5 Hidden Gems in Fairfield
By Visit Fairfield | May 3, 2022
If you're looking for something off the beaten path to do in Iowa, look no further than Fairfield. This small town has a lot of hidden gems that are worth exploring.
- The Johnny Clock Museum; Imagine walking into a room filled with clocks... lots of clocks. What if we told you that each clock had been hand-carved by one man, John McLain, who formulated all of his designs in his head, not from blueprints. This is clock-making ingenuity unlike any other before it and you'll marvel over the intricately carved pieces. The Johnny Clock Museum is a quirky attraction that will keep you entertained for some time.
- The Stephenson Coverlets; What does the Chicago Museum of Art have in common with the Carnegie Historical Museum in Fairfield? They both have exhibits of Daniel Stephenson's coverlets, which were highly prized articles of fiber art from the late 1800s. Daniel Stephenson was a weaver who walked from Chicago to Fairfield with a loom on his back to set up shop in this small Iowa town. Working in plant dyed wool, these coverlets were intricate in design and became coveted family possessions. Stephenson was evidently fond of curved lines, for in all his work he has used few straight lines and incorporated flowers and birds into his designs.
- Sanctuary Spa; Unassuming from the outside, your adventure into some needed R&R is just inside the door. From the moment you walk in, the Sanctuary Spa will whisk you away with its tranquil atmosphere. This is a place to let all your worries fade away and to relax your mind and body. With a variety of services available, you're sure to find what you need to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Hungry Camel Restaurant; This local favorite serves up delicious Mediterranean cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. But this charming dining spot is, literally, hidden! So if you're hankering for falafels or shawarma, we'll spill the secret that will get you to the door. Located in the old Movie theater on Broadway Street, you access this spot not through the front door but in the back along the alley. There's plenty of parking... just look for the camel on the sign!
- Louden Bridge on the Fairfield Loop Trail; When is a bridge more than a bridge? When it becomes a background for history and art. Not only was the bridge design inspired by several historic structures, particularly the timber framework of locally designed and manufactured Louden barns, but the historic theme also continues in the ceramic tiles that enhance the bridge’s interior. Located near Chautauqua Park on the east side of town, this bridge displays 171 ceramic plaques of images from Louden manufacturing blueprints, made by a Fairfield High School art class.