Madison County has many stories to tell that are the stuff of legends. The abundance of natural beauty in Madison County is the background against which these stories unfold, stories of people of unique character who made their mark on American life and our cultural landscape. Stories of a place that must be experienced first-hand.

From its heartland beauty to its storied history, Madison County is an American legend, a place with the soul of this country—honest, authentic, with warmth, history and depth of character.

Click on Visit & Explore for downloading maps of the county and for bridge locations.  For brochures highlighting historical information, attractions and movie sites, contact the Madison County Chamber of Commerce toll free at 800-298-6119, or send an Email to

From African American agricultural revolutionaries to the Delicious Apple, Hall of Fame baseball players to movie stars, Madison County has a history like no other.

Hampton Inn Desmoines West

Discover Madison County, Iowa

Welcome to the birthplace of John Wayne and home of the historic covered bridges popularized by Robert James Waller's novel The Bridges of Madison County and the feature film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Discover the Heartland of America

Located just 30 minutes from Des Moines, Madison County includes the towns of Winterset, Earlham, Bevington, Patterson, Macksburg, St. Charles, East Peru and Truro, Iowa.

It’s a fascinating and fun place to visit, explore and live, with a rich history, enticing shopping and dining, welcoming lodgings, a thriving business community, a responsive economic development group, and a whole calendar’s worth of great community events.


Madison County Courthouse - "In Full Bloom"

Photo courtesy of Wayne Davis, TYPExpress


See what DSM Living Magazine has to say about Winterset...