4 Breweries in North Iowa you have to Try!

It’s freezing outside and what better way  to spend cold winter evenings than enjoying yourself in one of four great breweries in or close to Mason City, Iowa.

Local? Great, try out a different brewery every week for a month

Visiting? Even better, try to hit all four on a weekend stay in #MasonCityIA

Mason City Brewing


Photo Credits: Mason City Brewing



Mason City Brewing

28 E State St.

Mason City, IA 50401



Thursday-Saturday: 5pm-11pm



Did you know,  Mason City Brewing is the first brewery to open in Mason City in 130 years? Try a beer  or a cider (my personal favorite is the Pineapple Hula Cider Boy!)  whichever you decide – you won’t be disappointed.


Photo Credits: Mason City Brewing

Next up is Fat Hill Brewing, only a two minute walk from Mason City Brewing


Fat Hill Brewing


Fat Hill Brewing 

17 N. Federal Ave

Mason City, IA 50401



Wednesday-Friday: 4pm-11pm

Saturday: Noon-11pm



Opened in December 2016, Fat Hill Brewing is a 7-barrel craft brewery across from Central Park in downtown Mason City. The brewery provides a  fun-hip atmosphere with  a variety of events such as food pairings, live music and more.


Photo Credits: Fat Hill Brewing

Head on over to the Lake! Clear Lake, a neighboring community is just a 20 minute drive from Mason City, Iowa.


Lake Time Brewery                          


Photo Credits: Lake Time Brewing




Lake Time Brewery

801 Main Ave. Ste C

Mason City, IA 50401


Thursday  4pm-9pm

Friday 4pm-10pm

Saturday 2pm-10pm



Take a break, sit back and enjoy Lake Time at Lake Time Brewery in Clear Lake, a neighboring community just west of Mason City.  With a great location on the beautiful Clear Lake and offering 10 different beers on tap, including specialty and seasonal brews you too will see why so many people love ‘Lake Time’! All brews on tap are crafted specially for their  customer base and served in an inviting atmosphere that is conducive for conversation.


Photo Credits: Lake Time Brewery

Last stop – Jump on I-35 to Northwood, a  30 minute drive from Clear Lake- where Worth Brewing Company resides, a project of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City, Iowa


Worth Brewing Company


Photo  Credits: Worth Brewing



Worth Brewing Company

835 Central Ave

Northwood, IA 50459



Wednesday & Thursday


Friday 5pm-11pm

Saturday 12pm-11pm



Worth Brewing  Company started out in the Papa John’s Center at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) . Working with the Pappajohn’s Entrepreneurial Center (small business development) for nearly  ten years, Worth Brewing has not only expanded in recent years but serves hand-crafted, high quality, distinctive beers.


Photo Credits: Worth Brewing 

Now, back to Mason City for the night where more adventures await for you tomorrow!


Hotel Lodging in Mason City:

Ashley Inn

3451 S. Federal Ave – HWY 65 S.


Country Inn  & Suites

4082 4th St. SW – HWY 122 W.

641-423-1770 / 800-456-4000


Days Inn

2301 4th St. SW – HWY 122 W.

641-424-0210 / 800 329-7466


Decker House Bed & Breakfast

119 2nd St. SE



Hampton Inn & Suites

2111 4th St. SW



Historic Park Inn Hotel

7 W. State St.

641-422-0015 / 800-659-2220


Holiday Inn Express

3041 4th St. SW

641-424-1200 / 800-465-4329



Quality Inn & Suites

410 5th St. SW – HWY 122 W.

641-423-4444 / 877-424-6423


Super 8

3010 4th St. SW – HWY 122 W.

641-423-8855 / 800-800-8000



Willow Inn

2781 4th St. SW – HWY 122 W.



