Skip to Content

Ice Cream & 21 More Great Things About LeMars

Visiting the Ice Cream Capital of the World sounds like something you could only dream about when you were a child, but I have some most fascinating news for you – it’s not only a real place, but its right here in Iowa! That’s right, the Ice Cream Capital of the World is located in LeMars, Iowa.

With a population just over 10,000 people, this home to the beloved frozen treat is just a short 30 minute drive north of Sioux CityLeMars has so much more to offer than just delicious dairy, from local favorite spots for dining to county wide entertainment – you are sure to find a day full of sweetness while visiting here. 

Tiffany and son in front of a huge ice cream cone at Bob's Drive Inn in LeMars, Iowa
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

Getting to eat ice cream in the Ice Cream Capital of the World is just the cherry on top of a fun-filled day in LeMars! So, here’s the scoop on 22 things to do in LeMars, Iowa.

Take in some arts and culture

Stop in the local county museum and check off a visit to just one of the historical buildings registered in town, as well as seeing what the museum has to offer, which includes a Loess Hills exhibit, music room, ag room and more. Stop in the Arts Center, another listed historical building, to check out their latest exhibition, which from June 14 to July 30, will be “Local Waters, Watermedia Invitational.” 

Perhaps live entertainment is more your style. You can take in a show at the local community theater or perhaps a musical performance by The Browns! 

No matter which entertainment choice is for you, a must do is taking pics in the amazing alleys full of art.

  1. LeMars Community Theater, 105 First St. NE
  2. Plymouth County Historical Museum, 335 First Ave. SW
  3. LeMars Arts Center, 200 Central Ave.
  4. The Browns Theater, 11 Central Ave. NW, suite 3516
  5. Alley Art, numerous alleys in downtown

Grab a bite to eat at a memorable restaurant

What I didn’t tell you before is that I lived in LeMars for a brief time in my life. I have to say they have some amazing options for food!  aybe it’s my love of hometown-feeling comfort food and classic tastes, but whatever it is, I can almost guarantee you’ll find something that your taste buds will love. 

Comfort food in LeMars
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

From a “drive inn” that has been offering delicious bites since 1949, to a family-owned chophouse that’s also been serving delicious cuts of meat since 1949, you are bound to be delighted. Here are just a few of my favorite eateries in LeMars!

  1. Bob’s Drive Inn, 23 Fifth Ave. SW (Bob’s is said to have one of the best loose meat sandwiches in Iowa)
  2. Lally’s Eastside, 125 Plymouth St. NE
  3. Archies Waeside, 224 Fourth Ave. NE

Shop local along Central

Central Avenue hosts numerous shops along the strip. Take a stroll along each side to find funky housewares, fashion finds for kids, men and women, jewelry, antiques and so much more.

You can shop until you drop or at least burn some calories before indulging in that ice cream you must treat yourself to,

  1. Shop Cary Boutique/Sugar-N-Spice, 15 Central Ave. SW
  2. Simpatico Décor, 19 Central Ave. NW
  3. Claussens, 10 Central Ave. NE
  4. The Browns Gift Shoppe, 11 Central NW
  5. HoTopp Jewelry & Gifts, 26 Central Ave NE 

Enjoy some sweets or caffeine treats

Okay, now we are getting to the good stuff, am I right? We all came here for the ice cream, so let’s get to it already! Your most obvious spot to visit in LeMars needs to be the Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor. With over 40 flavors to choose from, you can get your ice cream in a dish, on a cone, as a shake, in a float, covered in toppings – the options are a plenty. 

A sign at Blue Bunny Ice Cream in LeMars

My advice: Go for one of the extreme sundaes! 

If ice cream isn’t the only sweet you crave, or you are thinking you need a pick-me-up after all that shopping there are plenty of options for you too! You can even book you and your friends a tea party at an adorable tea house.

  1. Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor, 115 Central Ave. NW
  2. Bellissimo Coffeeworks, 410 Fourth St. SW
  3. Habitue Coffeehouse, 108 Central Ave. NE
  4. Friendship Tea House, 139 Fifth Ave. SW

Burn off some extra energy or find your zen

LeMars offers numerous beautiful parks that kiddos can play in, you can take a walk in or even pack a picnic for. If you want something more indoors I suggest taking a yoga class at a local studio. They even offer a free class every Sunday at 5 pm.

  1. LeMars Parks & Rec – Lists all the parks and their amenities
  2. Awaken Yoga, 16 Central Ave. SE

Attend a festival or fair

LeMars offers numerous fun-filled events and festivities. From Ice Cream Days to a Hometown Christmas (think Hallmark movie), to hosting the Plymouth County Fair – you are bound to find some added fun!

Ice Cream Days is held every June in LeMars, Iowa
Photo courtesy Travel Iowa
  1. Ice Cream Days, June 16-19, 2022
  2. Plymouth County Fair, July 27-31, 2022
  3. Hometown Christmas

This town isn’t just ice cream, it’s so much more. I hope you find the time to visit this amazing town and all it has to offer!

LeMars, Iowa may be the Ice Cream Capital of the World, but there is plenty more fun things to do in LeMars, including shops, theaters, and iconic restaurants

About the guest writer 

Tiffany Nation is a full-time working mother and wife. In her free time she loves creating, doing yoga, spending time with her family and enjoying all of what Iowa has to offer.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.