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Jewels along I-80

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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77 posts
334 reviews
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Jewels along I-80

We will be on I-80 between IL and Des Moines. Are there any nice towns/sights right off the highway that would be nice to visit? Any antique rummaging to be done? How about cafes/restaurants with yummy wholesome food? We don't want to drive more than about five minutes off the highway. Thanks in advance for your help.

Iowa City, Iowa
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1. Re: Jewels along I-80

Le Claire is a fun little river town right off 80 outside the Quad Cities. It's full of antique stores and charming restaurants.

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2. Re: Jewels along I-80

Le Claire is also home to Antique Archaeology of cable TV's American Pickers notoriety. Mixed reviews: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g38077-d22… I-80 exit 306 Le Claire might offer the most dining options within 5 minutes of I-80.

The Machine Shed gets good reviews for hearty, American food. Generous portions, just south of I-80 exit 292 in Davenport. tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g37816-d58…

The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is just off I-80 exit 254. The open air museum's highlight is Hoover's boyhood home. You have to check out its size. The site is a good place to stop if only to use the toilets in the visitor center.

Iowa City has more dining options than Le Claire, but stretches the 5 minute limitation.

Iowa River & Power has great views of the Iowa River: tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g37791-d17… I have had better luck with meals than some the the reviewers. South of exit 242.

Des Moines, Iowa
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3. Re: Jewels along I-80

The Amana Colonies are probably 15 mins. off I-80, west of Iowa City. However, they are a unique community of Mennonite Villages that have a variety of shops and restaurants that are popular.

About 45 mins east of Des Moines, and more than 5 mins. off the road, is the Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, IA. I have never been there, but it was cited by the Road Food authors as a good small town eatery with fantastic pies. Another restaurant said to be very good is in Grinnell, Iowa (about mid-way between Iowa City and Des Moines): The Prairie Canary.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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4. Re: Jewels along I-80

the I-80 truck stop is considered a must see...lots of restaurant choices.

I there are still a couple of restaurants at the Amana Colonies exit, next to 1-80.

There's the outlet mall in Williamsburg, just your usual outlet mall.

I'v never been to LeClaire, but I want to--there's a Riverbend Retro store that is new and sounds very cool.

West Des Moines, IA
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5. Re: Jewels along I-80

Happy Chef in Adair has the best pancakes in the state!

6. Re: Jewels along I-80

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