The county seat of Des Moines County, Burlington is also the cultural, historical, and economic capital of the area. It's situated right along the Mississippi River, with the majestic Great River Bridge spanning from downtown across the river into Illinois.
Burlington had its beginning in 1805, when Zebulon Pike's expedition reached the bluffs below the city and deemed it a suitable location for a fort. Although this fort was never built, the site was easily defendable, as well as a convenient spot for manufacturing and trade. In 1834, an early settler bought one of the first lots in town and named the city Burlington after his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Just three years later, Burlington became the capital of the Iowa Territory. In the latter half of the 19th century, Burlington became an important stop for steamboats and railroads. Today, the town still relies on transportation and manufacturing as its two major industries, although it also has a vibrant arts and cultural scene — a notable feature, especially for a city of only about 25,000 residents.
Ready to plan your getaway to Burlington?
When to Visit Burlington, IA
The best time to visit Burlington, Iowa is in the spring, when the long winter ends and temperatures rise to more comfortable levels. From April to June, Burlington boasts an average high in the low 70s with a nightly temperature around 50 degrees. Because of this beautiful weather, this is the perfect time to head outdoors and go to one of the city's numerous parks or outdoor recreation areas. With over 200 acres of parks, Burlington offers activities such as hiking, water sports, disc golf, and more. You can also enjoy spectacular views of the Mississippi River. In June, the annual Steamboat Days event draws people from around the area. Demand for hotel rooms varies during this season, so you should start your search early to ensure you get the hotel of your choice.
Despite the cold, Burlington is also an excellent spot for your winter vacation. During the winter, Burlington offers plenty of opportunities to see concerts and musical theater indoors. If you aren't into these types of activities, there are several ski resorts only about an hour north of the city, including Sundown Mountain and Sundown Winter Sports Park. These two ski fields offer challenging slopes for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, as well as terrain parks for advanced skiers. During winter breaks, hotels can fill up quickly. However, Burlington is far enough away from the ski fields that you can get a deal if you don't mind the drive.
In the summer, temperatures rise to an average daily high in the mid-80s and a low in the mid-60s. Although it can get hot at times, Burlington is typically more comfortable than towns farther south on the Mississippi. This provides picture-perfect weather for water sports on the Mississippi, as well as biking, running, and team sports around the city. If you love sports, the Burlington Bees, which are the Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, play 72 home games a year and are tons of fun to watch. Burlington is also the ending point of RAGBRAI, the world's largest bike touring event. When there are important games or when the RAGBRAI concludes in Burlington, finding a hotel room is tricky. Because of this, it's best to take a look at a local events calendar to ensure there isn't going to be a huge influx or people for an event.
The fall is perhaps the most beautiful season in Burlington. There's nothing quite like the mighty Mississippi winding its way through the bluffs amid the brown, gold, red, and yellow leaves of the native trees. The temperatures fall considerably, and thus, it's pleasant to go on hikes or stroll through the downtown promenade. There's not a high demand for hotels during this time, so it's possible to score a hot deal on a hotel in the area.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Burlington, IA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts displaying average price trends by star rating class in Burlington, IA. Analyze these line graphs to evaluate the cheapest months to book a room in Burlington for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Burlington, IA
If you're looking for an upscale hotel that's only a few miles from downtown Burlington, check out the AmericInn in West Burlington. While you aren't in the heart of the city, this hotel more than makes up for it with in-room amenities such as a whirlpool, refrigerator, microwave, fireplace, complimentary wireless internet access, a spacious floor plan, a work desk, free newspapers, and an LCD television. After relaxing in the room, you may want to wander about the grounds. During your journey, you'll locate the sumptuous indoor pool and spa tub, an arcade and game room, and if it's morning, a free hot breakfast. Plus, you'll be close to attractions such as the Westland Mall, Fun City Water Park, Southeastern Community College, Community Field, and Spirit Hollow Golf Club.
Budget Hotel Options in Burlington, Iowa
3 Star Average Prices: $117.12
Finding an affordable hotel in Burlington isn't difficult if you know where to look. The Super 8 in Burlington is the perfect place to stay if you don't want to spend your entire vacation fund on accommodation. This hotel offers superb in-room amenities, such as a safe, microwave, iron and ironing board, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a refrigerator. There's also free parking and a complimentary breakfast each morning. When you stay here, you'll also be right next to some of the most popular attractions in the area, including Snake Alley, Huck's Harbor Outdoor Water Park, Crapo Park, Fun City, and the Old Mill Antique Mall.