15 Best Things to Do in Fairfield, IA

Fairfield, IA
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You can find solace in Fairfield, Iowa, if you want a small-town getaway.

When Nancy Bonnifield founded it in 1839, the city also became the county seat of Jefferson County.

The Smithsonian Magazine has dubbed Fairfield one of America's best small towns.

The eclectic city, known to embrace culture and creativity, has also earned the title "America's most unusual town" from Oprah.

Through the years, Fairfield has established itself as an arts and culture hub in the Midwest, especially with the help of its Maharishi International University.

The city features various open spaces, art and cultural centers, and unique businesses.

Fairfield also has several historical sites and educational establishments to explore.

You will surely experience a small but one-of-a-kind atmosphere when you visit this city!

If you’re looking for a new place to discover in Iowa, you should give Fairfield a chance.

Before you hit the road, don’t forget to read this list of the best things to do in Fairfield, Iowa.

Catch Live Performances at Café Paradiso

Street view of Café Paradiso
Bill Whittaker (talk), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Café Paradiso isn’t just known for its coffee and iconic live entertainment.

The cafe was established due to owner Steve Giacomini’s passion for espresso.

The place serves coffee from the shade-grown coffee beans the owner roasts daily.

But Café Paradiso doesn’t just showcase fresh and premium espresso but also local talents.

Through the years, it has established itself as a haven for local and international musicians looking to display their talents to the community.

The cafe is another establishment that proves the city’s image as a center for culture and arts.

Hang Out at Central Park

Fairfield’s Central Park provides the community and visitors with a go-to open space to come together and breathe fresh air.

The park is located at 107 S Main Street, in the heart of downtown.

It features a bandstand, benches, and brick walkways.

While here, you should check out the bronze sculpture of William Henry Coop, one of the pioneer settlers born in Jefferson County.

Central Park serves as a venue for several local events, such as the First Friday Art Walk, concerts and dance performances, and holiday celebrations in December.

Hang out at Central Park and learn more about the local community.

See Local Culture and Art at Fairfield Arts and Convention Center

Fairfield Arts and Convention Center is home to the city’s world-class cultural and artistic talents.

It is located at 200 North Main Street.

It serves as a gathering space for like-minded people and displays rich and diverse art.

You may find the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts here.

It showcases performances by Way Off Broadway, Fairfield Concert Association, the Fairfield Area Community Theater, and the Chamber Music Society Fairfield, among others.

The convention center also houses the Fairfield Art Association Art Gallery, flexible meeting room spaces, a large exposition hall, and a commercial kitchen.

It provides plenty of space for gatherings related to the celebration of art.

You cannot miss the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center if you love theater and the arts.

Discover Local History at the Carnegie Historical Museum

The Carnegie Historical Museum is one of Iowa’s oldest museums.

It is located on the first and third floors of the former building of the Fairfield Public Library at 112 South Court Street.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum features collections dating back to 1876.

Among the featured exhibits here involve Native American pottery in the Midwest, Roman Antiquities, Civil War artifacts, and other area memorabilia.

The Carnegie Historical Museum also covers the history of local schools, small towns, churches, and the city’s industry and businesses.

While here, you may also learn about the history of the former library and its significance to this day.

Walk the Trails at Lamson Woods

Go to Lamson Woods to explore trails that will take you closer to nature.

It is located at Mint Boulevard and East Fillmore Avenue.

The park is connected to the more expansive Fairfield Loop Trail, which you may consider hiking.

Give this place a chance if you want a rustic and wooded atmosphere to escape everyday urban life.

The 42.2-acre park also has a pond, completing the feeling of escape to the woods.

Ensure you bring a book and find a spot to relax at Lamson Woods!

Beat the Summer Heat at Roosevelt Aquatic Center

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a hot summer day, visit the Roosevelt Aquatic Center.

It is located at 1000 West Burlington Avenue.

Here you may go for a swim or enjoy various water facilities, whether outdoors or indoors.

Among the indoor facilities, you’ll find here a one-meter diving board, a lap swimming pool, a sauna, and a hot tub.

Outside, the center also has one-meter and three-meter diving boards, a slide, and a feature area with a splash pad!

If you want to do a tanning session, pool chairs are available.

You’ll also find a concession stand where you can get snacks.

Roosevelt Aquatic Center is the perfect local destination during summer!

Grab Fresh Produce at Fairfield Farmers Market

To fully experience a new locality, you should visit its farmers market.

Fairfield Farmers Market is at Howard Park, which you may find along East Grimes Street.

