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« Previous Edition   |   This Iowa Travel Edition Posted on 07/01/16

Visiting Central & Western Iowa

Summer and fall mean wealth of outdoor fun throughout the central and western regions of the state. From Des Moines-area communities like CliveAnkeny, and Altoona to the far-west towns of Cherokee and Council Bluffs, the Hawkeye State promises all kinds of family-friendly fun in the form of special events, sports, and more.

Creative types young and old gather at Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park on August 29th. That's when the 7th Annual Sidewalk Chalk Festival fills the concrete with color, while live entertainment, kids’ activities, and games add to the festivities.

For another way to take in the arts, head for the Des Moines Art Center and explore the Anna Gaskell/The Mirror Exhibit. The show runs from August 12th through November 3rd, though the DMAC is closed on Mondays.

Sunny days present an opportunity for visitors to the Des Moines area to get out and explore attractions like the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, home to over 1,200 species of plants, and the Blank Park Zoo, which encompasses over 250 acres near Des Moines International Airport. Schedule your zoo visit for September 24th to be a part of Zooktoberfest 2016 and enjoy live music, seasonal beers, and Bavarian-themed food amongst new animal friends.

To the north via I-35, the town of Clear Lake takes its name from the sparkling source of virtually endless water recreation nearby. Summer weather is perfect for boating, fishing, and more on the lake, and after a day on the water, you can see a show at the iconic Surf Ballroom. Just off the shores of Clear Lake, the venue’s calendar is packed with excitement – including the 2016 Happy Together Tour, with headliners The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie and Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night.

Cherokee, in northwestern Iowa, invites families to celebrate Halloween at the 2016 Trick-Or-Treat Parade. On October 31st, kids come in costume, lining Main Street for the spooky spectacle, which embarks from Cherokee Fire Station at 12:30 p.m.

No tricks in Cherokee come December – just treats. Head for downtown Cherokee on December 1st at sundown, and be dazzled by their 2016 Cherokee Lighted Christmas Parade, presented by the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.

Plan a visit to Fort Dodge this holiday season and treat the family to an evening of laughs. Head for the Hawkeye Community Theatre from December 15th through 17th for a live performance of the classic “A Christmas Story.” Shows start at 7 p.m., and families are welcome.

Best Western Rewards

10 Best Western Hotels
in Central & Western Iowa

  • Best Western Plus Altoona Inn


  • Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites

  • Best Western Plus Omaha Airport Inn

    Carter Lake

  • Best Western La Grande Hacienda


  • Best Western Holiday Lodge

    Clear Lake

  • Best Western Plus Des Moines West Inn & Suites

  • Best Western Crossroads of the Bluffs

    Council Bluffs

  • Best Western Starlite Village

    Fort Dodge

  • Best Western Pioneer Inn & Suites


  • Best Western Regency Inn


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