#RAGBRAI · Southeast Iowa · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

Scouting RAGBRAI-2019: Wings, Zingers, & Cookies by the Pound-Burlington Part 1 of 2

The first of two Great River overnights for 2019 and the first time ever that Burlington isn’t the last stop on RAGBRAI. They’re going to make this year’s #7 a truly memorable one! Btw…Did you know this town was the actual first capitol of Iowa and Wisconsin’s second? Look it up!

Burlington & West Burlington, IA: Des Moines County

Let’s start off by saying how unique this year’s route is. This is the first time two Mississippi River towns are in the same year. Very rarely does a ride through town (West Burlington) get two rounds of RAGBRAI in back to back days. That being said, the Burlington area is going to be the center of the biking universe and the locals are prepping for part one of the massive river run on the 2019 route!

Coffee-Up & Cool Down


How about coasting into Downtown Burlington for a huge dose of your preferred coffee creation and a cookie at the Bean Counter Coffeehouse & Drinkery? How about a half-pound cookie? I would have loved to shown you the neat bicycle design on the plate above, but the snickerdoodle, which you wouldn’t make it as a carry-on for your next fight, was stealing the photo-op. This is coffeehouse also has A LOT of comfortable couches and arm chairs to kickback in. Take advantage of this and don’t forget to say, “I call this chair” when you get up so your siblings don’t take it when you get your second round of joe.


Not too far up the street is the historic Capitol Theater and they will be open for a RAGBRAI rest for your tushy that just road through hilly Southern Iowa. Tell a RAGBRAI’er that Iowa is flat. I dare you. Getting back to the culture of this city…Around the corner from the theater is the Art Center of Burlington. Their gallery will have the positive energy and the break from the braking you’ll need. A little birdie tells me they’ll have some beer and wine to enjoy too. I think the birdie was a watercolor. I think I had too much coffee from the first stop.



Big ass is the theme at the Buffalo Tavern and they ARE NOT playing around with that phrase. This could be the best place on the route for your breaded pork tenderloin cravings and all that saucy chicken wing mess you love too. Don’t sleep on their burgers either, because they cook’em right and pack’em with great ingredients. Seriously, don’t sleep on your burger because the staff will more than likely call your team captain and kindly guide you to your tent.


West Burlington is getting in on the RAGBRAI happenings too! Your cool and easy to talk to auntie would want you to visit Uncle Ronnie’s Bar & Grill while you’re in the area. They have a long full-service bar and the WB’s market cornered when it comes to comfort food. How’s that shrimp platter with loaded mashers looking right about now? The kitchen fired up a ribeye steak sandwich and their famous chicken zingers with house-made Buffalo sauce for the scouting win on the west side.



There’s a lot of “Pzazz” in Burlington and you could say its “Fun City”. (If you click on those links you will totally see why all of that was so funny and absolute blogging gold) Out of all that this facility has to offer, my favorite is the Boogaloo Cafe! Fantastic bar and great menu with for those late in the evening munchies that sneak up on you. Big quesadillas and cheesy pizzas are just a couple of the selections for the homestretch fuel you’ll need the next day.



One of Burlington’s most interesting and inviting bars has quickly become one of it’s most unique. Valley Monster Public Tap House looks like its history dates back to the time when Wild Bill Cody might stop in for an eye-opener. And that’s good thing! This pub has the niche for all sorts of party goers, so don’t forget to mosey on in while in Burlington. Yes, that’s Sasquatch and don’t call that fella bigfoot. They don’t like that and times are changing.


*Our stay at the Quality Inn-Burlington was complimentary. The views expressed are of our own. Let’s get back to gallivanting!

Near the casino, water park, baseball stadium, and close to all you love about Burlington! 3051 Kirkwood Street.


I was going to close my eyes and make a wish because I felt so grateful to have hot coffee by the gallon at the Quality Inn-Burlington. Then I remembered that might not be such a good idea. The not watching what I was doing part, that is. Fresh hot coffee is always a great idea and this hotel doesn’t seem to be running out anytime soon.


A quality lodging partner came through and that was Quality Inn-Burlington! Those are well-made and satisfying beds and that bathroom can be the greatest sight for anyone on RAGBRAI at any point of your trip. The staff took great care of everything while we were and gave us the hospitality that would keep us coming back. Don’t think for one moment that this is the last time we’re writing about this Choice Hotel property! Not gonna lie. I was going to go right into a nap, in this relaxing room, but there was a Chinese restaurant close-by. And well, you know…time to get carbed-up again.

Burlington is known for their railroad history and now it’s ready for another chapter of their RAGBRAI history.

This is just part one of overnight #7 in Burlington. You’ll want to stop by The Iowa Gallivant again and see all the other fantastic stops we made here. How does a 12,000 lbs coal burning oven sound for your pizza? That is coming up and a whole lot more!

Be sure to like the Burlington-RAGBRAI Facebook page to see what Overnight #7 has waiting for all of you!
Stay up to date with all the info on this year’s route by liking the RAGBRAI Facebook page!
Thank you to Chelsea Lerud and everyone with Visit Burlington Iowa for helping us have another terrific visit to this historic and energetic city. We’ll see you all again!

Be sure to click here and read about all the other great overnight towns we’ve visited on this year’s route!

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