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Iowa Museum of Natural History
Vacation Travel Guide

Marvel at a gigantic whale skeleton, see an impressive cyclorama of a Hawaiian bird island and spot the giant panda.

The Iowa Museum of Natural History has a fascinating and varied collection that explores the natural sciences. It was founded in 1858, making it one of the oldest museums of its kind in the region. Reserve a guided tour in advance and chat to the docents about the intriguing exhibits on display.

Make your way through the Iowa Hall exhibit, which stretches back through 500 million years of regional history. Learn of the local ecology and geology and how it came to be, with a focus on the Devonian Coral Reef, the Ice Age ground sloth and the traditions and customs of indigenous peoples.

Marvel at the ancient rock drawings in the Biosphere Discovery Hub, which shows how we humans leave our mark on the planet. See more than 1,000 stuffed birds on display in the William and Eleanor Hageboeck Hall of Birds. Learn about the sounds of the birds as well as how they fly. Watch a century-old 360-degree view of a Hawaiian island formerly filled with birdlife in the Laysan Island Cyclorama.

Stroll through the Mammal Hall to see rare and mesmerizing exhibits, including the preserved skeleton of a 47-foot (14-meter) Atlantic right whale, a giant panda from China and a musk ox from the Barren Grounds region of Canada. This section contains a range of animals on display that were collected by the University of Iowa. See the Diversity of Life Exhibits for its range of scientific themes and taxidermy.

Note that admission to the museum is free. It opens Tuesday through Saturday from morning until late afternoon, as well as Sundays for a few hours from early afternoon.

The Iowa Museum of Natural History is located right in the center of Iowa City. Walk east from the Iowa River for a couple of minutes to get here, passing Hubbard Park on the way. Be sure to see some of its surrounding sights, including the Old Post Office, the Old Capitol Museum and the Opera House Block.

Top Hotels Close to Iowa Museum of Natural History

Graduate Iowa City
Graduate Iowa City
4 out of 5
210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA
The price is $95 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9

Located in the heart of Iowa City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Iowa City Public Library, University of Iowa, and University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (718 reviews)

"The decor was fun! The hideabed couch had a memory foam mattress, and was extremely comfortable, as were the other beds and bedding."…"

Reviewed on Jan 10, 2021

Graduate Iowa City
Element Iowa City
Element Iowa City
3 out of 5
314 South Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA
The price is $103 per night from Mar 19 to Mar 20

Located in the heart of Iowa City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Iowa City Public Library, University of Iowa, and University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (85 reviews)

"I think the parking should be covered and not an additional expense."…"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2021

Element Iowa City
Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
3 out of 5
255 E Court St, Iowa City, IA
The price is $99 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9

Located in the heart of Iowa City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Iowa City Public Library and University of Iowa. University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics ...

4.4/5Excellent! (440 reviews)

"Our birthday stay at this property was excellent. The location is 2 blocks from downtown. The CDC guidelines were spot on and the room was comfortable. The view is spectacular (ask for a high room).The hot breakfast was available with delicious bacon and scrambled eggs in individual packages on a ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 1, 2021

Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Iowa Museum of Natural History Flight + Hotel Deals

Motel 6 Cedar Rapids, IA - Airport
Hotel Millwright
Days Inn by Wyndham West Branch Iowa City Area
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Best Lodging Options Near Iowa Museum of Natural History

Graduate Iowa City
Graduate Iowa City
4 out of 5
210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA
The price is $95 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9
Graduate Iowa City
Element Iowa City
Element Iowa City
3 out of 5
314 South Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA
The price is $103 per night from Mar 19 to Mar 20
Element Iowa City
Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
3 out of 5
255 E Court St, Iowa City, IA
The price is $99 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9
Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown
Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University
Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University
3 out of 5
328 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA
The price is $107 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University
Hotel Chauncey
Hotel Chauncey
3 out of 5
404 East College Street, Iowa City, IA
The price is $119 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10
Hotel Chauncey
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Coralville
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Coralville
2.5 out of 5
650 Coral Ridge Avenue, Coralville, IA
The price is $67 per night from Mar 19 to Mar 20
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Coralville
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
3.5 out of 5
300 E 9th St, Coralville, IA
The price is $79 per night from Mar 19 to Mar 20
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Drury Inn & Suites Iowa City Coralville
Drury Inn & Suites Iowa City Coralville
3 out of 5
815 1st Ave., Coralville, IA
The price is $81 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
Drury Inn & Suites Iowa City Coralville
Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area
Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area
2.5 out of 5
4 Sturgis Corner Dr, Iowa City, IA
The price is $89 per night from Mar 19 to Mar 20
Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.