16 Best Instagram Photos

16 Best Instagram Photos 

Before we say ‘see ya later’ 2016 – Check out 16 of the best Instagram photos, posted by others of Mason City, Iowa in 2016

1. “My view here @ NIACC. 💙💛 #Trojans


Captured By: @___miriamg

2. “Happy Wednesday! Taking a break from my flood of autumn photos today. Here are 2 favorite buildings from our road trip last summer. The #suzieqcafe, a #valentinediner and #thekirk, a #copperclad #victorianera apartment building in #masoncity #iowa. #roadtrip2016 “


Captured By: @beevco

3. No Caption Needed – Featuring: The Historic Park Inn


Captured By: @iowa_diecast

4. “What is this, a castle in Iowa? Practically!
#iowa #thisisiowa #architecture#masoncityiowa #americancastle#designgenius #WalterBurleyGriffin#canimovehere #dreamhouse #onlyiniowa#MelsonHouse” 


Captured By: Iowa_Journeys

 5. “It’s great to be home❄️🎄”


Captured By: @jrowe_7

6. “Racing is a matter of spirit, not strength.”
-Janet Guthrie 

Photo Credit: Buck Monson Photography

Image: North Iowa Event Center


Captured By: @northiowaeventscenter

7. “The first snow in @visitmasoncityiowa – East Park is quiet today as the winter season begins in #ThisIsIowa “


Captured By: @travelwithsara

8. “It’s December 4th and the snow finally decided to stick around!! I love how pure the snow looks right after it falls. I love how the trees look with those white flurries piled up on their branches. I love how people’s excitement is awakened when the earth turns white. Lastly, I love that God created snow, because He knew that it would make people happy on that first snowfall! Have a great Sunday y’all ❄❄” NIACC


Captured By: val.sorensen.9

9. “#hike #hiking #fun #outside#clouds #sky #blue

Lime Creek Nature Center


Captured By: @cdoop4

10.#eastpark #iowa #rivercity #fall#nature #naturephotography

East Park


Captured By: @jkscharper

11. “I looked at this statue from a different angle, both literally and metaphorically. Meredith Wilson was such a talent and as I took this photo, I saw his creative spirit by his raised hand and his head held high…”


Captured By: @lijbrod

12.”Christmas walk around my mom’s hometown”


Captured By: @margowinter

13.”Diaries of a Curly Toed Elf: Today’s theatre was in Mason City Iowa, which is also where The Music Man was filmed! How fun! Loved this windy, chilly city, and it’s warm hospitality!”


Captured By: @samanthamchenry

14.”If you’re a fan of “The Music Man,” you can visit the birthplace and boyhood home of playwright Meredith Willson in Mason City, Iowa. The Queen Anne style home dates from 1895 – you gotta love that eyebrow window!”


Captured By: @ourbrickstory

15.”Frank Lloyd Wright could do no wrong”


Captured By: @david1959


“Flight cancelled consolation prize – Iowa Broadway Baby: #themusicman#meredithwilson #seventysixtrombones “

Captured By: @schatzisf

Experience 7 new Businesses of 2016 in #MasonCityIA

It’s time to stay, shop, drink and eat at these new to 2016 businesses! 

Hampton Inn & Suites – April 2016

Hampton Inn Hotel

Experience a relaxing and refreshing overnight stay in Mason City. The Hampton Inn (2111 4th St. SW) is located on the west side of Mason City, close to dining, retail and the North Iowa Events Center. An overnight stay is a quick commute to anywhere you want to go explore! Enjoy many amenities the hotel offers such as a pool, meeting rooms, business center and a fitness room.  Relax and refresh as you rest easy on a comfy bed and wake up rejuvenated. In the morning, wonder down for an amazing breakfast which offers a variety of cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, hot items and more!

Tried & True – May 2016

Photo Credits:  Tried & True’s Facebook Page 

Experience unique, second-hand finds and buys. Tried & True (1631 4th St. SW) is located in the Willowbrook Mall on the west side of town. Shop boutique women’s clothing that have been donated, with proceeds benefiting services for individuals with disabilities. Look fashionable while being money conscious!

Thai Bistro –  June 2016

  Photo Credits: Thai Bistro’s Facebook Page 

Experience a taste of traditional,  modern Thai food. Located next to Wok-N-Roll and across the road from First Citizens Bank in downtown Mason City, Thai Bistro (7 S. Delaware Ave) is a sushi restaurant you don’t want to miss! After skimming through their menu your mouth is guaranteed to be watering! A wide variety of soups, salads and desserts are also available.

