Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Bettendorf, IA

  • Published 2023/02/08

One of the biggest cities you’ll find in Iowa is Bettendorf.

Bettendorf is one of the quad cities you can find in southeastern Iowa and part of Scott County.

The city was established in 1895 with the name Gilbert and got its current name in 1903 in honor of the founding brothers William and Joseph Bettendorf.

If you’re looking for tourist attractions, you won’t find much in this city, but that does not mean there are no places to explore.

Whether you want to do recreational activities or grab a bite to eat, you’ve got a list of options available in this city.

Here are the 20 best things to do in Bettendorf, Iowa:

Check Out the Art and Science Displays at the Family Museum

Exterior of Family Museum

Farragutful, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For families, one of the top places to visit in the city is the Family Museum at Learning Campus Drive.

There are different exhibits available at this museum, and each one provides the opportunity for little ones to interact with and learn.

Each exhibit provides different activities for the kids to experience, ranging from farm work to being a fireman.

Aside from this, some exhibits let kids get in touch with their artistic side and try out different art materials.

In addition to the exhibits, the museum has an outdoor play area and a waterplay area.

Unfortunately, the water play area is only open during the summer.

Not only this, but the museum also has a second floor featuring climbing structures for kids to explore.

Outside of exhibits and play areas, the museum offers classes.

If you’re looking for a place for the kids to have fun, this is the place to go.

Play Sports and Games at the TBK Bank Sports Complex

The TBK Bank Sports Complex is the best place to visit in Bettendorf for entertainment and fitness.

Several facilities are available at this center, including various areas for games and rooms for fitness programs.

For the entertainment section of the complex, you can find an area for bowling, laser tag, and even escape rooms.

If you’re a fan of video games, you can find an arcade section, plus try out the VR area.

As for the fitness section of the complex, there are rooms for fitness classes and fields for sports programs.

In addition to all this, the complex features a restaurant and bar for you to take a break.

You can find the complex on Competition Drive and reserve any facilities online.

Other than this, you can check out events and competitions held at the TBK Bank Sports Complex.

Have Fun and Drink at The Tangled Wood

If you’re interested in checking out the local dives in Bettendorf, you need to check out The Tangled Wood.

The Tangles Wood is a pub located on Tanglewood Road and features nearly a hundred types of beers for you to try.

Not a fan of beer?

Don’t worry; the pub also offers a selection of wines and cocktails.

Compared to other pubs in the area, The Tangled Wood features various amenities ranging from a live entertainment venue to a game area.

You can find live entertainment at the pub’s outdoor amphitheater and check for events online.

The outdoor stage is close to the game area, where you can play games like bocce ball and bean bag toss.

More than live shows and games, the pub hosts trivia and bingo nights you can join in while enjoying a drink and meal.

When it comes to exploring the city’s nightlife, this pub is a top spot to visit.

Get Beer and Food at the Crawford Brew Works

Explore the top places to grab a drink by visiting Crawford Brew Works.

You can find Crawford Brew Works at Devils Glen Road and try out several kinds of beers.

In addition to featuring several beers, the microbrewery features several food trucks at the venue.

Aside from this, you can check out the events held at the venue, such as concerts.

Among the different places you can enjoy a drink in the city, Crawford Brew Works is the best place to relax with a drink.

Check Out the Coffee Hound Specialty Drinks

For anyone craving caffeine, you’ll want to check out Coffee Hound.

Coffee Hound is a coffee house you can find in two spots in the city.

One of them is the TBK Sports Complex on Competition Drive, and the other is the base coffee house at Devils Glen Drive.

You can find a long list of coffee flavors available at this coffee house, plus the classic coffee brews.

In addition to different types of coffee, Coffee Hound offers a selection of teas, smoothies, and energy drinks.

Whether you’re craving something with caffeine or something sweet, Coffee Hound is one of the top places to grab a morning drink.

Try the Whiskey at Cat’s Eye Distillery

The Cat’s Eye Distillery is the ideal spot for any whiskey lover.

