A group of alpacas graze in a fenced-in green field.
Photo Courtesy Rusty Stars Alpacas Facebook

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. Rusty Stars Alpacas

Stop by Rusty Stars Alpacas, a local favorite weekend outing in Winterset. Step inside the alpaca enclosure to pet, feed and experience their varying personalities. The farm is open to visitors every weekend and entry is free, though donations are appreciated! Once you've gotten your alpaca fix, visit the on-farm store to shop the amazing products made from their fiber and take home anything from socks, shirts, sweatshirts, hats and rugs to quirky stickers, keychains and decor. 

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. Petite Café

Also on the town square, Petite Café offers a quaint atmosphere where guests can stop and take a moment to relax. Grab a cup of coffee and pastry for breakfast, or stop by around lunch to enjoy their fresh salads, soups and sandwiches. 

Where to Stay

Cobblestone Inn & Suites

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.