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Things to Do in Lansing, Iowa

Things to Do in Lansing, Iowa

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Iowa, Lansing is a quaint town that offers a charming mix of natural beauty, rich history, and small-town hospitality. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous escape, Lansing has plenty to offer.

From hiking through state parks and exploring historic landmarks to indulging in delicious local cuisine and shopping for unique souvenirs, there are endless things to do in Lansing, Iowa. In this guide, we’ll take you through the top-rated activities and attractions that you won’t want to miss on your next visit.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re a nature lover, Lansing is the perfect destination for you. With scenic trails, picturesque parks, and stunning river views, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

  • Hiking at Effigy Mounds National Monument: One of the most popular outdoor attractions in Lansing, Effigy Mounds National Monument is home to more than 200 prehistoric Native American burial and ceremonial mounds. Visitors can hike through the park’s trails and enjoy breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.
  • Canoeing on the Upper Iowa River: The Upper Iowa River is a scenic waterway that offers a variety of recreational activities, including canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Take in the stunning views of the surrounding bluffs and wildlife as you paddle down the river.
  • Bird watching at Yellow River State Forest: If you’re a bird enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to explore Yellow River State Forest, which is home to more than 150 species of birds. The park’s hiking trails offer plenty of opportunities to spot a variety of feathered friends.

Historic Sites

Lansing is steeped in history, with many landmarks and attractions that offer a glimpse into the town’s rich past. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for an educational experience, these sites are worth a visit.

  • The Lansing Fish Hatchery: Established in 1897, the Lansing Fish Hatchery is one of the oldest in the country. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the hatchery’s role in the state’s conservation efforts.
  • The Old Stone Schoolhouse: Built in 1860, the Old Stone Schoolhouse is a historic landmark that served as the town’s first school. Today, it’s a museum that offers a fascinating look at the town’s early education system.
  • The Iowa Civil War Monument: Located in the town’s Veterans Memorial Park, the Iowa Civil War Monument is a stunning tribute to the state’s soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The monument features an impressive statue of a Union soldier and is surrounded by beautiful landscaping.

Dining and Shopping

No trip to Lansing is complete without indulging in some of the town’s delicious local cuisine and shopping for unique souvenirs.

  • The Hay Market: This charming farm-to-table restaurant offers a seasonal menu of locally sourced dishes. From hearty breakfasts to gourmet dinners, The Hay Market is a must-visit for foodies.
  • Little Switzerland: If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, head to Little Switzerland for some of the best homemade ice cream in town. With flavors like maple nut and pumpkin pie, you won’t be disappointed.
  • River District Gifts: This boutique gift shop offers a wide variety of locally made products, from handmade jewelry and pottery to artisanal foods and home decor. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir to remember your trip.


  1. What is the best time to visit Lansing, Iowa?
    The best time to visit Lansing is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and the outdoor activities are in full swing.
  2. Are there any accommodations in Lansing?
    Yes, Lansing offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.
  3. How do I get to Lansing, Iowa?
    Lansing is easily accessible by car, located just off Highway 26. The nearest airport is in La Crosse, Wisconsin, about 30 minutes away by car.


Lansing, Iowa may be a small town, but it offers a wealth of activities and attractions that make it a perfect destination for a relaxing or adventurous getaway. Whether you’re into hiking, history, or simply indulging in some local cuisine and shopping, Lansing has something to offer.

With our guide to the top-rated things to do in Lansing, Iowa, you’ll be able to plan the perfect trip and make the most of your time in this charming town. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Lansing, Iowa.

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