AUDUBON COUNTY TOURISM
800 MARKET STREET
AUDUBON, IOWA 50025-1050
CITY OF AUDUBON
John James Audubon Stained Glass Clock
It is 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
John James Audubon Plaza and Bird Walk
Click on for the "WALK the WALK" John James Audubon Birdwalk Brochure
Bird mosaics are through out the Downtown of Audubon and in the City Park Plaza.
Audubon, the town and county are named for the world famous artist and naturalist, John James Audubon. He is honored in several ways…..a bronze statue with his dog, “Zephyr” In the center of the city park, a beautiful mural in the library entrance, by Judy Suttcliffe, and a mural in the Post Office, painted by workers in the WPA. The WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States. Off of Highway 71, follow Broadway Street east to the Audubon town square.
The John James Audubon Festival is celebrated in the spring.
Audubon Public Library and Cultural Center
John James Audubon Tile Mural
Part of the library is the John James Audubon Cultural Center, which is a home to the antique doll and toy museum. Lectures, classes and displays frequent the meeting room. See the entire collection of the famous Royal Copenhagen plates, from the first release to the most current. For more information contact 712-563-3301.
John James Audubon Cultural Center
Cultral Center Doll Collection
Audubon is the home to 'Albert the Bull'.
"ALBERT THE BULL" is the World’s largest Bull. Albert is located on the south edge of Audubon, visible from Highway 71. The lighted statue welcomes visitors to Audubon. It is 30 feet tall and weighs 45 tons with a horn span of 15 feet and is recognized nationally. This gigantic statue is a salute to the beef industry and offers a great photo opportunity.
Audubon’s largest celebration is “OPERATION T-BONE”. The celebration is the first Saturday in August. The festivities include fireworks, a parade, "John James Audubon 5K/2K Fun Run & Walk, a talent show, a fabulous "Chili Cook Off", variety shows, class reunions, a street dance, "Wheeler Power (Car) Show, T-Bone feeders' auction, horse show, golf tournament, and more....
Firetrucks, floats, marching bands, candy, and more.... make up the Operation T-Bone Parade
Operation T-Bone Parade
Enjoy the steak sandwich at Operation T-Bone
AUDUBON COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND VETERAN’S MEMORIAL
AUDUBON COUNTY COURTHOUSE is on the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example of “Art Deco” artistry. Virtually unchanged, it is one of twelve courthouses in Iowa built in the thirties. On the courthouse lawn is the Veterans Memorial, dedicated on the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. The monument holds more than 1,600 names of veterans with family ties to Audubon County.
U.S. POST OFFICE JOHN JAMES AUDUBON MURAL
A beautiful mural depicting John James Audubon’s life can be found in the U.S. Post Office. It was painted by workers of the WPA. The WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States.
Audubon City Pool and more....
For summer fun come to the Audubon City Pool located at 601 Stadium Drive. Enjoy the olympic lanes and water slide. All located close is tennis courts, baseball, softball and volleyball . Other fun to take in car races, parks and playgrounds, golf course, bike trail and camping .
T-Bone Trail - 20 miles of Fun!
Click on for T-Bone Trail Brochure
T-Bone Trail begins in Audubon at the Albert the Bull Park and trails by Hamlin, Exira, Brayton and south into Cass County.
Click link to print map. Audubon City Map
"TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD"
The story of "THE TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD”. A surveyor was marking the line between Audubon and Cass counties and used a slender cottonwood branch as he walked. When the line was established, he pushed it in the soft earth at the exact point where the lines crossed and where the present crossroad was to be in later years. The switch took root and it has grown into today’s tall and widespread 100 foot tree. To reach the "Tree in the Road" from 71 Highway at the town of Brayton travel east on County Road T to F-65, and follow the green Landmark Tree signs on the gravel roads. From Exira, go east on F-58 and follow the green Landmark Tree sign. As you approach the curve take the gravel off the west side of Littlefield Recreation Area.
Brayton is home to "Old Glory Park" and a jumping off point for driving to the THE TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
"OLD GLORY PARK"
"Old Glory Park" a great fun place to picnic and play.
Click link to print map. Brayton Map
www.exiraiowa.com for the City of Exira web site
At "PLOW IN THE OAK PARK" one mile south of Exira, there is a legend that a farmer went off to the Civil War leaving his plow against the sapling. As it grew, the plow became a part of the tree. Today, less and less of the plow is visible but there stands yet, a large oak tree, with an iron plow in its heart. It has been written about nationally, as one of the country’s “Famous Trees”, and even by Ripley’s “Believe It or Not”. THE park contains five acres with picnic tables and a restroom.
LITTLEFIELD RECREATION AREA
444 Acres of FUN FUN FUN at Littlefield Recreation Area!
Littlefield Recreation Area is located six miles southeast of Exira and is Audubon County’s largest recreation area totaling 444 acres with over 100 campsites. The lake is 70 acres, good for fishing and swimming with a large sand beach and bathhouse. The park has both tent and RV campgrounds, picnic areas, shelters, native timber, wildflowers, biking and hiking trails, and live buffalo are an added attraction.
FOURTH OF JULY PARADE
OTHER FOURTH OF JULY FUN
Exira is known for its 4th of July celebration. The Independence Day parade and festival attracts thousands for the reunions, parade, food, fireworks and fun!
EXIRA FALL FESTIVAL
The last Saturday in September.
Click link to print. Exira Map
Click also on www.exiraiowa.com for Exira's website.
