Discovering, Iowa

12 Ideas for a Couple’s Getaway in Marshalltown, IA

Located in central Iowa, Marshalltown is perfect for a couple’s getaway. Just 40 minutes east of Ames, Marshalltown offers public art, delicious food, and unique things to do.

Our meals and lodging were compliments of Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce . Our opinions are our own.

12 Ideas for a Couple’s Getaway in Marshalltown

Marshalltown has the feel of being a proud Midwest American town. With a population of 27,000, Marshalltown has beautiful historic buildings and lots of character. You’ll notice patriotic symbolism and pride throughout town. Marshalltown, IA is a wonderful place to visit and is perfect for a couple’s getaway.

1. Take a Hike at Grimes Farm Conservation Area

Spend a few hours hiking and exploring the grounds of Grimes Farm and Conservation Center. Located just outside Marshalltown city limits, you’ll find 160 acres of land to roam and explore. What was once a poor farm is now beautiful farmland that has been revived through no-till practices, the planting of thousands of trees, and the addition of a farm pond and waterways. 

A nature center, bike trails, and hiking areas providing access to the forests, wetlands, prairies, and crop fields will keep you busy. Time your visit right and there might be something happening at the amphitheater.  You could easily fill hours of time enjoying the outdoors. 

We recommend taking a 1.5-mile hiking loop to Mildred’s Tower. Mildred’s Tower stands 30 feet above the ground offering beautiful views of the area’s rolling hills and the Marshalltown skyline. 

Connect with Grimes Farm & Conservation Center: Website | Facebook 

Getting to Grimes Farm & Conservation Center: 2359 233rd St. Marshalltown, IA  50158

2. Dine at the Historic Tremont Grille

Tremont Grille is the perfect place to refuel after your hike at Grimes Farm. You’ll enjoy a diner feel with great food. They have a large menu and can easily accommodate any dietary restrictions that diners may have. 

For lunch, we chose a Greek salad and linguine pasta with vegetables. The herbs were harvested from the Inn’s rooftop garden! 

It was fun to walk downstairs from the Inn the next morning and head right to breakfast. We ordered hashbrowns and veggies but the owner JP told us only fresh will do- instead, he had the kitchen prepare potatoes slices with fresh vegetables and herbs topped with a refried bean mixture and a side of fresh fruit.

3. Check in for a Night at the Historic Tremont Inn

For a lovely and unique experience, we recommend booking a room at the historic Tremont Inn. The Inn is perfectly positioned in historic downtown so you can easily walk to restaurants, local shopping, and more!

The rooms at the historic Tremont Inn are located above the two on-site restaurants. Once arriving upstairs, the shiny wood floors and art-filled walls make an impressive impact. The guest rooms have 13-foot ceilings creating spacious accommodations and the ambiance is unexpected. There is a 24-hour butler’s kitchen just down the hallway with a sitting room overlooking the rooftop garden. This may sound silly, but we loved the ceiling fan in our room. This is something that hotel rooms lack!

For breakfast, you only have to have to go downstairs in the morning to the Tremont Grille and grab a bite to eat and get a great cup of coffee! During our next stay, we’ll head next door to their fine dining restaurant, Tremont on Main.

Connect with Tremont On Main: Website | Facebook

Getting to Tremont on Main: 22-26 West main St. Marshalltown, IA 

For another unique stay in Iowa, check out the Caboose AirBnB in Decorah

4. Visit Freedom Rock and a Vietnam Fighter Jet

Check out Freedom Rock at the American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown. Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II has painted a Freedom Rock in all 99 counties of Iowa. There is also an F-4 Phantom Fighter Jet on display flown by Marshalltown local, Joe Latham. 

Connect with Freedom Rock: Website 

Getting to Freedom Rock: 1301 S 6th Street Marshalltown, IA  50158

5. Check out the Marshalltown Murals

The murals in Marshalltown will not disappoint! Currently, there are 16 murals in Marshalltown. Here are a few of the murals we spotted. 

The Arts & Culture Alliance of Marshalltown has charged themselves with bringing arts and culture to Marshalltown.  Their work has not gone unnoticed by us! 

Connect with the Arts & Culture Alliance of Marshalltown: Website

6. Bowling & Dinner at Wayward Social

For a unique date experience, we recommend Wayward Social! You might think bowling doesn’t sound super unique but trust us, it is at Wayward Social! Treat yourself and your date to private bowling lanes!  The ambiance is perfect for a couple’s getaway and was a completely unexpected experience

The decor is made of local reclaimed materials, and old pinsetter parts are used for lighting and tables. The vintage bowling details are really well done and it’s a cool atmosphere.

