Riverside, Iowa is a sleepy town of 993 in the Southwest of the state. So, why would anyone want to take a diversion from the interstate to visit this small town? Well, fans of science fiction, Americana, or the offbeat will be excited to hear: Riverside is the “future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.”
That’s right, the original captain of Star Trek‘s starship Enterprise can, supposedly, call the town home. Now, it must be said that this designation is not considered “canonical.” In his book The Making of Star Trek, Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry says that Kirk was born in “a small town in Iowa.” The residents of Riverside saw this ambiguity as an opportunity and declared their own town the specific birthplace.
Official or not, the town has fully embraced the title. Riverside is home to a monument, a “starship” and “shuttlecraft” model, a history museum that tells the story, and an annual “Trekfest.” In addition to this, several Kirk “easter eggs” are hidden around town, one of the most famous being a plaque under a pool table at Murphy’s Bar and Grill marking the exact point of conception.
Indeed, for those looking for something a little offbeat and unique, a visit to Riverside is the obvious choice. Just don’t expect a sighting of Baby Kirk—he won’t be making an appearance until 2228.