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Traveling to Campus

Get specific directions from your address, or see general travel guidelines below.

From the North

  1. From I-35 South take exit 137A, I-80 East toward Davenport (you’ll be on I-80 about 2.5 miles)
  2. Merge onto US-65 South via exit 141 toward Altoona (you’ll be on US-65 for 5 miles
  3. Take exit 79 for IA-163/E University toward Pleasant Hill
  4. Take a left on highway 163 (for 35 miles) and follow the directions below

From the West and Southeast (Highway 163)

  1. From Highway 163 take exit 40. Turn left onto Washington Street
  2. Drive to the first stoplight and turn right onto West 3rd Street
  3. Follow West 3rd to University and turn left (east)
  4. Parking is on the right, across from the Admission Office located in Central Hall

From the East

Montezuma/New Sharon area

  1. From I-80 Westbound, take Exit 191 to Highway 63 west from Montezuma to New Sharon
  2. In New Sharon, take County Road G5T as it winds into Pella
  3. At the four-way stop just west of Vermeer Manufacturing, turn left
  4. Turn right onto University and stay on University past Main Street and Broadway
  5. Visitor parking is on the left (south side of the street) across from the Admission Office located in Central Hall

Kellogg/Sully area

  1. Take exit 173, Kellog/Sully, off I-80 Westbound
  2. Drive about five miles south on T-22, then turn right on E-62
  3. Turn left (south) onto T-14, which winds its way into Pella
  4. T-14 turns into Main Street. Continue south to the stoplight at University
  5. Turn right (west) onto University past Broadway
  6. Parking is on the left across from the Admission Office located in Central Hall

From the Southwest

  1. Take T-15 across the dam over Lake Red Rock
  2. Take the first road right after crossing the dam
  3. Central College will be on your left after about 3.5 miles
  4. Look for the parking lot on University and West 1st Street (on the right) across from the Admission Office located in Central Hall

The bridge crossing the pond at Central College.

Drive Times to Pella, Iowa

  • Des Moines: 40 min
  • Omaha: 3 hrs
  • Kansas City: 3.5 hrs
  • Minneapolis: 4 hrs
  • Madison: 5 hrs
  • Chicago: 5 hrs
  • St. Louis: 5 hrs

Flight Times to Des Moines, Iowa

  • Denver: 2 hrs
  • Orlando: 2.5 hrs
  • Phoenix: 3 hrs
  • New York City: 3 hrs
  • Los Angeles: 5 hrs

Planes, Trains & Buses

Not driving in? Call us with your arrival time, and we’ll pick you up at the airport or bus station in Des Moines and drive you to campus. An Amtrak stop is located in Ottumwa, IA (just 45 miles southeast of campus), and Central can also shuttle you to campus from there. Round-trip transportation from planes, trains and buses is available throughout students’ college careers.

Dining on campus

Students in the Central Market dining centerCentral Market

Breakfast: 7:15-9 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dinner: 5-7 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
Continental Breakfast: 8-9 a.m. (Saturday only)
Brunch: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dinner: 5-6:30 p.m.


Breakfast: 9-11 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dinner: 5-11 p.m.

The Café at Geisler Library

7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pella Area Attractions

These are just a few of the many fun things to do around Pella. See a complete list here.

Historical Village

Located east of the square on Franklin Street, the Historical Village is a collage of 21 buildings nestled in a courtyard laced with red brick walkways. Some of the buildings are over 100 years old; others were built later or moved in and restored. Included in the village are Wyatt Earp’s boyhood log cabin home and a replica of Dominie Scholte’s second Pella Church, Scholte Church. An authentic full-size Dutch windmill serves as a welcome center for visitors.
Contact the Pella Historical Society for advance ticket sales at 641-628-4311.

Lake Red Rock

Lake Red Rock, located five minutes southwest of Pella, offers 19,000 acres of uncrowded water for fishing, boating, windsurfing, swimming and waterfowl watching (one of the Midwest’s best places to view bald eagles and pelicans).
Along the lake’s north shore is a paved walking and bicycle trail. A visitor center, more than 400 campsites, tours of the Red Rock Dam and other special activities are available. Phone the Army Corp of Engineers staff at 641-628-7522.

Scholte House & Gardens

Inside the sprawling, original home of Dominie H.P. Scholte, the founder of Pella, is a collection of rare and interesting French and Italian furniture. The surrounding gardens are filled with tulips in the spring and annuals throughout the rest of the summer. Scholte House is open for tours afternoons year-round. Special tours may be made by reservation, 641-628-3684.

Purple tulips growing in front of a yellow house in Pella's historical village.

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