GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
Discover good eats, tasty drinks, and unforgettable experiences!
WHERE TO STAY
Whether you’re looking for hip and modern, unique and historic, or quaint and charming, Mason City has an array of comfortable lodging options to choose from.
The Decker House Bed & Breakfast – Built in the 1890’s, you’ll love the Victorian charm of this beautiful mansion. Your stay includes a delicious (and beautiful) breakfast. Menu options include pancakes and waffles, freshly baked breads, homemade granola, egg dishes, and fresh fruit. Other amenities include free wi-fi, cable television, and private baths. A getaway here will definitely be a memorable experience for you and your girls!
There is no other place in the world you can stay in a luxiorious hotel designed by the world’s greatest architect – Frank Lloyd Wright! Originally opened in 1910, the Historic Park Inn has been beautifully restored and now functions as a 27-room boutique hotel. To learn more or to make reservations click here
WHAT TO DO
CATCH A SHOW
Catch award-winning Broadway performances at the North Iowa Auditorium! The NIACC Performing Arts Series offers a fantastic line-up of national touring productions, cultural dancing, award-winning musicals, motivational speakers, holiday events, and more! Click here to check out the schedule of upcoming performances!
We’ve got talent right here in “River City”! Enjoy an entertaining performance by area youth at the Stebens Children’s Theatre or applaud the talents of more mature thespians at the Mason City Community Theatre.
If you and the girls are looking for a night out on the town, be sure to check our calendar of events for live music, concert, and nightlife updates.
RELAX & INDULGE
Escape from everyday life and treat yourself. Go ahead… Spaaaaa-aaaaaah!
Offering a variety of services from pedicures, manicures, facials, massages, and more, an afternoon at Salon 220 is sure to leave you feeling pampered and rejuvenated. Ranked number one on the Globe Gazette’s Reader’s Choice for the best place to have a massage, you won’t be disappointed.
Looking for a quick mani-pedi with the girls? You’ll love Tips & Toes – the locals do!
Click here for a complete list of places to be pampered.
SHOP TIL YOU DROP
A vacation feels somehow incomplete if you don’t bring some of it home with you. Whether you’re looking for something to remind you of your visit here or a gift to bring back to family, we invite you to take a spin through our department stores, charming local shops, farmers markets and more! Surprising finds for every style and budget await! It’s time for some retail therapy!
You’ll find all of your big name favorites such as Kohls, TJ Maxx, Younkers, just to name a few, while also exploring our unique boutiques and shops such as Moorman Clothiers, Real Deals, Lucy & Olive, Market 124 and many more!
From May through October, the area’s largest farmers’ market can be found in Downtown Mason City (located at the corner of 1st Street NE and Delaware Avenue). Here you’ll find the very best quality, best tasting and freshest produce and baked goods in all of Northern Iowa! Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, as well as a vast variety of breads, pies, cookies, candies, and much more! During the months of November and December, be sure to check out the Winter Market at Willowbrook Mall.
Delight your senses with the beauty of the great outdoors. Each season offers something unique to discover – Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall.
Nestled in the limestone bluffs of the Winnebago River, the Lime Creek Nature Center is the perfect destination to get back to nature. Whether you’re hiking, biking, running or enjoying a leisurely stroll, Lime Creek offers over nine miles of trails to explore, as well as countless scenic photo opportunities. Featured in Iowa’s Wildlife Viewing Guide as one of the prime areas to view wildlife, the Center also offers fantastic bird watching opportunities. The various habitats attract a wide variety of bird and animal species all year long. A large collection of bird feeders just outside the Center’s indoor viewing area are quite popular among the avian population.
If you enjoy golf, be sure to bring your clubs and head on out to one (or both) of Mason City’s public golf courses. Enjoy golf at one of our two public courses in the Mason City area. Highland Park Golf Course offers 18 holes of play, while Pine Creek Golf Course offers nine. Memories are sure to be made on the greens at North Iowa Miniature Golf!
Take in the fresh air, and the beauty of Mason City’s Cultural Crescent while exploring the River City Sculptures on Parade – a 1.7 mile walk throughout the Downtown District. This outdoor exhibit of 40+ sculptures features art from some of the greatest sculptors in the world.
Of course, no getaway to Mason City is complete without taking in a tour (or several) at our unique attractions.
Hollywood History comes to life at The Music Man Square and Meredith Willson Boyhood Home. Learn about Mason City’s native son, Meredith Willson – composer of The Music Man, and the significant impact he had on the music and entertainment industry.
Uncover more Hollywood History at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum – home of the largest collection of marionettes by famed puppetmaster (and Mason City native), Bil Baird. You’ll also discover an impressive collection of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, and more; including works by Chihuly, Lee Krassner, Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and other well-known American artists. You’re sure to be amazed by the Museum’s world-class exhibits and unique public art.