Lucy & Olive – June 2016

Photo Credits: Lucy & Olive’s Facebook Page 

Experience unique shopping in downtown Mason City. Lucy and Olive (named after the owners’ dogs) is located on the northeast side of the plaza (7 S. Federal Ave), across from The Quarry. Shop a variety of unique items for any home. This boutique store specializes in lamps, candles, small furniture and electric pieces that fit anyone’s style!

TJ MAXX® – August 2016


Experience stylish brand-name apparel, shoes, accessories and houseware. The chain store is located next to Staples ® and Super Target ® on the west side of town. TJ Maxx (3410 4th St. SW)  is known for their brand names and discounted prices!

Beanzys – November 2016

Photo Credits: Beanzy’s  Facebook Page 

Experience the aroma of coffee beans and fresh baked scones. Beanzy’s (111 S. Delaware Ave.) is located in Downtown Mason City, next to FION BARA Wine Bar. This local downtown coffee shop is dedicated to provide the freshest handcrafted coffee drinks and scratch made baked goods in town! Perfect atmosphere for reading or catching up on office work in a relaxed setting,  drinking your favorite latte.

Fat Hill Brewing – December, 2016

Photo Credits: Fat Hill Brewing’s Facebook Page 

Experience live music, a brew and a variety of events in a historic downtown building. Located in the heart of downtown is Fat Hill Brewing(7N. Federal Ave) . A 7-barrel craft brewery, features 16 taps, and space for up to 140 patrons and a variety of live music and special events is sure to start any Friday or Saturday night off right! The taproom sells pints, flights, crowlers, growlers and kegs on request! The name Fat Hill Brewing is fitting in that it’s the English translation for our ‘Cerro Gordo’ county.

Christmas Time in #MasonCityIA

The weather is cool, people are jolly and snow is on the ground….yes, it’s that time of year,  it’s Christmas time! Mason City, is full of festive events this time of year, from holiday lights to joyous performance that will be sure to give you that warm, tingly feeling this holiday season!

 ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’

November 25- December 30, 2016

Music Man Square, 308 S. Pennsylvania Ave.

The longest running Christmas display in ALL OF IOWA, takes place right here in River City! In celebration of the holiday season the Music Man Square in transformed into a winter wonderland. Admire beautiful Christmas décor, trees, and window displays all alone the a 1912 Streetscape, with an ice cream  parlor and gift shop!  Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 1pm-5m & Friday 1pm-8pm. Closed Mondays & Holidays. Admission is $10 adults, $5 students; children 6 & under free.

“Home for the Holiday Lights”

November 26- December 23, 2016

Central Park, Downtown Mason City

Join us for a kickoff to the holidays at the first annual celebration, “Home for the Holiday Lights”! Take a night to admire holiday lights and shop local business in the downtown district of Mason City. The celebration is a multi-week event beginning with the lighting of the Central Park tree at 5:00pm Saturday, November 26. Santa and local dignitaries will be present for the kickoff! Carolers will provide holiday songs for sing-along and refreshments will be available at the event. Throughout the coming weeks people may vote for their favorite business’ Holiday Lights (via Home for the Holiday Lights Facebook Page). Results will be tallied and a trophy awarded to the top vote-getter, on December 23, 2016.

Designs under the Tree Craft Fair 

December 2-3, 2016

Friday: 10am-6pm, Saturday: 10am-4pm

First Covenant Church, 411 S. Ohio Avenue

Shop all your holiday favorites with a portion of the sales being donated to the Humane Society. Seasonal wreaths, silk and fresh evergreen floral, hand-dyed 100% silk scarves, original designed jewelry, cotton and wool quilted designs, tree ornaments, giftware and more!

 Christmas Tea 

December 3, 2016


The Decker House, 119 2nd St. SE

Enjoy Christmas Tea in a historic building, the Decker House (located next to the Music Man Square). A holiday high tea will be  served featuring 3 settings of scones, savories and desserts. Earl Grey Tea will be served in antique tea cups. Admission $15.00, plus tax. Reserve early for this popular event.


