Iowa Summer June 22, 2017
by Rachel Morey Flynn Let This Iconic Iowa County Charm You This Summer
This amazing area of south central Iowa is a top destination for people who want to shop, eat, learn, and play. It’s rich in history, full of interesting things to do, and one of the most beautiful places in the country.
This is Madison County. The current courthouse was built in 1876.
Named oafter James Madison, the fourth U.S. president, Madison County has about 14,000 residents. The county seat is the town of Winterset. This area is famous for being the region where John Wayne was born, for its beautiful 100-year-old covered bridges, and for being featured in the movie, The Bridges of Madison County.
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce, 73 Jefferson St., Winterset and is an ideal place to stop during the first part of your visit to this iconic Iowa county.
They are open May through October between 9am and 4pm Monday through Saturday and between noon and 3pm on Sunday. They happily assist visitors with itineraries, maps, directions, and can even offer guided tours.
Birthplace of John Wayne
216 S. 2nd St.
This famous American actor was born in 1907. The home itself has been carefully and lovingly restored to its 1907 state with memorabilia and furnishings. Take a tour any day between 10am and 4:30pm. They are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's day.
Winterset Art Center, 224 S John Wayne Dr, Winterset
You'll find the town's art center just one block west of the Birthplace of John Wayne. The Art Center has posters, prints, and paintings featuring local artists and a display that honors George Washington Carver. The home was a stop on the Underground Railroad, as well.
Hockett House Museum, 200 Sycamore Street NE, Earlham
This original 1860s house is the former home of the town's founders, David and Mary Hockett. It's open on Sundays between 2 and 5pm between Memorial Weekedn and September 30th. There's no charge to tour this historic home.
Harmon Tunnel, Pammel Park, 1900 Pammel Park Road, Winterset
Spend a relaxing afternoon at Pammel Park and see the incredible Harmon Tunnel. It's the only highway tunnel in Iowa. The tunnel was built in 1858 to carry water from Middle River to power a grist mill. It has since been re engineered to accommodate modern vehicles.
There are trails, shelters, camping facilities, and water sports here at Pammel Park.
Five miles of hiking trails, excellent fishing opportunities, diverse ecosystems, and ample opportunities to enjoy the river are right here.
Roseman Bridge, 2451 Elder Berry Ave., Winterset
This is just one of Madison County's famous covered bridges. It was built in 1883 and is 107 feet long. This is the specific bridge that the character of Robert Kincaid is looking for when he stops to ask directions from Francesca Johnson in the movie The Bridges of Madison County.
Madison County Historical Complex, 815 South 2nd Ave., Winterset
There are a total of 14 amazing historical buildings in the Madison County Historical Complex. It spans 18 acres and features the 1856 Bevington-Kaser House.
Northside Cafe, 61 E Jefferson St., Winterset
After all of the sight-seeing, you'll be hungry and the Northside Cafe, also featured in the movie The Bridges of Madison County, is a great little place to stop.
Are you ready for a visit? What else should future visitors to this beautiful Iowa county know?
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