GOOD EATS (AND DRINKS)
A girl’s gotta eat! Indulge in the many flavors of our culinary scene. You’ll discover a vast variety of authentic cuisine options, as well as one of the most Iconic Steakhouses in Iowa! No matter your preference, the possibilities are endless.
Start the day of right with a cup o’ joe from one of our great coffee houses –
With a cozy, cabin atmosphere, Cabin Coffee, is a great place for you and your girls to gather ’round the fireplace and enjoy great coffee and conversation! A variety of beverage, as well as breakfast and lunch options are also available.
Locally owned for over 20 years, Jitters offers many flavored lattes, coffee, smoothies, Italian sodas, pastries, teas and more!
The aroma of coffee beans and fresh baked scones will be sure to get you in the door of Beanzy’s! Once inside, choose from fresh, handcrafted coffee drinks and made-from-scratch baked goods.
BEST EATS UNDER $10
A cozy little sandwhich shop in Downtown Mason City, The Hungry Mind specializes in soups, salads, sandwiches and gourmet burgers. Locals love the Guac Burger!
Enjoy a taste of Chicago, right here in River City! State Street Deli offers a delicious variety of sandwiches and salads. Locals love the Reuben!
One of only 52 surviving Valentine style diners in the U.S., the Suzie Q Café is best known for their famous Spic ‘N Span Tenderloin – rated second in the nation! Other great menu offerings include burgers, tacos, gyros, and breakfast favorites… often served with a side of magic!
Mmmmm… tacos! If authentic Mexican flavors are what your crave, be sure to stop by Mr. Taco, located in the Southbridge Mall. Burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, and TACOS GALORE! Yummmm!
World-class food, right here in the Midwest. Rated by TripAdvisor as one of the top restaurants in Mason City, The Quarry is where you will find truly fantastic, fine dining. The menu offers a variety of steak, pork, seafood and vegetarian offerings. Outdoor seating is available.
Enjoy a gourmet dinner and exceptional service surrounded by beautiful Prairie School design at the 1910 Grille, located in the Historic Park Inn. Drawing inspiration from around the world, Chef Kurt Nyguard puts his unique twist and signature style into each dish he creates.
Sushi in the Midwest? You bet! Mason City’s Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar offers a variety of delicious (and beautiful) sushi and Thai cuisine. Not sure what to try? The Mustang, Mason and Alaskan Rolls come highly recommended!
You’ll find great service, great music, and delicious Italian cuisine at Pasta Bella! Choose from homemade pasta dishes, soups, specialty entrees, pizza, as well as a variety of luscious desserts. Gluten free options also available.
No visit to Mason City is complete without dinner at the Northwestern Steakhouse – recently recognized as the Most Iconic Restaurant in the State of Iowa. Since 1920, this family-owned establishment has been serving up mouthwatering steak (drizzled in olive oil, butter and greek seasonings) and award-winning service! In addition to the beef, locals also love the seafood, lamb and chicken offerings.
DRINKS WITH THE GIRLS
After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, you’ll love the sophisticated and relaxing atmosphere of the 1910 Lounge, located on the lower level of the Historic Park Inn. Be sure to enjoy a signature cocktail, crafted by their very own mixologist.
If you’re looking for great craft beer look no further than Downtown Mason City! Mason City Brewing and Fat Hill Brewing offer something for everyone with a variety of locally-brewed taps. Mix and match with a flight from each and then enjoy your favorite by the pint or take a taste of Mason City home with you in a growler (crowlers are also available). If beer is not your drink of choice, try a refreshing cider – we recommend the Pineapple Hula Cider Boy (found at Mason City Brewing) and the Wilson’s Orchard Cherry Crush Cider (found at Fat Hill Brewing).
Located on the Dowtown Plaza, Lorados is where you will find Best Bloody Mary’s in town… Need we say more?
Locals love the cozy and inviting atmosphere of FION BARRA Ales & Spirits. You’ll love the extensive wine list and variety of beer offerings from around the globe! The limited food menu includes a shrimp cocktail, cheese and fruit board, olive platter, and more.
WHEN TO VISIT
If you prefer to plan ahead, be sure look at our calendar of events for some of the most popular weekends in Mason City!
Springtime Happenings – North Iowa Quilt Show (third Saturday in April); River City Chorus Spring Show (second Saturday in April); and North Iowa Band Festival (Memorial Day Weekend).
Fall in Love with North Iowa – The Great River City Festival (third weekend in September); and the Harvest Festival (first Saturday in October, Clear Lake, IA).
Warm and cozy winter fun – Break up the blah of winter and head to one of these fun winter events: It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas (last Friday in November – last Friday in December); Christmas by the Lake (first weekend in December, Clear Lake, IA); Tuba Christmas (Second Saturday in December); and the Winter Dance Party (first weekend in February, Clear Lake, IA).