12 Exciting Activities To Experience In Jefferson, Iowa

things to do in jefferson iowa

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Jefferson, Iowa is a small town that packs a big punch when it comes to exciting activities. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, this charming community has something for everyone. Whether you're a local looking for new ways to explore your hometown or a visitor looking for the ultimate vacation destination, here are 12 exciting activities that you won't want to miss in Jefferson, Iowa.

Activity Description
Jefferson Bell Tower Climb up the narrow staircase to the top for panoramic views of the city.
RVP 1875 Historic Furniture Shop & Museum See 19th century furniture and tools, and learn about historical woodworking techniques.
Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower Ride an elevator up to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of the area.
Greene County Historical Society Museum Explore local history with a collection of artifacts and memorabilia.
Jefferson Depot Museum Learn about the area's railroad history and see restored train cars.
Jefferson Community Golf Course Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by scenic countryside.
Wild Rose Casino & Resort Try your luck with slot machines and table games, or enjoy live entertainment at the events center.
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park Have fun tubing down the winter hill or playing mini golf in the summer.


Explore the Raccoon River Valley Trail

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Jefferson, Iowa is located in the heart of the Raccoon River Valley, which offers many outdoor recreational activities for visitors. One of the most popular activities is exploring the Raccoon River Valley Trail. This 89-mile trail connects several small towns, including Jefferson, and offers stunning views of Iowa's beautiful countryside.

The Raccoon River Valley Trail is a multi-use trail that is perfect for walking, running, biking, and horseback riding. The trail follows the banks of the Raccoon River and winds through natural prairies, wetlands, and forests. Along the way, visitors can spot wildlife such as deer, foxes, and a variety of birds.

In Jefferson, the Raccoon River Valley Trail features a scenic trailhead that offers plenty of parking and restrooms. From there, visitors can head west towards Perry or east towards Panora. The trail is well maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great choice for families with young children or beginner-level outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the highlights of the Raccoon River Valley Trail is the High Trestle Trail Bridge, which spans the Des Moines River Valley. This impressive bridge is nearly a half-mile long and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can walk or bike across the bridge and enjoy the stunning views.

In addition to outdoor recreation, the Raccoon River Valley Trail also offers visitors the chance to explore small towns along the trail. Jefferson, for example, is home to several unique stores, restaurants, and attractions. Visitors can stop for a bite to eat at one of the many local diners or cafes or check out the local boutiques and antique shops.

Overall, the Raccoon River Valley Trail is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Jefferson, Iowa. Whether you're looking for outdoor recreation, small-town charm, or breathtaking views, the trail has something for everyone. So pack your walking shoes or bike and head out to explore the beauty of the Raccoon River Valley!


Visit the Mahanay Bell Tower

Source: jeffersonmatters.org
Characteristic Description
NameMahanay Bell Tower
TypeHistorical place in Jefferson, Iowa
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 228
AddressJefferson, IA 50129
Phone(515) 386-2155
HoursWednesday - 10 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–4 PM
Friday - 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–4 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–4 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 10 AM–4 PM
Tuesday - 10 AM–4 PM

Jefferson, Iowa is a vibrant Midwest town with tons of activities for all ages. One attraction that stands out among all others is the Mahanay Bell Tower.

The Mahanay Bell Tower is an iconic landmark in the heart of Jefferson that stands at 168 feet tall. The tower has 14 floors and is crowned with a gold dome that houses a bronze bell system. The tower was constructed in 1966, and since then, it has become a symbol of pride for Jefferson residents.

What makes the Mahanay Bell Tower a must-visit attraction is its unique observation deck. Visitors can take a ride up a glass elevator to the top of the tower and enjoy a 360-degree view of the town. It is a thrilling experience, and visitors can spot familiar landmarks such as the courthouse, the Greene County Community Center, and the Raccoon River.

Visitors can also learn about the town's history and the Mahanay family, who generously donated the funds for the tower's construction, at the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Museum. The museum is located just below the observation deck and offers exhibits about the tower's construction, interactive displays, and a gift shop.

The Mahanay Bell Tower is also the epicenter of many community events and celebrations. Every year, the tower is decorated with lights during the holiday season and plays Christmas music in the evening. During the summer, visitors can enjoy live music on the observation deck, and on special events, the tower bells are played live, adding to the charm of the experience.

Visiting the Mahanay Bell Tower is an excellent way to experience the town's history, admire its beauty, and create unforgettable memories. The tower is open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and weekends only in the fall. Admission fees are reasonable, and group rates are available. Plan your visit today and discover why the Mahanay Bell Tower is one of Iowa's hidden gems.

