Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Sac City, IA

  • Published 2022/08/13

This city’s motto is “Where spirit grows and opportunity flows,” an apt description for Sac City, Iowa.

Likewise, it’s an exciting destination in the northwest part of the state.

Sac City prides itself on offering a tranquil, small-town way of life without missing out on a connection to a larger community.

The city has roots dating back to the 1850s.

It is the home of destinations with significant histories, such as the Sac City Fairgrounds, which hosts the City Fair, and the remnants of the old Chautauqua Association.

Visitors can expect different experiences throughout the year, from hot summers in May to chilly winters in December.

Are you ready to start your adventure?

Here are the best things to do in Sac City, Iowa:

See the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball

Daytime view of the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball

Skvader, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The World’s Largest Popcorn Ball is probably the most popular attraction in Sac City.

Over eight feet in diameter and weighing almost 10,000 pounds, the attraction is in the Guinness World Book of Records.

It’s quite an unusual attraction for your flagship city tourist destination, but so much work went into creating this giant structure.

It comprises a mixture of popped popcorn and sugar syrup that holds it all together.

In 1995, Sac City started the first ball; since then, they have topped the record for the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball over four times.

Check this thing out first on your visit to Sac City.

Cool Off at the Sac City Aquatic Center

During the summer, the Sac City Aquatic Center is a great place to beat the heat

Visitors can dive into a large swimming pool with several water slides, allowing you to make a big splash!

If you want to lay by the sun and work on your summer tan, there are also many poolside seats.

If you’re not looking to get wet, the pool is right next to South Park.

The park has tennis courts, a regular playground for kids, as well as a pavilion fit for small events.

Drop by the Sac City Aquatic Center for a fun and exciting day in the sun!

Grab a Plate of Comfort Food at Hutch’s Café

Established in 1990, Hutch’s Café is a long-time favorite of Sac City locals.

The restaurant serves simple but delicious American comfort favorites.

Start your day with an order of one of their omelets.

You can choose from various toppings from cheese, ham, all meat, or veggie.

Also, get a plate of their delicious fluffy pancakes.

You can have one or stack it up to three.

Don’t forget to order a side of an egg, sausage, or bacon with it!

They also have more than a dozen sandwich options and combinations, from cheeseburgers, fish sandwiches, Reubens, BLTs, and more.

For the dinner menu, they serve delicious choice cuts of sirloin or rib-eye steak.

If you prefer seafood, they also have choices of fried battered cod or jumbo fantail shrimp.

Hutch’s Café is a great place to drop by for delicious food and a homey atmosphere at a great price!

You definitely won’t leave disappointed.

Spend a Relaxing Day at Riverside Park

Located adjacent to the Racoon River, Riverside Park offers beautiful scenery and a tranquil place to relax and gather with friends and family.

Also named Lions Park, the place offers visitors many outdoor recreation areas.

You can hike along the trail parallel to the river, seeing the beautiful waters during your exercise.

During the summertime, guests love kayaking or boating along the river.

The park is also adjacent to campgrounds where you can pitch your tent or bring an RV to park and spend the night in.

You don’t have to worry about the basic amenities as the park provides campers with access to shower facilities and electrical sockets for their RVs.

Riverside Park is perfect for spending the day (or even overnight) in the great outdoors!

Enjoy Some Daytime Fun at the Sac Community Recreation Center

Located downtown, the Sac Community Recreation Center offers a venue for locals and visitors to get fit and active.

The center is also home to the state’s oldest indoor school pool, celebrating its 100-year mark in 2024.

The center offers many facilities to meet its members’ fitness needs.

Apart from the pool, the facilities include basketball courts, and two weight rooms with state-of-the-art equipment.

You can also enter a cardio room decked out with ellipticals, bikes, treadmills, an indoor batting cage, and a skating rink.

There are also many options for group fitness classes, from dance to yoga.

Grab your gym bag, get in your active wear and get moving at the Sac Community Recreation Center.

Experience the Sac County Fair

Hosted on the historic Sac City Fairgrounds, the Sac County Fair is one of the most-awaited yearly events in the city.

The event attracts over 12,000 visitors from all over the state.

The fair is a week-long celebration with numerous activities and entertainment available for its visitors.

Check out the livestock contests, art exhibit displays, dog shows, flower arranging presentations, and live concerts at the fair.

There are also numerous concession stands serving delicious fair food.

Don’t miss out on the classic county fair favorites, especially anything fried and on a stick.

You can also have fun with the numerous fair games they have spread out on the grounds.

Try your luck and get a chance to take home a prize!

You’re guaranteed to have a great time at the Sac County Fair!

Peek Into History at the Chautauqua Park Historic District

Exterior of Chautauqua Park Historic District's auditorium

TheCatalyst31, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Chautauqua Park Historic District is an important cultural heritage landmark in Sac City.

Named after the Chautauqua Movement that originated in New York, it took root in the city in 1904, finding a home on the Sac City playgrounds.

The Chautauqua Movement was a program that opened up training opportunities for Sunday School teachers.

Sac City built and preserved the district because of the structures and architecture using materials and techniques similar to early 20th-century craftsmanship.

In 2014, the National Register of Historic Places added the Chautauqua Park Historic District to the record.

The district contains different areas and facilities built in the 1900s, such as the Stone Shelter and Bridge, Asa Platt Gates, Fish Cleaning Shelter, Metcalf Log Cabin, and the Chautauqua Pavilion.

Take a peek at how local Hawkeyes (Iowa locals) studied and lived during the era of the Chautauqua movement.

Go Hunting at the Lubeck Woods Area

The Lubeck Woods Area is on the outskirts of northern Sac City.

