Kick Off Summer with a Day Trip to This Hidden Gem

Do you feel it?? The days are getting longer and the sunshine warms your skin.
Do you hear it?? Kids are giggling and shouting as they play outside in the yard.
Do you smell it?? Fresh cut grass and something delicious cooking on the grill.
This is the call of Summer! Are you ready to kick off the season and enjoy one of our area’s hidden gems to eat, shop and explore?! Look no further than the Summer Kickoff in West Branch on June 3-4, 2022.West Branch is an idyllic small town located just 6-miles from Iowa City down I-80. It is full of historic charm and unique locally-owned businesses that are ready to welcome you. It’s biggest claim to fame is that West Branch was home to Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States and an incredible leader in humanitarianism. You can visit Iowa’s only Presidential Library & Museum or enjoy the National Park and Historic Site all year long! But this weekend we’re channeling our small-town charm for a good ol’ fashioned summer festival and street party… with a modern twist. Summer Kickoff will include Sidewalk Sales, Summer Reading Program celebration, Farmer’s Market, a “Seltzer Stroll”, Beer Garden and free LIVE music in the street! See it all here.

Friday, June 3rd will be set up for families to eat, shop and explore our beautiful Main Street District with sidewalk sales from 11am-5pm. Grab the whole family to wander the small shops where you’ll find everything from boutique clothing, unique gifts, and home décor to all kinds of vintage and antiques! Grab a coffee, ice cream or some dinner at a local restaurant and stick around for a youth obstacle course at 6:30pm at West Branch Public Library to get everyone signed up for the summer reading program. The program is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages!

Saturday, June 4th will be an entire experience for the “grown-ups” so call your sitter and round up your friends to head down the road to West Branch. 

10:00am-NoonFarmer’s Market
Pick up some locally grown produce, baked goods and handmade items from vendors in Heritage Square.
11:00am-5:00pmSidewalk Sales on Main Street
Explore the charming and historic Main Street district while shopping at locally owned boutique shops for gifts, home decor, vintage, antiques, clothing, handmade items + more!
3:00-6:00pm – Seltzer Stroll
Stroll around downtown and enjoy FREE tastings of the season’s newest hard seltzer flavors while you eat, shop and explore Main Street West Branch. 21+ Only. Nine locations will have a different brand seltzer with 3-4 flavors so be sure to find your favorite and then vote on your favorites. We can’t wait to hear what flavor you’ll be enjoying this summer!
5:00-10:00pm – Beer Garden 

Kick back to relax in the Beer Garden on North Downey Street. Hosted by Herb N Lou’s + The Downunder with tap takeover by Big Grove Brewery. Food & Beverage specials available at all our local eateries!

7:00-10:00pm – Live Music in the Street featuring Jarrod Hogan & South 55
Featuring upbeat rocking country music from artists of yesterday and today with a splash of classic/southern rock… you’re bound to be singing and dancing along to some of your forgotten favorites as well. Free admission, all ages welcome!  Insider tip: Bring a lawn chair.

Come early or explore extra while you’re in town! Walk right from the historic downtown into the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site to explore the landscape of historic buildings, exhibits, and natural areas that commemorate the life of young Herbert Hoover. Take a stroll through the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum to learn about the life of the uncommon man. I promise, there is SO much that you don’t know about Hoover and it’s an Iowa story you’ll be proud to tell. 

West Branch truly is a hidden gem in Eastern Iowa and fantastic day trip destination. It’s the perfect place to be this weekend so grab your people and make your way to West Branch to eat, shop, and explore Exit 254 during Summer Kickoff. . . or anytime, really.

Meet Our Guest Blogger:

Stacy Waters is a born and raised Iowa girl living in West Branch. She runs her own beauty business, is mom to four amazing kids, and the wife of a contractor. She’s a volunteer leader with West Branch Community Development Group and is passionate about history, family, service, and (obviously) Summer.

This is a sponsored post. Iowa City Moms was compensated for sharing this piece. However, we love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!


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