Central College News

What to Do in Pella

Featured: What to Do in Pella

June 25, 2020

When you’re a student at Central College, there is no shortage of exciting things to do — both on and off campus! To help you discover some fun things to do off campus, here’s a list of activities to do in Pella!

Lake Red Rock

Lake Red Rock is Iowa’s largest lake and is filled with a bunch of recreational activities. Located a few miles away from Central’s campus, many students go to the beach, use the trails for running or choose one of the other outdoor activity options at Red Rock!


Volksweg Trail

The Volksweg Trail is a 14-mile trail that spans from the edge of Central’s campus all the way to Lake Red Rock. It’s a great place to walk, run or bike on a nice day!


Cordova Observation Tower

Lake Red Rock also is home to Cordova Observation Tower — a huge tower where guests can climb to the top and are welcomed by an amazing view. It’s free to use and great exercise walking to the top.


Students visiting Smokey Row


George’s Pizza

One of Pella’s most popular restaurant is George’s Pizza. The pizza is incredible, and they also serve insanely good pasta. Don’t forget to grab some free ice cream on your way out!

El Charro

El Charro is a popular Mexican restaurant in town and many Central students’ favorite place to go to grab a bite!


Yamato is Central students’ go-to sushi place. They serve a variety of sushi and other Asian cuisine Central students love!

Coffee Shops

There are several amazing coffee shops students frequent, including Smokey Row, The Brew, The Sanctuary and The Perk. Students go there to study, catch up with friends or grab caffeine on the go!


Town Square

Pella’s town square is only a couple of blocks away from campus and is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, boutiques and more with a park in the center of it all.


Dutch dancers at Tulip Time in Pella

Tulip Time

Tulip Time is an annual festival that takes place the first week of May. Tulip Time celebrates Pella’s Dutch heritage. Over the course of three days, there are parades featuring local participants, stands selling the most delicious Dutch food and a whole heap of fun! Plus, all the festivities are just a short walk from campus, so you won’t miss out!


Christmas in Pella

The holiday season is a special time of year, and in Pella it gets even more festive! Every year the town square is decked out in holiday decorations, culminating in a massive tree in the Tulip Tower that’s picture-perfect for your holiday greeting card.


These are just a few examples of the many things to do in Pella. There’s so much more to see, do and experience. All you have to do is get out there and explore!


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About the Author

Cooper Vittetoe ’21Hi! My name is Cooper Vittetoe ’21. I was a communication studies major at Central College. I am originally from Waukee, Iowa, and I’m now a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa pursuing my masters degree in postsecondary education: student affairs.

During my time at Central, I was a part of the A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers and held multiple work-study jobs all over campus. I truly loved my time at Central, and I hope you’ll make your best decision ever by coming to Central. Go Dutch!