Ideally located just 30 miles from Des Moines, Newton is a popular weekend getaway destination. At the top of the list of Newton’s historic attractions is the Jasper County Historical Museum which offers informative fun for the whole family. There is an attractive Downtown Historic District where you can admire several historic buildings including the Maytag Hotel and the Capitol II Theatre. Other attractions include shopping and dining on Main Street, visiting the Maytag Dairy and taking a stroll in the beautiful Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. If you are into motor racing you should try and visit when the Iowa Speedway is hosting a racing event. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa

Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
© Iowa Speedway

The Iowa Speedway is a must-see attraction for all petrol-heads. The track opened in 2006 and boasts a paved oval racing track 7/8 of a mile long (1.4km). Spectators are accommodated on 25,000 permanent seats and there is a unique RV viewing area situated along the backstretch. The track offers exciting and fast-paced racing conditions which have resulted in it often being referred to as the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet”. There were plans afoot to host a NASCAR rally in 2020, which were unfortunately derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the races will continue as soon as possible and visitors are advised to check their website for future event dates.

Iowa Speedway, 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 866-787-8946

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2.Maytag Dairy Farms, Newton, Iowa

Maytag Dairy Farms, Newton, Iowa
© Maytag Dairy Farms

The distinctive white barns of the Maytag Dairy Farm are a prominent landmark in Newton. Here you can come and experience a little history as you learn all about cheese-making over the last 80 years. The dairy has been committed to producing the world’s best blue cheese since day one, and that commitment extends to their entire range, which also includes cheddar and some very special vintage blues. Visitors are welcome to come and visit the farm, take an informative tour of the cheese production area and enjoy a tasting. You will learn how to expertly pair cheese with wines and other beverages. The shop stocks an extensive variety of cheeses and cheese-related products.

Maytag Dairy Farms, 2282 E. 8th Street N, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 641-792-1133

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3.Jasper County Historical Museum, Newton, Iowa

Jasper County Historical Museum, Newton, Iowa
© Jasper County Historical Museum

The Jasper County Historical Museum was purpose-built in 1979 to safeguard and showcase a wealth of Jasper Country history. The museum benefited from a large donation of vintage Maytag washing machines which date back to the 1890’s - these now feature in their fascinating “Washing Machines of the World” exhibit. In addition there are many agricultural exhibits including an 1854 barn, a smokehouse and a hay press, to name but a few. Societal history exhibits include a post office, barber shop, rural school house and also several exhibits dedicated to wartime. The museum is interesting viewing for all ages and guided tours are offered from 1st May to 30th September each year.

Jasper County Historical Museum, 1700 S. 15th Avenue W, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 641-792-9118

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4.Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Newton, IA

Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Newton, IA
© Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Designed to provide the community with a beautiful green space in which to admire a diverse collection of endemic and imported plants, the Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a must on your to-do list. The gardens cover over 6 lush acres and include over 150 species of trees. Avid gardeners can take inspiration from the demonstration beds, learning about which plant species thrive together and produce the best displays. Theme gardens include the Butterfly Garden, Shade Garden, Water Garden and Prairie Garden, all of which are linked by about ¾ of a mile of paved paths. There are several strategically-placed benches where you can sit and relax surrounded by nature.

Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 3000 N. 4th Avenue E, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 641-791-3021

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5.Capitol II Theatre, Newton, Iowa

Capitol II Theatre, Newton, Iowa
© liuzishan/

The amazing old Capitol Theatre has been keeping Newton residents and visitors entertained for almost 100 years. The original theatre was built by Fred Maytag (of washing-machine fame) in 1927. At that time it could accommodate 995 guests who watched silent movies accompanied by a live orchestra. The Capitol has changed hands several times since then and was extensively renovated in 2018, restoring the theatre to its original splendor. Today visitors can take a step back in time while enjoying state of the art entertainment in a gracious setting. A highlight of any visit to the Capitol is meeting Joy, the theatre’s mini-pig mascot, who has her own “Diva Dressing Room” in the foyer.

Capitol II Theatre, 116 1st St. North, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 641-792-3549

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5 Best Things to Do in Newton, Iowa

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