Winterset is a wonderful community in Central Iowa. It lies just southwest of Des Moines. It features some great antique shopping, breathtaking scenic shots of covered bridges from a bygone era and the typical small town city square with the merchant shops surrounding the square. The Madison County Chamber of Commerce is a great place to get information on planning a trip here. Noon sirens still ring out to let the farmers in the surrounding areas know that its lunch time and again at 1:00 to let them know its time to get back to work. Morning time will find older farmers and their wives sitting at the coffee shops and other fast food places, talking gently and laughing easily. You will not find long lines of anything in this community. You will find lots of smiling faces and good old fashioned valued people willing to help with a piece of advice or a hand if needed. If you wanted Norman Rockwell mixed with modern small time America, you can't get better then here.


Known for the "Bridges of Madison County", many tourists come from all reaches of the globe to visit this beautiful town. It is common to see tourists from Asia snapping pictures along with groups from tour buses. If you are visiting be sure to go to the city park and the hedge maze there along with some wonderful rustic buildings and a covered bridge. If you can make it in October, be sure to not miss the Bridges Festival in which the square is closed down and music, dancing, vendors and stories flood the town. If attending on Sunday, the Car show is incredible!

There are several wineries around that are a nice place to visit and plenty of restaurants and bakeries to eat at while visiting. There are also several bed and breakfast places as well as a motel 8. Cedar Lake is a beautiful serene lake for taking a break and enjoying the beauty of the water.

Winter time finds a decorated town with musical carols echoing from the storefronts and bundled up families wandering between shops. There is a special feeling during snowfall, of being inside a snow globe while standing there in town square. Hunting is popular (as Madison county is known for the awesome gene pool for big bucks), snowmobiling, four wheeling, paintball, football, wrestling, biking, running, fishing and a golf course are popular sports here.

Spring brings busy farmers getting crops planted and the farm in order after a long winter.

Get in

Winterset is at the junction of U.S. Highway 169 and Iowa Highway 92. From Interstate 80, exit onto southbound Highway 169 at De Soto; from Interstate 35, exit onto westbound Highway 92 at Bevington.

Go next

Routes through Winterset

Mankato Fort Dodge  N  S  St. Joseph Kansas City

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