Bare Bison Ranch
Bare Bison Ranch

Journey into iconic America with a road trip along the Covered Bridges Scenic Byway. This 82-mile route introduces travelers to life on the plains and provides the perfect opportunity to visit the infamous covered bridges of Madison County, historical and cultural sites and other unique destinations.

Covered Bridges Scenic Byway
Holliwell Bridge

Where to Go

1. Bare Bison Ranch

Stop by Bare Bison Ranch in Van Meter for a truly unique prairie experience. This 350-acre ranch is home to nearly 300 head of Plains and Woods bison. Visitors can tour the ranch, get up close with these magnificent animals and purchase heart-healthy, wholesome bison products to take home.

2. Roseman and Holliwell Covered Bridges

With the highest concentration of covered bridges west of the Mississippi, Winterset's bridges continue to attract visitors from across the Midwest. Their popularity only grew with the 1992 release of The Bridges of Madison County novel, followed by a film of the same name in 1995. Fans continue to visit many of the set's locations, including the Roseman and Holliwell bridges.

3. John Wayne Birthplace & Museum

Finish your tour of Iowa's prairies with a visit to Iowa's western film star's home and museum. As the only museum in the world dedicated to Hollywood legend John Wayne, this world-class attraction features the largest private collection of John Wayne memorabilia in existence and  includes a tour of his childhood home in Winterset.

Where to Eat

1. Mi Pueblito

Meaning "my little town" in Spanish, Mi Pueblito sits right on Winterset's historic town square, where it serves delicious authentic Mexican dishes. Maintaining its spot in the hearts of many locals, Mi Pueblito's generous portions and strong flavors keep their patrons and out of town visitors coming back for more.

2. Rudy's Restaurant

Located just off the historic town square, Rudy's is the place in Winterset to find everything from a hot, hearty breakfact to order to delicious lunches and daily specials, homemade pies, broasted chicken and more. Grab a bite to eat then continue exploring the town. 

Where to Stay

Covered Bridge Inn

Located just a few minutes from Winterset's historic courthouse square and the covered bridges, this hotel offers a relaxing stay complete with free coffee, a continental breakfast, free wifi and parking.