Discovering, Iowa

Discover The Best Things To Do In Fairfield, IA

Fairfield, IA indeed flaunts a vibe and we loved it! Full of an entrepreneurial spirit, this southeastern Iowa town with a population of just under 10,000 is packed with fun things including a fantastic (vegan) foodie experience. If you’re looking for a Midwest weekend getaway, read more to discover the best things to do in Fairfield, Iowa.

Fairfield is quite eclectic and unique offering plenty of options to dine, drink and discover.

Visit Fairfield hosted our stay. All opinions are our own. In addition, this post contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission at no charge to you.

In 1854 Fairfield was home to Iowa’s first state fair and since the 1970s became home to a Transcendental Meditative community. The Raj an Ayurveda Health Center as well as Mararishi International University and you will certainly see the influence of sustainable living and practices throughout town.

Dine, Drink, and Discover The Best Things To Do In Fairfield, IA

Our motto here on Dining Duster is to “dine, drink and discover” wherever we go. Fairfield, IA ticked all the boxes for us! Foodies will love Fairfield including some amazing vegan options, we found a local cidery and discovered the artsy side that Fairfield flaunts. Here’s a list to help you discover the best things to do in Fairfield, IA.

Where to Stay on Your Trip to Fairfield, IA

We found a lot to do in the town of Fairfield, IA. To fit in all the things to dine, drink and discover in Fairfield, consider spending a night at the AmericInn. We enjoyed that the backside of the hotel overlooks a Clydesdale Horse Farm. This hotel is a great location to use for a home base as you discover the best things to do in Fairfield.

Dining in Fairfield, Iowa

We enjoyed several meals over the course of our two-night stay in Fairfield. If you’re a foodie and enjoy supporting local restaurants, we recommend a visit to Fairfield for the food alone!

Dining is definitely one of the best things to do in Fairfield, as there are 29 locally-owned restaurants which automatically makes eating at any of the local restaurants one of the best things to do in Fairfield, IA! Fairfield is full of international cuisine.

Fun fact: Fairfield, IA has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco!

We found a ton of vegan-friendly options in Fairfield, IA.

Eat Tacos For Breakfast at Taco Dreams

Taco Dreams 400 N 2nd Street Fairfield, IA Website | Instagram | Facebook

Tacos for breakfast? Yes, please! Taco Dreams is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have tacos for breakfast. Our meal was awesome! We were happy to find delicious vegan options here! Shop for locally made ciders, vinegar, kombucha, bread, and more while you’re waiting for your food.

best things to do in fairfield, ia

Enjoy a Peruvian Flavored Lunch at Depot House

Depot House 500 N. 4th St. Fairfield, IA Website | Instagram | Facebook

This eclectic spot is a restaurant by day and a nightclub in the evenings. The food is great and the atmosphere is an experience!

best things to do in fairfield, ia

Fill Up at the Hungry Camel

Hungry Camel 121 W. Broadway Ave, Fairfield, IA Facebook

You will not leave hungry at the Hungry Camel with wraps as big as your head!

best things to do in fairfield ia

Slurp on some Ramen with a Twist at The Broth Lab

Broth Lab 102 N. 2nd St, Fairfield, IA website | Instagram | facebook

Broth Lab’s menu is such that you can’t make up your mind with all the delicious options. We opted for a wrap and banh mi. Both were amazing. They have great appetizers and fun, creative cocktails.

the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Fairfield, IA

Drinking in Fairfield, Iowa

For Dining Duster, drinking can come in the form of coffee, tea, smoothies, a beer flight, a cider…you get the picture! Fairfield has a great mix of places to grab coffee, cider, or cocktails. We love the mix and definitely chalk any of these drinking experiences as the best thing to do in Fairfield.

Sip Coffee & Nosh on a Bagel at Bountiful Bakery

Bountiful Bakery 303 S Main Street Fairfield, IA Instagram | Facebook

Set in a cozy house, this coffee shop offers sweets, teas, and coffee drinks. Vegan options too!

the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Fairfield, IA

Grab a Coffee Smoothie at Acai Big Bowl

Big Acai 61 S. Court St, Fairfield, IA website | Instagram | Facebook

OK, we use the term snack very lightly. The portions of the shakes and bowl we had here are huge! The coffee smoothie was perfect and would be a great way to start the day or to refuel after finding all the best things to do in Fairfield!

the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Fairfield, IA

Fishback & Stephenson Cider House

Fishback & Stephenson 1949 Pleasant Plain Road, Fairfield, IA Website | Instagram | Facebook

For a nice evening out, head to Fishback & Stephenson Cider House. Sit inside or grab a seat on the patio overlooking a big pond. Enjoy a flight of cider or enjoy a cocktail from the bar.

cider flight at Fishbeck and Stpehenson

SOMM Wines

SOMM Wines 102 E. Briggs Ave, Fairfield, IA Website | Facebook

Head to a boutique wine lounge where you can purchase wine by the glass to enjoy on the spacious patio, or purchase bottles to bring home. Craft beer lovers will find options at SOMM Wines as well.

