Shenandoah, Iowa, is the city United Country Real Estate | Arrowhead Realty Co. calls home. We’re right here in the southwest corner of the state, surrounded by a diverse mix of rural farmland, historic downtown areas and suburban communities.
Southwest Iowa offers ample opportunity for outdoor recreation, and historical and cultural discoveries. There are plenty of venues for music, theater and other entertainment, and local festivals and events always draw a crowd.
And if you’re looking for a place to enjoy serene country living, the region definitely fits the bill. Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of Southwest Iowa for both residents and visitors.
The expansive stretches of farmland, forests and rolling hills in Southwest Iowa provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re aim is hunting or fishing, boating, biking or hiking … you’re bound to find your favorite spot for adventures in the region.
There are some really good – and often quite long – trails to explore, including the 62-mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a scenic route perfect for biking and hiking through Shenandoah, Blanchard, Silver City and other nearby communities. Or make your way on water instead, kayaking the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail, nearly 27 miles through places such as Carson and Hancock.
Just 10 minutes or so from Shenandoah, the Pierce Creek Equestrian Campground features 10 miles of trails for horseback riding, as well as an area fishing lake. There are several state parks within 30 minutes to an hour of the immediate area, as well. Waubonsie State Park in Hamburg offers 2,000 acres of land and a lake for all types of recreation, and adjacent public lands are popular for hunting whitetail deer and turkey. Viking Lake Campground in Stanton has 120 campsites, plus a lodge and lakefront restaurant, while Lake of the Three Fires State Park has rental cabins, multiple trails and picnic areas in Bedford.
There are others, as well, such as the 104-acre Cold Springs Park near Lewis, and Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs (the latter has a swimming beach, mountain bike trails and more).
Sometimes the best way to find your new favorite place is just to hit the road — in this case, via the iconic Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. It runs between Fremont County in the south and Plymouth County on the northern end, along the Western Iowa border. The byway is an excellent way to get a look at the unique and picturesque Loess Hills, as well as to explore surrounding area attractions from town to town. In fact, Harrison County has several units you can visit within the Loess Hills State Forest.
From Shenandoah to Sidney, Red Oak, Clarinda, Bedford and beyond, there are quite a few Southwest Iowa attractions to explore besides just those in the great outdoors. You might stroll Downtown Shenandoah’s Walk of Fame after breakfast at Depot Restaurant & Lounge. Later on, you can catch a Clarinda A’s baseball game, or visit the childhood home of rock-and-roll icons The Everly Brothers. There’s really something for everyone in the region, from historical discoveries to entertainment venues, downtown shops, festivals and more.
In addition to The Everly Brothers home, music history fans will want to visit the Glen Miller Birthplace Museum. Or, you can learn why the town of Stanton has Swedish roots at the Swedish Heritage and Cultural Center.
For a couple other unique historical and cultural outings, try the Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum, and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. The latter is about an hour from Shenandoah, but worth the drive. Another very Iowa-specific attraction is “The Freedom Rock,” and a different one honoring our nation’s veterans is located in every county. The artwork on these boulders is amazing.
For entertainment ideal for the whole family, the Grand Theatre and the Wilson Performing Arts Center, both in Red Oak, are good options. Or keep things a bit more rustic and head to Sidney for the world’s largest continuous outdoor rodeo!
Lastly, local events and annual festivals are huge across the country, and Southwest Iowa is no exception to the rule. Makers and artisans are all about the Clarinda Craft Carnival every October, while the Page County Fair is beloved by the local agricultural communities. In June, everyone gathers for the Glen Miller Festival. Stanton has a fun summer concert series, and over in Shenandoah, there seems to be something always going on. Head to Southwest Iowa and discover the best attractions for your lifestyle!