13 Must-Do Activities in Ktown NYC

You may want to see also


Tour the Greene County Historical Museum

Source: www.traveliowa.com
Characteristic Description
NameGreene County Historical Society
TypeLocal history museum in Jefferson, Iowa
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 3
Address219 E Lincoln Way, Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone(515) 386-8544

If you're ever in Jefferson, Iowa, be sure to visit the Greene County Historical Museum. Located in the heart of downtown Jefferson, this museum is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in learning more about the rich heritage of Greene County. Here are some reasons why you should tour the Greene County Historical Museum:

Explore local history

The museum features several exhibits that showcase the history of Greene County. From farming equipment to old photographs, visitors can learn about life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of the highlights of the museum is the timeline exhibit, which traces the county's history from prehistoric times to the present day.

See artifacts from the Civil War

Greene County was home to many Civil War soldiers, and the museum has a collection of artifacts that tell their stories. Visitors can see uniforms, weapons, and other items used by soldiers in the war. There are also displays that highlight the role of Iowa in the war effort.

Learn about architecture

The museum is housed in a beautiful building that was once the county jail. Visitors can see inside the jail cells and learn about the architecture of the building. There is also an exhibit that showcases the history of courthouse architecture in Iowa.

See a train exhibit

If you're a train enthusiast, you won't want to miss the train exhibit at the museum. There is a model train layout that shows how trains played an important role in the growth and development of Greene County. Visitors can also see old railroad lanterns and other artifacts related to trains.

Take a guided tour

The museum offers guided tours for groups of all sizes. A knowledgeable guide will take you through the exhibits and provide insights into the history of Greene County. The tours are a great way to learn more about the museum's collection and hear interesting stories about the county's past.

In conclusion, the Greene County Historical Museum is a must-visit attraction in Jefferson, Iowa. Whether you're interested in local history, architecture, trains, or the Civil War, there is something for everyone at this museum. So, the next time you're in Jefferson, be sure to tour the museum and learn more about the fascinating history of Greene County.


Go fishing at Spring Lake Park

Source: www.tripadvisor.com
Characteristic Description
NameSpring Lake Park
TypeCampground in Greene County, Iowa
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 291
Address1847 195th St, Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone(515) 738-5069

Located in Greene County, Iowa, Jefferson is a charming town that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Spring Lake Park, located on the west side of town, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. With its serene location and ample fish species, Spring Lake Park is the perfect spot to spend a day on the water.

The park boasts a 17-acre lake stocked with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. In addition, the park features a fishing pier and several accessible fishing opportunities for those with disabilities. Visitors can also rent boats, canoes, and kayaks from the park, making it easy to get out on the water and explore the lake.

For those looking for a quiet, tranquil fishing experience, Spring Lake Park is the perfect destination. The park is a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, where visitors can relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature. The park also offers several picnic areas, making it easy to spend the entire day enjoying the outdoors.

In addition to fishing and boating, Spring Lake Park has several hiking trails, a disc golf course, and a playground for children. The park is also home to the Greene County Fairgrounds, which hosts several events throughout the year, including the Greene County Fair and the Iowa State Trapshoot.

Overall, Spring Lake Park is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy a day of fishing in a peaceful, natural setting. With its serene lake, variety of fish species, and wealth of outdoor activities, Spring Lake Park is a must-visit for anyone in the Jefferson, Iowa area.


Take a ride on a motorcycle or ATV on the local trails

Source: www.atv.com

If you're an adventure seeker who loves nothing more than hitting the open road on two or four wheels, Jefferson, Iowa has plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. With miles upon miles of off-road ATV and motorcycle trails winding their way through the forests and countryside, this charming town is an ideal destination for anyone looking to get their adrenaline fix in a beautiful and unique setting.

Thanks to its status as a hub of outdoor recreation, Jefferson is home to a vast network of well-maintained trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned motocross pro, a dirt bike enthusiast, or just someone looking to get outside and have some fun, you'll find plenty of options to suit your interests and abilities.

One of the most popular ATV trails in the area is the nearby Wagaman Mill Trail. This 3.7-mile route takes riders through a stunning natural landscape of rolling hills, winding creeks, and vibrant greenery. Along the way, you'll encounter plenty of challenging obstacles to test your skills, from rocky outcroppings to steep inclines and sharp turns.

