• Tour the only museum in the world dedicated to Hollywood legend John Wayne. The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum (205 S. John Wayne Drive)honors Winterset’s own in grand style. Be sure to pose with the full-size John Wayne bronze statue out front.
  • Enjoy lunch at Rodell’s Smokehouse (122 S. John Wayne Drive). Have the beef brisket sandwich with sides or the basket of wings, but be sure to save room for pie!
  • Travel back in time at the Madison County Historical Complex (815 S. 2ndAve.), which includes 14 buildings set on 18 picturesque acres. Visit the furnished 1871 Winterset railroad depot (part of the John Wayne Birthplace Trail), Field Mercantile and Martin Brothers gas station, all authentic buildings, and the 2800 square foot McKee barn full of antique farming equipment which will have you marveling at the way your ancestors homesteaded. Don’t miss the wall of military uniforms dating from the Civil War to Desert Storm that lines the far wall of the museum’s basement.
  • Visit Winterset Cidery (1638 Hwy 169) for a tasting of their handcrafted hard apple cider, and sit on the deck overlooking their apple orchard (or challenge a friend to a game of Foosball inside their post and beam building).
  • Follow the signs off Hwy 169 to the Hogback Covered Bridge (possibly the most photogenic of all of the covered bridges of Madison County). Bring your kayak or canoe, and easily enter the North River here.
  • Head to Pammel State Park and drive through the only highway tunnel in Iowa, then across the water ford. Keep an eye out for birds, wild turkeys, deer and the like. Middle River slices through the park and has some of the best catfish angling in the area.
  • Refuel with a true Midwest supper at the Northside Café (61 E. Jefferson Street), such as a huge Pork Tenderloin or the Hot Beef Sandwich. Try their own Middle River craft beer.
  • Make it an overnight by renting the White Lions Guest House at Cedar Lake, a country 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with stunning views of Cedar Lake and plenty of wildlife.

*Based on the results of a community-wide tourism survey conducted in May 2016 by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.


Click here to download a printable version of our Mancation Itinerary.