Attractions near Muscatine, IA
Situated in Muscatine’s historic downtown district, the charm of the riverfront will inspire and rejuvenate you. Within steps of the hotel, you can soak in the sunrise at Riverside Park, explore an art museum that rivals those found anywhere in the U.S., or spend the day shopping in quaint shops and independent boutiques. The Merrill Hotel immerses guests in a genuinely unique Iowan experience while inviting and inspiring travelers to experience the magic of the Mississippi!
National Pearl Button Museum
The National Pearl Button Museum at The History and Industry Center proudly tells Muscatine's story in becoming the Pearl Button Capital of the World. Known as the "Gold Rush of the Midwest," The National Pearl Button Museum produced 1.5 billion pearl buttons annually and sold them to the garment industry and around the world over 100 years ago. The second floor reveals the history of Muscatine's industrial giants which led the way for the manufacturing of products like office furniture, retread tires, and corn product processing — all of which are still thriving today.
117 W 2nd St, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
Muscatine Art Center
Open since 1965, the Laura Musser Museum/Muscatine Art Center is many things to the community of Muscatine — Historic House Museum, Art Gallery, and Local History Museum featuring over 20 changing exhibitions. The museum displays many distinctive architectural details of the Edwardian period, The Mississippi River Collection, and collections of work by world-famous artists including Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh. The Muscatine Art Center is accredited by the American Association of Museums — an honor signifying that the Art Center has undergone a rigorous and lengthy process involving intensive self-examination, peer review, and a thorough examination by the Accreditation Commission.
1314 Mulberry Ave, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Muscatine’s Historic Downtown area is a must see if you are seeking unique specialty shops, antique shops, restaurants, bars, museums, art galleries, and historic buildings. These, along with the wonderful riverfront, makes it the heart of the community. As you take a walk and wander Downtown Muscatine, you'll notice the poetry of local writers etched in concrete around the city. Wandering Words is a partnership between the Muscatine County Arts Council and the City of Muscatine featuring 29 sidewalk poems permanently installed throughout Muscatine; 19 of which can be found Downtown.
Downtown MuscatineLearn More
Art in Public Spaces
On a stroll through Downtown Muscatine, you will see many buildings adorned with colorful murals; Riverside Park boasts statues, plaques, and other three-dimensional artwork; and while you’re at it, notice some of the historical architectural features of the downtown buildings. Along the Mississippi riverfront you'll also find Gus, a clam fisherman standing in a clam-filled boat brandishing a pair of clamming forks over his head. Titled "Mississippi Harvest," the large bronze sculpture was created by artist Erik Blome. The Merrill Hotel itself is something of an artistic masterpiece. The vision and commitment to Muscatine is carved in a black granite tribute to Stanley Merrill Howe by Muscatine artist Joe Barnard.
West Hill Historic District
A leisurely walk up the hill on 2nd Street and back down on 3rd Street showcases Muscatine’s eclectic architecture and history. You’ll discover many treasures in the over 200 homes built as long ago as 1843 including big glorious mansions and small brick cottages, and every residential architectural style imaginable from Queen Anne Victorian to Italianate to Federal to Greek Revival.
2nd & 3rd StreetsLearn More
Bayer Butterfly Garden
Explore 155-acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers, including a one-acre butterfly garden along the northern edge of the prairie planted by Muscatine's Bayer U.S. - Crop Science. The garden features numerous colorful wildflower species that attract butterflies and other pollinators, including bees, from early spring to fall. Enjoy a picnic at the tables or relax in the gazebo as a pond with dual waterfalls attracts birds and koi that swim through the water lilies.
2500 Wiggens Rd, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
While exploring Discovery Park, take a walk on the paved trails that wind throughout 13 acres of over 1,000 native and ornamental trees, shrubs, and plants in the Muscatine Arboretum that is described as a “living tree museum.” In addition to the beautiful trees and plants, you'll enjoy a Veterans Memorial Area, a medieval-style brick labyrinth, a gazebo (perfect for picnics), and many benches to sit and enjoy the surroundings.
Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar St, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
Muscatine Symphony Orchestra
Feel enriched by the cultural life of the city with the presentation of symphonic music of the highest quality. The Muscatine Symphony Orchestra is a community-based orchestra composed of roughly 50 musicians including local volunteers, college students, and professional musicians from the Muscatine area as well as regional universities from Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. The Muscatine Symphony Orchestra is under the musical directorship of Maestro Brian Dollinger who has served as its artistic director since 2004.