It features fresh local produce, so bring a bag for your fruits, vegetables, and baked goods!

Aside from produce, handmade arts and crafts are also sold at the market.

Enjoy picking up artisan and handmade products when visiting Fairfield Farmers Market!

Catch the Sunset from the Chautauqua Park

Pavilion at Chautauqua Park
Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend a day outdoors and catch the sunset from Chautauqua Park.

It is located at East Burlington Avenue and Park Street.

The park has plenty of amenities for all kinds of visitors.

It has benches, bicycle racks, picnic areas, and a grill.

A disc golf course and a horseshoe court are also available for a more laid-back but fun activity.

During your visit, check out the park’s fruit orchard, a unique feature for any recreational area.

If you want to unwind, feel free to follow the trails of Chautauqua Park.

Explore Nature at Jefferson County Park

Jefferson County Park is another open recreational area in the city of Fairfield.

It is located at 2003 Libertyville Road.

The 254-acre park is the most widely used multi-purpose space in Jefferson County.

It is famous for its 75-foot swinging bridge and quiet campgrounds with 24 sites.

The park features hiking and biking trails that stretch up to seven miles, winding through the area's diverse landscapes.

While hiking, you may discover timber, wetlands, prairie, prairie savannas, and ponds!

If you want to feel closer to nature, visit Jefferson County Park!

Sip Local Wine at SOMM Wines

Discover local wine at SOMM Wines.

The wine boutique and lounge are located at 102 E Briggs Avenue.

You may pick your drink from SOMM Wines’ selection of wines by the glass and craft beer.

The place also boasts the best cheese and charcuterie board in the Midwest, so be sure to try it yourself.

It also sells locally-made products, including sourdough loaves, cider, olive oil, and ghee.

If you like what you taste, you may even pick up a bottle of wine to take home!

SOMM Wines hosts live music performances, so check out the scheduled shows.

Try a Local Favorite at Fishback & Stephenson Cider House

Fishback & Stephenson Cider House has served premium drinks and comfort food in Fairfield since 2013.

You may find the place at 1949 Pleasant Plain Road.

The restaurant and bar boast award-winning burgers that use local beef from Adrian Family Farms.

The restaurant’s burger has been named “Best Burger in Iowa” and mentioned in Spoon University, Food Network, and USA Today, among others.

Try the cider they offer, processed in-house, from fermentation to packaging.

Taste a local favorite at Fishback & Stephenson Cider House when you visit the city!

Spend Time at Revelations Cafe and Bookstore

Grab a meal at one of the most popular dining spots in the city, the Revelations Cafe and Bookstore.

You may find the cafe at 112 North Main Street.

It is known for its extensive offerings of wood-fired pizza that you cannot miss out on!

Feel free to ask for their best-selling food to be able to taste what the locals' favorite is.

The cozy atmosphere of Revelations Cafe and Bookstore will complete your dining experience.

Before heading out, scan the bookshelves and pick one you like.

The ambiance makes it the perfect reading spot, which book lovers will surely appreciate.

Take a Walk at the Nady Prairie Park

If you want to escape to nature, try taking a walk at Nady Prairie Park.

You may find it along North B Street.

The 48-acre plot between Pleasant Lake and Waterworks Park has been restored to become the current park.

While here, you may go bird watching and learn more about the different species of prairie birds.

Nady Prairie Park is another of Fairfield’s natural areas awaiting your exploration.

Focus on Wellness at Fairfield Mind & Body

Try yoga at Fairfield Mind & Body if you want a healthier lifestyle.

It is located at 56 East Burlington.

The place offers different classes and workshops for every skill level of yoga.

If you’re new to the exercise, you may book an assessment to help you find suitable classes.

The studio also offers space rentals to those who want to conduct their classes.

If you want to begin your fitness and wellness journey but do not know where to start, Fairfield Mind & Body may help you.

This yoga studio proves that the city of Fairfield can offer a variety of activities to anyone willing to explore.

ICON Gallery features works of contemporary artists.

If you’re looking for inspiration or want to discover new art, consider dropping by this gallery.

It is located at 58 North Main Street.

The gallery is one of Fairfield’s renowned establishments where enthusiasts and artists celebrate local art.

Aside from shows, ICON Gallery also holds lectures and workshops, so catch one of these when you’re in the city!

Final Thoughts

When you’re in Iowa, you should not miss the chance to visit the unique and exciting city of Fairfield.

The city’s attractions also vary—from outdoor adventures to indoor activities.

Before you head out, save this list of the best things to do in Fairfield, Iowa!

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