Skip to Content

18 Best Things To Do In Pella

A quaint town of just over 10,000 people, visitors can find a day – or weekend – full of activities in this charming city. Known for its deep roots in Dutch heritage, this town has you feeling as if you have flown across the sea and are smack dab in the middle of a whimsical village in the Netherlands.

Devour a tasty pastry

Tiffany at a Dutch bakery in Pella, Iowa
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

In the mood for some authentic Dutch treats? Treat yourself to some delectable pastries made from old-world recipes straight from Holland. Sample a famous dutch letter or puff pillow made of flaky pastry from either Jaarsma Bakery or The Vander Ploeg Bakery, or better yet, both! 

Don’t forget to get some to take home or share with friends!

  1. Jaarsma Bakery, 727 Franklin St.
  2. The Vander Ploeg Bakery, 711 Franklin St.

Have a cup of tea

A plate of Dutch pastries
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

Hear the story of Maria Schlotte while sampling local goods that include Van Veen Chocolate, fresh made bakery items and samples from local meat markets. Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, you will need a reservation to secure your spot at either of the 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. settings.

  1. Maria’s Tea Room, 728 Washington St.

Experience history first hand

Windmill in Pella
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

Take a walk in the inner workings of a real-life, functioning windmill. The mill was actually built in the Netherlands before being taken apart and shipped to Iowa to be put back together in Pella. 

After watching the grain grind, you might want to see the Klokkenspel in action or tour the historical village, which includes the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp.

  1. Vermeer Windmill, 507 Franklin St.
  2. Klokkenspel, 625 Franklin St.
  3. Historical Village, 507 Franklin St.

Related post: Love windmills? Find another windmill in Orange City, Iowa.

Pick up some fresh made cheese or market meats

Giant cheese wheels at Frisian Farms
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

Take a short drive to get a glimpse into the process of gouda cheese making at Frisian Farms. Sample different varieties of cheeses and pick up some curds or cheese wedges to take with you.

In the mood for some flavorful meats to go along with your cheese? You’re in luck. Stop by the Ulrich Meat Market and try some of their Original Pella Bologna, which is unique to the Ulrich Meat Market. Perhaps you are in the mood for something else, they also offer a variety of smoked meat, as well as domestic and imported cheeses. 

For more meat market options you can stop by In’t Veld’s Meat Market, which is well known for homemade beef jerky, summer sausage, dried beef and bratwurst.

  1. Frisian Farms, 2098 Fisher Ave., Leighton, IA
  2. Ulrich Meat Market, 715 Franklin St.
  3. In’t Veld’s Meat Market, 820 Main St.

Have an adult beverage or two

Wanting to stop and unwind with a glass of wine or even a cold pint? There are numerous options waiting in Pella or just outside of town.

Downtown Pella offers The Wijn House where you can sample some of the best wines Iowa has to offer.  The Wijn House carries a great selection of Iowa made wines. 

Feeling like a cold glass of brew? Stroll down the street to The Cellar Peanut Pub, which offers over 50 craft beers on tap. Maybe take a nice 15-minute drive out into the country to visit Tassel Ridge Winery to try one of their award winning wines.

  1. The Wijn House, 615 Franklin St.
  2. The Cellar Peanut Pub, 629 Franklin St. 
  3. Tassel Ridge Winery, 1681 220th St., Leighton, IA 

Have a delicious meal

Pella is a small town but offers some great options for eating. Sit down for a lunch or dinner at Butcher’s Brewhis for fresh cut meats, Dutch recipes and daily specials. If dining for supper, start with a large pretzel with a dried beef dip – which you can even get at Veld’s Meat Market to take home. 

In the mood for some pizza? Pop by George’s Pizza, which has been a Pella staple since 1974. Try the Duchess Pizza, which has Pella bologna, onion and sauerkraut. 

No visit to Pella would be complete without a stop at The Dutch Fix, offering Dutch mini pancakes, burgers, sandwiches, plates and frites, as well as traditional Dutch sides such as a Stoopwafle, Biterballen and more!

  1. Butcher’s Brewhuis and Deli, 822 Main St.
  2. George’s Pizza, 626 Franklin St 
  3. Dutch Fix, 621 Franklin St.

Stay in a quaint B&B

Settle into a cozy room in the quaint turn-of-the-century, craftsman-style home at The Cheesemakers Inn. Each day will start with breakfast made from Dutch family recipes. 

The B&B is located on the southwest edge of Pella and is close to the Bos Landen Golf Course, Lake Red Rock, Central College and historic downtown Pella.

  1. The Cheesemaker’s Inn, 420 Idaho Drive

Visit Pella during a festival 

A garden of tulips in Pella
Photo courtesy Tiffany Nation

Pella hosts an all weekend, larger than life Tulip Time Festival! It’s held the first full weekend of May each year! There are parades, performances, tours, food and ALL THE TULIPS your heart can desire to see. 

There’s also a Christmas Home tour that runs in conjunction with the Kerstmarkt, which is Pella’s Dutch Christmas Market.   

  1. Tulip Time Festival
  2. Christmas Home Tour and Market

About the 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.