DeWitt, Iowa Day Trip: History, Shopping & Tastings

If you are interested in a day trip, DeWitt, IA, is a good destination less than an hour away. My friend, Abby, and I decided to take a drive to DeWitt, Iowa, which is 30 minutes north of Davenport on Route 61. DeWitt has a population a little over 5,000 and offers interesting shopping, restaurant and museum options at a leisurely pace.

DeWitt, Iowa, Home of John Bloom
DeWitt, Iowa, Home of John Bloom

DeWitt is the home town of regionalist artist, John Bloom, who was married to artist, Isabel Bloom. Both John and Isabel were contemporaries of artist, Grant Wood.

Emma Rae's Antiques & Uniques
Emma Rae’s Antiques & Uniques

When we arrived in DeWitt, Abby and I headed for the newer antique mall, Emma Rae’s Antiques & Uniques, located on the main street, 6th Avenue. We discovered that the mall has an array of items from local wines, local honey, antiques, vintage items as well as gift items. The staff were friendly and we enjoyed our treasure seeking stop.

From the antique mall we walked north on 6th Avenue to Meant To Be, an unusual gift shop where they offer you a wonderful chocolate mint and coffee when you arrive in the store. If you like primitive household decorative items, this shop is “meant to be” for you.

Exterior Of Meant To Be and Blondies
Exterior Of Meant To Be and Blondies
Interior of Meant To Be
Interior of Meant To Be

Inside Meant to Be in the back of the store is a small retro diner style restaurant and coffee shop called Blondies. Blondies features daily specials and baked goods as well as coffee drinks in a cozy atmosphere.  We bought coffee and a baked good and continued north up the street.

Inside Blondies Retro Style Restaurant
Inside Blondies Retro Style Restaurant

The next place that we visited was the German Hausbarn Museum. The house museum is in a beautiful town park, Lincoln Park, and originated in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. “The house was built in 1727. In 2007, it was dismantled and brought to DeWitt where it was reassembled in 2008 with the help of community volunteers.” There is a self-guided video tour in the house that is both interesting and well produced.

German Hausbarn Museum
German Hausbarn Museum
Interior of German Hausbarn
Interior of German Hausbarn
Interior Roof of German Hausbarn
Interior Roof of German Hausbarn
Sculpture of Farmer
Sculpture of Farmer

From the German Hausbarn, we crossed the street and walked to the Garden Cafe at The Crossroads Inspired Living shop for a delicious lunch of sandwiches on homemade bread and homemade soup with homemade desserts. The cafe is located on the lower level of the gift shop which has a wonderful baby gift area and home and wearable accessories areas. This cafe is quiet and beautifully designed for lunch and conversation with shopping throughout.

The Crossroads Gifts
The Crossroads Inspired Living Shop
Garden Cafe
Garden Cafe
Interior of Crossroads and Garden Cafe
Interior of Crossroads and Garden Cafe

On our way out of town, we noticed the Central Community Historical Museum which “offers numerous permanent and rotating displays of history of the area.” We plan to stop in on our next trip to DeWitt, Iowa.

DeWitt Historical Museum
DeWitt Historical Museum

Other places of interest include:

Central Performing Arts Center which is a state-of-the-art center with seating for 800. Plays, musicals, concerts, and other events can be hosted in this setting.

The Operahouse Theatre, an 1878 theatre which is open year-round for movies, live entertainment and travelogues.

TYCOGO Vineyard & Winery is a newer attraction which offers a wide selection of local wines and hosts events just north of DeWitt on Highway 61.

Emma Rae’s Antiques & Uniques

714 6th Ave, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563) 659-3723

 

Blondies Coffee Out Back behind Meant To Be

810 6th Ave, Suite A, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563) 349-6640

 

German Hausbarn Museum

1010 6th Ave, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563)659-8500

 

The Garden Cafe at The Crossroads Inspired Living

602 10th St, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563)659-8897

 

Central Community Historical Museum

628 6th Ave, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563) 659-249-8541

 

Central Performing Arts Center

519 East 11th St, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563)249-8541

 

The Operahouse Theatre

716 6th Ave, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563)659-8213

 

TYCOGA Vineyard & Winery

2585 195 St, DeWitt, IA 52742

(563)249-2704

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About the author

Deborah Doehler As a life-time resident of the Quad Cities, Deborah is a multi-media artist who works in jewelry, painting, pottery, drawing, collage, and design. Deborah is retired from Black Hawk College after working for 35 years in Marketing as an award-winning graphic designer, writer, supervisor and graphics coordinator. Since 1975, she has had her own design company and studio. You’ll find Deborah serving on the Visual and Public Arts Committee for Quad City Arts where she was a board member for 8 years. She supports art and cultural events in the Quad Cities area including volunteering for events at MidCoast Fine Arts Bucktown Center for the Arts where she leases a gallery space. She served as Marketing Director for Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts for 15 years.

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