HERITAGE ROSE GARDEN
The “HERITAGE ROSE GARDEN” nestled in the little town of Gray is a delightful discovery for tourists traveling Western Iowa. Found within a unique town park is an extensive collection of old garden roses grandmothers brought across the prairie to Iowa. Over 200 roses and other plantings flourish in this treasure trove with its arbors, arches, and a unique historic steeple from the town’s first church. Come for a quiet stroll through the Heritage Rose Garden located in Gray which is 2 miles west on F-16 off of Highway 71. For information call 712-563-2742.
Click link to print. Gray Map
“The Little Mermaid Park” is in the Danish settlement of Kimballton. In the park you will find a fountain with an exact replica of the Little Mermaid in the harbor at Copenhagen, Denmark. Proud of their Danish cultural heritage, the citizens of Kimballton erected this tribute in 1978 to the Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. "The Little Mermaid" fairytale is one of Andersen’s best known and most loved stories. Next to the fountain is a “Bondehuset” (farmers cottage) and children’s playground.
"DANISH" IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
The Danish Immanuel Lutheran Church, on the National Register of Historic Places,is a jewel in this small community and is open to the public. Don’t miss the ship hanging from the ceiling.
Other things to see in Kimballton is the Mural of History on Main Street and the business district which is also on the National Registor of Historic Places. Enjoy the Dania Garden gazebo on Main Street. Kimballton and Elk Horn have two main celebrations. Those two events are Julefest (Christmas Festival) in late November and the Tivoli Fest, Memorial Day weekend.
The General Store Museum includes a section on the National Hand Corn Husking competition. Kimballton in the past had hosted the State Hand Corn Husking tournament numerous years.
This small village of Kimballton is only three miles from Elk Horn, where the Iowa State Welcome Center is an authentic working Danish windmill, built in 1848 and transported to Elk Horn in 1945 where the townspeople painstakingly re-assembled it. The Danish Immigrant Museum a few blocks away is the national museum of Danish heritage. Share the story and experience of early Danish immigrants beginning with their decision to leave Denmark to the establishment of new homes, schools, churches, and settlements in America, as you tour the self-guiding permanent exhibit,“Across Oceans, Across Time”. This area is the largest Danish settlement in the United States. Danish food and gifts are available in Kimballton and Elk Horn.
As Audubon County’s only winery, the Danish Countryside Vines and Wines is an excellent example of barn reuse. Grapeleaf Lane off of F58, 2 1/2 miles east from Elk Horn or 6 1/2 miles west from Exira will take you there. The Countryside Vines and Wines offers tours and tastings with a beautiful view of the countryside. For more information contact 712-764-2991.
Click link to print. Kimballton Map
AUDUBON COUNTY MUSEUMS
Nathaniel Hamlin Fall Festival - September 15, 2013
NATHANIEL HAMLIN PARK, proudly bears the name of the first settler in Audubon County. This farm museum, one mile south of Audubon on 71 Highway includes the brick Victorian “County Farm Home”, and a little red one room schoolhouse, authentically furnished. Come ring the antique bell!
The Mormans camped here on their westward journey in the 1840’s. According to legend they spilled bluegrass seed from wagon supplies, hence the name Blue Grass Grove. It was the summer campground for hunting parties for Meskwaki Indians until 1886.
The house was built in 1890 in the Renaisssance style of Victorian architecture and is part of a museum complex at the park featuring historical displays. From the front porch or an upstairs window one has a picturesque view of the Blue Grass Valley.
The Machinery Museum is home to the 200- foot mural depicting the cattle industry--from a roundup in Texas to the family table in Iowa. This mural was painted by Audubon’s own, the late Cam Ross in 1973. The machinery building also houses antique farm equipment and other displays pertaining to everyday farm life. People with disabilities are welcome! A walking trail cuts through seven acres of native timber with an undercover of bluegrass and wildflowers. There are two small ponds with aquatic plants and animals.. White-tailed deer, wild turkies and pheasants are routinely seen.. A small stream winds along on one side with a bluebird trail . Self-guided tours on the trail are welcome.
The Audubon County Historical Society maintains the museums. Call 712-563-3984 for more information.
An Elk family makes their home at the park. Elk were native to this area over 150 years ago. Observe these fascinating animals from the gazebo viewing stand and feed them grains.
A Blacksmith Shop, and many farm windmills add to the experience at Nathaniel Hamlin Park and Museum. Walk the wilderness trail or shop at the Bargain Barn located on the grounds. Tours are welcome, and the meeting room and picnic tables are great for gatherings. Call 712-563-2516 for hours and tours.
In Exira, the original AUDUBON COUNTY COURTHOUSE is now a historical museum containing special historical displays including artifacts from Audubon County history, a genealogical library, and video and newspaper clippings of the devastating 1958 flood of the Nishabotna River. It is open during Exira’s Fourth of July celebration or by appointment. Call 712-268-5489 for hours and more information.
TAYLOR HILL LODGE
A restored barn with catered dining, lodging, and relaxing in the country. The Lodge is located at 1614 Highway 71, 4 miles north of Audubon. Phone: 712-563-2248.
AUDUBON PUBLIC LIBRARY & JOHN JAMES AUDUBON CULTURAL CENTER
401 North Park Place…on the square
EXIRA PUBLIC LIBRARY
114 West Washington Street..
ANTIQUES & GIFT SHOPS
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Welcome Center for more information and brochures
Audubon County welcomes you to it’s beautiful rolling countryside, antiques, museums, good food and friendly people. Western Skies Scenic Byway rolls along a ridge top through the towns of Hamlin and Kimballton, giving expansive views of terraced hills and farmsteads nestled into a deep valley.
For more attractions in western Iowa visit www.visitwesterniowa.com