For those seeking a more expansive ATV adventure, the local Raccoon River Valley Trail offers a whopping 89 miles of winding trail stretching through some of the most beautiful countryside in the region. This vast network of paths covers a wide variety of terrain, from mountainous forests to rocky riverbeds and everything in between. And with plenty of stops along the way for food, drink, and sightseeing, it's the perfect opportunity to really immerse yourself in the local culture and community.

Whether you're looking to take your existing bike or ATV for a spin, or you're in need of a rental to get you started on your adventure, you'll find plenty of options for both in Jefferson. There are plenty of experienced, knowledgeable outfitters and guides in the area who can help you plan the perfect ride, offering expert advice on everything from trail conditions to gear selection so you can hit the trails with confidence.

So if you're looking for a truly unforgettable adventure on your motorcycle or ATV, look no further than Jefferson, Iowa. With its beautiful natural setting, expertly maintained trails, and welcoming community of fellow outdoor enthusiasts, it's the perfect place to explore, unwind, and experience the great outdoors in a whole new way.


Attend a concert or theatrical performance at the Wild Rose Casino

Source: wildroseresorts.com

Nestled in the charming town of Jefferson, Iowa, the Wild Rose Casino offers more than just slot machines and card games. At this premier entertainment destination, visitors also have the opportunity to attend live concerts and theatrical performances.

With a spacious event center that can accommodate up to 800 guests, the Wild Rose Casino regularly hosts a diverse lineup of music acts and theater companies from all over the country. From country music superstars to tribute bands to Broadway-style productions, there's always something exciting happening at this venue.

One of the most popular events at the Wild Rose Casino is the annual summer concert series, which features renowned artists such as Lee Greenwood, Loverboy, and Sawyer Brown. The casino also hosts the "Rockin' Elvis Fest," a lively celebration of the King of Rock and Roll that attracts fans from all over the Midwest.

In addition to concerts, visitors can also catch a theatrical performance at the Wild Rose Casino. The venue has welcomed national touring companies such as "Menopause the Musical" and "The Price is Right Live." The casino's event center boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, ensuring that guests have an unforgettable experience.

For those looking to make a night of it, the Wild Rose Casino offers several dining options before or after the show. From casual fare at the Draft Day Sports Lounge to elegant dining at the Coaches Corner, patrons are sure to find something to suit their taste buds.

Overall, if you're looking to add some excitement to your visit to Jefferson, Iowa, the Wild Rose Casino is a must-see destination. With its impressive event center, diverse lineup of entertainment, and top-notch dining options, this venue offers something for everyone. So, gather your friends and family and head on over to catch a concert or theatrical performance at the Wild Rose Casino today!


Shop at the local boutiques and antique stores

Source: m.yelp.com

When visiting Jefferson, Iowa, shopping at the local boutiques and antique stores is a must. The city is home to a unique array of shops that offer everything from vintage finds to handmade goods. These shops are great for finding one-of-a-kind items that are sure to impress.

One of the best places to start your shopping journey is the Greene County Historical Society Museum. This museum features a gift shop that sells a variety of souvenirs and trinkets. Visitors will find books, postcards, and other items that highlight the city's history. The museum also offers tours that showcase Jefferson's unique blend of architecture and cultural heritage.

Another great stop is the Jefferson Flea Market. The flea market is held every Saturday from May through September, and it's the perfect place to find great deals on antiques and collectibles. The market is located in downtown Jefferson and features over 75 booths. Visitors will find everything from vintage clothing and jewelry to furniture and home decor.

For those interested in handmade goods, The Stitchin' Barn is a great option. This shop features a variety of fabrics, yarns, and notions for quilting and other crafts. They offer classes and workshops for all skill levels, so visitors can learn a new skill while exploring the shop. The Stitchin' Barn also features a selection of handmade items from local artisans.

If you're looking for unique gifts or home decor, be sure to check out the Rustic Corner. This shop offers a variety of rustic, antique, and vintage-inspired items. Visitors will find handmade jewelry, candles, furniture, and more. The Rustic Corner also features items made by local crafters and artists.

Finally, for those in search of vintage clothing, Belle Du Jour is a must-visit. This boutique offers a selection of vintage-inspired clothing and accessories for women. Visitors will find everything from dresses and skirts to shoes and hats. Belle Du Jour also features a selection of vintage-inspired home decor items.

In conclusion, shopping at the local boutiques and antique stores in Jefferson, Iowa is a great way to explore the city's rich history and culture. From vintage finds to handmade goods, visitors are sure to find something unique and memorable. So, grab your wallet and get ready to shop until you drop in Jefferson!

