Published March 1, 2023
Thanks to a little luck of the Irish, Ottumwa and Wapello County are full of attractions to visit, things to do, events to attend, and places to stay overnight. Keep reading as we just scratch the surface of how you can spend your time in our community this spring.
Attractions: We’re so lucky to have the Beach Ottumwa, the American Gothic House, Pioneer Ridge Nature Area, the Eddyville Sand Dunes, Bridge View Center, the Air Power Museum and the Iowa Heartland History Connection Museum all within half an hour of driving time. You can also take a walk on 16 miles of Wapello County Trails, find out why we’re the Video Game Capital of the World, learn about our Civil War connections, and test your skills at the Old School Pinball & Arcade. Visit meetottumwa.org/explore for dozens more attractions to add to your trip itinerary.
Restaurants: We’re so lucky to have such a wide variety of international menus at our local restaurants. Sample pupusas at Juanita’s Pupuseria Restaurant, award-winning street tacos at Mimi’s Taqueria, authentic Mexican snacks at Bontanitas Isa-Aby’s, and Guatemalan cuisine at Garnacheria y Taqueria Ebenezer. Try the Greek menu at Mike’s Pizza and Steakhouse, Vietnamese food at Coffe Pho 77, Asian fare at Shiki Hibachi & Sushi, and authentic Chinese food at Jade Palace.
Events: We’re so lucky to have one of the most unique and eclectic events calendars in the state of Iowa. No matter what time of year you’re here, there’s always something to do! Spring ushers in Family Fest, Divas Who Dish, and Ladies Night Out. During summer, attend Pages for Pennies, 25 Men Who Can Cook, the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, the Elks 327 Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races, the Greater Ottumwa Rodeo, and the Wapello County Fair. For fall, don’t forget the International Festival, Oktoberfest, Halloweenapalooza, and the Mayhem Haunted House. In the cold winter months, check out Holiday Nights ‘N Lights, Karen New Year, Bullriders of America Finals, and the Church Street Christmas Stroll. And check out the latest events at the Iowa Heartland History Connection, the Ottumwa Public Library, and Wapello County Conservation. For a complete calendar of local events, visit meetottumwa.org/events.
Shopping: We’re so lucky to have a vibrant local retail experience for visitors and residents alike. Shop Local, Buy Local is a way of life here. Browse shops full of vintage clothing and jewelry, antiques, women’s boutiques, craft stores, bicycles, and so much more. Shop ‘til you drop with some inspiration from meetottumwa.org/explore.
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