Joyful Christmas Performances

North Iowa Area Community College Auditorium, 500 College Drive

Broadway performance come to you live in Mason City, Iowa! Get into the Holiday spirit by singing along to festive Christmas performances!


‘Love for the Holidays’– December 3, 2016 at 7:30pm

Starring Darlene Love , an annual holiday tradition on the David Letterman Show singing her “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” hit song. Hers was the voice that helped launch hundreds of hits including the #1 “He’s a Rebel, (Today I Met) the Boy I’m Gonna Marry”, “A Marshmallow World”, and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love”.

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’– December 6, 2016 at 6:30pm

Rudolph and his friends soar off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. From fleeing the Abominable Snow Monsters to saving Christmas, join Rudolph® and his friends as their adventures teach us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Holiday Pops– December 10, 2016 at 2pm & 7pm

From the creator of Candlelight Christmas comes a new locally produced show for the holiday season. Enjoy music from pop to swing with large choral numbers!

Christmas Celebration-  December 20, 2016 at 7:30pm

Four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of country hits and earned them Grammy®, Dove, CMA, and ACM® awards.

Off the Clock Holiday Edition

December 9, 2016


MacNider Art Museum, 302 2nd St. SE

Mingle with friends  as you explore the beautiful museum filled with a variety of galleries and Bil Baird’s puppets from the ‘ Sound of Music’!  Complimentary wine and appetizers are available throughout the event, in addition to live music by Sam Crosser.  Free admission and open to the public.


Holiday Open House

December 10, 2016


MacNider Art Museum, 302 2nd St. SE

Family fun free holiday event! Children’s activities available during the event such as meeting Santa Claus, make and take activities and more! Adults, can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the MacNider and view beautiful art and watching their young ones have fun with others!


We hope you all have a blessed Holiday Season! For more events and information about Mason City, Iowa >>>  www.visitmasoncityiowa.com


Cannonball 357 holiday lights are up!

Located in East Park, Mason City Iowa

If you’re from Mason City, IA – You should be Thankful for…

The Holidays are such a special time of the year – from the food, music, full hearts and seeing those relatives you only get to see once a year! But, this year be Thankful for just a few more things, like the great community you live in –  Mason City….

Volunteers in the Community 

Have you ever noticed how clean and kept-up our parks and public areas of the community are? If you haven’t, you definitely should, and you may have more of an appreciation for all the volunteer hours that go into this community. Picking up trash, donations, charity events and walking animals at the Humane Society are all part of giving back. Here at the Visit Mason City Center we’ve been blessed with 1288.50 volunteer hours in just the past year and we are so appreciative of those who volunteer at our office. Volunteering not only helps out the community but gives yourself appreciation of giving back. If you’re interested in volunteering in Mason City >> Mason City Volunteer Opportunities 

Image result for volunteering in mason city iowa

Volunteers from Mason City Volunteer Center Photo Credit: Mason City Volunteer Center 

Mason City Attractions

Mason City is booming with a variety of great attractions! As a Mason City resident,  have you visited all of the attractions in your community? If not, it’s definitely time!

If you didn’t already know,  Mason City is home to Meredith Wilson, who is the composer of the “Music Man”! The Music Man Square attracts in visitors from all over who are huge fans of Willson’s many works! Have you taken your family there yet? This is such a great day activity to break up the monotony of a Saturday afternoon!


Mason City is a ‘hot bed’ for world-class architecture. Did you know that we have the largest Prairie-style architecture in the world? In fact, the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel – This Historic Park Inn is located right in the heart of our downtown.  Again, visitors from all over the world travel to Mason City to tour an stay in this one-of-a-kind historic architecture treasure! If you’re looking for a weekend stay, call up a sitter and enjoy weekend in this hotel.  Learn more about Mason City architectural significance


In addition to musical heritage and remarkable architecture, Mason City offers many other great attractions including Cannonball 457,  Lime Creek Nature Center, and MacNider Art Museum. Click here to learn More! 

The Performing Arts

The North Iowa Performing Arts Series is not only fantastic, but it’s  affordable and close to home! Performances take place at the North Iowa Auditorium located at NIACC. Take a look at the catalog and purchase tickets to a few shows you want to see, but be quick, shows sell out fast! – BE THANKFUL – you can see award-winning Broadway shows right here at home!


