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One Day in Winterset Itinerary

There's plenty to do in Winterset, Iowa, but you've only got one day to visit! Review our suggestions on how to spend it.

Welcome Center

Start your day at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center (73 Jefferson Street in Winterset, Iowa), where you can pick up maps and directions to the covered bridges, find public restrooms, souvenirs, and locally-made products, as well as The Bridges of Madison County movie memorabilia. Check our Contact Us page for seasonal hours and contact information. You can also schedule a personal guided tour of the bridges through the Chamber!

Roseman Covered Bridge

Roseman Covered Bridge and the greenery around it.

Head to Roseman Covered Bridge, which figured prominently in the movie. On the way back from Roseman, stop at Pammel State Park and drive across Middle River at the ford.

City Park

Clark Tower at Winterset City Park.

Arrive at City Park (corner of 9th Street and South Street) and discover its gems, such as Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge, a live English hedge maze, whimsical wooden sculptures, Clark Tower, and a new Play for ALL playground, to name a few.

Stop for Lunch

Salad from a restaurant in Winterset's Historic Courtyard Square.

Return to the Winterset Historic Courthouse Square to grab lunch. From American favorites to international cuisine, there’s something for everyone around the square. (Let our Dine & Drink section be your guide.)

Explore Our Museums

Displays from the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum and Iowa Quilt Museum.

Tour the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to Hollywood legend John Wayne. The John Wayne Birthplace & Museum (205 S. John Wayne Drive, Winterset, Iowa) honors Winterset’s own in grand style and features the largest private collection of John Wayne memorabilia in existence. Be sure to pose with the full-size bronze statue out front. Open daily excluding major holidays from 10 am to 5 pm.

If arts and crafts are more your pace, a visit to the Iowa Quilt Museum is a must! The museum brings in new, curated exhibits every few months, so there’s always something new to see.

Shop, then stop for a drink

Charming storefront in the Winterset, Iowa, retail district.

The award-winning Winterset retail district has over twenty unique boutiques. Any visit to Winterset should include time to shop! Afternoon is a perfect time to stop for something cold to drink. Visit Big Rack Brewhaus for craft beer or Covered Bridges Winery for a glass of red or white. Can’t decide? Visit The Drift or Urban Taproom & Grill, which offer some of each, as well as tasty cocktails.

Stay a While

By now you’ve realized you need more time here! Book a room at one of our hotels or at one of our cozy B&Bs.

Explore Lodging Options