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Snake Alley, Burlington

4.7
Snake Alley is a street located in Burlington, Iowa, once recognized by Ripley's Believe It or Not as the Crookedest Street in the World.HistoryThe physical limitations and steep elevation of Heritage Hill inspired the construction of Snake Alley in 1894. It was intended to link the downtown business district and the neighborhood shopping area located on North Sixth Street, of which Snake Alley is a one-block section. Three German immigrants conceived and carried out the idea of a winding hillside street, similar to vineyard paths in France and Germany: Charles Starker, an architect and landscape engineer; William Steyh, the city engineer; and George Kriechbaum, a paving contractor. The street was completed in 1898, but was not originally named Snake Alley, as it was considered part of North Sixth Street; some years later, a resident noted that it reminded him of a snake winding its way down the hill, and the name stuck.The alley originally provided a shortcut from Heritage Hill to the business district. Bricks were laid at an angle to allow horses better footing as they descended. Unfortunately, riding horses back up the alley often resulted in a loss of control at the top; for this reason, even to this day, Snake Alley remains a one-way street, with all traffic heading downhill.In the 1940s, writer Robert L. Ripley saw the street in person, and decided to add it to his Ripley's Believe It, Or Not! column, calling it "The Crookedest Street in the World". The idea was novel enough; however, San Francisco's Lombard Street beats it by several turns. The turns on Snake Alley are sharper though, giving it a total of 1100° of turning from end to end, where Lombard Street's straighter curves total only 1000°.
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  • If you go to Burlington, IA do the Snake Alley, especially with kids! It seems more scary than it is but you have to pay attention driving.  more »
  • This is a must stop if you are anywhere nearby. We drove to Nauvoo from Iowa City and made the detour. It was well worth it. It only takes a minute or so to drive down, but there is no wait at the top...  more »
  • My family and I really enjoyed this little pit stop. Snake Alley is really cool and fun to check out. If you drive around the town at the top of the hill you'll be impressed by all the beautiful old h...  more »
Google
  • The crookedest Street in the USA. Alot of activities on it. Beautiful in summer, spring and fall.
  • 25 times up this hill? Snake Alley Criterium at the end of May. A must see event.
  • It's just fun to drive down
  • Pretty Unique place
  • Cool scenery

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39 days in United States BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Burlington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Burlington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Burlington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Oklahoma City, Burlington & Dallas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Burlington & Omaha BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Midwest & Arlington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
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