Whether at one of our six world-famous covered bridges or on our majestic town square, sipping wine at one of our three wineries, or snuggled in at one of our B&Bs, your love story should always include a chapter in storied Madison County, where you’ll find the perfect setting to re-engage with the love of your life or your love for life. Madison County was the inspiration behind and the setting of “The Bridges of Madison County”, and is also home to the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum, the Iowa Quilt Museum, The Iowa Theater, and the Madison County Historical Complex, as well as the newly designated Covered Bridges Scenic Byway. To set your engagement in motion, visit us online or call (515) 462-1185.
Welcome to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden where exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants is our mission. Tropical and temperate gardens make us an oasis in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Whether you visit on your own or explore with a group, you will find the Botanical Garden a place where you can learn about fascinating plants, hone your gardening skills or immerse yourself in beautiful gardens.
Situated in the historic J.C. Penney building on Winterset’s courthouse square, the Iowa Quilt Museum offers changing exhibits of American quilts dating from the 1800s to present day. The museum is also the official headquarters of the Quilts of Valor project. The museum is open year-round, Mondays to Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from 12-4 pm.
When you think of American icons, John Wayne is always at the top of the list. Wayne was born in the town of Winterset, Iowa. His birthplace home and the only museum in the world dedicated to the Hollywood legend are located in Winterset as the award-winning John Wayne Birthplace and Museum. Every year the museum celebrates Wayne’s birthday with a festival in May. In the past 34 years, over a million visitors have journeyed to Madison County to tour the birthplace home and museum, including President Ronald Reagan and movie legend Maureen O’Hara. Located at 205 S. John Wayne Drive in Winterset, the museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, excluding major holidays.
LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is the perfect play and discovery destination as you travel through the Sioux City area at the at the junction of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Located conveniently a few blocks from Interstate 29 at the Wesley Way exit, LaunchPAD’s interactive, hands-on educational exhibits are targeted for children 10 and under, but are fun for the entire family! Discover STEM concepts and learn about the Sioux City area while playing with the one-of-kind water table, the giant climber, the big block wall and construction zone, the wind zone, the pretend pizza cafe and the performing arts/TV studio. Learn about food and agriculture in the big farm and market activity areas! Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon-4:30 p.m. Extended hours on Thursday until 7 p.m.