Located on Bear Tooth Court, the micro-distillery features a selection of aged whiskey you can sample.

While the micro-distiller does not have as many options as other liquor locations, it does provide whiskies you need to try.

You’ll also find that Cat’s Eye Distillery has a program where you can create customized whiskey bottles.

Customers get to pick a whiskey and have it marked with their choice of label.

For a fun whiskey experience, visit the Cat’s Eye Distillery.

Go Pottery Painting at The Mad Potter, PYOP

The Mad Potter, PYOP, is where to go to check out local activities.

You can find this studio at Spruce Hills Drive and try your hand at painting pottery or glass.

The studio has pieces you can paint, ranging from sculptures to signs.

There are also parties you can book to enjoy a painting session with friends.

By visiting The Mad Potter, PYOP, you can get yourself a fun painting experience.

Golf at the Palmer Hills Golf Course

The Palmer Hills Golf Course is a course existing since 1974 and spans over 6500 yards in size.

The course sits on Middle Road and features 18 holes for golf enthusiasts to challenge themselves.

There are four types of surfaces on the course, and whether you are a beginner or veteran, you can find plenty of fun.

If you explore the course, you can find an available service patio to take a break in and enjoy a refreshment.

There is also a restaurant area available for lunches and dinners.

Aside from golfing, you’ll find that the Palmer Hills Golf Course has an area for cross country skiing.

If you’re looking for fun activities in Bettendorf, the Palmer Hills Golf Course is a top option.

Have a Meal at Hemispheres Bistro

Among the different places to dine in the city, Hemispheres Bistro is a place to check out.

Hemispheres Bistro is a restaurant located at East 53rd Avenue and features international dishes on its menu.

While you can generally enjoy dinner meals at this restaurant, you can also try out a selection of cocktails and wines.

In addition to this, Hemispheres Bistro offers a space for different events.

The Hemispheres Bistro may not have unique facilities, but it does offer several dishes you need to try.

Visit the Veterans Memorial Park

There are several parks you can check out in Bettendorf, and one of them is the Veterans Memorial Park at 23rd Street.

The Veterans Memorial, in general, is a venue made in honor of the community’s veterans and soldiers.

When it comes to the park section of this venue, there are several facilities you can explore.

These facilities include sports fields, a recreational trail, and a bandshell.

Aside from these facilities, there are different amenities you can rent, such as the grills and playground equipment.

For a nice day at the park, you’ll want to make a stop at the Veterans Memorial Park.

Sample Craft Burgers at Central Standard Craft Burgers & Beer

Get a chance to try a different type of burger by stopping over at the Central Standard Craft Burgers & Beer on Falcon Avenue.

What makes this restaurant different?

It features a selection of burgers with aged beef, plus a list of beers you can pair with your meal.

There are two dozen beers available at this restaurant, and if you aren’t a fan of beer, you can enjoy a selection of smoothies that range in flavor from the classic strawberry to s’mores.

Aside from the craft burgers, you can try out the restaurant’s snacks, tacos, and other meals.

For a hearty meal, Central Standard Craft Burgers & Beer is one place you need to check out.

View Art Pieces at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy

Check out artworks available in Bettendorf by heading over to the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy on State Street.

There are all kinds of art pieces available at the academy in different mediums ranging from watercolor to photography.

Aside from having several pieces, the academy hosts different events where art enthusiasts can check out other works and presentations.

If you are interested in learning more about art, there are seminars you can sign up for during different seasons.

Learn Something New with Scuba Adventures QCA

Get a chance to learn how to scuba by booking a session with Scuba Adventures QCA.

Scuba Adventures QCA is a dive shop you can find on State Street and features different levels of scuba lessons.

Whether you are a novice or a diving enthusiast, the shop has plenty of options to accommodate you.

Other than scuba lessons, the shops offer classes in underwater photography.

If you’re not interested in the lessons, you can still check out the gear available at the store.

Bring Your Pooch to the Crow Creek Dog Park

For anyone who wants to have fun with their dog, you need to stop by the Crow Creek Dog Park.

