8 Most Fun Things To Do In Boone, Iowa

Boone, Iowa, is a hidden gem in the heart of the Midwest that is waiting to be discovered. With a rich history and captivating charm, this city has become a magnet for visitors seeking a unique blend of heritage, outdoor adventures, and small-town allure.

Boone’s roots trace back to its vital role in the development of railroads, shaping the town’s identity as a historic railway hub. Today, remnants of its railway legacy can be explored at the Boone History Center, offering insights into its journey through time.

The city is situated at an elevation of 1,135 ft and thus enjoys pleasant weather year-round. The estimated population of the city is around 12,460 which has increased a lot since its discovery in 1865. 

Boone’s appeal boasts a steady stream of approximately 100,000 visitors annually. The city offers various attractions like the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad that takes passengers on a journey back in time to the scenic Ledges State Park with its dramatic cliffs.

Boone’s popularity as a tourist destination stems from its blend of historical significance and modern attractions. The Boone Speedway revs up excitement for motorsport enthusiasts, while the Don Williams Lake offers tranquility for outdoor lovers. 

Boone experiences distinct seasons, each offering its own allure. Summers (June to August) are warm and vibrant, perfect for exploring outdoor activities and local events. 

Fall (September to November) paints the city in hues of orange and gold, ideal for sightseeing and nature walks. Winters (December to February) bring snow and the opportunity for skiing and snowboarding, while spring (March to May) awakens the city with blooming beauty.

As you step into Boone, be prepared to immerse yourself in a journey through time, experience the thrill of outdoor escapades, and be charmed by the warmth of a community that welcomes you year-round. Let’s find the best and most fun things to do in Boone, Iowa.

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1) Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

The Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, a historic gem of Boone, Iowa, offers an enchanting journey through time. Dating back to the 19th century, its history is interwoven with the town’s rail heritage. 

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
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The railway was originally constructed in 1893 and has evolved into a beloved tourist attraction, providing vintage train rides that showcase the region’s natural beauty and historical significance. 

Passengers can choose from various themed rides, such as dinner trains and holiday specials, to suit their preferences. Notably, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is one of the few heritage railways to operate a historic steam locomotive, adding an authentic touch to the experience. 

With tracks winding through picturesque landscapes, this attraction offers visitors a chance to relive the golden age of railways, creating cherished memories and a deeper connection to Boone’s past.

Address:

225 10th St, Boone, IA 50036, United States

2) Boone History Center

The Boone History Center in Boone, Iowa, serves as a captivating portal into the town’s rich and storied past. The history center was established to preserve and share the heritage of Boone. 

Boone History Center
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This center is a treasure trove of historical artifacts, photographs, and documents. The Boone History Center was originally founded in 1967 and showcased the town’s fascinating history. 

The center particularly showcases its significant role in the development of railroads and its connection to former First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower, a Boone native.

One of its standout exhibits is dedicated to First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, who grew up in Boone. Visitors can explore her early life and the influence Boone had on her. 

The center’s interactive displays and engaging exhibits provide a hands-on experience, making history come alive for all who visit. 

Through its collections and outreach programs, the Boone History Center invites visitors to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the people and events that shaped this charming Iowa town.

Address:

602 Story St, Boone, IA 50036, United States

3) Ledges State Park

Ledges State Park in Boone, Iowa, is a natural wonderland that draws visitors with its dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and picturesque trails. Its history traces back to the early 20th century when it was officially dedicated as a state park in 1924. 

Ledges State Park
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The park’s breathtaking landscapes were formed by glacial activity, resulting in its distinctive canyons and rock formations.

A highlight of the park is the unique sandstone “ledges” that give it its name, offering hikers and explorers an opportunity to traverse its rugged terrain. The park’s scenic trails cater to all skill levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging hikes. 

Ledges State Park is also a prime destination for birdwatching, with a variety of avian species making the park their home. Its proximity to the Des Moines River adds to its allure, making it a popular spot for fishing and picnicking. 

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking a serene escape, Ledges State Park promises an unforgettable adventure through Iowa’s natural beauty.

Address:

1515 P Ave, Madrid, IA 50156, United States

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4) Boone Speedway

Boone Speedway, situated in Boone, Iowa, is a hub of high-speed excitement and a magnet for motorsport enthusiasts. The speedway was first established in the early 20th century.

Boone Speedway
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The speedway has a rich history that has transformed it into a beloved destination for both locals and visitors. Hosting various racing classes, from stock cars to modifieds, the track offers an electrifying atmosphere where drivers showcase their skills.

The speedway’s most renowned event is the annual IMCA Super Nationals, a week-long racing extravaganza that draws competitors and fans from across the nation. Its clay oval track and grandstand seating provide optimal views of the thrilling races. 

Over the years, Boone Speedway has cultivated a strong racing community, with passionate fans adding to the vibrant ambiance. The speedway’s legacy is woven into the fabric of the town, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of adrenaline and a glimpse into Boone’s racing heritage.

Address:

1481 223rd Pl, Boone, IA 50036, United States

5) Seven Oaks Recreation

Seven Oaks Recreation, nestled in Boone, Iowa, is a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and relaxation. This versatile destination was established in 1993. It was born out of a vision to provide a space for both summer and winter activities.

Seven Oaks Recreation
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During warmer months, visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and tubing on the Des Moines River, while winter transforms Seven Oaks into a snowy playground for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. The site’s unique appeal lies in its adaptability to various seasons and skill levels.

Seven Oaks is a leader in introducing newcomers to snow sports, offering lessons and equipment rentals. The recreational facility’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in its use of renewable energy sources and recycling programs. 

Whether you are seeking a refreshing summer escape or a thrilling winter adventure, Seven Oaks Recreation promises a memorable experience that celebrates the beauty of the outdoors in every season.

Address:

1086 222nd Dr, Boone, IA 50036, United States

6) Boone Municipal Swimming Pool

Boone Municipal Swimming Pool, located in Boone, Iowa, has been a cherished summertime retreat for both locals and visitors for many years.  This historic pool was constructed in 1937 and has a rich history as one of the oldest municipal pools in the state.

Boone Municipal Swimming Pool
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The pool’s design embodies the era’s architectural charm, featuring a classic Art Deco bathhouse that adds a touch of nostalgia to the overall experience. 

It has been a community gathering spot for generations, offering respite from the summer heat. The pool boasts a range of amenities, including water slides, diving boards, and spacious areas for relaxation and aquatic play.

One interesting fact about the pool is that it has undergone several renovations to modernize and enhance the facilities while preserving its historic character. 

It remains a popular destination for families and individuals seeking a refreshing escape during the sweltering summer months. The place provides a place for leisurely swims, energetic water play, and creating cherished memories in the heart of Boone.

Address:

Boone, IA 50036, United States

7) Boone Valley Brewing

Boone Valley Brewing, situated in Boone, Iowa, is a haven for beer enthusiasts seeking a taste of local craftsmanship and community spirit. The microbrewery was established in 2013 and has quickly become a focal point for both residents and visitors.

Boone Valley Brewing
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Founded by a group of friends passionate about brewing, Boone Valley Brewing is known for its diverse range of handcrafted beers, each bearing the unique stamp of the town’s character. 

It’s a place where locals and travelers alike can gather to enjoy a selection of finely brewed beers in a welcoming atmosphere.

One intriguing aspect of the brewery is its commitment to giving back to the community through various philanthropic endeavors. Boone Valley Brewing’s emphasis on community engagement and support sets it apart in the local craft beer scene. 

Whether you are a connoisseur or just exploring the world of craft beer, a visit to Boone Valley Brewing offers a delightful opportunity to savor the taste of Boone’s ingenuity and camaraderie.

Address:

816 7th St, Boone, IA 50036, United States

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8) Outdoor Recreation at Don Williams Lake

Don Williams Lake, a serene oasis near Boone, Iowa, has a history rooted in conservation and outdoor recreation. Constructed in the 1960s, the lake was created as a multi-purpose reservoir, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, and picnicking in a natural setting.

Outdoor Recreation at Don Williams Lake
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The lake spans 151 acres and is surrounded by lush woodlands, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. It has become a popular spot for anglers seeking a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass and channel catfish.

One of the lake’s interesting features is its accessibility, with boat ramps, fishing jetties, and shoreline fishing areas catering to different preferences. Additionally, Don Williams Lake offers hiking trails and camping facilities, making it an ideal spot for a day trip or an extended outdoor adventure.

Don Williams Lake presents a serene escape where nature’s beauty and recreational opportunities harmonize to create a relaxing and memorable experience

Address:

610 H Ave, Ogden, IA 50212, United States

Overview

Boone, Iowa, might be off the beaten path, but it’s a destination brimming with unique experiences and opportunities to create lasting memories. 

From its historical significance to its outdoor wonders and vibrant local scene, Boone invites visitors to discover the allure of small-town charm and Midwestern hospitality. So, the next time you’re planning a getaway, consider adding Boone to your list of must-visit destinations.

FAQs

What are things to do in Boone today?

Boone offers a variety of activities for all interests! Here are a few highlights for today:

  • Outdoor Adventure: Hike the family-friendly Greenway Trail, offering scenic views.
  • Cultural Immersion: Visit the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts for rotating exhibitions, or explore the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition downtown.
  • Live Music: Catch the “Monday Night Concert Series” at Broyhill Park for a delightful evening.

What are some free things to do in Boone?

  • Explore Downtown Boone: Wander through King Street, browsing unique shops and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.
  • Picnic at Daniel Boone Park: Enjoy the scenic grounds and historic Hickory Ridge Living History Museum.
  • Hike the Cascades Trail: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains on this picturesque trail.

How do I spend a day in Boone?

  • Morning: Hike the Cascades Trail for stunning scenery and fresh mountain air.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and explore downtown Boone’s shops and restaurants.
  • Evening: Savor a delicious meal at a local restaurant and enjoy live music at Hatchet Coffee.

What are the best things to do in Boone and Blowing Rock?

  • Grandfather Mountain: Experience breathtaking views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge and explore nature trails and wildlife habitats.
  • Tweetsie Railroad: Take a nostalgic steam train ride through the countryside, complete with Wild West shows and exciting demonstrations.
  • The Blowing Rock: Witness the mesmerizing natural phenomenon of wind constantly blowing upwards at this iconic rock formation.

What are the best things to do in Boone in December?

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: Hit the slopes at Appalachian Ski Mountain or Beech Mountain Resort for exhilarating winter sports.
  • Winter Wonderland: Enjoy festive events like the “Festival of Lights” at Chetola Resort or the “Downtown Boone Holiday Parade.”
  • Cozy Cabins: Curl up by a fireplace in a charming cabin rental and savor the wintery atmosphere.

What are things to do in Boone in October?

  • Fall Foliage: Hike through vibrant forests bursting with autumn colors on trails like the Blue Ridge Parkway or Hawksnest Scenic Byway.
  • Apple Picking: Visit local orchards like Apple Hill Farm or Orchard at Alta Vista for fresh, seasonal apples.
  • High Country Festivals: Immerse yourself in local culture at events like the “Valle Crucis Oktoberfest” or the “Boone Country Fair.”

What are the best things to do in Boone in winter?

  • Winter Sports: Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and ice skating at various resorts and outdoor venues.
  • Cozy Getaways: Relax in a luxurious spa like Westglow Spa or unwind by a crackling fireplace in a cozy cabin.
  • Holiday Cheer: Experience the magic of the season with festive lights, decorations, and special events throughout town.

Remember, this is just a taste of what Boone has to offer! Depending on your interests and preferences, you’ll find a plethora of activities and adventures to fill your time in this charming mountain town.

I hope this helps you plan your perfect Boone adventure!