12 Exciting Things to Do in Moorhead, MN

You may want to see also


Visit the Jefferson Public Library

Source: www.jefferson.lib.ia.us
Characteristic Description
NameJefferson Public Library
TypePublic library in Jefferson, Iowa
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.9 / 8
Address200 W Lincoln Way, Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone(515) 386-2835
HoursWednesday - 1–7 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–7 PM
Friday - 1–5:30 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–1 PM
Sunday - Closed
Monday(Memorial Day) - 1–7 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–7 PM

If you're planning to visit Jefferson, Iowa soon, make sure to include a stop at the Jefferson Public Library on your itinerary. The library is not only a reliable source of information and resources for the local community, but it also serves as a great cultural and social hub for visitors.

First and foremost, the Jefferson Public Library is equipped with a wide selection of resources and materials for visitors of all ages. You can find an array of books, magazines, DVDs, and audio books, as well as access to databases and other online resources. If you need assistance with research or finding a specific item, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is always available to help.

Beyond its resources, the Jefferson Public Library also regularly hosts events and programs that are open to the public. These include storytelling and craft sessions for children, book clubs and author talks for adults, and seasonal events like the annual Halloween party and summer reading program. Visitors of all ages are welcome to attend these events, which offer a fun and welcoming environment for interaction and learning.

One of the most enchanting features of the Jefferson Public Library is its architecture. The building invites visitors with its large, open spaces and its arching windows, which let in plenty of natural light. The building also boasts a large collection of artwork and sculptures, beautifully displayed in the library's galleries and reading areas.

Overall, if you are passing through Jefferson, IA, make sure to stop by the Jefferson Public Library. With its welcoming staff, comprehensive resources, and diverse selection of programs and events, it is the perfect destination for visitors looking to enrich their experience of the city.


Play a round of golf at the Jefferson Community Golf Course

Source: www.golfpass.com
Characteristic Description
NameJefferson Community Golf Course
TypePublic golf course in Jefferson, Iowa
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.4 / 35
Address501 Greenewood Rd, Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone(515) 386-4178
HoursWednesday - 10 AM–6 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–6 PM
Friday - 10 AM–6 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–6 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–6 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 10 AM–6 PM
Tuesday - 10 AM–6 PM

Jefferson, Iowa is a charming town located in Greene County, known for its rich history, scenic beauty, and welcoming community. The town is home to a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to all interests and preferences. One of the major draws of Jefferson is the Jefferson Community Golf Course, which offers visitors a chance to enjoy a round of golf in a beautiful setting.

The Jefferson Community Golf Course is a meticulously maintained 18-hole course that spans 6,282 yards. The course was designed by architect Gordon Cunningham and was built in 1949. Over the years, it has undergone several upgrades, including a recent renovation that saw the addition of new tee boxes, sand bunkers, and other amenities. The course is open to the public and welcomes golfers of all skill levels.

The course features lush fairways, manicured greens, and well-placed hazards that provide an enjoyable challenge for players. Golfers must navigate around a variety of obstacles, including strategically placed trees, water hazards, and bunkers, ensuring that each round is a unique and exciting experience. Additionally, the course offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making it a picturesque setting for a game of golf.

For those who want to hone their skills, the Jefferson Community Golf Course offers golf lessons with a PGA-certified instructor. The course also has a driving range and putting green, allowing golfers to practice their swing and improve their game before hitting the course.

After a round of golf, visitors can relax and unwind at the clubhouse, which offers a full-service restaurant and bar. The restaurant serves a variety of delicious meals, snacks, and beverages, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and socialize with fellow golfers.

If you're looking for a fun and challenging golf experience in a beautiful setting, consider visiting the Jefferson Community Golf Course in Jefferson, Iowa. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, the course offers something for everyone and is sure to provide an enjoyable day out.


Attend the annual Bell Tower Festival

Source: www.experiencejeffersoniowa.com

Jefferson, Iowa is a small town located in Greene County, Iowa. Despite being small in size, the town attracts visitors from all over Iowa and beyond who come to attend the annual Bell Tower Festival, which takes place every June.

The Bell Tower Festival is a three-day event that celebrates the town's history, culture and community. The festival typically kicks off on a Friday evening and lasts until Sunday afternoon. The festival features a variety of activities, including live music, a parade, food vendors, a street fair, and fireworks.

One of the main attractions of the Bell Tower Festival is the parade, which takes place on Saturday morning. The parade features floats, marching bands, and local organizations that come together to celebrate the town's history and heritage. Visitors line the streets to watch the parade, making it a fun and engaging experience for people of all ages.