Community Events 

Community events are a HUGE part of living in a great community.  From family fun, workshops and fundraisers, events bring everyone together and create fun and a strong community.  Below are a few favorite community events that are held annually in Mason City.

North Iowa Band Festival is what Mason City is ALL ABOUT – this event celebrates our community’s musical heritage!  This annual music festival,  held over Memorial Day Weekend, features free music, entertainment and various types of events for young and the young at heart.  Festivals includes a carnival, craft market, car show and plenty of food for the whole family! The parade is held Saturday with the route starting at North Pennsylvania Avenue, along East State Street to South Illinois.

North Iowa Annual Band Festival

North Iowa Annual Band Festival

Cannonball Day is held in East Park (East State Street), ttraditionally the fourth Saturday of June.  Lots of fun activities during this annual celebration of the Cannonball457: Kid’s Fun Run, Pedal Tractor Pull, Bill Riley  Talent Search, inflatables, Smoky the train rides and evening entertainment. The Lions Club chicken BBQ is held all day from 9:30am-9:30pm – YUM!

Cannonball 457

Cannonball 457

The Great River City Festival is a great kick-off to the Fall season. The festival, hosted by Main Street Mason City, is held at Central Park in Downtown Mason City. The festival is typically held the third weekend of September. Friday enjoy an  Ethnic Lunch during the day and a pub crawl, live music and street vendors in the evening. Saturday, a re-enactment of the Dillinger Bank Robbery is performed at three different times, along with kids games, and the Craft Beer Shindig & Street Food Fair hosted by Mason City Brewing! This is a fun event for families and young adults to engage with their community and have fun with friends!

 It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas is a must-see during the Holiday Season! Held at The Music Man Square, (308 S. Pennsylvania Ave), starting the Friday after Thanksgiving to the last day of December. A lively, animated holiday display features music by composer, and Mason City native, Meredith Wilson, including his holiday classic “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”

To view all event happenings in #MasonCityIA >> Mason City’s  Calendar of Events 

Remember, to be Thankful this Holiday Season –  We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving with friends and family  and eat entirely TOO MUCH FOOD, from all of us at Visit Mason City! 

Halloween Fun In and Nearby Mason City, Iowa

Halloween Fun In and Nearby Mason City, Iowa

I don’t know about you, but Halloween is one of my favorites! From movies such as “Hocus Pocus” to haunted houses and…. the fact that it’s  socially acceptable to dress and be whomever you want on this one day of the year! – I LOVE it all!

If you’re a Halloween Guru like myself,  check out these Halloween favorites in and nearby Mason City Iowa. 

Lime Creek’s Halloween Hike

Lime Creek Nature Center,  3501 Lime Creek Road, Mason City, IA 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016; 6:30pm-8:30pm

Admission: $3/Person 


Photo Credit: Lime Creek Nature Center  

Looking for an educational-friendly Halloween event for the whole family to enjoy? Lime Creek Nature Center will host their Halloween Hike on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. The woods at Lime Creek come alive with all kinds of interesting creatures with  environmental messages to tell. Groups will be led by a trail guide, and refreshments will follow the hike. Youngsters ages 10 and under are invited to participate in a costume contest. Reservations are required, call 641-423-5309 to reserve your spot.  http://bit.ly/2dmwBAu

D&D Ranch Haunted Hike & Zombie Paintball

2532 S. Shore Dr. Clear Lake, IA

Friday/Saturday’s in October – Starting October 7 & 8, 2016; 7pm

Admission: $10/Person -Hike $15 /Person-Paintball

Photo Credit: D&D Haunted Hike 

Haunted Hike 

D & D Ranch is located outside Clear Lake on the homeowners ranch. The Ranch offers a haunted house that is quite amazing! It may be a little frighting for youngsters but recommended for teens and up. Groups start out watching a scary movie while waiting their turn to go into the Haunted Hike. Once called upon groups will be led through the haunted hike by holding onto a rope, then at the end you must complete a haunted maze to get out! Haunted Hike begins at 7pm and ends at 11pm.