SOMM Wines is a lovely refurbished home that is cozy and elegant all at once. Nosh on bread baskets or charcuterie boards, mostly using local ingredients or foodie items from local producers.

Discovering Things To Do in Fairfield, IA

Discover art throughout Fairfield

Keep your eyes peeled for various forms of locally produced art throughout the town and inside the business. You will notice the art vibe everywhere. Art is another way for visitors to discover the best things to do in Fairfield.

The photo below is of an alley art piece that is made entirely of broken plates.

Candle Making and Shopping at Scarlet & Co

Scarlett & Co Events 117 E Burlington Ave, Fairfield, IA Website | Facebook

Scarlet & Co is an adorable retail space that offers things social media – trending items such as permanent jewelry, a candle bar, shopping for home goods, and clothing. Check out the event page on their website for something creative and fun happening in the creative studio during your visit to Fairfield.


Head to one of the many parks in Fairfield and look for interesting birds. Bring your binoculars! You might run into local birders, Michael and Diane Porter. If you want to learn more about birding, or find the right birding equipment, check out their website.

ICON Gallery

Icon Contemporary Art: 58 North Main Street, Fairfield, IA Website | Facebook

Visit ICON Gallery for the opportunity to see contemporary art. We quite unexpectedly spotted pieces by Salvador Dali and Sam Francis. The gallery keeps things fresh by offering temporary art exhibits in addition to their permanent pieces.

Carnegie Museum Tour

Carnegie Historical Museum- 112 S. Court, Fairfield, IA Website

Another unexpected experience in Fairfield is the Carnegie Museum which is the former Carnegie Library. Fairfield is the home of the first Andrew Carnegie-funded library in the nation. Today the building is full of amazing artifacts from the Smithsonian as well as local history. Learn the fascinating history of inventions that originated in Fairfield and are used worldwide.

Visitors will find the unique and unexpected such as Stephenson Jacquard’s woven pieces. Here you will find the loom he carried on his back as he walked from Chicago to Fairfield in the early 1850s. Yes, walked.

The Carnegie Museum is a fascinating stop and will perhaps make visitors want to check out local museums on their travels as you will most certainly be surprised by what you will find.

Shop til you drop at the Local Shops located near Central Park

There are plenty of great, unique shops to peruse in downtown Fairfield. We especially enjoyed a stop at Thymley Solutions. We left with natural remedies like lion’s mane, liquid b-12, and sleep support items.

We perused At Home Store an adorable European food, kitchen, and yarn store. We learned about sustainable home goods options at Hazel and Grey. Unique, local shops with an emphasis on supporting local makers and artists definitely put shopping as one of the best things to do in Fairfield.

Visit the Maharishi Vedic City Observatory

Set in Maharishi Vedic City, the Maharishi Vedic Observatory is a collection of open-air masonry sundials. This is a tranquil place to visit and you can read about each of the sundials on the plaques in front of each sundial. It’s said that just observing these will get you better connected with the cosmos.

maharishi sun dials

Take in a show at Fairfield Arts & Convention Center

Fairfield Arts & Convention Center: 200 North Main St, Fairfield, IA Website | Facebook

The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center is a beautiful facility that is host to local and national touring acts as well as cinema throughout the year. Check out the events page to see if you can check out a show during your time in Fairfield.

Take a Spin on one of Fairfields 12 Bike Trails

Fairfield has created a “Find a Ride Guide” for biking enthusiasts. Grab a brochure to scan a code and take one of 12 themed bike rides. With a range from 10 – 40 miles of gravel, dirt, or paved trails and themes like “Bike, Bites & Brews or Observe the Heavens, Outdoor enthusiasts will certainly consider biking as one of the best things to do in Fairfield.

Check out The Ride bike shop and even catch an organized weekly bike ride during your visit to Fairfield.

More things to do in Iowa




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