The park features seven acres of space and different amenities for your dog.

You can find the dog park by heading north of the Crow Creek Park area.

If you happen to have an older or shy dog, there is an area called The SPOTT for them to relax and have fun away from more rambunctious canines.

When it comes to the amenities available at this park, they include a drinking fountain and benches for a break.

If you are interested in the Crow Creek Park section, you can check out the sports fields and a trail.

For anyone who wants to enjoy a day with their dog, Crow Creek Dog Park is a place to visit.

Take in the Views at Leach Park

Leach Park is one of the several riverfront parks in Bettendorf that gives you access to the waters of the Mississippi River.

The park is conveniently found along the city’s biking trail that goes throughout the bank of the river, making this a busy area where lots of locals congregate.

You can enjoy the river here by simply waiting for the scenic sunsets as you rest on a bench or even do picnics with friends and family.

The park also has amazing views of the Mississippi River Bridge, making this a great spot for photography.

Found along 12th Street, Leach Park is a can’t-miss area if you’re after the scenery at Bettendorf.

Take Your Chance at Isle Casino

Another riverfront area near the Mississippi Bridge is the Isle Casino, situated just a few minutes from Leach Park.

The casino doubles as a hotel, so if you’re looking for accommodation, this is a tried and tested hotel with a great location.

Of course, you don’t need to check in at Isle Casino to experience the fun it brings, as its casino, restaurant, and views make your trip all the more memorable.

There’s also a fun arcade facility here, perfect if you want to bond with friends and family.

Brimming with fun, this casino is a great addition to any itinerary when visiting Bettendorf.

Take a Breather at Middle Park

Middle Park is one of the most popular parks in Bettendorf because of its serene ambiance coupled with a few interesting amenities.

The park is best known for its lagoon—surrounded by trees and greenery, this is an intimate spot for couples and families.

The park is home to a lot of aquatic birds, and its nature trails will lead you to the thicker greenery that gives the place a rustic feeling.

If you want to maximize the park, it also has a disc golf course along with playgrounds and a splash area.

During the winter, Middle Park also transforms into an ice-skating rink.

You can visit this beautiful park along 23rd Street.

Go Shopping at Duck Creek Plaza

Found along Middle Road lies Duck Creek Plaza, one of the go-to shopping centers in Bettendorf.

While nothing particularly stands out, this shopping mall gets the job done for all visitors of the Bettendorf.

It has several prominent restaurants and fast food chains, a few grocery and convenience stores, and some salons.

Duck Creek Plaza is also a convenient location, as it’s surrounded by other outlet stores and even a famous hotel.

Whether you need a quick reload of essential travel items or want to do some leisurely shopping, this makes for a great addition to your itinerary.

Take the Kids to McManus Park

McManus Park is one of the best city parks in Bettendorf, famous as a hotspot for toddlers aged 2-6 years old.

The reason for this is because of its playgrounds; McManus Park has a couple of shaded play zones that offer varied fun to children.

Sprawling with slides, swings, and other interactive playground fixtures, children can easily spend an hour or two here.

It’s also a great spot to interact with the locals because of its popularity.

Located along Mississippi Boulevard, McManus Park is a neat add-on in case you’re with a couple of toddlers.

Final Thoughts

Among the different cities in Iowa, Bettendorf is the city to visit to enjoy various activities.

Whether you want to do sports or enjoy sports, there are several spots where you can try out different options.

Aside from numerous activities, Bettendorf has a selection of pubs where you can try out a long list of drinks and other features.

You’ll find plenty to explore when it comes to Bettendorf’s nightlife.

If you want to go for a more laidback route, there are spots where you can learn some art and other activities.

You can also check out different local treats or spend some time at the park doing sports or playing with your dog.

There are plenty of options to try in Bettendorf, whether you want something active or laidback.

Consider Bettendorf as your next destination for having fun and getting busy.

Discover More of Scott County, IA

Best Things to Do in Davenport, IA

© All rights reserved.