A: Amana Colonies: A National Historic Landmark and one of America’s longest-lived communal societies, begins in 1714 in the villages of Germany and continues today on the Iowa prairie. A village with amazing restaurants, shops with man made items, a wonderful textile mill with beautiful fabric and more
B: Bridges Of Madison County/John Wayne Birthplace/The Dessert Factory for Lunch: A step on Guide will take you through some of the Covered Bridges and explain their History including Hollywood in Iowa movie production info such as, “The Bridges of Madison County”. They will take you to a 76 acre Winterset City Park with Clark Tower, English Hedge Maze and Cutler-Donhoe Bridge. You will tour John Wayne’s birthplace and have lunch at the Madison County Dessert Factory on the square, tour the Court House on your own and shop in the town square
C: Historic Valley Junction/Jordan House: Valley Junction has little quaint shops and unusual items and a theatrical shop that is wonderful. The Historic Jordan House is a stately Victorian home of Italianate Gothic design, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will also be interested in the Underground Railroad Exhibit and the Railroad artifacts which are reminiscent of the important role the railroad played in the early years of West Des Moines
D: Living History Farms/with Lunch at Machine Shed: This tour offers a one of a kind self guided tour and is listed in the New York Times Best Seller “1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.” Learn how Native Americans grew crops in Iowa at the 1700 Farm and how early farmers opened the prairie with oxen at the 1850 Farm. Find out how horse-powered machines revolutionized agriculture at the 1900 Farm. In the 1875 Town of Walnut Hill, join in the excitement of a bustling Iowa town with 14 shops and businesses including a general store, blacksmith shop, and two Victorian homes, including the Flynn Home, which is in the National Register of Historic Place
E: City of Des Moines: Learn about what Des Moines looks like and has to offer. See the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden, the Iowa Hall of Pride, and the beautiful new River Walk with Walking Bridges across the Des Moines River and take a ride on the Historical Carousel with a Subway picnic lunch in the park
F: Terrace Hill/Salisbury House and Gardens/Suzzette Candies: Terrace Hill is our Governor’s Mansion (Our Governor actually lives there.) and is a very historic home. The Salisbury House was modeled after “The King’s House”, a manor house used by British royalty dating to the 13th century. It’s structure of 28,000 square feet has 42 rooms and is a four story house. Then on to Suzzette Candies to make your own treat.
G: Trainland USA/Alsup Punckinville Corn Maze: You will travel to a small rural area where a family has put together the most amazing model train display. Trainland U.S.A. is an operating toy train museum, displaying Lionel trains and accessories. It is so named because it depicts the development of the railroad across the United States. This exhibit represents three eras of time; frontier, steam, and diesel. The display area is the size of two average ranch style homes. Then on to another rural area where you will walk through a maze made of corn. Let’s see who makes it out first.
H: Gold Star Military Museum/The Victory Garden/Fort Des Moines Museum: Gold Star Museum is at Camp Dodge home of our National Guard and processing center for new recruits. The Victory Garden at Fort Des Moines is an outdoor exhibit interpreting America’s involvement in WW II. The museum is a private, non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the heritage of service, sacrifice, and risk by the Black officers of WW I and the women of WW II. The museum is housed in Clayton Hall, built in 1903 as the bachelor officers’ quarters for the fort.
I: Botanical Center/Jon Anderson White Riverboat Ride: The indoor gardens of heaven is a beautiful place to go if you like to explore plants, and see water falls and even a little fish in an amazingly tranquil setting. On the riverboat ride you will have lunch and an hour and one half ride up the Des Moines River to explore the natural beauty of the historic riverbanks and capture the spirit of a revitalized city.
J: Des Moines Dangle Dance: You will go to four mystery sights, dance a tip with one or two of our great callers and we will show off your skills and fun to our city. There is no better advertisement for Square Dancing, Round and Line Dancing.
K: Capitol Bldg/Historical Museum/Café Baratta’s: Have lunch at our Café Baratta’s restaurant and spend time viewing our museum. Then walk up through the gardens to our Capitol Building. You will see one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the USA and have a guided tour to the top of the Dome (Approximately 130 steps).
L: Sleepy Hollow Renaissance Fair: Land for this has been dedicated so they can have their own buildings and set up special for this fair. Beware of Jousting! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting dirty and be prepared to walk.
M: Sleepy Hollow Canoe Trip: You will canoe down the Des Moines River. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting dirty or wet.
N/O: Jester Park Equestrian Center: This tour has two options.
N: Horse back trail ride or O: Horse drawn wagon ride, you pick. It will take you through the woods and along the beautiful Saylorville Lake. (The Horse back ride is a limited number.)
P: Boone & Scenic Valley Picnic Train Ride/Museum: Founded in 1983, the Railroad and Museum, a division of the Iowa Railroad Historical Society, is an operating, non-profit, educational railroad museum. In 1912 and 1913 the current 156’ tall bridge over Bass Point Creek was constructed, replacing a wooden trestle. This is the Bridge the train will cross on your visit. The museum preserved by the Iowa Railroad Historical Society promotes and encourages interest in the preservation of railroad history through the relics specifically relating to railroads.