Places to Visit Near IWU

As a supportive parent, you probably enjoy visiting your student whether it is Family Weekend or not. We know you may want to take your student off campus for a meal or an activity, but you will also want to pick the best places to go. We all need restaurant or hotel recommendations sometimes, so we thought we would help you out by sharing our own recommendations with you! Many of these recommendations are places local and unique to the city of Marion!


El Taco Express

Hungry for tacos and burritos? Looking for an affordable lunch or dinner? Then El Taco is the place for you!

Yamato Steakhouse

If you’re looking for a more formal dining option, Yamato Steakhouse fits the criteria with its beautiful ambiance and delicious Japanese cuisine.

The Mill

If you’re in the mood for comfort food during your visit, The Mill is a great place to try!

Jay’s Thai Food

Just ask any IWU student if they have been to Jay’s Thai Food, and they will gush over how delicious the food is!

Casa Brava

This locally owned Mexican restaurant serves mouthwatering dishes all day! The menu even includes a section for children.

Los Amores

One town can never have too many locally owned restaurants. Give their Facebook page a glance!


There is nothing more satisfying than a generously sized ice cream sundae or milkshake!

King Gyros

Located on 215 S Miller Ave here in Marion, King Gyros offers an affordable menu with a wide variety of options to keep the entire family happy!

Jax Cafe

If you’re looking for a super close place to grab brunch on a weekday with your student, then the Jax Cafe is just what you need!

Texas Roadhouse

What could be better than steak and a baked potato to end the week?


It is a truth universally acknowledged that sometimes there is nothing better than pancakes and french toast for lunch!


Hampton Inn

Free wifi, hot breakfast in the morning and a pool—what’s not to love?

Comfort Suites

Comfort Suites also offers free wifi, breakfast, a pool and…wait for it…pet-friendly facilities! There is no need to leave your furry friends behind!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Looking for the hotel in Marion with the highest star rating? Look no farther! We have found the place for you.

College Inn Bed & Breakfast

Maybe you’re looking for a homey place to stay the night. If that is the case, then College Inn offers the perfect rooms and is even right across the street from campus!

Old Oak Inn

Do us a favor and just look at all of the beautiful pictures on their website! This bed and breakfast is close to campus and looks absolutely luxurious.

411 Bungalow

Maybe your family needs a little extra space to accommodate more people. If that is the case, then the 411 Bungalow will be a perfect fit!


Another Bed and Breakfast that you might consider booking is Air 9. This cozy apartment hosts up to four guests and includes complimentary coffee and a continental breakfast.

Haisley’s Hideaway Bed and Breakfast

If you are looking for another locally owned business to stay the night, Haisley’s Hideaway is also a great option. Even better: IWU parents receive 10% off their bill! See their website for details.


reNEWed Boutique & Thrift

Support a local business with your student and remind them to bring their student ID for a 10% discount on their purchases!

Boutique 125

Marion has so many small businesses; don’t be afraid to explore them!

True Envy Boutique

We promise your student will appreciate the impromptu shopping spree!


Of course, you can always appreciate the familiarity of Kohl’s!

TJ Maxx

In the same strip center as Kohl’s, TJ Maxx is hard to pass up!



Crest Lanes Inc is located on 2014 W 2nd St here in Marion, and it is such a fun environment that the whole family can enjoy!

Fun at the Gym

We know The Shred Shed may sound like an intimidating place to visit, but this local gym offers a variety of fun classes and activities for affordable prices! As an added bonus, open gym times offer free admission.

Matter Park

This beautiful park boasts a fun playground for younger family members and gorgeous gardens and walking trails the whole family will enjoy!

Museum Tour

Marion National Sanatorium offers a unique learning experience with great online reviews! Visit here for directions.

Marion Public Library and Museum

Learn more about the history of Grant County!

Local Healthcare and Dentistry

When we are sick or in need of a check-up, it is helpful to have professionals nearby who can help us! As a parent, we know that you will be reassured if your student knows about available services. If your student needs to see a doctor, there are numerous local doctors to choose from at Marion Family Practice in Marion General Hospital! Students who prefer to stay on campus are also welcome at the Wildcat Health Clinic on the second floor of the Barnes Student Center. Visits with nurses are free of charge, and your family’s insurance may cover an appointment with a nurse practitioner!

If your student needs to see a dentist, they can consider visiting Marion Family Dental Care, Aspen Dental or Lifetime Smiles Dental Care.

We hope these recommendations have been helpful. Have you tried any of these recommendations or do you have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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