Travel Waterloo

Dig a Tour of Waterloo's Cultural & Entertainment District


posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016

Usually, Aaron writes these blogs, telling readers and viewers about the upcoming episode of Travel Waterloo. Well, I’m Tavis Hall, Executive Director of Main Street Waterloo*, and I recently joined Aaron on a tour highlighting all that downtown Waterloo has to offer.

Downtown Waterloo prides itself as a great place to live, work and play. While technically called the “Central Business District,” the truth is downtown Waterloo is a neighborhood where residents, professionals, and community members come together for great cuisine, to share a drink, have a good time, and make great things happen in downtown and beyond.

El Patron

Good Eats. Downtown Waterloo offers 23 dining establishments to grab a bite to eat with family, friends and coworkers, with a wide variety of options. With options like Mexican, Thai, American, Irish, Italian, Chinese, Jamaican, and most recently, Neopolitan, there is literally something for everyone. Whether it’s chips and salsa at El Patron (and perhaps a margarita or two) or bangers and mash at Jameson’s Public House (and perhaps a Guinness or two), you’ll have no excuse to leave downtown Waterloo on an empty stomach.


Cold Drinks. What would a downtown be without a place to grab a drink? With over 19 bars downtown, it’s a great place to come talk shop or sit back and relax after a long week of work. Whether you like one-of-a-kind martini’s, like that offered at The Cellar, drinking from a glass boot, like they offer at Volks Haus, or sipping a cold one from an ice-cold clay mug at Screaming Eagle, downtown Waterloo knows how to have a good time.

Cigar Store

Shops & Services. Downtown Waterloo is home to 16 retail shops throughout the district…and we have it all. Getting hitched? Start your own history with a ring purchased at Roth Jewelers, who has been a part of the downtown Waterloo fabric for over 80 years. Then go to the Finery where Natalie can help you find the perfect dress for your perfect day. And, don’t forget to get your hair did at one of our six barbers or beauticians. Oh, the celebratory cigars – you can’t forget to go see John at the National Cigar Store.

With over $70,000,000 in commerce each year, Downtown Waterloo really is a great place to live, work and play. Plus, let’s not forget about the numerous other attractions and events residents and visitors can enjoy in and around the downtown district. We have fantastic museums, arts and culture, recreational trails and more. Come join us!

Follow the hashtag #IDigWaterloo for photos, videos, and travel inspiration.

*Designated Cultural & Entertainment District by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in 2005.

- Tavis Hall, Executive Director at Main Street Waterloo

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