The city of Muscatine, Iowa is a destination rich in entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, activities, and history, as well as wildlife and natural beauty. Well positioned along the Mississippi River, Muscatine offers a variety of things to do for both visitors and locals alike, from its outdoor recreational opportunities to its art center and historic Pine Creek Grist Mill to local craft brews at the Contrary Brewing Company, delicious food, and more. The historic downtown district of the city is also packed with riverfront charm to explore and local shops for visitors to browse. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Pine Creek Grist Mill
The Pine Creek Grist Mill was built back in 1848 in Muscatine and considered to be the oldest working mill between the Rockies and the Mississippi still on its original site. It was constructed by Benjamin New, the first official resident of Muscatine County as a response to the increasing demand from pioneer families to have crops ground into usable products, such as meal and flour. The Pine Creek Grist Mill is located on Pine Creek, nestled in one of the county’s most picturesque and photographed areas. Visitors can take a free tour of the mill between May and October.
1884 Wildcat Den Rd, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-263-4818
2.Contrary Brewing Company, Muscatine, IA
© Contrary Brewing Company
The Contrary Brewing Company is a microbrewery situated in the picturesque area of Muscatine, Iowa along the banks of the scenic Mississippi River. Visitors can stop by the brewery’s taproom to try more than fifteen of the brewery’s own brews available on tap. New releases are also often featured in the taproom. Beers are produced here in small batches in order to ensure quality and consistency and flavors of the beers regularly change to offer customers something different. The Contrary Brewing Company is open to the public Tuesday to Sunday for beer tasting flights and growler beer purchases.
411 W Mississippi Dr, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-261-7446
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3.Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, Iowa
© Muscatine Art Center
The Muscatine Art Center offers an opportunity for both local residents and tourists alike in Muscatine County to see a wide array of paintings created by worldwide-recognized artists, charming period rooms, beautiful handcrafted decorative arts, and interesting objects related to the town’s past. The center also includes a pleasant Japanese Garden that was installed around one hundred years ago. Offering exhibits, events, and classes, the Muscatine Art Center is open to the general public Tuesday to Friday from 10:00am until 4:00pm, Thursdays from 10:00am until 7:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm until 4:00pm.
1314 Mulberry Ave, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-263-8282
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4.Land of the Swamp White Oak Preserve
© Yay Images/stock.adobe.com
The Land of the Swamp White Oak Preserve is home to one of the country's best remaining examples of a floodplain oak savanna. There are over 400 plant species that have been documented in the preserve and along with the preserve’s namesake trees, the plant communities range from wooded areas with trout lily and bluebells to wetlands to prairie with wild petunias. A wide variety of wildlife can be seen in the Land of the Swamp White Oak Preserve as well. As for outdoor recreation, visitors can enjoy passive recreational activities like wildlife viewing, paddling, and hiking.
1335 231st St, Letts, IA 52754, Phone: 319-726-3041
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5.Salvatore's Ristorante, Muscatine, Iowa
© Salvatore's Ristorante
Open seven days a week, Salvatore's by Papa Reno has been a popular dining establishment and a staple in Muscatine’s downtown district for more than thirty years. It was opened in 1985 after Reno Vitale moved to the area from Palermo in Sicily. In Italy, a “trattoria” means an informal and small restaurant, often located on a small street or block. This trattoria in Muscatine, Iowa aims to capture the taste, flavor, and mood of the famous trattorias of Italy. A local family-owned and operated eatery, three generations work at Salvatore’s making pasta, pizza, and several other dishes.
313 E 2nd St, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-263-9396
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6.Port City Underground, Muscatine, Iowa
© Port City Underground
A family-owned and operated restaurant started by siblings Lacey Henderson-Mueller and Cameron Henderson out of a love for pizza, Port City Underground has been serving sandwiches, salads, pastas, cheese bread, and homemade pizzas to the local community of Muscatine and the surrounding area since 2005. In addition to the homemade pizzas with a variety of toppings and the special pizza of the month, the menu at Port City Underground includes several appetizers, fresh salads, calzones, original pastas, and baked pastas. There are gluten-free options as well. Along with the food, the restaurant also offers wine, beer, and mixed drinks.
208 W 2nd St, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-263-4743
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7.GeoJohnz, Muscatine, Iowa
GeoJohnz is owned by George Zaimes, who previously owned Hawkeye Pizza and Steak House in the town of West Liberty. Many customers of his former dining establishment have quickly found his new location in downtown Muscatine, Iowa, making GeoJohnz a quick success and new popular place to eat among both locals and visitors. The menu includes pizzas with a variety of options to choose from, as well as several specialty pizzas. GeoJohnz is open Tuesday to Thursdays from 11:00am until 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:00am until 10:00pm, and Sunday from 3:00pm until 9:00pm.
203 E 2nd St, Muscatine, IA 52761, Phone: 563-263-0123
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7 Best Things to Do in Muscatine, Iowa
- Pine Creek Grist Mill, Photo: Jerry/stock.adobe.com
- Contrary Brewing Company, Muscatine, IA, Photo: Contrary Brewing Company
- Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, Iowa, Photo: Muscatine Art Center
- Land of the Swamp White Oak Preserve, Photo: Yay Images/stock.adobe.com
- Salvatore's Ristorante, Muscatine, Iowa, Photo: Salvatore's Ristorante
- Port City Underground, Muscatine, Iowa, Photo: Port City Underground
- GeoJohnz, Muscatine, Iowa, Photo: GeoJohnz
- Cover Photo: City of Muscatine, Iowa - City Government
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