Iowa Hotel Reservations

Next »



Small-Town Iowa in 418 Miles!

The summer of 2014 brings a unique RAGBRAI event to the Hawkeye State. Held July 20th to 26th, the 42nd annual race will be the second flattest and third shortest route in RAGBRAI history – making it an ideal year for first-timers.

This year’s RAGBRAI participants climb 11,316 feet past Iowa sights like the Iowa Great Lakes, Amish Country, and even the Little House on the Prairie.

The 2014 RAGBRAI route spans small-town northern Iowa, stopping in eight, overnight cities – only one of which features a population of over 10,000. The XLII route starts in Rock Valley on Saturday, July 19th, and covers 418 miles to the finishing town of Guttenberg – the smallest city on the route.

Here’s to touring small-town Iowa on two wheels for RAGBRAI XLII. Find your favorite spot in the northern region of the Hawkeye State – filled with scenic lakes, historic sites, and of course, bike-friendly roads in summer 2014.

2014 RAGBRAI Route

Courtesy of the Des Moines Register


Rock Valley to Okoboji

July 20 | 69 Miles | 1,771 Feet

Newcomers to RAGRBAI’s list of overnight towns, Rock Valley and Okoboji are set in northwestern Iowa – 69 miles apart just north of Cherokee. The route from RV to Okoboji climbs 1,771 feet to the Iowa Great Lakes.

Okoboji to Emmetsburg

July 21 | 41 Miles | 1,078 Feet

Another lake-filled trek, the next day’s ride climbs 1,078 feet across 41 miles to Emmetsburg – just northwest of Fort Dodge. A quirky town, Emmetsburg features a life-sized "Little House on the Prairie" replica – plus the beautiful Five Island Lake and plenty of museums.

Emmetsburg to Forest City

July 22 | 73 Miles | 1,333 Feet

Trek from Emmetsburg to the similar-sized town of Forest City. For some extra time of the seat, Forest City features the nine-mile Hanson Trail, four-mile Pilot Knob Loop, and the two-mile Hynes Spur.

If not, check out the Leibrand-Whiteis Historical Center, Heritage Park of North Iowa, and the Bear Creek Golf Course.

Forrest City to Mason City

July 23 | 36 Miles | 695 Feet

It’s a quick ride to the largest city along this year’s RAGRAI route. The inspirational city for the famed musical "The Music Man," Mason City features music festivals and historic sites designed by legendary architecture Frank Lloyd Wright.

Take advantage of the short day with a trip to Clear Lake for the Clear Lake Fire Museum, Surf Ballroom & Museum, and of course, Clear Lake itself.

Mason City to Waverly

July 24 | 63 Miles | 1,743 Feet

Put the pedal to the metal on your way to Waverly, just north of the University of Northern Iowa. Another former overnight town, Waverly features the Bremer County Historical Society Museum, the Centennial Oaks Golf Course Club, Palace Theatre, and the historic Wartburg College.

Waverly to Independence

July 25 | 68 Miles | 1,623 Feet

Set on the Wapsipinicon River, Independence offers a flurry of activity in Amish Country.

Visitors are just missing the Buchanan County Fair, through Independence still yields the Independence Motor Speedway, the historic Opera House, and Big Bud 747 – find that one out for yourself.

Independence to Guttenberg

July 26 | 68 Miles | 3,073 Feet

The final stretch leads you to the finishing town of Guttenberg, just north of  Dubuque and the smallest city on 2014’s RAGRAI route.

Located in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River, of course, Guttenberg is a historic, German-heritage rich town ideal for fishing and bird watching. Stretch out after the race with a stroll along the two-mile Riverwalk or a visit to Guttenberg Aquarium.




Best Western Hotels Along the 2014 RAGBRAI Route:


BEST WESTERN La Grande Hacienda

1401 N 2nd Street, Cherokee IA 51012-2201
Phone: (712) 225-5701  |  Fax: (712) 225-3926  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


BEST WESTERN Holiday Lodge

2023 7th Avenue N, Clear Lake IA 50428-2103
Phone: (641) 357-5253  |  Fax: (641) 357-8153  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


BEST WESTERN PLUS Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center

3100 Dodge Street, Dubuque IA 52003-5203
Phone: (563) 557-8000  |  Fax: (563) 557-7692  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


BEST WESTERN Starlite Village

1518 3rd Avenue NW, Fort Dodge IA 50501-2202
Phone: (515) 573-7177  |  Fax: (515) 573-3999  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


BEST WESTERN PLUS Independence Inn & Suites

2100 Swan Lake Boulevard, Independence IA 50644-2760
Phone: (319) 334-6400  |  Fax: (319) 334-2733  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »



3086 220th Street, Williams IA 50271-7607
Phone: (515) 854-2281  |  Fax: (515) 854-2447  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

More to see in Iowa

  • Iowa's RAGBRAI Race

    Iowa's RAGBRAI Race

    RAGBRAI riders, find Best Western Iowa hotels along the route, and check out the 40-year history of the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa™.

    Ride RAGBRAI ►
  • Iowa State Parks

    Iowa State Parks

    Take the time to explore Iowa's many impressive state parks like Big Creek, Lake Macbride, Rock Creek, and Lake Manawa.

    Discover Outdoor Iowa ►
  • Iowa Airport Hotels

    Iowa Airport Hotels

    Find hotels near Iowa airports like Des Moines International Airport, the Eastern Iowa Airport, and Dubuque Regional Airport.

    Hotels Near IA Airports ►
Use Arrow to View More Travel Tips
down Best Western USA & Canada
Alabama  |  Alaska  |  Arizona  |  Arkansas  |  California  |  Colorado  |  Connecticut  |  Delaware  |  Florida  |  Georgia  |  Hawaii  |  Idaho  |  Illinois  |  Indiana  |  Iowa  |  Kansas  |  Kentucky  |  Louisiana  |  Maine  |  Maryland  |  Massachusetts  |  Michigan  |  Minnesota  |  Mississippi  |  Missouri  |  Montana  |  Nebraska  |  Nevada  |  New Hampshire  |  New Jersey  |  New Mexico  |  New York  |  North Carolina  |  North Dakota  |  Ohio  |  Oklahoma  |  Oregon  |  Pennsylvania  |  Rhode Island  |  South Carolina  |  South Dakota  |  Tennessee  |  Texas  |  Utah  |  Vermont  |  Virginia  |  Washington  |  Washington D.C.  |  West Virginia  |  Wisconsin  |  Wyoming
Alberta  |  British Columbia  |  Manitoba  |  New Brunswick  |  Nova Scotia  |  Ontario  |  Prince Edward Island  |  Quebec  |  Saskatchewan  |  Yukon  |  Caribbean

Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated. © 2002-2014 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved. © 2014 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.