Visit Burlington when it’s in bloom

As the temperatures rise and landscapes start to bloom, be sure to add a road trip to Burlington, Iowa to your list. Burlington has two gems that you’ll want to visit during the spring bloom.

Snake Alley

The star attraction in Burlington, Iowa is Snake Alley. It’s a one-way brick-paved alley that descends to their downtown district. Built-in 1894, it still remains pretty much as it was originally constructed. In fact, only a few bricks have been replaced, most of the bricks are original. You’ll not only see flowers but the alley is also lined with numerous trees, including blooming crab apples and redbud trees. To get an idea of when the trees are blooming on Snake Alley, I recommend following both the Burlington Park & Rec Dept ( and Visit Burlington (

In the 1940s, it was visited by Robert Ripley, who gave the location the title of “Crookedest street in the world”. In fact, there’s a formal plaque from Ripley’s Believe it or not at the lower level of Snake Alley.

Location: Google Map Location of Snake Alley

Flowers on Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa. If you don’t want to walk in the alley, there is also a set of stairs to the side.
Snake Alley has five half-curves and two quarter-curves.

An aerial view of Snake Alley. The left side of this photo is the top or starting point and traffic flows down or to the right on this photo.
Right next door to Snake Alley is Cobblestone Alley. Although it’s not known for spring blooms, it is right next door and is worth the quick walk to experience this alley built with large cobblestones instead of bricks. Here’s the Google map location.

Crapo (cray-po) Park

Crapo Park is located on the south side of Burlington, on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It was established by local businessman Philip Crapo back in 1895.

You’ll enjoy a number of flowering trees and shrubs each spring. The city has listing of all the trees in their arboretum as well as a map.

Location: 2800 Madison Ave, Burlington, Iowa 52601

Flower crab apple trees are plentiful at Crapo Park.

At Crapo Park, the crab apple trees will blossom in variety of colors including red, pink, and white.
A flowering dogwood tree in the arboretum at Crapo Park in Burlington, Iowa.
Azaleas at Crapo Park
A Magnolia tree blooming in the arboretum.
A crab apple tree blooming.

Within Crapo Park is this replica 1905 cabin. It features artifacts from the Des Moines County Historical Society. Here’s the location of the cabin on Google Maps.
A pair of 50 caliber naval guns stand at the overlook in Crapo Park. The park originally had two cannons from the Civil War at this location, but they were turned into scrap metal to help fight World War II. It wasn’t until 1958, when the 50 caliber guns were put into this position. Here’s the location of 50 caliber guns on Google Maps.

Black Hawk Springs/Cave is located just a short hike behind the replica cabin. There’s a plaque denoting this location was used by Chief Black Hawk. You’re able to explore the cave for about 100 feet. There is also a spring running out of the cave, which falls off into the Mississippi River. Here’s the location of Black Hawk Springs on Google Maps.

Bonus: Burlington Riverfront

Although the riverfront isn’t known for spring blooms – I would still recommend stopping down at the riverfront. The star attraction is the Great River Bridge, which opened back in 1993. Here’s the location on Google Maps for the Port of Burlington Welcome Center.

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