Nestled in the heart of Iowa, the charming town of Boone invites visitors to explore its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From scenic outdoor adventures to captivating cultural attractions, there’s no shortage of things to do in Boone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Boone has something to offer for everyone.
- Explore the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad: Kick off your Boone adventure with a journey back in time aboard the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. This heritage railway offers picturesque rides through the scenic Des Moines River Valley, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking landscapes while learning about the region’s rich history. The meticulously restored vintage train cars and steam locomotives provide a nostalgic experience for visitors of all ages.
- Visit the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace: Dive into history at the birthplace of the former First Lady, Mamie Doud Eisenhower. The charming Victorian home is filled with period furnishings and memorabilia, offering a glimpse into the life of one of America’s beloved First Ladies. Guided tours provide fascinating insights into Mamie’s early years and the historical context of the era.
- Hike and Bike the High Trestle Trail: For outdoor enthusiasts, the High Trestle Trail is a must-visit destination. This 25-mile trail winds through Boone County, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. The highlight of the trail is the High Trestle Bridge, a breathtaking structure illuminated with artistic LED lights that create a mesmerizing display after dark.
- Discover the Kate Shelley Railroad Museum: Gain a deeper understanding of Iowa’s railroad history by visiting the Kate Shelley Railroad Museum. Named after a local heroine, the museum showcases the life and bravery of Kate Shelley, who saved a train from disaster in the late 19th century. Interactive exhibits and artifacts make this museum an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
- Relax at Ledges State Park: Nature lovers will find solace in the scenic beauty of Ledges State Park, just a short drive from Boone. The park boasts rugged cliffs, deep ravines, and lush woodlands, providing the perfect backdrop for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife observation. The beauty of the Des Moines River Valley is on full display in this tranquil oasis.
- Attend Boone’s Annual Pufferbilly Days: Plan your visit during Boone’s iconic Pufferbilly Days, an annual festival celebrating the town’s railroad heritage. This family-friendly event features parades, live music, a classic car show, and various other activities that bring the community together in a festive atmosphere.
- Explore the Historic Downtown: Take a leisurely stroll through Boone’s historic downtown area, where you’ll find charming boutiques, antique shops, and local eateries. The historic architecture and friendly atmosphere make it a perfect place to shop for unique souvenirs or enjoy a cup of coffee in a cozy cafe.
- Fishing at Don Williams Lake: Pack your fishing gear and head to Don Williams Lake for a relaxing day by the water. This 680-acre lake offers excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of species including bass, crappie, and catfish. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and maybe even catch the evening sunset over the lake.
- Attend a Performance at the Boone Community Theatre: Immerse yourself in the local arts scene by attending a performance at the Boone Community Theatre. This vibrant community space hosts a variety of plays, musicals, and other live performances throughout the year, providing entertainment for visitors and locals alike.
- Taste Local Flavors at Boone’s Restaurants: Indulge your taste buds in the local culinary scene by exploring Boone’s restaurants. From classic American diners to cozy cafes and family-owned eateries, the town offers a diverse range of dining options. Don’t forget to try some local favorites and savor the flavors of Iowa.
- Golf at Cedar Pointe Golf Course: If you’re a golf enthusiast, tee off at Cedar Pointe Golf Course. This well-maintained course offers a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience amidst the beautiful Iowa landscape. Enjoy a round of golf with friends or family and take in the scenic views.
- Attend the Boone County Fair: Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Boone County Fair, a beloved event that showcases agricultural exhibits, live entertainment, carnival rides, and more. Experience the lively atmosphere and celebrate the local community spirit at this traditional Midwestern fair.
- Visit the Iowa Arboretum: Just a short drive from Boone, the Iowa Arboretum is a haven for nature lovers. Explore beautifully landscaped gardens, wooded areas, and walking trails. The arboretum features a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and plants, making it a serene retreat for those seeking a peaceful connection with nature.
- Take a Scenic Drive along the Des Moines River: Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the Des Moines River Valley by taking a scenic drive along the river. The rolling hills and winding roads offer a visually stunning journey, especially during the fall when the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors.
Boone, Iowa, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or someone seeking a peaceful escape, Boone offers a diverse range of experiences. From the nostalgic allure of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad to the natural wonders of Ledges State Park, Boone invites you to embark on a journey of exploration and delight. Plan your trip to this charming town, and you’ll find yourself captivated by its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.