We like to have fun in Burlington and West Burlington!

Our Regional RecPlex hosts local and regional soccer, softball, baseball, sand volleyball and flag football leagues from April through October. Two public golf courses and one private course are within three minutes’ drive of the city—all offer 18 tournament-caliber holes set amidst scenic landscaping. Tennis courts abound, as do softball and baseball fields.

The community, either through private or private-public ventures, also has a bowling alley and other indoor recreational facilities that feature the latest in skill-testing games and other activities. Several private gyms and athletic clubs offer modern equipment and training.

People enjoy a wide range of recreational opportunities in many venues—the “Y,” our schools and college, and at the downtown J Street Youth Center. The community supports three Little Leagues, and Burlington’s public park system also offers an 18-hole disc golf course, in-line hockey rink, skate park and BMX bicycle track. Our popular combined YMCA-YWCA provides indoor swimming, court games, youth soccer and a variety of fun and fitness programs for all ages.

The Burlington and West Burlington area offers some of the finest parks in all of Iowa. Crapo Park and Arboretum is the capstone, overlooking the Mississippi River. Dankwardt and Perkins are large and active, while Mosquito Park offers breathtaking river views year-round. The newly developed Riverfront Park gets you up close and personal with the Father of Waters. Both cities offer public swimming pools, and every neighborhood has its public green space, — even a small park dedicated to late Mayor Nancy Neafie is in the heart of downtown.

Our most notable attraction, the Mississippi River, offers plenty of opportunities for recreational fun, including boating, sailing, skiing and fishing. Our county has thousands of licensed boats, dozens of public boat ramps and docks and fully equipped marinas, that offers a wide variety of boat rentals.

The fun doesn’t end with the advent of winter. Ward off cabin fever by skating, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or sledding. For a more rural setting, the Starr’s Cave Nature Center and fast-expanding Big Hollow Recreation Area are close by and offer year-round activities.

A number of hobby and art clubs and classes also are available, including dancing (clog, square, swing, ballroom, line), woodcarving, bridge, bingo, chess, stamp and coin collecting, embroidering and quilting, fishing and hunting, writing, horseback riding, barbershop singing as well as other activities.

For those who prefer to exercise their minds, our library serves Burlington, West Burlington, nearby small towns and rural areas. The library’s per-capita circulation rate is twice the national average. A new library is being constructed near the riverfront. When that is completed, the century-old building that housed the library will be renovated and become the home of the Des Moines County Historical Society.


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