#RAGBRAI · West Central Iowa

Scouting RAGBRAI-2019: Atlantic Beefing Up for Thousands

The Atlantic Depot will be hosting a constant stream of riders for the 7th time in RAGBRAI’s history. Overnight #2 is back in Cass County and their party throwing veterans are getting this town ready!

Atlantic, IA: Cass County

RAGBRAI’ers love great hosts, small towns, and folks who embrace this annual good-timin’ tour across Iowa. That’s why Atlantic keeps getting the call to showcase their city to the cycling fanatics heading to Southern Iowa this July. You’ll enjoy some of the great places you’ve been visiting for decades with a mix of eager businesses that are welcoming the ride for their first time.



Sweet Joy Shoppe has the coffee handled just fine in this town. Your preferred high octane cup of enjoyment can be poured here and often. But there’s an excellent chance that it won’t be the only piece of yummyness you’ll be getting here.



Their baked goods and breakfast menu is a more than great way to start the warm morning before you exit Atlantic. Need something on the spicy side? Try a breakfast burrito, with juicy slow roasted pork, melted cheese, fried egg, house made green salsa, and bacon in every bite! Why wait for RAGBRAI? Go get that right now. And you better cool down with a few scoops of that creamy gelato!



The Downtowner Cafe will be welcoming the coffee-drinking, pie-loving, breakfast-needing, and sausage-gravy-hunting of RAGBRAI with their made from scratch dishes of comfort food. Your stick-to-your-rib cravings will get taken care of properly at this Atlantic institution.


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What does your grocery list look like? Mine has salt water taffy, gummy bears, chocolate covered raisins, and whopee cushion. Thanks to Bonnesen’s, I can get that all under one roof! Stop in here and let that candy take over for awhile. They won’t tell your mom on you here. Be that person at the campsite that everyone envies when you pull out a licorice pipe and make everyone jealous with your eleven pounds of bulk chocolate.


Get used to seeing this name on this year’s route! Atlantic’s long rows of shops has Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. among the proud businesses with some great selections for those precious feet of yours, so pamper them a little. This will be the first FOUR overnights that you can find this shoe store and you can imagine how excited they are about that!


You got a team to feed? From large RAGBRAI charters to the backyard BBQ, Atlantic has two local meat shops gearing up to get those grills filled up so you can get your bellies filled up.


Henningsen’s has the meat cutting skills you need for that perfect steak you’ll eat with your bare hands after hours of hilly cornfield watching on your way into Atlantic. Not wanting to cook? The protein-up with their prized jerky. As you can see, this crew is serious about keeping your crew fed.


Atlantic Locker knows how to make your party or campsite filled with aroma of terrific Iowa meats like their large selection of brats, sausages, chops, steaks, and more! They have meat sticks that will put the meaty snap into your daily snack rations.


Many RAGBRAI’ers were wishing the bicycle shop on Chestnut Street was open last time, but I’m here to tell you that Frank will have it open for the 2019 return! His expertise and kindness will be coming in handy while you stop by for a tire, new seat, or just wanting to chat with one of Atlantic’s superstars who loves owning and operating his proud shop.



Burrito madness continues at Plaza Azteca! How’ that big plate of Chile Colorado looking on the top picture! A slight kick with that one as you dig into very tender cubed beef in their thick red chile sauce. We stayed with the beef theme and took on their huge burrito and all it’s cheesy goodness that is melted over the top. Enchiladas for the game winning trifecta and a round of house margaritas. The drink glasses could have doubled as fish bowls and that is just what I would want after a July day on county blacktops.

Atlantic’s main drag has one of Iowa’s most unique Chinese restaurants. You’ll see exactly what I mean!

We have been know to find some of the best Chinese joints in Iowa and Atlantic has one you don’t want to miss. Why? Because they have some of the best cheeseburgers and homemade pie in town. You heard that perfectly correct watch the video of what the locals love and so can RAGBRAI!


If this place can make traditional American fare this great, just imagine the Chinese food! I recommend rounding out the meal with their famous crab rangoons and a generous helping of noodles. Get that carb counter working overtime!

Cool Down

There will be plenty of ways to feel the breeze from the local air conditioners in Atlantic and you can support some historic establishments at the same time. You’re in the Coca-Cola Capitol of Iowa and you’re not getting out of town without noticing it!


Coca-Cola floats will be served at the Atlantic Coca Cola Center and Museum for the perfect summertime chug-a-lug when the bike trip comes to a halt for the afternoon. There is only a handful of these museums, in the US, and Atlantic is home to one that has some amazing antiques and history. They love this beverage company, in Atlantic, and local volunteers keep this museum “afloat”. That pun was irresistible. Wondering about that ham above? This place was once a meat locker and turned into this fun museum.


There will be no problems finding a shade tree, because Atlantic’s Chestnut Street, and downtown district, is one of the plushest you’ll find on this year’s route. Atlantic is also known as Iowa’s top Christmas destinations and they will give you a taste of that in July. That’s right! Christmas lights will be lighting up Overnight #2!

Just tell your friends to meet at this spot. They won’t have trouble finding where the main event is going to be!

Atlantic has their seasoned professionals prepping this city day by day. They’re working hard on making this year’s stand out from the previous six and we know you’ll notice an Atlantic you haven’t seen yet. Have a great time, Cass County!

Thank you to everyone at the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce for joining us on the tour of your town. You were fun, excited, and showed a lot of love for this beautiful area of Iowa.
Thank you to Nick Harris for coordinating our trip here to Atlantic. And a HUGE thank you to your friends who let us stay in their beautiful cabin! They showed the true RAGBRAI spirit and welcomed us to this stunning place. 
Be sure to like the Atlantic RAGBRAI Facebook page to stay up to date on what Overnight #2 will be highlighting.
Be sure to like the RAGBRAI Facebook page to see info and updates on this route through Southern Iowa!
Be sure to stay tuned! We have a special post coming up where we went behind the scenes of the Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company!

Be sure to click here and see all the other coverage we’ve done on this year’s route!

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