From corner to corner of the Midwest Partnership region, our tourism industry is creating specialized attractions that help you better enjoy the great outdoors, get back to your agricultural roots or perhaps channel your inner artist. Restored buildings house coffee shops and theaters. Old railways hold more than 80 miles of serene bike trails. Cooperative farms invite guests to join a farm to table meal – which may only be a few feet from the garden. These unique attractions only add to the quality of life you can experience in Adair and Guthrie counties, in the Western Iowa Tourism Region.
The tourism industry in Midwest Partnership’s region of Adair and Guthrie Counties reflects a similar growth to the state-wide trend. Consider exploring all that the region has to offer.
Saints Center, Stuart, IA
The Historic All Saints Church in Stuart, Iowa has been transformed by a $4 million restoration project and now the Saints Center is officially open! The former church was once voted the Most Beautiful Church in Iowa by the readers of the Des Moines Register, but then fell victim to a hate crime in 1995 by an arsonist who wanted to “take the heart and soul out of a community”.
Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield, IA
From the moment Ed and Eva Warren opened the doors of their new building in December 1896, the Opera House took its place as the “grand lady” of the Greenfield town square. With its expansive windows, oxidized copper accents, and distinctive turret, the three-story brick structure served as a landmark for culture and commerce. For decades the Opera House drew theatrical troupes, musical performers, and local acts. But as times changed, so did entertainment tastes. The last documented “professional” act was presented in 1930. After that, the theater hosted only occasional community events, such as graduations, dances, and basketball games. Though the ground floor continued to house retail businesses into the 1990s, by the late 1940s the theater space fell into complete disuse.
The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Efforts to restore it, however, did not begin in earnest until 1994, when it was given to Main Street Greenfield. In 2000 the EE Warren Opera House Association was formed to coordinate efforts and oversee what became a $6.2 million makeover. Through the work of historical restoration experts, the auditorium and other rooms have been returned to their original grandeur. The Warren Cultural Center opened its doors in Spring 2012 and now serves as a multi-use facility, hosting meetings, receptions and overnight guests, as well as performances in its historic rooms. Ed & Eva’s retail store offers unique items from more than 40 different Iowa artists, and the gallery/lobby displays exhibits of art and photography.
The Freedom Rock, Greenfield, IA
The Freedom Rock (established in 1999) is a series of large (approx. 60+ ton) boulders located in every Iowa county (including Guthrie County). The project, which originated in Greenfield, is done as a Thank You for our nation’s Veterans to honor their service to our country. The artist, Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, was inspired by the movie Saving Private Ryan, as well as, wanting to give Veterans a unique recognition on Memorial Day. Learn more about The Freedom Rock at www.thefreedomrock.com.
The Wallace Centers of Iowa, Orient, IA
The Country Life Center location of The Wallace Centers of Iowa is the birthplace farm of Henry A. Wallace, born in 1888. He served the nation as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1933 to 1941, U.S. Vice President from 1941 to 1945, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1945 to 1946. Earlier in his career, he founded seed corn company Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1926 and was an editor at Wallaces’ Farmer magazine. In 1999, The Des Moines Register named Wallace the “Most Influential Iowan of the 20th Century.”
Whiterock Conservancy, Coon Rapids, IA
We have a variety of activities and lodging options to tailor your overnight stay with us while you enjoy exciting outdoor adventures.
Enjoy the rolling hills landscape and wildlife! Walk, hike, bring your bike or horse, and ride our 30+ miles of trails. Fish in one of our many ponds, explore the oak savannah habitats, or just sit back, relax, and enjoy an escape from the hectic pace of everyday life.
Spend a quiet weekend in our comfortable lodging. Choose between several options. Stay at the historic Garst Farmhouse, home of Roswell and Elizabeth Garst, cozy cottages or spacious farmhouse. Groups are easily accommodated so bring your family and friends and spend a night. If you enjoy the outdoors, Whiterock also offers low-impact campgrounds and a remote 3-season cabin on the banks of the Middle Raccoon River.
Whiterock Conservancy is the perfect setting for family reunions, corporate retreats, weddings, parties, motor coach and group tours, or just a quiet weekend getaway for two.
Lake Panorama National Resort & Conference Center, Panora, IA
Lake Panorama National Golf Resort and Conference Center is a unique get-away destination. Whether for a day, long weekend or more, the resort has plenty to offer. This one-of-a-kind resort offers an 18-hole championship golf course, full-service restaurant, banquet and meeting room facilities, and lodging, all in one location.
The main attraction is the par-72 golf course that has been recognized as one of Iowa’s most popular and well-conditioned courses for the past four decades. With superb playing conditions throughout the golf season, the course has earned a 4-Star Rating from Golf Digest in its “Places to Play in America” publication.
Racoon River Valley Trail
The 89 mile Raccoon River Valley Trail is a paved trail that begins just outside downtown Jefferson, in Greene County and is used for biking, running, walking, inline skating and cross country skiing. The trail runs from Jefferson to the Des Moines metro, making the RRVT the longest trail in Iowa and one of the longest in the nation.
Sixteen Oaks, Fontanelle
16 Oaks event venue is located on a 40 acre family farm on the East edge of the city of Fontanelle. The barn is now inside the building. They salvaged as much of the original wood from the barn they could before rebuilding it inside on its 100th anniversary.
Iowa Aviation Museum, Greenfield, IA
The Iowa Aviation Museum is located at the Greenfield Municipal Airport and is dedicated to preserving Iowa’s aviation heritage. The museum honors Iowans who have contributed significantly to the growth of aviation. The Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame began in 1990 and preceded the opening of the Iowa Aviation Museum. Nominations to the Hall of Fame are accepted until February 1st of each year. This museum is the only place in Iowa that focuses on the state’s aviation heritage.
Nations Bridge Park, Stuart, IA
Nations Bridge Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities to the public. The park has a total of 81 acres that can be used for picnicking, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, fishing and much more. Wildlife is also abundant at Nations Bridge Park, it is not rare to see a few deer, rabbits, quails and many different kinds of birds. There are also nature trails that can be found throughout the park. The Raccoon River is also a great spot to catch some catfish.
Panorama Lake, Panora, IA
In the early 1960’s, Louie Hansen was the Guthrie County Extension director. He felt a lake would be an important economic development tool for the count and helped form the Guthrie County Lake Development Company. Property owners bordering the Middle Raccoon River were contacted and it was announced in 1962 that 5,659 of the 7,000 acres needed had been placed under option. A contest was then conducted and 23 people suggested Lake Panorama. In 1968, an engineering firm used a laser beam to establish a water line. By October 1968, 900 lots had been sold. The construction of the dam began in 1969. On June 8, 1970, the dam gate was closed and Lake Panorama began to fill.
Rock Island Railroad Depot, Stuart, IA
The Rock Island Railroad Depot was built in 1879. After the Rock Island Railroad decided to relocate to Valley Junction, the depot was the only building left standing. Passenger trains continued to stop until the 1960’s, but soon after started to decline. The depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 with the restoration beginning the summer of 2002. Between 2002 and 2015, the depot was slowly renovated in phases. The renovated depot is now rented for parties, meetings and receptions.
Mormon Trail County Park, Bridgewater, IA
The Mormon Trail County Park was named after the Mormon pioneers who made their way past the area beginning in 1846. The 170-acre park, including Mormon Trail Lake, is named in honor of the pioneers who traveled along the Iowa Mormon Trail beginning in 1846. There is a national Park Service historical marker that gives insight into the entire Mormon Trail as well as the landscape and different types of vegetation the pioneers would have seen as they passed by with their wagons. About a half mile from the park’s lake is a site where surviving wagon ruts from that period can be seen.
Lake Greenfield, Greenfield, IA
Lake Greenfield is a 236-acre park, with a boat ramp, fishing, sailing, shelter houses, picnic tables, grills, sand volleyball, Frisbee golf, and a playground. There is also a 2-mile paved walking trail around the 44-acre lake. Lake Greenfield also has hiking trails throughout the park.