The park spans over 45 acres and is a prime hunting area for wild game.

Lubeck Woods also contains thick wild bushes, dense woods and many hills.

There is also a small pond in the middle of the property.

On the grounds, you can see and hunt whitetail deer, squirrels, and turkeys.

Apart from hunting, the park is also ideal for intermediate hiking and morel and nut gathering.

Coast along the River at the Hagge County Park

With its ideal location along the Racoon River, the Hagge County Park is a beautiful place to visit and experience nature in Sac City.

The park spans over 86 acres and is home to the Sac City Conservation Board.

It’s an excellent place for someone who loves the great outdoors.

Take advantage of the nearby river and go canoeing or fishing.

The ample park grounds make it perfect for camping, picnicking, and hiking.

Amenities like outdoor grills and a fireplace area are also great for barbeques.

Hagge County Park is also an ideal venue for celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.

It is a great destination to visit whether you want to bask in tranquil nature by yourself or spend a fun day outdoors with family and friends.

Order Hearty Steak at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse offers customers quality dishes in a cozy atmosphere similar to a trendy restaurant in a big city.

Located inside the Citizens Bank Insurance building, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse offers premium steak cuts and other beautifully presented viands.

Order some classic steak cuts such as the rib eye and New York Strip.

Also, enjoy other delicious dishes, including scallops with baby carrots, Chef’s herb salad, and Duck a L’orange.

You can also grab a bite of their juicy, hearty burgers.

The flavors include the bacon mac ‘n cheese burger, Portobello, and Swiss burger.

Pair your meaty dishes with their in-house liquors, ranging from wines from different regions to over a dozen varietals of beers.

Experience an upscale dining atmosphere in Sac City at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.

Have a Coffee and a Sweet Treat at Rosie’s Coffee Shop

Rosie’s Coffee Shop offers simple but delectable coffee drinks and homemade sweet treats.

Drop by their shop and try different drinks and pastries.

Their bakery case has a rotating selection of goodies made fresh daily.

These include chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls.

Their drink selection includes classic coffee choices and more unique blends such as a pumpkin pie latte, caramel roll latte, or a pumpkin spice latte.

For tea drinkers, they have options like chai, green tea, and a selection of infusion tea bags.

They also offer savory items on rotation like tuna and egg salad sandwiches or pasta salads.

Make a pit stop at Rosie’s Coffee Shop and enjoy a homey drink and sweet delights.

Snap a Pic at Cattail Cove

Cattail Cove is a pocket park in Sac City, a nice little corner in the middle of the city where visitors can stop and relax.

In 2020, residents voted Cattail Cove as Main Street, Iowa’s Best Beautification Project.

It’s a great place to pop by for coffee and a quick chat with friends.

The different outdoor displays and floral arrangements also make a perfect backdrop for your photos.

Snap a couple of pictures to commemorate your trip and upload it on your social.

It’s a simple destination worth a stop when roaming downtown.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Gaze at the Beautiful Sunset at the Black Hawk State Park

A pavilion near the waters of Black Hawk State Park

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Black Hawk State Park is a historical icon in Lake View, Iowa, 18 minutes from Sac City.

It is the home of the southernmost glacial lake in the whole country.

You can do multiple outdoor recreation activities here.

Go on a hike at the Stubb Severson Nature Trail, spanning almost two miles.

This trail educates visitors about the park’s plant life.

The longer Sauk Trail is also a 33-mile-long trek perfect for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing in the colder months.

Picnic shelter at Black Hawk State Park

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take advantage of the proximity of Black Hawk Lake and take a boat out to the middle of the lake and try your hand at fishing.

Likewise, you can catch catfish, bluegill, and sunfishes in the lake.

You can also play disc golf on the park grounds.

Take your pick of a relaxing spot at the camp to enjoy the beautiful sunset amongst Iowa’s beautiful waters at Black Hawk State Park.

Visit the Rustic River Winery and Vineyard

Rustic River Winery and Vineyard is a family-owned winery producing proudly local Iowa bottles.

You can find it in Lake View, nine minutes from Sac City.

Norm and Marsha Philipps started the winery.

They have over 70 years of farming experience, and the winery stemmed from their love of the craft and a bit of influence from their son, Andrew.

In 2017, they opened the doors to Rustic River to share their wine artistry with other people.

Enjoy the fruits of their labor and the winery’s beautiful landscape.

Explore the different areas of the winery, from the grape vines to the four-acre corn maze, an ode to the family’s farming roots.

Sample their dozen wine varieties in the different tasting room areas of the vineyard.

Take your wine flight indoors or at their al fresco porch area, where you can take a sip while enjoying the fantastic view of the fields.

Rustic River aims to bring its visitors a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.

Take a seat, enjoy a glass of wine and have a great time!

Go Camping at Camp Crescent

Located on the northwestern end of Black Hawk Lake is Camp Crescent, a great place to enjoy lakeside activities.

This place is also in Lake View, 15 minutes from Sac City.

The campsite offers visitors facilities to set up shop and spend a night or two in the area’s peaceful nature.

You can select a lakeside or non-lakeside spot to camp with your family and friends.

Visitors with RVs are also welcome, with areas available to hook up water and electricity to your vehicles.

You can also rent several cabins if you want to settle in readily available facilities.

Enjoy the other facilities close to the campgrounds, including Crescent Beach and the Lake View Mini Golf Course.

Final Thoughts

Sac City is a quiet little destination in Iowa that surprisingly offers a lot.

The city’s tight-knit community makes visitors feel welcome, providing them with different experiences and Iowans’ warm hospitality.

Sac City offers a variety of experiences, from beautiful nature views, historical areas, and a myriad of must-try dining options.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Sac City!

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