Enjoy a beer or cocktails and appetizers from the restaurant overlooking the private lanes while you bowl. After you’re done bowling, take a break for dinner and a cocktail in the restaurant or sit and relax on one of the big leather couches overlooking the private lanes. 

Off the cocktail menu, we recommend the Cucumber-Pear Mule and Bloody Mary. The menu was as unexpected as the ambiance of the private bowling lanes. We were pleasantly surprised by all the clearly marked plant-based options. It was hard to decide but we ordered the Hot Caprese and the Veggie Reuben. 

Connect with Wayward Social: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Getting to Wayward Social: 1101 S 6th Street, Marshalltown, IA  50158

7. Enjoy a Nightcap at Tannin Wine Bar

Finish your evening with a glass of wine or glass of craft beer at Tannin Wine Bar where the service is impeccable. Tannin Wine Bar offers wine, craft beer, and light bites. The food and drinks menu changes seasonally so there is always something new to try!

Owners Tom and Mary are perfectly hospitable. They have created a welcoming and beautiful space in a historic building. It’s not outlandish to say that Tannin Wine Bar is like walking into the bar on the TV show, Cheers. Everyone is so friendly and it is a cozy and comfortable visit. We know if we were local we would be frequent customers. We noticed and appreciated that there are no TVs in Tannin Wine Bar. This makes it the perfect place for conversation. 

Because we had just eaten dinner, we opted for ‘dessert’ with our wine and ordered the fresh fruit. It paired wonderfully with our wine. 

Connect with Tannin Wine Bar:  Website | Facebook | Instagram

Getting to Tannin Wine Bar: 125 E. Main Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158

8. Take in the 13th Street District

Head to the 13th Street District for a quaint neighborhood village with a coffee shop, more street art, a sculpture, and West End Park. 

Connect with 13th Street District: Facebook 

Getting to 13th Street District: 231 13th Street Marshalltown, IA 50158

9. Get Your Chocolate Fix at Lillie Mae Chocolates

While visiting the 13th Street District, we highly recommend a pit stop at Lillie Mae Chocolates. The smell of chocolate greets you the minute you open the door. You’ll likely be able to watch staff hand-dip the chocolates. Grab a little box of chocolates to enjoy while you explore the 13th Street District. 

Connect with Lillie Mae Chocolates: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Getting to Lillie Mae Chocolates: 217 N 13th Street Marshalltown, IA  50158

10. Visit the Monuments at Iowa Veterans Home

Right across the street from 13th Street District is the Iowa Veteran’s Home. We recommend taking a quick drive up the hill to see the monuments honoring the veterans of wars. 

Getting to Iowa Veterans Home: 1301 Summit St. Marshalltown, IA  50158

11. Enjoy Lunch at Jack’s Pho’ House

Stop for lunch at Jack’s Pho’ House. Everything is homemade with flavors from Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. The restaurant was packed when we pulled up which is always a good sign! 

We enjoyed fresh veggie spring rolls, Vegetarian Pho’, and Tofu Pad Thai. It was all very good and filling. They also offer a large selection of Bubble Tea. 

Connect with Jack’s Pho House: Website | Facebook 

Getting to Jack’s Pho House: 10 W. Main Street, Marshalltown, IA  50158

12. Reflect On Your Marshalltown Trip at Gallery Garden

Head to Gallery Garden, a privately owned space that is meant for anyone to enjoy.

The area has a sunken plaza, solar panels that create a shaded sitting area, a water fountain, and a vertical live wall with 1,000 plants.  There is beautiful original artwork scattered throughout the garden to enjoy. Stunning! 

We found ourselves at Gallery Garden several times throughout our 2-day visit. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. The concept is impressive. From literal ashes resulting in an arson fire to the historic building that once stood in the space, to what it is today is nothing short of amazing. 

Connect with Gallery Garden:  Website | Facebook

Looking for more things to do in Iowa? Head to the historic Amana Colonies

Pin for planning your Couple’s Getaway to Marshalltown, IA

Getting to Marshalltown, Iowa

To Marshalltown, IA from:

Mankato, MN – 195 miles | 3.5 hours

St. Paul, MN – 240 miles | 3 hours 45 minutes

Madison, WI – 240 miles | 3 hours 45 minutes

Des Moines, IA – 55 miles | 55 minutes

Sioux Falls, SD – 295 miles | 4.5 hours

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