtown, there is a city block of nearly solid church architecture. There are Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic building wall to wall on the south side, and on the north side there is the expansive Congregational Church. In the next block west are a Methodist and Presbyterian Church, and one block south is...

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  • Cedar River Bridges and the YMCA Bronzes

    The Cedar River has three bridges at Waterloo, connecting both sides of downtown. There is at Waterloo a low falls or rapids, and the water flows to fast for any navigation or swimming. Fishing is popular for a few along the banks of the seawalls. On the west side, near the westbound bridge is an old art deco yellow sandstone YMCA building with 4...

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  • 2007 Richard Thomas Mural

    Spanning the side of a government building is a mural painted by New Orleans born Richard Thomas. The artist is said to keep a studio in town. The artwork is historical in nature, describing Waterloo's immigrants and business activity through the years.

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  • Downtown Waterloo

    While the orginal downtown Main Street is concentrated on the east bank of the Cedar River, the larger bulk of the urban core of the city is located on both sides of the river. On the east bank is an empty Masonic Lodge building, now up for sale. The First Presbyterian Church and old Baptist Church are also on the east side of downtown.

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  • Crossroads Mall - Waterloo, Iowa

    If you are going to visit the water park, Isle of Capri Casino (opens in Spring of 2007) or just in the Waterloo area, Crossroads Mall is a nice Mall. All the slots are full of retailers. Perhaps you are staying at one of the many hotels within a few blocks of the mall, Crossroads is a great option to shop at or take in a movie.

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  • Young Area & Hockey

    You might be coming to Waterloo, Iowa to see a youth or BlackHawks hockey game.Young Area was a nice addition to out city. I think it is a lot nicer than similar areas in the area.The area is located in downtown Waterloo by the Cedar River. There are a couple of hotels within 2 or 3 blocks for those who don't want to drive far.

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  • Isle Of Capri Opening In Early 2007

    The Isle of Capri will open in the Spring of 2007 in Waterloo.The people and cityof Waterloo are very excited to have the Casino come to town. Certainly it will be a big asset in regards to employment and people coming to Waterloo to spend some money and have a good time.

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  • John Deere Tour

    If you have a morning or afternoon to spend I would recommend taking the John Deere Donald Street tour.They will take you through all the John Deere's final assembly plant.The tours are at 3500 East Donald Street in Waterloo. You will need to make a reservation for the tour. Call 319-292-7697 at least one day prior to the tour.

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  • Hockey & Fridayloo

    In the winter time there is hockey (Waterloo Blackhawks) and they tend to draw a lot of fans during weekend games.During the summer months Waterloo has Fridayloo going on. Fridays in Lincoln park (downtown) a lot of people gather to enjoy the offerings of food vendors and music.

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  • John Deere Factory Tour

    Tour the John Deere factory. The tour is comprehensive and details what it takes to make tractors and John Deere vehicles. Part of the tour is given while riding on a golf cart, and part is done by walking. The assembly line process is fascinating to see, making this a must see in Waterloo.

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Waterloo Hotels

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Waterloo Restaurants

  • Great Italian Food

    I ate here last Friday - in the past it was always good, consistant food. My son spit out a piece of plastic about 2 inches around. I won't go back now. I still like their pizza.I was treated OK - they credited Scott's meal. I was a bit upset though.Still overall solid food. Manicotti - combo - Great choice!

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  • Good steaks, peanuts etc.

    One of the two top restaurants in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area is the Texas Roadhouse. It is located inside the College Square Mall in Cedar Falls.Texas Roadhouse provides good steaks, hot buns w/cinnamon butter (free & good), peanuts in the shell, a variety of beers and of course other choices too.Arrive early because it is a popular restaurant....

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  • My favorite restaurant is...

    My favorite restaurant is Carlos O' Kelleys--well I don't know now its running a close competition with IHOP.This restaurant is reasonably priced and the atmosphere is great for family oriented activities. My favorite item is the Chiloptle Chicken Burro.

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Waterloo Nightlife

  • by zoranaw Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My favorite spot for nightlife is the Cellar. The Cellar is a nice place to go to if you want a pleasant atmosphere along with the calm, soothing, sound of Jazz and Blues. The Cellar is more of a 'ritzy' type of nightclub. Another great spot is the Unity Center on University Avenue. This is basically a Christian Center where young people as well as adults can go to enjoy free concerts and play free games of pool.
    I think what makes the Cellar so Unique is that it is unlike most nightclubs here in Waterloo. It is really relaxing and the environment makes you comfortable. There are different things happening each night. For example on some nights there are poetry readings. It also provides a showcase spot for inspiring musicians who want to be heard. The Unity Center is unique because it is one of the few Christian Centered Spots around the area. Also, the concerts are free along with the games of pool.

    Dress Code: The dress code for the Cellar is casual. Most of the time I wear a dress, nothing fancy, with sandals. However, it is also the type of place that you can go if you have that certain outfit with nowhere to where it.
    The Unity Center dress code is casual.

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Waterloo Warnings and Dangers

  • Be Aware of the Downtown area at night

    Waterloo is a nice city with nice people.After I wrote my first warning about being downtown at night - Waterloo has experienced more crime it seems like. During the daytime nobody has any problems.However, at night time seems to be problem lately. Again, just be with other people, in the light and be aware of your surroundings and you should be...

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  • Be careful downtown at night

    Overall Waterloo is a nice town. I would advise anyone who is in downtown Waterloo at night to be careful.It's probably like any other community but Waterloo does have some problems downtown from time to time. Just be aware of where you are and what/who is around you and you won't have any problems.

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  • Waterloo Hotels

    17 Hotels in Waterloo

    44 Reviews and Opinions

Waterloo Off The Beaten Path

  • mikehanneman's Profile Photo
    John Nash speaking at UNI 1 more image

    by mikehanneman Updated Apr 17, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The University of Northern Iowa has serveral things to offer.

    The UNI Dome hosts a lot of various events. It is located on the west side of the UNI campus. UNI is located on the west side of Cedar Falls.

    The Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center is located on the UNI campus too. This week George Carlin was there for example.

    Sometimes there are other speakers too. Last Spring I saw John Nash speak at one of UNI's buildings. Everyone knows who he is. Russell Crow played Nash in the movie, "Beautiful Mind."

    See my picture of Nash during his speech.

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Waterloo Sports & Outdoors

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Cedar Valley Nature Trail near Waterloo, IA 2 more images

    by atufft Written Oct 25, 2009

    Iowa's wealth of countryside and gentle rolling hills make it an ideal place to cycle, particularly in Fall. The Nature Trail around Waterloo, Elk Run and Cedar Falls is well paved and provides plenty of scenic views of the city and river. It's a bit tricky to navigate in places, so it was mainly a matter of luck that I managed to find and use it. However, the city is not full of dangerous traffic, so pedaling on the street is OK too. When I learned more about the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, I learned that is serves as a bike path connecting Waterloo to Cedar Rapids, some 75 miles downstream. This is therefore a truely great bike path that should be considered by any serious road cyclist arriving into the region.

    Related to:
    • Cycling

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Waterloo Favorites

  • by zoranaw Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I think that the most important thing to do while in Waterloo is to visit the Imaginarium. The Imaginarium is a museum that has hands on activities for children and adults!

    Fondest memory: My best memory of Waterloo is when the downtown had a lot of places to shop. This was before the mall became popular. Now, our downtown is becoming revitalized and there are more stores being added down there. I am so proud of our downtown.

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