Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo is a dynamic location in and of itself. But if you’re looking to have more fun in Waterloo, Iowa, you need to get out and explore the area.
And much like Anytown, USA, you can turn a getaway in Waterloo, Iowa, into a prime vacation outing. Perhaps you’ll use Isle Casino Waterloo as your centerpiece attraction before expanding outward.
In today’s post, you will find a few dynamic locations near the casino that won’t take too much time from your gaming—unless you’re into parks and recreation or raring to walk a few nature trails. Then, you’re looking at an extended time away.
Regardless if you just want an hour, an afternoon, or an entire day off from Isle Casino, at least a few of the following locations will appeal to you.
Let’s discover the goods in Waterloo, Iowa.
1 – John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum
The John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum is for more than just tractor enthusiasts. And if you need any further proof, over 175 reviews on TripAdvisor should tell you a thing or two. Tack on its 4.5-star rating, and you’ll see why it wins the number one spot on today’s list.
Get a history lesson on how the company began and learn about their vision for the future. It’s a familiar name that has stood the test of time.
Plus, they listed the suggested duration as one to two hours. So, it’s a great way to take a mental break from the gaming at Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo. Grab lunch, head over to the museum, and head back to the casino for another round.
2 – Lost Island Water Park
Lost Island Water Park is a great place to frequent if you’re in town with your family. If it’s your shift to watch any kids you may have brought, while the others take their turn at the casino, why not take them to the water park if you’re in town during the summer?
Per TripAdvisor, you’re looking at a location that has garnered over 240 reviews and they hold a stellar 4.5-star rating. As with the John Deere Museum, you’re getting quite a solid location here.
Best yet, if your family finds the state of Iowa boring and they long for the tropics, they’ll feel like someone transplanted them from Iowa to the Florida Keys or even Central America once they step through the gates.
This water park emits a tropical flair with its palm trees, replicas of ancient ruins, and so much more.
But it’s also a fully-fledged water park, with the Wailua Kupua watercoaster as its primary attraction. Tsunami Bay is another hot attraction, as is the Kailahi River. In all, you’ll find 20 attractions plus a few cabanas to lounge in when you aren’t engaged in water activities.
3 – Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum
This is a military museum that won’t take too long to tour; the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum is another dynamic location if you’re looking for a few hours away from Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo. As a family-friendly museum, it’s also fantastic for guests of all ages and interest levels.
They have interactive exhibits that go over the history of warfare tech, plus historical events in which the Sullivan Brothers and other local veterans participated. It’s a must-see if you’re a veteran.
Better yet, reviewers on TripAdvisor have stated that you can get through the museum in as little as an hour. But if you wanted, you could spend as long as three to four hours with the number of exhibits and collections they have on display.
4 – Phelps Youth Pavilion
Phelps Youth Pavilion is one of the best places to frequent if it’s your turn to entertain the kids when the others are having fun at Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo. And with a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, you’re hitting a home run when you head over to the pavilion.
So, what will you find in this gem?
A few reviewers have stated that it’s best to plan to stay for a few hours given the number of activities and interactive experience the Phelps Youth Pavilion offers.
And hey, it’ll make your time away from the casino floor fly by, especially if it entertains you as much as it entertains your kids.
5 – Cedar Valley Nature Trail
The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is a fantastic place to unwind after some adrenaline-pumping casino sessions. But it’s also the finest place to hit a cardio workout in the middle of Iowa’s finest natural scenery.
Sure, you can take a peaceful hike through the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul—even if the body might be sore the following day.
So, whether you’re here for hiking, biking, running, or just to treat the eyes to breathtaking scenery, you’re in for an unforgettable nature experience at Cedar Valley Nature Trail.
Cross the bridges, observe the mist rising from the forests, and listen to the calming flow of the waterways. Nothing relaxes the mind and soul better. And even in the winter, you’ll still see hikers and bikers working their way along the trail.
There are literally no exceptions here, regardless of the time of year.
6 – George Wyth State Park
Looking for more scenic recreation? You’ll find it at George Wyth State Park. Featuring a little of all outdoor recreational activities, there’s no shortage of fun when you head over to one of Iowa’s finest state parks.
At George Wyth, you’ll find even more scenic nature trails along with lakes, campgrounds, RV parking, and so much more. Rent canoes and kayaks on the lakes, or walk or run the extensive trail system in the park.
And as with Cedar Valley, George Wyth remains a hot topic of interest in the area even in the winter time. So, if you love winter hikes, luck is on your side even if it wasn’t during your time on the casino floor.
Regardless of the season, you’ll find something fun to do at George Wyth. You’ll enjoy yourself whether you’re up for a hiking or biking adventure or if you just want to find a good place to relax and take in the almighty scenery that epitomizes America’s Heartland.
7 – Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
If you’re looking for a hidden gem, head over to the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. This 40-acre oasis offers arguably the most stunning views around, and that includes what you’ll find at the parks mentioned above.
So, if you’re looking for the best in the area, you’ll find it right here at Cedar Valley. Get the cameras ready because what you’re about to find comes straight out of the pages of your favorite fantasy novel.
Within the oasis, you’ll find the Hillside Welcome Garden, Rose Garden, Shade Garden, and the award-winning Children’s Garden. So, there’s something for everyone at this relaxing attraction.
They have also included a Butterfly Conservation Meadow plus a one-acre demonstration orchard called the Master Gardner Orchard. This is a must-see if you’re into flora and gardening. But if the slots and tables didn’t go your way at Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo, it’s also a fantastic place to alleviate some stress.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanical Gardens today for a taste of paradise and prepare to spend a few hours absorbing the well-maintained scenery that continues to evolve in Waterloo.
Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo provides plenty of thrills and it’s one of the signature attractions in Waterloo, Iowa. But if you’re looking to further explore the area, you have a plethora of activities fit for guests of all ages and interest levels.
If you brought the family and are looking to keep your kids entertained, there is nothing short of fun and unforgettable activities to do in the Waterloo, Iowa, area. And note that what you see above is just a sliver of all there is to get involved in.
Today’s list provides just a few of many fun activities that you can engage in the next time you’re in the area.
Have you been to Isle Casino & Hotel Waterloo? If so, did you visit any of the attractions listed above? Let us know in the comments and tell us your story.