In addition to the parade, the Bell Tower Festival also features live music performances from local and regional bands. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of musical genres, from country and bluegrass to rock and roll. The festival also has a beer garden, where visitors can enjoy a cold drink and socialize with other festival-goers.

Another highlight of the Bell Tower Festival is the street fair, which is held on Saturday afternoon. Visitors can browse through a variety of vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to delicious food. The street fair is a great opportunity to support local businesses and artisans, as well as to sample some of the delicious cuisine that Iowa has to offer.

If you're planning to attend the Bell Tower Festival in Jefferson, Iowa, it's a good idea to book accommodations well in advance. The town's hotels and bed and breakfasts tend to fill up quickly during the festival weekend, so it's important to plan ahead.

Overall, the Bell Tower Festival is a fun and exciting event that offers something for everyone. Whether you're a history enthusiast, music lover, or foodie, there's sure to be something at the festival that will capture your interest and keep you entertained all weekend long. So book your accommodations, mark your calendar, and get ready to experience the best of Jefferson, Iowa at the annual Bell Tower Festival.


Take a leisurely stroll through the Thomas Jefferson Gardens

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Jefferson, Iowa is home to a beautiful and serene destination - the Thomas Jefferson Gardens. Named in honor of the third president of the United States, the gardens offer visitors a peaceful and calming escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located in the heart of the city, the gardens are a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

As you enter the gardens, you'll be greeted by a stunning bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson, surrounded by colorful flowers and plants. The gardens cover three acres of land, and there's no shortage of things to see and do. Walk along the pathways that weave throughout the gardens and take in the carefully curated displays of flowers, plants, and trees. No matter what time of year you visit, there's always something new and beautiful to discover.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the Rose Garden, which features dozens of different varieties of roses in shades of pink, red, and white. Take a seat on one of the nearby benches and breathe in the sweet scent of the flowers. Or, head to the reflecting pool, where you can watch the clouds drift by as you listen to the gentle trickle of the fountain.

In addition to the plants and flowers, the gardens also feature several works of art, including sculptures and a colorful mural. These artistic additions lend a unique and special feel to the gardens, making it feel more like a living work of art than a traditional garden.

Another interesting feature of the Thomas Jefferson Gardens is the Butterfly Garden. Here, you can watch as colorful butterflies flit from flower to flower, sipping nectar and adding a touch of magic to the gardens. If you're lucky, you might even spot a hummingbird or two in the mix.

Whether you're an avid gardener or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, the Thomas Jefferson Gardens are a must-visit destination in Jefferson, Iowa. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up the beauty all around you. It's a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.


Enjoy a drink and live music at the Printer’s Box

Nestled in the heart of beautiful Greene County, Iowa lies the charming town of Jefferson. Known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and friendly small-town atmosphere, Jefferson is a popular destination for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the town's hidden gems is the Printers Box, a cozy tavern and music venue located on the historic town square. Featuring a wide range of craft beers, delicious cocktails, and local wines, the Printers Box offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic date night.

But what really sets the Printers Box apart is its live music. From local bands to nationally renowned artists, the venue hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year, showcasing the best in blues, jazz, folk, and rock and roll.

Whether you're a music aficionado or simply looking for a fun night out, the Printers Box has something for everyone. So why not stop by and enjoy a drink, kick back to some great live music, and experience the magic of Jefferson, Iowa? We guarantee you won't regret it!

Frequently asked questions

There are several outdoor activities to enjoy in Jefferson, Iowa, including hiking, biking, and fishing at Lake Panorama or Spring Lake Park. You can also go kayaking or canoeing on the Raccoon River or try golfing at the Jefferson Community Golf Course.

One of the top historical attractions to visit in Jefferson is the Mahanay Bell Tower, which offers fantastic panoramic views of the city. The Greene County Courthouse Square is another historical landmark, dating back to 1894 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jefferson offers several family-friendly activities, including the Jefferson Aquatic Center, which features a wave pool, water slide, and kiddie pool. You can also visit the Jefferson Public Library for storytime or family-friendly events throughout the year.

Jefferson has several cultural events throughout the year, including the Bell Tower Festival, which features live music, food vendors, and a parade. The Greene County Fair is another annual event that includes carnival rides, food stands, and livestock shows.

Jefferson offers several dining options, including the RVP 1875 Restaurant & Lounge, which offers upscale dining in a historic setting. You can also try American fare at the Uptown Café or grab pub food and drinks at the Whistlin' Donkey Sports Bar & Grill.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment