Repeatedly named as one of the best and coolest college towns in America—alongside places like Berkeley, Boulder, and Cambridge—Grinnell combines the artful, intellectual buzz of a college town with the genuine warmth and friendliness that defines “Iowa nice.”

Trip Advisor calls Grinnell “a great city with a decidedly metropolitan feel,” with countless events and festivals throughout the year. Grinnell also has earned a reputation as a dining destination, with more than 30 local eateries, including restaurants committed to local foods, critically acclaimed bakeries, and a winner of Iowa’s Best Bite Restaurant Challenge. A recent MSN article citited Grinnell’s attractions as a top college town. 

Movies at the Strand

The recently restored Strand Theatre on Main Street shows three films at a time. Nestled in the heart of downtown Grinnell, the theatre is a great stop-off after dinner at the Prairie Canary..

Fun spots to hang out

Bring some homework or just some reading and grab a cup of coffee at Saints Rest. Order a sandwich or a beer and enjoy good company at Lonnski's Pub and Deli. Assemble a team and join in the fun at the Bowladrome. Curl up for an afternoon at the Drake Library.

Farmers' Market

When the weather is warm, you can buy the very freshest produce from local farmers. Every Thursday and Saturday, they crowd 4th Avenue with stalls full of ripe veggies, fresh-baked breads, homemade pastries, and local wine tasting. Afterwards, enjoy Thursday Music in the Park as the entire community pulls up lawn chairs to listen to local musicians.


A variety of local businesses cater to Grinnell’s needs. Clothing, shoes, groceries, books, coffee, furniture, bikes, arts-and-crafts supplies, and more (four pizza parlors!) can be purchased in town. Check out this Chronicle of Higher Education "postcard" on Grinnell's local bike shop to get a sense of vibrant small-town life! You can also visit the Grinnell, Iowa website for more information on local businesses.

Sports & Recreation

Grinnell was recently named an Iowa Sports Authority District — only one of ten communities in Iowa to be so honored (and the smallest town to be given the designation!). Grinnell boasts some wonderful recreational sports venues, including those found at Ahrens Park, in the City of Grinnell, in the Grinnell-Newburg School District, and on the Grinnell College campus.

Restaurants Near Grinnell
Name Food Type Address Phone
A & M Café American 1027 Fourth Avenue 641-236-9117
Back Alley Deli Sandwiches 917 Broad Street 641-236-3010
Casa Margaritas Tex-Mex 707 West St #300 641-236-5069
Casey's Carry-Out Pizza (East) Pizza 217 Sixth Avenue 641-236-7900
Casey's Carry-Out Pizza (South) Pizza 312 West Street 641-236-3921
Casey's Carry-Out Pizza (West) Pizza 1718 Sixth Avenue 641-236-7710
Chuong Garden Chinese 915 Broad Street 641-236-9900
Comeback Café American 901 Main Street 641-236-0176
Dari Barn Fast Food 1810 Sixth Avenue 641-236-7828
Grinnell College Marketplace Buffet 1115 Eighth Avenue 641-269-3668
Grinnell Steak House American Hwy 146 & I-80, 2110 West Street South 641-236-0555
Hardee's Fast Food 1019 West Street 641-236-6524
Hy-Vee Deli American Hwy 146 & 1-80, 320 West Street South 641-236-6584
Jimmy John's Fast Food 812 Sixth Avenue 641-236-0199
John & Gary's Game Time American 827 West Street 641-236-4542
Kentucky Fried Chicken Fast Food 229 West Street 641-236-3139
Lonnski's Deli & Pub Sandwiches 908 Main Street 641-236-9880
McDonald's Fast Food 706 West Street 641-236-0920
Memories Maid Frozen Meals 813 4th Ave 641-236-7554
Michael's Italian Italian 720 Fifth Avenue 641-236-4211
Montgomery's Sandwich Shop American 712 Sixth Avenue 641-236-3463
Pagliai's Pizza Pizza 816 Fifth Avenue 641-236-5331
Pizza Hut Pizza 1033 Broad Street 641-236-7737
Prairie Canary Fusion 924 Main Street 641-236-0205
Relish Fusion 834 Park Street 641-236-3657
Saints Rest Coffee Shop 917 Broad Street 641-236-6014
Spencer Grill Sandwiches 1115 8th Ave. 641-269-3669
Subway Grinnell Sandwiches I-80 709 Lang Creek Avenue 641-236-0662
Subway Sandwiches & Salads Sandwiches 1102 West Street 641-236-7884
Taco Bell Fast Food 229 West Street 641-236-3139
Taco John's Mexican 1020 West Street 641-236-4863
The Peppertree at The Depot Crossing American 1014 Third Avenue 641-236-6886
Tiger 66 Pizza Pizza 1031 West Street 641-236-5218
West Side Family Dining American 229 W. Sixth Avenue 641-236-5939

Grinnell College reserves the right at any time to remove from or decline to add any business to this list. Businesses on this list agree to meet the College’s standards of cleanliness, safety, and customer service. Complaints regarding any of these issues, or others, may result in a business being removed from or not added to this list.

To request a change or report an error, e-mail Conference Operations and Events or call (641) 269-3235.

Hotels Near Grinnell

Visiting friends or family in Grinnell? Looking for a place to stay near the College? All accommodations in Grinnell are within a few miles of our campus.

During certain times of the year, such as commencement, Grinnell fills up. During these times, you may want to check out the lodgings in nearby towns — all those listed are within a reasonable drive of the campus.

Remember: During the academic year, prospective students visiting may be able to schedule an overnight visit in a residence hall.

Name Type Address City Website Phone Distance
Pioneer Place B&B 1016 Elm Street Grinnell Website (515)371-9267 .5
Carriage House Bed and Breakfast B&B 1133 Broad St. Grinnell Website (641) 236-7520 .5 miles
Marsh House Bed and Breakfast B&B 833 East St. Grinnell Website (641) 236-0132 .5 miles
Spaulding Inn Bed & Breakfast B&B 1103 Main Street Grinnell Website (641) 990-1316 .5 miles
Main Street Lofts Hotel 926 Main Street, Suite A Grinnell Website (641) 990-5600 .5 miles
Downtown Studio Loft Hotel 910 Main Street, Suite C Grinnell   (641) 990-5600 .5 Miles
Comfort Inn & Suites Hotel 1630 West St. South Grinnell Website (641) 236-5236 03 miles
Days Inn & Suites Hotel 1902 West St. South Grinnell   (641) 236-6710 03 miles
Best Western Pioneer Inn Hotel 2110 West St. Grinnell Website (641) 236-6116 03.5 miles
Guest House Bed and Breakfast B&B 3970 50th St. Grinnell   (641) 236-5843 03.5 miles
Country Inn & Suites Hotel 1710 West St. South Grinnell Website (641) 236-9600 04 miles
Rock Creek State Park Campground 7 miles west of Grinnell Kellogg Website 641-236-3722 07 miles
Lake Pla-Mor Campground Campground I-80 exit 173 or 179 south in Kellogg, Iowa Kellogg Website 641-751-1134 11 miles
Linden House Inn B&B 202 East St. Lynnville   (641) 527-2332 15.8 miles
English Valley Bed and Breakfast B&B 4459 135th St. Montezuma Website (641) 623-3663 17 miles
LaCorsette Maison Inn Hotel 629 1st Ave. East Newton Website (641) 792-6833 18.4 miles
Pleasant Stay Inn & Suites Hotel 4130 Highway 21 Brooklyn Website (319) 685-4500 19 miles
Rolling Acres Family Campground Campground 1600 E. 36th Street S. Netwon, IA I80 Exit 168 Newton Website 641-792-2428 19.1 miles
Cozy Country Inn Hotel 309 North Front Street Montezuma   (641) 623-5505 20.4 miles
Days Inn Hotel 1604 West 19th Street South Newton   (641) 792-2330 20.8 miles
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Hotel 1405 West 19th St. South Newton Website (641) 792-8100 22.6 miles
Newton Super 8 Hotel 1635 South 12th Ave. West Newton Website (641) 792-8868 22.6 miles
Newton Quality Inn Hotel 1700 West 19th St. South Newton Website (641) 792-7722 22.7 miles
America's Best Value Inn Hotel 2000 West 18th St. South Newton Website (641) 792-4200 22.9 miles
Designer Inn & Suites Hotel 403 Highway 30 West Toledo Website (641) 484-5678 24.1 miles
Toledo Super 8 Hotel 207 Highway 30 West Toledo Website (641) 484-5888 24.1 miles
Newton Holiday Inn Express Hotel 208 West 4th St. North Newton Website (641) 792-3333 24.2 miles
Meskwaki Bingo Hotel Casino Casino 1504 305th St. Tama Website 1-800-728-4263 28 miles
AmericInn Hotel & Suites Pella Hotel 910 W. 16th US 163 exit 40 Pella Website 641-621-1421 34 miles
Royal Amsterdam Hotel Hotel 705 East First Street Pella Website 641-620-8400 34 miles
Country Inn & Suites Hotel 315 Roosevelt Road Pella Website 641-620-1111 35 miles
Dutch Mill Inn Hotel 205 Oskaloosa St Pella Website 641-628-1060 35 miles
Baymont Inn & Suites Hotel 2104 Washington St Pella   641-628-0085 35.3 miles
Traveler Budget Inn Hotel 1210 A Ave E, Oskaloosa, IA 52577 Oskaloosa   641-673-8333 35.5 miles
Holiday Inn Express Hotel 2508 Bos Landen Drive Pella Website 641-628-4853 37 miles
Days Inn Hotel 220 Hawkeye Drive, I-80 Exit 220 Williamsburg Website 319-668-1000 37 miles
Marshalltown Best Western Regency Inn Hotel 3303 South Center St. Marshalltown Website (641) 752-6321 41.6 miles
Marshalltown AmericInn Hotel 115 Iowa Ave West Marshalltown Website (641) 752-4844 41.7 miles
Marshalltown America's Best Value Inn Hotel 18 East Berle Road Marshalltown   (866) 778-7378 41.7 miles
Marshalltown Economy Inn Hotel 3108 S. Center St. Marshalltown Website (641) 752-5485 41.8 miles
Super 8 Hotel I-80, Exit 220 1708 N Highland Street Williamsburg Website 319-668-9718 42 miles
Marshalltown Flamingo Motel Hotel 705 Iowa Ave W. Marshalltown   (641) 752-1533 42.1 miles
Marshalltown Comfort Inn Hotel 2613 South Center St. Marshalltown Website (641) 752-6000 42.2 miles
Marshalltown Colonial Inn Motel Hotel 1001 Iowa Ave West Marshalltown Website (641) 752-5489 42.4 miles
Marshalltown Franklin Motel Hotel 1108 Iowa Ave West Marshalltown   (641) 752-1563 42.5 miles
Tremont Inn on Main Hotel 24 W. Main Street Marshalltown   (641) 752-1234 44 miles
Oskaloosa Traveler Budget Inn Hotel 1210 A Ave East Oskaloosa   (641) 673-8333 46 miles
Clarion Inn/Wasserbahn Water Resort Hotel I-80 Exit 225 Amanas Website 319-668-1175 46 miles
Oskaloosa Super 8 Hotel 306 South 17th St. Oskaloosa Website (641) 673-8481 46.6 miles
Oskaloosa Comfort Inn Hotel 2401 A Ave West Oskaloosa Website (641) 673-8527 46.8 miles
Guest House Motel Hotel 4712 220th Trail Amana Website 319-622-3599 50 miles

Grinnell College reserves the right at any time to remove from or decline to add any business to this list. Businesses on this list agree to meet the College’s standards of cleanliness, safety, and customer service. Complaints regarding any of these issues, or others, may result in a business being removed from or not added to this list.

To request a change or report an error, e-mail Calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu or call (641) 269-3235.