#RAGBRAI · Central Iowa

Scouting RAGBRAI 2018: Rollin’ Into the Drive-In for the Overnight in Newton

The town square is ready to rock it for RAGBRAI. You better prepare for an experience that you many never see again on the annual route.

Newton, IA: Jasper County

The overnights on this year’s RAGBRAI tour keep getting more and more unique with every place we visit. What’s that “one” thing that sticks out more than anything? What’s that “I may never experience this again” moment you’ve had in year’s past during this event? Whether it’s your first time on RAGBRAI or 40th, Newton may supply something you’ve never attempted on a bike. Let’s grab a bite or two and mosey around the town before we dive into classic Americana…


Steak and eggs is one way to get that quick charge of energy and Newton Family Restaurant can beef up any breakfast. We sliced into the sirloin on one plate and a ribeye on the other. Serving up red meat in the AM hours is one way to win us over in any town.

You’ve come to love these if you’re from Iowa and they have made believers out of thousands of visitors. Newton’s Maid-Rite is downtown and I dare you to try to eat just one. Served steaming hot and loaded with that juicy crumbled beef that can make folks homesick for the Hawkeye State with its very sight.

You need a giant tortilla jam packed with meat, beans, rice, salsa and cheese? You know where I’m going with this. Burrito Torpedo is on the town square and these giants will be flying into the hands of RAGBRAI’ers.

PJ’s Deli is another town square staple and the famous sandwiches with the famous pies will be inhaled by the famous cyclists. This restaurant has RAGBRAI fever too. The owner is an avid rider and PJ’s has the entire restaurant decorated with shirts from RAGBRAIs past. Including that dandy 42 years ago when it was in Iowa City the last time!

Yanni’s Bar & Grill could very well have the best lasagna you’re going to find on RAGBRAI this year. The very rich pasta classic was volcanic with heat and heavy with cheese, sauce and perfectly flavored beef. Don’t pass on those garlic knots either!

Stacy’s Sweetstuff knew you couldn’t resist dessert. So why even try! The sugary side of Newton is right here and all you could possibly need to satisfy that craving can be shamelessly devoured here. Top right corner, RAGBRAI…..That’s the truth right there!

Rest Up and Cool Down

*Our stay at the CCC was complimentary. The opinions expressed on this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s keep gallivanting!

Hosting us on this night were the folks at the Christian Convention Center and they supplied a great and very spacious cabin for us. The green grass meeting the thick forest could get anyone to say “ahhhhhhhhh” when staying here. It was outside of town near the speedway and very quiet. Holler at them for a family reunion, wedding, party and any large gathering you need space for!

Acres of large trees and grassy lawns are ready to go for countless tents and campers here in July for RAGBRAI. Where you going to be? How about telling your crew to meet you at the infamous Maytag Repairman statue by the pool. Trust me, you won’t miss it. You know what else you won’t miss here?


Newton’s American Legion might be the closest bar to a main campsite on the whole route. It can be seen through the trees like an oasis of fizzy and ice cold beverages. Your commute back to your tent just got way shorter.

This is what I was saying when classic Americana is here in Newton. Valle Drive-In will give you a blast from the past and they’re open for all you movie going RAGBRAI’ers. Bring the coolers, snacks and good times while you wait for sundown and then enjoy the feature. You may have never been to a drive-in theater much less peddled to one on your bike. Here in Newton, you can. We met some of the finest locals here and the experience was truly Iowan while we watched Ant Man and the Wasp in the middle of a corn field. This will be especially handy for all of you that bring radios on your bikes as you tune in to hear the sound. Seriously….when will be doing this again…. so let’s make it happen!


That morning will come before you know it so make sure to get some caffeinated fuel before you peddle-off to Sigourney. Bridgehouse Coffee Company is on the town square and the proper zip in your step that you need from coffee will be provided here.

The long history of Newton is ready for another historic RAGBRAI!

This scouting trip is just what we needed for a summertime list of memories that just keeps getting longer with every gallivant we go on. I knew we would enjoy ourselves, but the one of kind Newton experience had amazing atmosphere here in early July. Now let’s see that legendary atmosphere in late July!

Thank you to Vicki Wade and Danielle Rogers for assisting with such a great and memorable weekend in Newton. Have fun with RAGBRAI and see you again!
Thank you to the Christian Convention Center for hosting us! The view of the stars there was unmatched in the area!
Go to the RAGBRAI website to see all the info on the world’s greatest bike tour! Like the RAGBRAI Facebook page to keep up on all the updates.

Be sure to read about our trips to…

Overnight #1 in Onawa, Overnight #2 in Denison, Overnight #3 in JeffersonOvernight #5 in Newton, Overnight #6 in Sigourney, Overnight #7 in Iowa City and Overnight #8 in Davenport!

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