Zombie Paintball

Zombies have officially overtaken the Haunted Hike – build your team, board the zombie assault vehicle and eliminate as many zombies as possible! Starting at 7pm you can reserve your group’s spot to partake in Zombie Paintball! Reservations are required (641-357-1695)  www.thedanddranch.com

Rudd’s Haunted House

501 Floyd Street Rudd, IA – Rudd’s Community Center 

Admission: $6/Person – House of Horrors

Children Under the age of 10 – Should be accompanied by an Adult 

Dates: October 21 & 22/ 28 & 29

Time: 6:30pm-10:30pm

 Children Activities: Mini Haunted House: $1/ Game room: .25 cents/ticket


The Rudd House of Horrors is my ultimate favorite haunted house! I’ve been going to this haunted house annually since the age of 10.  At this haunted house you will definitely get your money’s worth! Filled with terror, fun and chainsaws! After being led by a rope though the maze, enjoy a a bowl of soup, a sandwich, and pop in the kitchen. Also, if you have littles with you, there is a kid’s maze and games in a few of the center’s rooms. This is a great event for youngsters or a night out with your friends!

Boogie & the YoYoz at the Historic Surf Ballroom

Surf Ballroom, 460 N. Shore Dr. Clear Lake, IA

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Admission: $15 advanced/ $20 door (Must be 21)

Looking to get into costume, have some drinks, and listen to live music with friends this Halloween? This may be the perfect fit for you! First of all, soak in the iconic Surf Ballroom the final concert site of Buddy Holly, and one of the last remaining ballrooms in the Midwest. The Ballroom will be dressed up for the occasion, with decorations, drinks and  a costume contest – all while, Boogie & the YoYoz  are performing! Boogie & the YoYoz, is a good time, playing all of your favorite music from all genres. Later in the evening 10-15 people (or costume groups) will be invited up on stage, while the audience cheers for the best costume! Concert goers must be 21 or older. http://www.surfballroom.com

Planning to partake in any of these fun events this Halloween? Be sure to be safe if drinking – Call a cab & book a hotel room for the night! Mason City, IA is centrally located to all of these fun Halloween events. For Mason City lodging accommodations >>>  http://bit.ly/2ddP0Ky

The First Day of Autumn is Here!


Today is the first day of autumn. I personally love this time of year,  the leaves are changing color, the fresh air is cool against your face, and football games are played on both Saturday & Sunday !

Along with the the beautiful scenery North Iowa has during this season there are many fun activities to do in #MasonCityIA. A personal favorite of mine is exploring the great outdoors.  From Sculptures on  Parade to Lime Creek Nature Center, there are many things to see and do. Below are my top 4 favorite things to do in #MasonCityIA during the Autumn season. 


River City Sculptures on Parade

The River City Sculptures on Parade are located in various locations in downtown Mason City .Click here to download the River City Sculpture Map 


The River City Sculptures on  Parade is an exciting exhibit of outdoor sculptures displayed year-round. Delight in the sights and sounds of downtown Mason City while experiencing the unique sculpture works of artists from all over the country. The self guided tour starts in the downtown district and loops through the cultural crescent which includes historical architecture, art museum, public library, and The Music Man Square.

Lime Creek Nature Center 

A public conservation facility nestled atop the limestone bluffs of the Winnebago River. The center features a variety of displays about the wildlife and natural resources of North Iowa. An outdoor amphitheater, hands-on nature displays and over nine miles of trails through prairie, forest and wetland habitat provide remarkable experiences.

East Park

East Park is a beautiful area that offers several children’s playgrounds, shelter houses, a gazebo, and the largest wooden maze in Mason City. Enjoy a scenic walk around the park or have a picnic outing in one of their many shelter houses. 


Music Man Footbridge

The bridge is named in honor of Meredith Willson, Mason City native and internationally renowned composer. This bridge spans across Willow Creek and is featured on the Prairie School Architectural Tour/ Historical Walking Tour. 

 The music man footbridge connects 2nd St. SE in Mason City over Willow Creek connecting River Heights Drive and South Connecticut Ave.  

Happy Exploring!