Trains, Trails, & Treasures

From Itineraries Midwest Spring Issue 2010

Day One

11 -12 pm
Visit the Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower, wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States and Five Star General
during World War II. This completely restored Victorian home contains family heirlooms, as well as photos and mementos of lke and Mamie’s life. Displayed in the carriage house are a 1949 Chrysler Windsor sedan given to Mamie’s aunt and uncle, the Carlsons by like and Mamie at
Christmas in 1948 and the 1962 Plymouth Valiant once owned by Mamie.

12-1 pm
Lunch at one of the great restaurants in Boone; whether it’s delicious barbeque, a buffet, or a great sit down meal, you’re sure to find a local restaurant with a touch of hometown ambiance.

1 – 3:30 pm
Tour the Boone County Historical Society Museum and explore downtown Boone. The Boone County Historical Society’s 20th Century Gallery is a decade-by-decade look at Boone County history against a backdrop of national, international, and state events. View a model railroad diorama of the dramatic Kate Shelley Story, a local heroine who at the age of 15, crawled across the Des Moines Railroad Bridge during a raging nighttime storm, to warn that an oncoming passenger train must be halted or it would crash through the trestle. Also see her gold medals and the lantern she carried on the stormy night. Group tours can arrange for the museum to play their 20-minute video on the Kate Shelley story. The museum’s collection includes a military and gun collection from the
frontier days to dessert storm, and prehistoric and native items. The last weekend in September is their annual quilt show.

Boone boasts several antique shops in the downtown, tow of them within a block of the museum; Boone’s tree lined downtown holds many quaint shops to explore as well as a favorite hangout for locals, Van Hemert’s Dutch Oven Bakery & Koffee Huis.

3:30 – 5 pm
Check into one of the three fine hotels here in Boone; the Baymont Inn & Suites, a perfect, three stars like hotel, with smoke free environment, indoor pool & whirlpool, exercise room, 24 hour coffee, free high speed internet, meeting room, and complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. Other hotels in Boone include Super 8 and Econo Lodge.

5 – 8 pm
Board the Boone and Scenic Valley Dinner Train and enjoy a fabulous meal as you transverse their entire 11 mile route, giving you a two hour and thirty minute ride through the beautiful Des Moines River Valley and crossing the 156 foot tall Bass Point Creek High Bridge. While the regularly scheduled Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad dinner trains are Friday and Saturday night, arrangements can be made by groups for a private train the rest of the week.

Day Two

8 – 9 am
IF the free continental breakfast at your hotel isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite, then bring your group for a hot breakfast at the Tic Toc Restaurant in downtown Boone.

9 – 12 pm
It’s off to the Iowa Arboretum and Madrid today. As you head south out of Boone, enjoy the tree lined streets and historic mansions of Boone, swing through McHose Park and see the statue of Teddy Roosevelt, and then continue on for a scenic drive through Ledges State Park. One of Iowa’s most popular state parks, Ledges is known for its sandstone cliffs, native plant communities and deep wooded river valley. Many of the park facilities were constructed of native timber and field stone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s; these examples of fine craftsmanship include an arch stone bridge, stone shelters and trail steps. The winding road along Pea’s Creak offers motorists breathtaking views of the “canyon” and the Des Moines River Valley. A visit to the Iowa Arboretum’s 378-acre facility in rural Boone County is an experience you won’t want to miss. Its location was chosen for its ability to successfully grow plants that do well in zones 4 & 5. This site offers 40 acres developed as a “Library of Living Plants” which showcases the largest and most diverse display of plants that can be successfully grown in Iowa with hundreds of species of trees, shrubs and flowers in a tranquil scenic setting.

12 – 1 pm
Having lunch, provided by one of the areas great caters, at either the Iowa Arboretum, or Snus Hill Winery in a relaxing countryside atmosphere is sure to be a crowd pleasers.

1 – 3 pm
The quiet and peaceful countryside awaits you with a stop at Sunus Hill Winery, Boone County’s only native grown winery. Go behind the scents to see the wine making process and sample some of their yet-to-be released wines that are aging in the cellar. Tour their cellars, sample their locally grown wines and enjoy time viewing the countryside from
their expansive deck. Interested in a Harvest Party? Come experience picking grapes and enjoy a light lunch.

3 – 4:30 pm
Just west of Boone is the Battin Chapel complex of the Boone County Historical Society. The complex houses not only the historic Battin Chapel, but also a restored railroad depot and the Hickory Grove Country School Museum. Constructed in 1889, this one room school served the residents of Yell Township in Boone until 1956. Moved to its current site in 2007, the museum houses desks, a pot bellied stove, organ, and textbooks and other documents and photos of rural schools in Boone County.

4:30 – 5:30 pm
Take a break at your hotel to freshen up and get ready for a night on the town.

5:30 – 7 pm
Dinner at one of the great restaurants in Boone; whether it’s delicious barbeque, a buffet, or casual dining, you are sure to find a local restaurant with a touch of hometown ambiance.

7 – 9 pm
Take in a production of the Boone Community Theatre in the historic Garfield Elementary School. While typically weekend productions, large groups can arrange for a private Thursday night performance. The group has a very active season with a variety of productions from drama, comedy and murder mysteries to dinner and dessert theatres.

For more information or to customize this tour for your tour group please contact your tour operator or Boone Area Chamber of Commerce CVB, 800-266-6312.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>