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.
You may read: 14 Most Fun Things To Do In Westport, WA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1515 P Ave, Madrid, IA 50156, United States
You may read: 17 Most Fun Things To Do In Salem, NH
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
816 7th St, Boone, IA 50036, United States
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.
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
610 H Ave, Ogden, IA 50212, United States
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.