Performances will be broadcast digitally for the 2021 seasonLearn More
Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine Schoolhouse
Built in 1848, the Pine Creek Grist Mill is thought to be the oldest working mill on its original site between the Mississippi River and the Rockies. Muscatine County’s first official resident, Benjamin Nye, constructed the mill in response to the growing demand of pioneering families to have their crops ground into usable products like flour and meal. Discover the 170-year-old working mill and one-room schoolhouse that is now used as a museum of rural school memorabilia, located in Wildcat Den State Park.
Wildcat Den State Park, 1884 Wildcat Den Rd, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
Environmental Learning Center
The Environmental Learning Center offers numerous natural history exhibits, including two 1,200-gallon aquariums with native fish, live reptiles, amphibians, and more than 100 mounted animals, and is the home to the Muscatine County Conservation Board office. Walk or bike the 1.5 miles of paved trails, fish stocked ponds, or stop by the outdoor raptor enclosure, all within the 85-acre Discovery Park.
Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar St, Muscatine, IA 52761Learn More
Ardon Creek Vineyard & Winery
Founded on a 164-year-old family farm with a rich Irish Heritage, Ardon Creek Vineyard & Winery is family owned and managed. The vineyard is 4.1 acres in size and includes five varieties of hard-hardy grape vines: Concord, Noiret, Chancellor reds and Edelweiss and LaCrosse whites. All Ardon Creek wines are vinted, cellared, and bottled in their winery in Letts, Iowa.
Located just 15 minutes from The Merrill Hotel, Ardon Creek Vineyard & Winery is a wonderful nearby attraction for complimentary tastings, tours, and events. They offer Music in the Vineyard concert events as well as yoga in the vineyard.
Plan your romantic weekend getaway at The Merrill Hotel in Muscatine, Iowa to coincide with Music in the Vineyard and treat your sweetheart to an unforgettable weekend getaway. Also, our hotel near Arden Creek Winery is perfect for your girls getaway weekend or schedule a tour of the winery to compliment your meeting or event at The Merrill!
Tasting Room Hours
Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: Noon – 4pm
After-hours appointments can be arranged, please call 563-506-8044.
Snowstar Winter Park
Experience the thrill of Snowstar in Andalusia and the Rock Island County, IL area, just 20 miles from The Merrill Hotel in Muscatine. Snowstar Winter Park is a family-friendly ski park with 28 acres of skiiable terrain, snow tubing trails and ziplining tours.
SNOWSTAR WINTER PARK IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON
Ski Lodge and Snow Park Near Muscatine
There's nothing quite like the rush of flying down the slopes at top speed and kicking up fresh snow behind your skis! Located just above the Mississippi River, Snowstar Winter Park is a family oriented resort just minutes outside the Quad Cities in Andalusia, Illinois offering a wide variety of trails, terrain park, and state of the art snowmaking equipment to ensure fresh snow all season long.
No matter the experience level, Snowstar has something for everyone to enjoy and offers skiing and snowboarding lessons ranging from Beginner, Advanced, and Private lessons to help get you ready for the slopes.
Located just 20 miles from The Merrill Hotel, Snowstar Extreme Sports is fun for the whole family. Not only a fun winter destination - Snowstar offers ziplining and hosts events in the summer, too!
Adventure Starts Here
Outdoor enthusiasts take to the Mississippi River as the cold weather settles in over Iowa to view majestic bald eagles as they gather around areas of open water along the Great River Road to feed on fish. Seeing one bald eagle with their six-foot wingspan, piercing eyes, and sharp talons will send your heart racing, but from December through March you can spot hundreds of them all in one spot!
The best viewing begins when large stretches of the Mississippi River freeze. The eagles are forced to fish from the small areas of open water, increasing the likelihood of greater numbers of eagles. When winters are mild, eagle viewing becomes more sporadic.
When viewing is ideal, you'll want to use binoculars so you can stay 100 to 400 feet away from eagles. Loud noises, movement, and trying to approach too closely will startle the eagles. Eagles are most susceptible to startling when roosting, so do not disturb at night. We aim to protect their quality of life to have the energy for fishing so they will remain healthy and have the stamina to travel north to nest in the Spring.