Historical Sightseeing

Walking trail Snake Alley recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

Snake Alley

Take a stroll down beautifully decorated Snake Alley, named “unbelievably crooked” by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Snake Alley is part of the Heritage Hill Historic District located north of Jefferson Street. This area encompasses Snake Alley, North Hill Park, Mosquito Park, and a variety of historic homes and churches. The Heritage Hill Historic District is the perfect place for a scenic stroll, filled with lovingly maintained Italianate and Queen Anne style architecture. Seasonal home and garden tours occur throughout the year.


The Heritage Center Museum, historical sightseeing location recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

The Heritage Center Museum

The Heritage Center Museum opened in 1898 as the Burlington Public Library. One hundred years later, the Des Moines County Historical Society renovated the historic building, preserving the detailed woodwork, elegant open spaces, and many other architectural features. Combining 19th century elegance and 21st century technology this place is worth a visit!

501 North 4th Street; Burlington, Iowa 52601

Burlington Iowa’s riverfront, a historical sightseeing location recommended by Great River Hotels

Historic Riverfront

Burlington Iowa’s riverfront consists of several historic landmarks. These include The Port of Burlington Welcome Center, Burlington Memorial Auditorium and the Train Depot.

The Port of Burlington building was dedicated in October 1928 as Burlington’s Municipal River Terminal where barges were loaded with coal by means of a conveyor. The Welcome Center opened inside the long unused port in the 1980s. The Welcome Center has vast amounts of information on the surrounding area and over 300 brochures to help you plan your next trip around the Midwest. Plus an assortment of souvenirs to remember your time in Greater Burlington!

The Burlington Memorial Auditorium was opened to the public in May of 1939. Built by the Works Progress Administration, and first used as a U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center and by the supply company of the 136th Medical Regiment of the Iowa National Guard, today The Auditorium is Burlington’s premiere entertainment venue.

The Train Depot was built in 1944 after a fire burned down the previous structure in January 1943. It exemplifies the streamlined mid-century modern aesthetic that came into vogue in the 1930s. In addition to serving Amtrak passengers, the depot is the hub for Burlington Urban Services, the local bus system.


The front of the Capitol Theater, a historical tourist spot recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

The Capitol Theater

One of the most modern and luxurious theaters of its time, the Capitol Theater symbolized hope for Burlington in the darkest days of the Depression. Opened on July 1, 1937 with “The Prince and the Pauper.” Its stunning Art Deco style facade and amazing live shows are worth the trip any time of year.

211 North 3rd Street; Burlington, Iowa 52601

The Crapo Park Log Cabin, a visitor location recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

Crapo Park Log Cabin

High on the bluff of the Mississippi River overlooking Black Hawk Spring and the Mississippi River, the Crapo Park Log Cabin offers a glimpse of the simpler life of early settlers in Iowa. Originally built in 1909, the cabin was used as a meeting place for the Hawkeye Natives Association. Located in beautiful Crapo Park in the south east corner of Burlington, Iowa, the cabin museum has been open to the public since 1971.


The Garrett-Phelps House, a visitor must-do recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

Garrett-Phelps House

Sitting proudly at the top of Snake Alley, the Garrett-Phelps House sheltered three generations of one family for over 100 years. Built in 1851 and enlarged in 1870, this home has watched over Burlington through struggles, wars, prosperity and poverty. During an especially difficult period it housed a hospital.

521 Columbia Street; Burlington, Iowa 52601

Miss Birdie and The Pen Pal Project wall at the Anne Frank Museum, a sightseeing location recommended by Great River Hotels in Burlington, IA

Anne Frank Museum

In 1939 Danville teacher, Miss Birdie Mathews, initiated a pen pal exchange for her class. Ten year old Juanita Wagner picked a name from a list of pen pals. She chose a girl her own age who lived in Amsterdam. The girl’s name was Anne Frank. The Danville Museum is one of two places in the world to view Anne and Margot Frank’s pen pal letters to the Wagner girls.

102 North Main Street; Danville, Iowa